Our August/September 2022 edition of Five Centuries featured an exciting selection of rare and unique furniture, paintings and works of art and included specialist collecting areas encompassing clocks, bronzes, ceramics & glass, rugs & carpets.
Ahead of the sale our team chose a few of their favourite things to share as highlights that featured in our auction...
I love this smart little table! Though it looks like a toy – and is fun to play with to be honest, as the circular wind-out mechanism still works smoothly – it will have originally been a piece for a craftsman to show of their work. It would have done so impressively.
The design for the table was patented by Robert Jupe in 1835, who had envisioned “an improved expanding table so constructed that the sections composing its surface may be caused to diverge from a common center and that the spaces caused thereby may be filled up by inserting leaves or filling pieces.” The first of these fascinating tables were created between 1835 and 1840 during his partnership with John Johnstone and their firm of Johnstone, Jupe & Co. in London.
- Kerstin Schaeffer, Auction Administrator
My favourite lot is Lot 231 a Regency needlework sampler. Sewing was an expected skill of young girls in the 19th Century, as they had to make clothes for themselves and family members. Samplers were literally ‘a sample’, where girls would demonstrate their skills and all the stitches they knew. They would often depict a prayer, animals and birds within a decorative border. This is a good example as it is centred by a house, trees and flowers all within a strawberry vine border, it is signed and dated and presented in a period frame which sets it off well.
- Katie Hannah, Furniture, Clocks & Works of Art
As my Lakeland terrier Billy will confirm, I consider myself a 100% dog person, so it is with a certain amount of amazement that my favourite thing in our Summer edition of Five Centuries features not one, but two … cats. Lot 234 is a charming pair of mid-19th century felt and needlework pictures of two prized felines, one named ‘Seed Pearl’ the other ‘Nisse’ each regally positioned on a blue flower-embellished and tasselled cushion. The colours are fresh and vibrant, and the appealing graphic compositions enhanced by the flattened perspective used, which pushes each cushion on to a plane which serves as a frame-within-a-frame for the cats, and reminds me of similar techniques used in Japanese woodblock prints. When I look at them in their period birds’ eye maple frames, I can’t help but think of the person who made them, and how adored [and obviously pampered!] these two must have been.
- Douglas Girton, Head of Fine Furniture and Works of Art
My favourite item from our forthcoming Five Centuries auction on 31st August & 1st September is a large and beautifully decorated French Renaissance Revival gilt metal and cloisonné enamel three-piece clock garniture. During this period of French decorative arts known as the Belle Epoque, which followed on from the Second Empire of Emperor Napoleon III, makers and craftsmen reinvented techniques and styles from earlier periods into new and exciting forms. The technique of colourful cloisonné enamels, sometimes referred to as Champlevé enamel, had been in use for a very long time and can be seen on medieval reliquaries as early as the 12th century. When reinvented by craftsmen in the late 19th century the use of enamel turned from a religious art to adorn precious objects to a rich and explosive expression of secular wealth and style. These three pieces really do epitomise the raucous extravagance of the Belle Epoque period. At this time interior design thought the party was never going to stop and looking at the riot of colour of this clock garniture you really get a sense of that gilded age.
- Harry Fletcher, Specialist
Selling fine antique furniture has always been at the core of our business, ever since Lyon & Turnbull’s establishment in 1826. Today, our specialist Fine Furniture Auctions department conducts four auctions throughout the year both through our beautiful period saleroom in Edinburgh and via our live online auctions. Our specialists’ knowledge of furniture and the current market are essential to the overall success of sales of antique pieces spanning five centuries of design; from 17th century oak through the finest walnut, mahogany, and satinwood examples of the Georgian, Regency and Victorian periods.
The Works of Art department sells a wide variety of antique items covering nearly 400 years of European and British design. Sold as part of our Five Centuries: Furniture, Paintings & Works of Art sale series, items offered at auction range from the esoteric to those of popular appeal and include sculpture, mechanical items, textiles, decorative objects and artworks. Primarily focused on works produced during the 18th and 19th centuries, our team of specialists and consultants are able to value and advise on the current market.