Buyers backing traditional antiques

A market of uncertainty against the backdrop of Brexit is turning buyers back to good period and traditional antiques and fine art, says Tennants Auctioneers following their recent Fine Art Sale.

Leading the furniture section of the sale was a 17th century Oak Press Cupboard made in the Leeds area c.1650; fierce bidding resulted in a hammer price of £14,000 against an estimate of £2,000-3,000. With Yorkshire interest and an excellent provenance, this piece led the way to strong results for English period oak furniture.

17th century Oak Press Cupboard

Also seen in this sale was a resurgence in interest in traditional pictures, with remarkable results achieved for the three delicate and fresh watercolours of rural genre scenes by Charles Edward Wilson (1854-1941), which sold for between £1,800 (est. £300-500) and £3,000 (est. £500-800). Strong prices were achieved for paintings across the board.

A modest but traditional diamond and enamel brooch in the shape of a salmon fishing fly was a surprising hit in the Jewellery section. This unusual piece attracted much interest from sporting enthusiasts, reaching £3,500 against an estimate of £500-700. Throughout the Jewellery section, attractive, wearable period pieces ranging from high Victorian to Art Deco, and classic designs proved attractive to buyers.

Good Swiss wristwatches from trusted makers such as Rolex, Jaeger LeCoultre and Patek Philippe continue to attract strong prices, with a Patek Philippe Travel Time watch leading the way with a hammer price of £9,000. However, a 100% sold rate in the clock section is an encouraging sign of the rejuvenation of the longcase clock market, with buyers eager to purchase rare and unusual clocks.

Moving into the 20th century, highlights from the modern and contemporary pictures included
a pair of oils by Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe (1901-1979) which reached £13,500 (est.£6,000-£8,000). Northern artists such as Norman Cornish and Tom McGuinness continued to
achieve significant results too.

In the 20th century Decorative Art and Design section, classic, stylish pieces were much in demand. An elegant cold painted bronze figure ‘Gamine’ by Johann Philipp Preiss made £9,500, following on from the same model selling at Tennants for £7,500 in 2011, and £8,500 in 2013.

Items with a strong Yorkshire connection also performed well. An impressive bronze head of ‘Morris’, a champion Swaledale Ram by the York sculptor Sally Arnup (1930-2015) attracted both local and national attention selling for £4,800 against an estimate of £1,500-2,000.

Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson furniture, that icon of Yorkshire Arts & Crafts design, was much in demand with all of the sale’s lots selling. Leading the way was a 1920s/30s English Oak Monk’s Chair, which reached £3000.

International interest in the Autumn Fine Art Sale was particularly evident, with items such as a Jugendstil Plique a Jour necklace by Levinger & Bissinger (hammer price £1,000) finding their market across the globe. Indeed, the top lot in the whole sale, an important landscape painting by leading Filipino artist Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (1892-1972), attracted much interest from the region before being sold to an international buyer for £20,000.

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