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Summer Fine Art auction highlights in review

The two day Summer Auction kicked off Duke’s return to auctions following lockdown in style.  The mixed category auction truly offered something for everyone.  Buoyant bidding in the saleroom, which is set up for social distancing, and highly active online bidding resulted in strong prices. 

Leading the ceramics section, a ‘Grotesque Bird’ Jar and Cover by R.W. Martin & Brothers was an early highlight.   The endearing winking bird captured many hearts as competitive bidding resulted in him taking flight and selling at £23,750 (including Buyers Premium). 

Intaglio gems by prominent Scottish gem engraver William Tassie (1777-1860) from the Dorset collection of Mrs Margaret Miller-Williams made over £7,500 (including Buyers Premium).   A gift of a Tassie group of gems from a friend, a relation of Tassie’s, had prompted her to start collecting the gems.  Specialist Cristian Beadman said of the collection, ‘The market for intaglio jewellery has seen a huge reignition in the last 18 months.  The taste for intaglio and cameo gems is seen to be very much alive.  This large and impressive collection proved to be highly popular, particularly due to its connection with the Tassie family’.

True to their original inception, a pair of early 16th century Sienese or Florentine walnut and parquetry ‘credenze intagliate’ side cabinets received considerable attention ahead of the auction.  From an Italian home, the cabinets had been purchased by the vendors ancestors and were passed down the generations.  Passionate bidding led to the cabinets selling at £8,750 (including Buyers Premium). 

With warm dialogues with clients reignited, a well received curated catalogue and a busy saleroom, the Duke’s team is delighted to be back and doing what we love!