It was a day of repeated success for Clevedon Salerooms at the Kenn Road Auction Centre on Thursday June 1st. In addition to the unprecedented success of the Barrow Court Sale, the Summer Fine Art sale held on the same day also hit many high notes. Over 90% of items offered on the day found new homes, with superb prices across all categories.
Appropriately for ‘flaming’ June, the sale opened in fine style with a fine George III neoclassical style statuary marble chimneypiece or probably George III period, in cararra and sienna marble fireplace. Purchased in the 1980s from a Cotswolds dealer, it had been intended to adorn a townhouse in The Circus in Bath, the former home of Sir Thomas Gainsborough, no less, but its former owner never got round to it and it spent the next thirty five years in pieces on the floor of his cellar where it was discovered by Clevedon Salerooms Senior Valuer Mark Huddleston. Provenance, decorative appeal and rarity combined to send sparks flying and it sold well above expectations, online against strong commission bidding, at £7,200.
Fine neoclassical style statuary marble chimneypiece or fireplace surround, probably George III period, circa 1790. Sold for £7,200
That impressive result fell just short of the sale’s highest price, which was taken by a very arresting oil on canvas still life with flowers by Dorothea Sharpe. This was a classic work by a figure widely recognised as one of England's finest female and Impressionist artists and fevered bidding saw it quickly eclipse its estimate to sell for £7,500.
Dorothea Sharp R.B.A., R.O.I. (1874-1955) - Oil on board - Still life with flowers. Sold for £7,500
Other highlights included a Lange & Söhne gentleman's 18K gold wristwatch which did remarkably well, selling for £7,200 and, staying with watches, a Rolex two-tone gold and stainless steel Oyster Perpetual Datejust wristwatch, which sold for £5,500. Amongst a strong Jewellery section, the stand out lot was a black opal, diamond, calibré emerald and sapphire brooch, the focus of an intense bidding battle which saw the hammer finally fall at £5,200.
The Summer Fine Art Sale was a resounding success, but there was no time for auctioneers to rest on their laurels, as there immediately followed the Specialist Wine Sale. Chiefly drawn from two significant private collections, almost two hundred lots of fine wine were offered. Highlights included six bottles of 2005 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru Burgundy which sold for £5,200 and a single bottle of Krug Champagne Clos du Mesnil, Brut Blanc de Blancs, 1985, which also smashed its estimate, selling for £3,200. Auctioneers then raised a glass and toasted a landmark day and already vintage year for Clevedon Salerooms.