The first Fine & Decorative Arts and Antiques auction of 2021 resulted in a sale total of over £390,000; the highest in Gildings’ 41-year history. Over 1000 online and telephone bidders competed for 485 lots of fine collectables and antiques, including silver, ceramics, sculpture, glass and paintings.
Modern British Art took centre stage on the day, with ‘View from Selworthy’, an oil painting by the British artist Sir Alfred J Munnings, selling for £105,000. Munnings is renowned for his traditional style in his depictions of the English countryside and this painting has a frame plaque stating, "Presented to Miss Sybil Harker from members of the Norwich Staghounds as a token of their appreciation for all the work she did for The Hunt during her thirteen years of Mastership 1932-1945." It remained in the family ever since, and so gave collectors a chance to acquire a truly fresh-to-market work by one of Britain’s most celebrated 20th century artists.
Another standout sale on the day came in the form of op art with Bridget Riley’s ‘Early Light (Schubert 33)’ colour screenprint selling for £11,000. Elsewhere, John Piper’s pen, ink and chalk on paper drawing ‘The High Fall (Ffrwd Fawr)’ was a fine example of his naturalistic style and sold for £14,000. Paintings by Leicestershire and Northamptonshire artists such as Rigby Graham, Bryan Organ, Daniel van der Putten and Peter Newcombe also performed strongly on the day.
Sculpture also achieved fantastic results with one buyer securing all five bronzes in the sale by the Hampshire-based sculptor of birds Geoffrey Dashwood. ‘Barn Owl’ attracted the fiercest bidding of the group, eventually going under the hammer for £12,000. The natural world in sculpture was also represented by Nic Fiddian Green, whose ‘Gentle Horse in the Wind’ sold for £7,800.
“It was fantastic to see such consistently high results for a wide variety of Modern British Art in this record-breaking sale,” comments Gildings’ director and 20th century decorative art specialist Will Gilding. “This increased demand across the board means it’s the perfect time for those considering selling art or other collectables to do so.”
There were surprises elsewhere in the sale. A large George III mahogany serving table from around 1810 sold for £24,000 against an estimate of £2,500 - £3000, while two Chinese porcelain bowls sold for £18,000, a figure 120 times over the sale estimate of £100 - £150, demonstrating Chinese bidders’ willingness to bid sky-high to secure fine Chinese porcelain.
The auction also included a number of medals of historical interest including an 1862 London International Exhibition Winner’s Medal awarded to Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co, the firm founded by designer and artist William Morris in 1861. This winner’s medal, finely cast in bronze, was awarded for a stained-glass exhibit and was bought at the auction for £2,100 by London decorative art specialists Blairman & Sons.
We have now reopened for Covid-secure valuations and lot viewings on an appointment-only system and entries are now invited for our next offering of Fine & Decorative Arts and Antiques. Book an online valuation.