Here are some pre-sale and post-sale reports for some star lots that have appeared in our sales
Pre Sale Reports
Rare George Washington portrait comes up for auction in Cirencester
Directors Lindsey Braune and Elizabeth Poole of The Cotswold Auction Company are delighted to bring a highly desirable small portrait of the first American president to auction in their 19th October Pictures sale at the Cirencester, Bankside saleroom. “This will be extremely interesting for both British and US buyers” said Lindsey, “Because we believe it was executed by James Sharples, a well-known eighteenth century British pastellist, who worked in the UK and then in 1794 travelled to the United States with his family. It is thought that Sharples secured a sitting from America’s first president, George Washington, not long after his arrival in the USA, c. 1795-7.” Once the sitting had been obtained both James Sharples and his wife Ellen produced multiple versions for a ready local market in Philadelphia, then the American Capitol.
A few of these have survived and come to the market at rare intervals, always met with a great deal of interest by collectors of eighteenth century American pictures and history.
This picture comes from a local house and was formerly at Bowden Hall in Upton St Leonards near Gloucester. From this same family collection, and also with an American theme, earlier this year The Cotswold Auction Company sold the first African-American published book of poetry by a slave girl, Phyllis Wheatley, 1773 for £16,500.
It is believed that the portrait was once part of the collection of nineteenth century British collector Jeffery Whitehead and was exhibited in London twice – in 1899, incorrectly attributed to Russell, and in 1891 as ‘Sharpless’ (as James Sharples was known at the time). It then sold at Christie’s in 1915, when Whitehead’s whole collection was consigned for auction. It was bought by a picture dealer by the name of Schroeder and found its way to this local Cotswold collection near Gloucester.
This rare portrait bears an estimate of £30,000 to £50,000 and the auctioneers welcome enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01285 642420.
Post Sale Reports
Rare Faberge Miniature Sedan Chair Sells for £380,000 at The Cotswold Auction Company’s Bankside Saleroom
We were delighted to be instructed in the sale of a tiny Russian treasure which had been sitting peacefully in a box in the Cotswolds for the last 20 years, having been passed down to a family member who was instructed to “look after it”! This was a Fabergé nephrite jade, rock crystal, mother-of-pearl and varicolour chased gold miniature model of a sedan chair, marked with the workmaster’s initials M.N for Mikhail Perchin, one of his most illustrious workmasters, circa 1899-1903. It even boasted a hinged door with functioning handle, revealing a mother-of-pearl seat to the interior, each side mounted with a reeded gold and nephrite pole, in a fitted Wartski wooden case, just 7.8 cm. high.
It was acquired by Mr. K.W. Woollcombe-Boyce in 1929 from Wartski in London for £75 and remained in the family, passed down to the present owner. Recorded in the family inventory: ‘Objects in the Possession of Mr. K.W. Woollcombe-Boyce (and Daughter), made in the Workshop of Peter Carl Fabergé, in St. Petersburg, Moscow Or Odessa between 1841-1918’: ‘Item 1: A Sedan chair with moveable poles, made of Jadeite, mother-of-pearl (seat), crystal (windows) & gold, height 3’’…’
This little treasure achieved a house record for The Cotswold Auction Company and Liz Poole was on the rostrum at the time. Six phone bidders from Russia, America and London vied with bidders in the room – bidding started at £50,000 and rose rapidly from one phone bidder to the next and despite a strong showing from the bidders in the room, the lot was finally won by a phone bid from Russia – spontaneous applause broke out!
This was a really exciting sale for the company and our whole team has been closely involved in the cataloguing, photography, research, safeguarding and publicity which all contributed to a successful sale.