Hansons’ Decorative Arts Auction pops up with a toast rack delight

Posted on 28/06/2018 in Press Coverage

Here, John Keightley, Head of Decorative Arts at Hansons Auctioneers, shares the highlights in Hansons Auctioneers’ Decorative Arts Auction which took place on 19th June 2018.

Summer started early in Derbyshire with our June Decorative Arts auction. Lots of enquiries and a high turnout on the day added to the excitement and anticipation.

Hopes were high for lot number 3, the Christopher Dresser toast rack, as contemporary and modernist today as ever, especially considering it was designed in 1878.

Several telephones competed against internet bidders to reach a hammer price of £2,000. The vendors, sitting in the room, were delighted.

Following on, an unassuming silver-plated teaspoon, designed by the great Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whose Glasgow Masterpiece had tragically burnt down a couple of weeks earlier, clearly sparked interest and sold for £250 to a telephone bidder.

Arts and Crafts jewellery appeared equally popular with a Charles Horner enamelled pendant selling for £360 and an amethyst and silver necklace making £320.

Writing instruments followed, with interest across the board, the highlight being an Onoto silver and black rubber fountain pen from around 1915, which sold for £240.

In the ceramics section, unusual and very stylised Beswick figures by Colin Melbourne were popular, selling for between £110 and £170 each. Moorcroft, including a rare Wisteria on white vase, sold well at £880 despite damage.

With the trend for studio pottery and the number of pieces consigned, we were able to include a separate section. The main highlight was a small but beautifully formed bowl by Lucie Rie, which sold to a private collector for £900. Pieces from contemporary artists such as Sasha Wardell and Sophie Cook also sold well (£160 and £100) alongside more established names such as Janet Leach.

The star find in the Glass section was a Lalique plate in the Ondines pattern, with a beautiful blue opalescent colour, our cover image for the catalogue. Discovered at a Derbyshire valuation day in a box of dinner plates, it sold well over initial estimate at £1,300. A Galle cameo vase also proved popular, making £460.

Metalware and Works of Art followed. An excellent and iconic W A S Benson comport or bowl, in his typical foliate and crimped leaf style, sold for £530. Art Deco figures by Lorenzl and Ferdinand Preiss made £460 and £600, the latter in spite of the pending uncertainty over ivory. The highlight, however, was a Dunhill Aquarium lighter, which sold for £2,600.

Paintings by Contemporary artists such as George Shaw, whose oil on board sold for £8,000 and Pietro Annigoni (£2,300) were the highlights of the picture section, while works by Modern British artists Fred Cuming, Terry Frost and Laura Knight also caught the attention of bidders.

In the final section, furniture, we saw a full range, from Aesthetic Movement to Contemporary, all selling well. A Thebes stool, with original Liberty label, sold well over estimate at £400, a Mouseman small bookcase made £420, and Danish rosewood furniture including sideboard and dining table (both with CITES export certificates) sold for £400 and £960.

Sofas from the 1960s and 70swere also popular making £320 for a Greaves and Thomas daybed and £200 for a small Furpro suite. Arts and Crafts chairs by Clisset and Gimson made £600 for a set of six Clisset ones and £1,150 for a pair of Gimson armchairs.

A very good auction in all, with highlights and surprises across the board.

Hansons Auctioneers are based in Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire. To find out more, visit or call 01283 733988.