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19th May 2021
Lot 54 Lowestoft The Aldred Jug sold for 7900

Pictures, furniture and ceramics – including a private collection of Lowestoft porcelain - were all strong performers in Keys Auctioneers and Valuers first two day Fine Sale of the year in Norfolk, which was postponed until May to allow in-person bidders to take part, the first time this has happened since lockdown was imposed in March 2020.

Pictures perform strongly

Hammer prices were significantly above estimate on pictures right across the board, from 18th century landscapes to a 20th century portrait of 1930s Women’s professional billiards champion Joyce Gardener, which sold for more than eight times its top estimate.

Highlights of the sale included:

  • A pair of wooded river landscapes in oil by 19th century Dutch artist Marinus Adrianus Koekkoek, which sold for £5,400 (estimate £2,500-£3,000, lot 146)
  • A portrait in oil of Women’s professional billiards champion Joyce Gardener, by Effie Spring-Smith, which sold for £4,850 (estimate £400-£600, lot 159)
  • An oil on canvas of a beach and fishing scene by 18th century artist George Morland sold for £3,100 (estimate £600-£800, lot 106)
  • An oil on canvas ‘Moonlight over the River’ by Norwich School of Artists star John Berney Crome, which sold for £2,600 (estimate £700-£900, lot 142)
  • Two works by English Victorian landscape painter George Augustus Williams were the subject of intense bidding.  ‘The Homestead’, an oil on canvas, sold for £1,600 (estimate £300-£400, lot 129); ‘Winter scene with horse and cart and figures’, also oil on canvas, sold for £1,450 (estimate £300-£400, lot 132)

Lowestoft collection headlines ceramics section

An extensive private collection of Lowestoft porcelain, including several very rare items, took centre stage in the Sale’s ceramics section on day one, with nearly 95% of the collection selling, with prices well above estimates in many cases.

Highlights included:

  • An important documentary Lowestoft jug inscribed with the initials ‘SA’ for Samuel Aldred, one of the original partners in the Lowestoft factory, sold for £7,900 (estimate £5,000-£7,000, lot 54)
  • Another rare Lowestoft jug, decorated with a maritime scene of ships off the coast, sold for £3,200 (estimate £2,500-£3,000, lot 41)
  • A Lowestoft rice bowl, cover and stand, decorated with the pine cone pattern print, sold for £1,850 (estimate £800-£1,000, lot 40)
  • A rare Lowestoft pounce pot sold for £1,040 (estimate 400-£500, lot 23)
  • A group of eight Royal Worcester plates, specially made for Aspreys, sold for £2,550 (estimate £500-£700, lot 76)
  • A rare Bottger/Meissen tea pot from circa 1725, probably painted by Horoldt, sold for £3,350 (estimate £3,000-£5,000, lot 80)

Furniture continues its comeback

Evidence of the continued return to strength in the furniture market was evident on day two of the Sale, with strong prices achieved across the board.

Highlights included:

  • A William IV mahogany inlaid side cabinet, which sold for £3,200 (estimate £250-£350, lot 397)
  • A George II period mahogany low boy, which sold for £3,000 (estimate £300-£400, lot 366)
  • A late 19th century/early 20th century mahogany Bergère suite, comprising a double-caned three seater sofa and two matching easy chairs, which sold for £2,550 (estimate £800-£1,000, lot 390)
  • A mid-19th century mahogany and double-caned Bergère panelled cabin bed, which sold for £2,150 (estimate £500-£1,000, lot 367)
  • A large 20th century Chinese Chippendale style ornate gilt wood wall mirror, which sold for £1,900 (estimate £200-£400, lot 348)
  • A 19th century mahogany silver table with Gothic tracery raised gallery, which sold for £1,600 (estimate £200-3300, lot 378)
  • A large Victorian ebonised and ormulu mounted credenza, which sold for £1,100 (estimate £250-£300, lot 351)

Keys managing director Tim Blyth said:

“After 14 months, it was really nice to welcome a small number of in-person bidders back into our saleroom for our first Fine Sale of the year. 

“We took the decision to delay the sale by a month so that this could happen, and while the majority of bidders were still online, those who were able to attend in person brought an element of normality back to the saleroom after all these months.

“We were very encouraged by the level of bidding, with prices consistently above estimate throughout the sale.  Pictures and ceramics have been performing very strongly for us for a long time now, but it’s very encouraging to see the continued comeback in the furniture department, which we started to see in the year or two before lockdown.

“This all bodes very well for the rest of the year, and we are now turning our attention to our second Fine Sale of the year, which will take place at the beginning of September.”