Art and antiques worth £450,000 sold at Reeman Dansie’s summer auction
PUBLISHED: 15:40 06 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:44 06 August 2020
© Paul Cudmore Photography
The Colchester auction saw everything from a John Constable pencil sketch, to a jade Maori battle club, to a Richard Bedford sculpture sold for a world record price.
Our appetite for art and antiques has surged during the lockdown, according to auctioneers Reeman Dansie who have seen a significant upturn in prices and numbers of bidders in their summer sales.
The firm’s dedicated East Anglian art sale at the end of June took place without members of the public in the Colchester saleroom, but attracted more than 1,500 registered online bidders and several hundred phone bids. There were 1,209 lots on offer – an exceptional array of antique silver, jewellery, ceramics, furniture and furnishings and even the odd vintage car – which were available to view before the sale on an appointment basis to ensure numbers of people were kept at a safe level. An impressive 85 percent was sold achieving total sales of £450,000.
The picture element of the sale was dedicated to East Anglian artists, a specialist collecting field for which Reeman Dansie is renowned, with work by Sir Alfred Munnings, Edward Bawden, Dame Elizabeth Frink and John Constable.
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A pencil estuary scene by Constable sold for £11,000, while a small oil on panel cloud sketch, described as ‘circle of John Constable’ achieved the top price of the day, selling for £16,000.
World record prices set for artists’ works included £7,000 for an alabaster sculpture by Richard Bedford, while a watercolour depiction of Dedham High Street by Suffolk favourite Leonard Squirrell fetched £3,200. Other highlights included £13,000 for a 19th century library clock by the famous Vulliamy family of clockmakers, £12,500 for a set of six early 19th century coade stone classical roundels, and £2,000 for an 18th century Jacobite wine glass.
A Maori-carved jade battle club, acquired by a gentleman traveller in the 1820s, and remaining in the same family since, sold for an incredible £12,500. Collectors were also drawn to a very rare fruitwood trencher dated 1744. Trenchers were essentially a wooden dinner plate and, while common at the time, they rarely survive. They are usually undecorated but this scarce carved example bore the legend ‘You are welcome to use me but pray don’t abuse me’ and sold for £5,600.