Fellows auctioneers saw a range of local successes at its recent antiques and fine art sale in Birmingham, headed up by a vase from the Ruskin pottery founded in nearby Smethwick.
Fellows’ success in Blue John last October was repeated in the result for the two pieces in the auction. The Derbyshire mineral is ever-popular, the Campana urn and goblet both sold well – achieving £2,100 each.
Another Midlands connection came in the form of two portraits and a book of letters. The lot sparked a great deal of interest and sold for more than double its guide price at £7,000. The portrait of Daniel Eaton was used to illustrate The letters of Daniel Eaton to the third Earl of Cardigan (Eaton, D., Wake, J. (Ed), Webster, D. (Ed)). Along with a matching portrait depicting Eaton’s wife, these portraits were ascribed to Dutch artist Herman van der Myn. The letters from Eaton to George Brundenell offered a great insight into the subject of the picture.
The Eaton portraits weren’t the only popular paintings in the auction. The miniature section performed extremely well. An oval painted portrait miniature of Lieutenant General William Popham by Viola G Woulfe achieved £700. The original, full-length portrait by Sir Martin Shee is currently hanging in the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Fellows said that auction also helped to dispel some of the sentiment that “brown” furniture is in the doldrums as it sold well across the board. Although there were good results throughout the furniture section, two lots really stood out – an extendable mahogany table and a chest of drawers. The Victorian, mahogany, extending dining-room table more doubled its top estimate of £800 to sell for £2,000 and the William and Mary oyster-veneered, laburnum and walnut chest of drawers surpassed its top estimate of £2,500 to sell at £4,200.