Friday 25th April, 2014
"One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales, 
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales"

May Militaria, Collectors & Sporting Sale Now On Line...

Our May Militaria, Collectors & Sporting catalogue may be viewed by selecting the red link 'View Complete Catalogue' on our homepage. You can also view and download a PDF copy of the catalogue by selecting the 'View Interactive Catalogue' link.

N.B.  Thumbnails with a green border have multiple images.

To view the Addenda and Errata for this sale, please select the 'Auctions' tab above and then select 'Current Sales'.  The addendum can then be viewed by selecting the appropriate sale date.



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Monday 28th April 2014 - 9.00am - 4.30pm
Tuesday 29th April 2014 - 9.00am - 7.00pm
Wednesday 30th April 2014 - 9.00am - 4.30pm
Thursday 1st May 2014 - 8.30am - 4.30pm
Friday 2nd May 2014 - 8.30am - 10.00am


Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne have been conducting popular valuation mornings at the Grosvenor Arms Hotel in Shaftesbury for a few months (1st Tuesday of each month, 9.30-12.00noon) and have been delighted by the quality and variety of items brought in for assessment and advice. The firm’s specialist in militaria, coins and stamps, Jeffrey Day, was particularly pleased to secure for sale recently a collection of important medals formed by General Sir Robert Bray GBE, KCB, DSO and bar (1908-1983). The collection was brought in to Shaftesbury for evaluation and forms the backbone of the auctioneers’ spring sale of militaria. 

Bray served with distinction in India, Korea and Europe and was appointed Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of Europe in 1967, at which time he was also serving as aide de camp to HM The Queen. Family connections with the Army date back to The Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. It was as a result of Bray’s loyalty to this last regiment that the collection was formed as he attempted to amass medals and decorations for each conflict with which the regiment was involved. Amongst the medals consigned for sale, divided into 61 lots, there are Military General Service Medals (estimates from £700-1000), eagerly sought Waterloo Medals (£2000-2500), Army of India Medals (£1000-1500), Crimean Medals and Indian Mutiny Medal (£200-250). African campaigns are reflected in Abyssinian Medals (£350-1000), Boer War Medals (£250-500) and Rhodesian Campaigns (£400-600). Gallantry medals awarded to the regiment include a Distinguished Conduct Medal group of seven (£1000-1500), another DCM with bar (£1000-1500), Military Medals (£250-500) and Long Service Medals (to the 33rd Foot) (£50-150). Jeff Day anticipates that there will be opportunities for collectors at every level as estimates range from just £50 to over £2000.

Medals from other sources include examples awarded to the Colonel of the King’s Dragoon Guards (£3000-4000), the Colonel of the Denbighshire Yeomanry (£600-800), a CBE group of five to a Dover Patrol Destroyer Captain (£450-550) and Great War Medals earned whilst serving with the Cavalry Division (£300-400). Bray assembled his remarkable collection by watching for relevant decorations coming up for sale after he retired in 1971. He was well known and very highly respected for his knowledge and his enthusiasm for his subject as he sought out `anything to do with the 33rd` at medal fairs around the country. He had also made additions to his collection at Lawrences and his detailed records show that he was making purchases at the Crewkerne firm in the 1970’s. The collection was kept at Bray’s home in splendid fitted display cases. To Jeff Day’s delight, it comprises about as fine a survey of one man’s devotion to the glories and honours of a regiment as he has ever had the pleasure to handle. “We expect considerable interest in this collection,” he said. “Medals with such good provenance are always in keen demand and these are a tribute to a loyal soldier’s passion across a period of many years as they reflect the regiment’s endeavours across two centuries.” The collection will be sold on Thursday May 1st

In commemoration of the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Lawrences’ militaria auction in November later this year will include a further large quantity of medal groups, badges and poignant `sweetheart` brooches. Jeff Day is inviting entries for a section of the sale with a World War 1 theme. After a lifetime’s interest in the British at war, Jeff has visited the battlefields and Commonwealth graves and his own knowledge of (and admiration for) the men who served in the `war to end all wars` ensures that the November auction will offer items of historical importance and touchingly sentimental significance right across the board. Entries are invited until late September and Jeff can be contacted for advice, information and valuations at the Crewkerne salerooms on (01460) 73041



Lawrences’ sale of Decorative Arts, Ceramics and Glass on April 10th comprised the usual vast array of lots from across the world and highlights came from China and – perhaps less predictably – Ireland.

A Lalique bowl in the `Perruches` pattern of parakeets was bought for £2500, a set of eight Wedgwood tiles on a sporting theme (depicting dogs and game) made £1190; and a stylish greyhound designed by Rivierre, on a cut sheet of bronze with a silvered finish, raced to £1190 too. An appealing group of three Emperor penguins by the Royal Copenhagen factory waddled up to £330 but interest focused upon two stained glass panels by Irishman Harry Clarke (1889-1931). Clarke was a leading figure in the Irish Arts and Crafts movement and two very different examples of his work were on offer: a 10 x 5in panel showing an elegant musician in a palette of silver and yellow was bought for £10270. A circular panel 5 inches in diameter from 1915 depicted a serene study of the Madonna and Child in tones of blue and attracted intense competition before the hammer fell at £44,200.

In a selection of British and Continental ceramics, a pair of Staffordshire figures of the celebrated bare knuckle fighters Molyneux and Cribb fought their way to £3100; a KPM plaque with a finely painted portrait study of an old man after Balthasar Denner made £1170; and a single Meissen dish decorated with birds, insects and butterflies made £710.

Three very different items took the highest prices in the Oriental section. A blue and white kraak porselein dish, profusely decorated with urns of flowers and floral sprays, made £1910. This was in contrast to the quiet understatement of the undecorated pale lime green glaze of a simple Yongzheng dish that made £5970. A Chinese coat, embroidered in gilt thread with dragons on a trellis ground with clouds and foaming waves exemplified the skills of fine Chinese craftsmanship and was bought for £1900.


There were 450 lots of jewellery and watches in Lawrences’ recent auction on April 10th. Prices started at just £60 but rose into five figures, so there was something on offer for every collector.

Highlights early on included £1430 for an amber bead necklace and £2390 for a section of Columbian amber, clearly set with dozens of insects encased in resin for eternity. Dozens of mixed lots of jewellery, comprising attractive paste and semi-precious items, sold as well as ever against keen competition.

Gold was selling well, too, with a sophisticated 9ct cigarette case applied with a Viscount’s coronet making £1490 and watches were in demand as well. An 18ct open-faced pocket watch with chain and a gold match case went over estimate to take £1570, a gentleman’s 18 ct gold Omega wristwatch made £1670 and a lady’s diamond wristwatch by Cartier was bid to £7170.

A fine Georgian long guard chain with bracelets, visible being worn in a an early Victorian portrait offered the following day was bought for £7050, a pair of ruby and diamond earrings made £4180, an opal and diamond necklace made £4420 and an unusually good cameo portrait carved by Guiseppe Girometti (1779-1851) went for £2500.

Predictably, the greatest interest focused upon the rings and the day’s top prices were paid for a diamond solitaire ring with a 2.4 carat stone (£14340) and a Victorian diamond brooch set with a fancy yellow diamond of 2.94 carats surrounded by many smaller diamonds. Quality, elegance and wearability combined to push this dazzling delight to £34650.

April Fine Art Sales Results...

Sales Results may be viewed by selecting the 'Auctions & Catalogues' tab, 'Current/Past Sales' and then by viewing the catalogue for the relevant sale.   The sales results are listed next to each item.

Free Valuation Mornings...


MONDAY - 9.30am - 12.30pm - CREWKERNE, Head Office and Salerooms

FRIDAY - 9.00am - 11.30am - TAUNTON, The Castle Hotel




First TUESDAY of every month - 9.30am - 12.00noon - LYME REGIS, Martin Diplock

First TUESDAY of every month - 9.30am - 12.00noon - POUNDBURY, Symonds & Sampson


First TUESDAY of every month - 9.30am - 12.00noon - SHAFTESBURY, Grosvenor Arms Hotel

First THURSDAY of every month - 9.30am - 12.00noon - SHERBORNE, The Eastbury Hotel



Last THURSDAY of every month - Home Visits - MINEHEAD






10.00am - 2.00pm - BATH, The Bath and Country Club

9.30am - 12.00noon - WELLS, Roderick Thomas Estate Agents