The Summer Auction 2023
Published 5th July 2023
By Nic Saintey View profile
The comprehensive quarterly auctions at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood of Exeter have become real go-to events over the years. The South West’s flagship saleroom holds its next mammoth seasonal offering, the Summer Auction over 11th / 12th July, with all the usual disciplines from china to clocks, pictures and works of art, to furniture all strongly represented. The auction starts with the ceramics and glass section, a pair of Chinese wucai 'Phoenix' jars (lot 55) being one of the early highlights. Dating to the Kangxi period – circa 1700, these fine examples are of a type whose popularity in the Rooms seems to have no limits. These are estimated at £3000-5000.
The auction abounds with stand-out items, a late 18th century Automaton Clock by Samuel West being another striking lot. These high value luxury novelties were hugely popular amongst the Georgian wealthier classes –very much items for prominent display and to show off to visitors. The example at BH&L, lot 493 carries an estimate of £5000-8000.
One item which on its own would warrant a visit to the salerooms is lot 654, a gorgeous, soporific sunlit evening landscape scene with a maiden herding cattle, by Frederick Hall (1860-1948). Hall painted on a splendid scale, this canvas being almost two meters wide -similarly expansive views have sold very well previously. This entrancing example is projected to fetch in the region of £6000-9000.
The furniture section is often the largest part of the auction, and this time will take the whole of the second day, with some 550 lots. One of the most eye-catching entries is lot 852, a mahogany, giltwood and marble topped side table in George II style, and in the manner of work by Matthias Lock, with carved lions’ heads at the corners. This magnificent piece which comes from a fine old Devon house is pitched at £3000-5000, but could well roar away.