Visitors from all over the country are heading to Staffordshire to see a treasure trove of riches at Hansons Auctioneers’ Country House Fine Art Auction.
Thousands of beautiful antiques and collectables are on display in several rooms at the sale venue Bishton Hall, a Georgian mansion dating back to 1750 at Wolseley Bridge, near Stafford.
The atmospheric property is proving to be a draw. The April 3-11 auction is well under way and staff have welcomed potential buyers from far and wide. One visitor from the south started his journey at 4am.
Here, the experts at Hansons pick out a handful of items you can browse or bid on in the days ahead.
Vases bursting with fruit – Lot 2086
Hundreds of stunning Glass and Ceramics objects will be sold Friday, April 5. One example is this fine 20th century English porcelain, below. This striking pair of Royal Worcester G42 shaped vases with pierced necks are adorned with grapes and peaches that look good enough to eat. Signed by Freeman. Estimate £1,300-£1,400.
Oriental delights – Lot 2181
Oriental treasures are highly sought after and there are more than 100 objects to browse in the Asian Works of Art and Asian Ceramics section of the sale, with guide prices ranging from £3,000 to as little as £40-£60. It’s a perfect opportunity to find something special. This Chinese Han Dynasty terracotta ornamental horse head, 2nd Century BC to 2nd Century AD, above right, has an estimate of £150-£200.
Tiger on the prowl – Lot 2196
Fine bronze items are included in the sale including this Japanese bronze study of a prowling tiger, Meiji period, 1868-1912, above. It has contrasting stripes all over in a rich brown colour and is mounted on a wooden plinth. Estimate £200-£300.
Medicinal purposes – Lot 2223
Just what the doctor ordered. This fascinating George III mahogany physician’s case, below, contains medical jars and a pestle and mortar. The elegant case features a brass swing handle and there is even an ancient remedy to fight colds. Estimate £250-£350.
Walk with style – Lot 2255
More than 20 magnificent Ian Taylor walking canes are up for auction with shaped tops featuring a multitude of carved birds’ heads including a mallard, grouse, swan an curlew. Lot 2255, below right, a shoveler-topped walking cane, has an estimate of £300-£500.
The Lloyd-Marlow Button Collection – Lots 2308-2363
A magnificent single-owner, private collection of thousands of antique buttons of every shape and style imaginable will be auctioned on April 5. The buttons were collected in France over the course of around 20 years by Rebecca Lloyd Marlow. Lot 2342, above left, is a fine collection of 19th and 20th century metal buttons including cut steel silvered, gilt, copper, enamel and diamante. Estimate £100-£200.
Timely perfection - Lot 3000A
Our Fine Art Clocks and Furniture Auction gets under way on April 6 and there has been much interest in a George III mahogany eight-day longcase clock by Thomas Ashton, of Macclesfield, below left. It features a swan neck pediment, single door enclosing silvered chapter dial with Roman numerals and moon face mechanism. The clock has a musical, 10-bell mechanism and one striking bell. Estimate £800-£1,200.
Hansons' clock expert Mike Wetton says: "This is a magnificent Late Georgian early Victorian clock by the Ashtons, a famous Derbyshire clockmaking dynasty. Although two of the Ashtons made clocks in Macclesfield, others worked in Ashbourne, Wirksworth and Tideswell.
"This clock is a three-train musical clock, with centre sweep seconds, very rare and complete. The case is in the Chippendale style, lovely Cuban mahogany, Corinthian caped reeded columns to the trunk and hood. Lovely carvings to the hood top. A very genuine clock. Probably not as refined as London clocks of the day but high quality for provincial clockmakers of that time."
Storage with antique class – Lot 3112
Our furniture section offers an opportunity to buy impressive antiques for your home, often at very affordable prices. This early to mid-17th Century joined oak chest, with a four-panel lid, features a carved arcaded frieze and four arcaded panels on the front, above right. Estimate £200-£300.
Harvesting in Derbyshire – Lot 4043
Fine Art Paintings go under the hammer on April 11 and art lovers have some 150 examples to choose with guide prices ranging from £30-40 to thousands. Lot 4043, below, a wonderful rural scene titled ‘Harvesting in Derbyshire’, is painted and signed by George Turner of Derby (1843-1910). The oil on canvas is dated 1886. Estimate £4,000-£6,000.
Giant and Unique Autograph Collection - Lot 4425
Our Library Auction is on April 11 and there are hundreds of lots to explore. One sparking major interest is Lot 4425 - a unique collection of autographs and artwork by celebrities and notable figures including pop stars, artists, sports personalities, actors, authors, comedians and designers.
The collection was put together by the late Karen Gammon and began life as her contribution to a Millennium Art Exhibition designed to raise money for a number of different charities nominated by the celebrities. Karen sent a button to each celebrity and asked them to design a piece of art around it.
Many of the designs are appropriate for the figure in question and represent the thing they are famous for. The collection includes J. K. Rowling, who sketched three silhouettes flying around her button on broomsticks, one being Harry Potter wearing a scarf; artist Mary Fedden, who sketched a cat holding her button in a flower; musician Sir Paul McCartney, who produced a cartoon with the button as a nose and racing driver Sir Stirling Moss, who turned his button into a steering wheel.
Other artwork/autographs include Jenny Agutter, Lord Archer, Colin Baker, Jeff Banks, Sue Barker, Roy Barraclough, Honor Blackman, Raymond Blanc, Sir Richard Branson, Pierce Brosnan, Max Bygraves, Dame Barbara Cartland, David Copperfield, Duchess of York, Jay Leno, Gary Lineker, Sir Norman Wisdom, Sir Terry Wogan, Victoria Wood and Dame Diana Rigg. Estimate £3,000-£5,000.
Spring Fine Art Auction Dates and Viewing Events
All are welcome at Hansons' Spring Fine Art Auction and viewing events.
Hansons Spring Fine Art Auction runs from April 3-11 at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, Staffordshire, ST17 0XN.
Thursday, April 4, 11am: Silver
Friday, April 5, 11am: Glass & Ceramics Auction | Asian Ceramics & Works of Art | The Lloyd Marlow Button Collection | Militaria | Textiles
Saturday April 6, 11am: Clocks & Furniture
Thursday April 11, 11am Paintings | 2.30pm LIbrary Auction
Viewing days at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, Staffordshire, ST17 0XN:
Wednesday 10 April: 11am-7pm (Paintings and Library Auction only)
Sale days, 9am-11am.