Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

Clevedon Salerooms held their latest Interiors sale on Thursday 16th February at the Kenn Road Auction Centre. During the preceding view day, the Saleroom had featured on BBC's 'Antiques Road Trip', and this most certainly had a positive effect - with a high number of new faces at the view and auction, resulting in a lively atmosphere on the day with strong bidding throughout.

The sale was bolstered by a number of good consignments from the popular outside valuation day held at Stoke Lodge in Bristol. The first customer seen on the day consigned a good selection of silver, and chief amongst these was an Edward VII 1902 four-piece tea service sold for £720. A Masons Ironstone dinner service doubled expectations, to sell for £420. Further entries, including a Glashutte wristwatch estimated at £5,000-7,000, an oil painting of birds by renowned artist Peter Scott at £800-1,200, and a pair of still lives by Midlands artist Oliver Clare at £600-800, will feature in the Salerooms' Spring Specialist sale on Thursday 9th March.

Also from Stoke Bishop, this time from a house move, was a work by Simon Palmer (b. 1956) - 'Three Dutch Barns in a Devon landscape'. The vendor had no great expectations of the picture, which was going to be disposed of if Clevedon Salerooms had not taken it for the auction - and so was utterly delighted with the £750 achieved, which goes towards her moving costs [LOT 476].

The sale had commenced as usual with a good selection of jewellery. A diamond single-stone ring, of more unusual pendeloque or teardrop form, outperformed the vendor's expectations of £500 to take a pleasing £920. Surpassing even this was a gold bracelet with seventeen charms, which achieved the day's top sale price at an even £1,000.

Perhaps the most unusual lot in the auction was also one of the most sought-after. A 'memento mori' mirror featured a somewhat macabre pile of skulls over the mirror plate, to remind the onlooker of their own mortality. Two admirers, one online, one in the room, pursued this quirky conversation piece to £780 [LOT 395].

Other more prosaic items of furniture nevertheless deserve a mention, including an Ekornes 'Stressless' recliner and footstool which made an above-average £580, and a stylish deep-buttoned office chair, surely benefitting from the move towards 'working from home', at £380. The ever-popular 'Ercol' featured again, with a nest of Pebble tables sold for £320.

A bit of old-fashioned research tracked down the PK monogram on an 18th Century Dutch Delft vase to the workshop of Pieter Gerritsz Kamm, 'De Drie Posteleyne' . The damaged and restored rim did not seem to be a hindrance to collectors, as it soared to £600 [LOT 351]. Also performing well in the ceramics section was a 20th Century Sevres vase and tazza, bought in the rooms some 15 years previously. Happily, the purchase returned a handsome profit, selling to a Chinese internet bidder for £550. With today's appetite for minimalism and 'retro cool', a Royal Worcester figurine does not immediately set the auctioneer's heart racing, especially when it is from a 'limited' edition of 4,950. However, 'Summer's Dream' proved to be just that when it sold for an excellent £400. 

With Spring (hopefully!) around the corner, the sale rounded off with a selection of garden furniture which met with approval from the bidders. Two pairs of terracotta planters sold for a staggering £480, a large composition figure of Diana the Huntress and her hound sold for £340, and a painted metal patio set closed the sale at £320.

With over 90% of lots sold, and the overall sale total a stunning 40% over expectations, the average lot values for these popular sales continue to rise, and on this occasion exceeded £120. This figure has doubled in the last two years, as Clevedon Salerooms goes from strength to strength.