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Strong bidding in keys’ three day fine antiques sale

5th Dec 2014
Pair of Chinese jardinieres sold for 27500

Strong bidding at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers’ three-day Fine Quality Antique Sale in Aylsham, Norfolk, saw many of the 2,500 lots sell for above estimate.

Star lot was a pair of large and impressive Chinese jardinières, circa early 20th century, which sold for £27,500 (estimate £8,000-£12,000).  Of tapering circular baluster form, and painted in under glazed blue, with extensive panels of dragons and smoke clouds with geometric borders, the pair – 22½“ high and 28” diameter, were the subject of fierce bidding between two in-room bidders.

Another lot which far exceeded its estimate was an early 18th century walnut and marquetry inlaid 8-day long case clock by Samuel Macham of London, which sold for £12,800 (estimate £4,500-£5,000).  A fine piece with many decorative details including ebonised barley twist columns and floral mask, all over inlaid tulip and pink detail, and boxwood strung panel detail to the sides, the clock came with a bill of sale dating from 1943, when it was purchased from Malcolm Garner of London for the princely sum of £70.

The sale at Keys also featured a number of fine Queen Anne and William and Mary period furniture from a single collection, which attracted keen interest both in advance of the sale and at the auction itself. 

Included were a William and Mary period oyster veneered walnut chest, which sold for £6,900 (estimate £3,000-£4,000) and a Queen Anne period walnut bureau cabinet, which sold for £6,800 (estimate £4,000-£5,000).

More recent collectors’ items also performed strongly, including an early 20th century His Master’s Voice mahogany table top gramophone which sold for £1,300 (estimate £150-£200) and a mid 20th century Coracle brand picnic set in a black rexine travel case which sold for £70 (estimate 150-£3200)

Keys Fine Art partner Roy Murphy said, "Our twice-yearly Fine Quality Antique Sales are amongst the most important antique auctions held in East Anglia.  This November we have seen particularly strong bidding right across all three days, both online and in the saleroom itself with  over  24% secured by the-saleroom.com registered buyers.

“The Chinese jardinières were an interesting one: although 20th century, the size and quality of them meant we had considerable pre-sale interest, and it was clear that they were going to exceed their estimate, although we weren’t expecting them to achieve quite as high a hammer price as they did.

“We were also very excited about the Queen Anne and William and Mary furniture.  We don’t see that much from this era, so to have several lots consigned from one vendor was bound to stimulate interest, and this was reflected in the bidding.  Indeed , as reported in the ATG recently from other saleroms , there does seem to be a renewal in the interest in antique furniture, almost across the board . Younger buyers in particular, at last seem to be realising the good value that is to be found in this previously under-performing sector.

“Our week long series of sales which also included Books and East Anglian Art grossed over £500,000 ,seeing strong results in all areas"

  • Prices quoted are hammer prices, and exclude buyer’s premium of 17.5% +VAT (22% in total).