Pick of the Week


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Pick of the week: Dürer medal to honour emperor

14 October 2019

Albrecht Dürer’s medal dedicated to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, is among the most important medals of the Northern Renaissance. As only four are known to commerce, the appearance of one for sale is significant.

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Pick of the week: Polynesian war club is a big hit in Salisbury

30 September 2019

A tribal war club from the Marquesas Islands with textbook provenance has sold for £71,000 at Woolley & Wallis. The u’u (head club) came for sale at the Salisbury saleroom from the descendants of an early-19th century missionary.

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Pick of the week: Rare example of a surviving maestrophone sells at 20-times estimate in Nantwich auction

23 September 2019

Until electricity became commonplace in homes, the power source of choice for the gramophone was a spring motor that required frequent winding. One unusual solution to silent interludes at the dinner dance was to power the device by hot air.

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Pick of the week: Living up to the teapot with a punchline

16 September 2019

George du Maurier (1834-96) joined the staff at Punch magazine in 1865, drawing two ink cartoons a week until his eyesight deteriorated in 1891. His most common targets were the affected manners of Victorian society and Britain’s growing middle class in particular.

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Pick of the week: Museum wraps up sale of coveted coverlet

09 September 2019

The National Museums of Scotland has been revealed as the buyer of the Storrar Coverlet – a rare woollen textile withdrawn at the 11th hour from a sale at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh in August.

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Pick of the week: American saleroom signals the way to English creamware

26 August 2019

Some of the rarest and most desirable of all English creamware jugs were those made for the American market. One of them, titled Signals at Portland Observatory, sold for $4400/£3600 (plus premium) at the Bourgeault-Horan auction in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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Pick of the week: 18th century dockyard plans detailing the Royal Navy war machine attract wave of bids

19 August 2019

A complete set of plans showing what was once the world’s largest industrial complex and the British state’s single biggest investment has sold in Cornwall. Thomas Milton’s plans of the Royal Dockyards sold to an online buyer for £10,000 (plus 18% buyer’s premium) at David Lay's latest sale in Penzance.

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Pick of the week: Sale supplies simple bear accessory of life as Doulton Lambeth discovery found among the weeds

12 August 2019

When auctioneer Tony Pratt spotted a mysterious shape in the undergrowth of a back garden in Hythe he wasn’t expecting to uncover a very large pottery bear.

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Pick of the week: Pocketwatch with Oliver Cromwell connection sells in Cumbria

05 August 2019

Did a watch offered for sale in Carlisle at the end of July once belong to Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658)? Two centuries of provenance suggest it did.

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Pick of the week: ‘Blonde bombshell’ poster makes big impact at auction

22 July 2019

A controversial Second World War poster by renowned designer Abram Games (1914-96) has sold for what is believed to be an auction record.

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Pick of the week: Print shows bidding for books way back in c.1700

08 July 2019

A rare copy of the earliest-known depiction of a book auction emerged for sale in Gloucestershire at the end of last month.

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Pick of the week: Silver pomander from Tudor period sells above predictions at Cirencester auction

01 July 2019

The origin of ‘Tudor’ globe pomanders is still under discussion. It is generally thought that most originate from northern Europe but were probably made by itinerant craftsmen in a number of countries.

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Fur flies in taxidermy oddity

24 June 2019

‘Boxing Badgers’ is one of just two known occasions when the celebrated taxidermist Peter Spicer (1839-1935) ventured into the strange world of the anthropomorphic tableau.

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Pick of the week: Early draft of colonial American map impresses at New York auction

17 June 2019

A pre-press version of a key map of colonial America emerged for sale at Swann Auction Galleries in New York on June 6. Carrying an estimate of $30,000-50,000, it sold at $100,000/£76,900 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) – a sum that reflected its extraordinary provenance.

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Pick of the week: Restituted Swiss self-portrait lights up saleroom

10 June 2019

Berlin auction house Grisebach posted an auction record for the Swiss artist Karl Stauffer-Bern (1857-91) on May 29 when it sold a self-portrait which had been recently restituted to the family of its original Jewish owners.

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Pick of the week: Heavyweight bid as Aztec mosaic made of feathers sells to Paris museum

03 June 2019

A remarkable example of 16th century cross-culture art – a feather ‘mosaic’ picture made in Mexico for Christian conquerors – has been purchased at auction by the Musée du Quai Branly.

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Pick of the week: Gruesome way to jog your memory

27 May 2019

In the Late Middle Ages the chaplet, made in many materials from boxwood to precious metals, was a commonplace aid to keep count of the repetition of prayers or the chapters read in a Book of Hours.

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Pick of the week: Figurehead full of canine quality points way to £52,000 result at Charles Miller auction

13 May 2019

A carving of a deerhound which once adorned a 19th century yacht more than doubled the house record for a figurehead at a Charles Miller auction in west London. The item sold for £52,000 had a royal connection but it was the quality and condition which secured the high price, said Miller.

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Pick of the week: Du Maurier dazzles as buyers worldwide snap up all 354 lots of writer's archive

06 May 2019

A manuscript for Rebecca and a favourite typewriter were among the top lots in a collection of objects and ephemera once owned by author and playwright Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) sold at Rowley’s in Ely (22.5% buyer’s premium).

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Pick of the week: Box pushes sentimentality aside for a siege celebration at Welsh auction

29 April 2019

Although catalogued as 19th century, this horn, fruitwood and bone inlaid oval patch or snuff box offered by Rogers Jones in Colwyn Bay in north Wales is of a type associated with the late 17th century.

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