Michael Bowman's first auction of 2018 was held at Chudleigh Town Hall on January 27th and as is often the case for a New Year event, was attended by a capacity audience of enthusiastic bidders.
A bold Chinese silk embroidery proved to be one of the most popular lots of the day and sold for a multi-estimate internet bid of £1,500. The 44" panel depicted a dragon amidst cloud scrolls and a peacock, worked in gold and silver threads which highlighted dramatically against the black background. Probably dating from around 1900, so of no great age, this result illustrates yet again, how relatively substantial bids can emerge for Chinese items due to their quality and condition.
The following lot to the silk appealed to an entirely different market. A collection of 70 aviation photos depicted black & white images of, mainly Bristol, aircraft, which were in use during the 1920's and 30's. The passenger airliner which offered two rows of Lloyd loom armchairs to its interior, gives an impression of the pioneering spirit which must have been required in those early years of flight. A London telephone bidder took this lot for a high estimate bid of £400.
The most surprising ceramic result was for an exceptionally large Victorian white porcelain oil lamp in the form of an owl. This stood 17" high and was the largest example the auctioneer can recall encountering. An internet bidder from the Northeast added it to her collection for a multi-estimate £620.
An early broad sword, dating from the 15th century attracted many admirers also achieved a mutli-estimate price when an internet bidder triumphed at £3,500 A 19th century percussion lock blunderbuss sold for a high estimate bid of £750. A World War I Military Cross medal group achieved £470.
There were no great treasures amongst the jewellery, but a gold Georg Jensen ring set with a cabochon labradorite, raised eyebrows when it went to an internet bidder against the room for £970. Jensen is more usually associated with silver jewellery and the Canadian gemstone, labradorite, exhibiting its rich opalescent fire, is also a rare encounter.
Michael Bowman is now accepting suitable entries for his next auction at Chudleigh to be held on March 17th and is available each Monday afternoon at the Town Hall for free appraisals.
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