Saturday 25th April, 2015
"One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales, 
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales"


Diamonds usually prove to be a `girl’s best friend` when it comes to jewellery auctions at Lawrences in Crewkerne – and prices were indeed strong in their recent 450-lot sale – but an unexpectedly good result for a more exotic lot provided the day’s top price.

Successes early in the sale included healthy prices once again for amber beads of all shapes and sizes: a necklace with graduated beads soared above the estimate to make £2560. An Art Deco lady’s platinum and enamel wristwatch by Cartier made £5490; while a gentleman’s steel Rolex also raced beyond its guide to make £2560. A skilfully designed and beautifully made Cartier clip in the form of two coral and diamond `sweethearts` upon a gold `bench`, the whole just 2.5 cm wide, made £6830 and a double row of graduated pearls (mixed cultured and natural specimens) made ten times their estimate when the hammer fell at £6580.

A sparkling array of diamonds was greeted with eager bids and top prices included a diamond solitaire at £2500, a 2.4 carat solitaire at £7680, another two-stone ring with 2.7 carats of diamonds at £7320 and £11100 for a stunning Art Deco diamond clip brooch with necklace conversion by Garrard & Co.

However, it was a Japanese shakudo set of jewellery that stole much of the sale’s glory. Shakudo is an finely made alloy of gold and copper, treated to resemble black lacquer. It is admired for its bronze-like sheen, the inventiveness of the method and the subtlety of the decorative effects that can be achieved by selective burnishing. The technique was wholly unfamiliar in the West until the middle of the 19th Century. The necklace and earrings in this lot depicted Oriental birds amongst foliage and the set was offered in a floral decorated lacquer box. Keen bids from this country and abroad pushed the lot beyond its estimate to make a remarkable £28060.


Ceramics and glass as well as Decorative Arts spanning five centuries was on offer in Lawrence’s recent auction in Crewkerne and the variety on offer attracted collectors from across the world bidding in the room, on the telephone and via the internet.

From the selection of Decorative Arts on offer, some remarkable prices reflected the strength in demand for good late 19th/20th Century design: a William de Morgan dish, not flawless but highly decorative nonetheless, made £1280; a Lalique car mascot of `Le Coq Nain` raced to £950; a carved wooden horse’s head from the Hagenauer Werkstatte (£2560) outran a Murano glass example by Loredano Rosin (£1830); a steel framed Winfield rocking chair with leather upholstery lulled bidders up to £1640; a bronze statuette of Cecil Rhodes by John Tweed took £2680; but a Lalique vase in the `Ceylan` design with frosted opalescent budgerigars fluttered beyond its estimate to settle at £4020. Even a Royal Copenhagen pigmy hippopotamus looked friendlier than its ferocity suggested when it made £370.

Strong results later in the sale included £1700 for a single green wine bottle with a heraldic seal £1700 also for a single tiny Worcester coffee cup, £1830 for a fine quality Derby plaque depicting a pointer dog espying game, £2680 for a Japanese komai work pot and cover for tea or similar, £3780 for a Chinese bronze incense burner and cover, £1950 for a pair of Cantonese famille rose vases and £4390 for a pair of famille rose `Gu` vases.  The bold floral colours on this last item reflected the buoyant springlike mood of the sale as a whole and one of the day’s last lots – a Qianlong blue and white vase - also doubled hopes when it made £2920.


Over 700 lots of silver and objects of vertu came under the hammer at Lawrences in Crewkerne recently and there was keen bidding throughout the six hour auction.  Amongst hundreds of lots of cutlery was a set of three spoons by Maurice Fitzgerald of Limerick, c.1785, that were scooped up for £2560; twelve large Edwardian salts by S. B. Harman, 1908, with a dozen earlier spoons, were bought for £7000 and a Victorian coffee set with tray, with Renaissance-style corded decoration, was bid to £3660.

A deceptively simple but elegantly proportioned wine goblet dated from the reign of James I (1619) made £8290 and a set of four entree dishes and covers by the celebrated Georgian silversmith Paul Storr exceeded hopes to make £11460. Exceptional craftsmanship is invariably appealing to silver buyers and two stirrup cups in the form of the head of a whippet and a wolfhound were superbly detailed. After some spirited and determined bidding, the two made a combined total of just over £20000 with the wolfhound just making the higher price.

Small silver is perennially popular and Nathaniel Mills’ meticulous `castletop` card cases have consistent appeal. One 1850 example depicted the Four Courts in Dublin and the Irish interest undoubtedly boosted its price to £4140. A small vinaigrette showing the chain-link pier in Brighton finely engraved upon its cover was chased to £1830 whilst the whimsical appeal of a carved and painted wooden nutcracker in the form of a sailor did exactly what nutcrackers are meant to do: it shattered what was put on it to make a cracking £1830. The day totalled over £300,000 with little left unsold.


An evocative Great Western Railway poster is to be sold by Lawrences Auctioneers of Crewkerne.

Consigned for sale by a Somerset client, this vintage poster depicts the Pack Horse Bridge at Allerford (near Minhead) in Somerset. The poster was designed by Frank Sherwin (1896-1986), a watercolour artist who is best known for his railway posters promoting travel to holiday destinations around Britain.

The poster was printed by Stafford & Co Ltd of Netherfield, and has remained in very good condition.

Lawrences Auctioneer Simon Jones said, “Vintage Railway posters are always very popular in auction. This one has a Somerset connection it should attract keen interest from enthusiasts and collectors. We have a large selection of railwayana in this sale including model trains, books and many other items relating to railway history.”

The poster will be included in Lawrences Spring Collectors Sale, and is expected to make up to £500.


Summer Party at Minterne...

Summer party at Minterne including a Tour of the Rhododendrons.

Robert Montagu and the Trustees of the Dorset Child and Family Counselling Trust invite you to celebrate 10 years of supporting Dorset's children and to hear about our plans for the next 10 years.

Saturday June 6th 2015

Minterne House (home of the Churchill and Digby families since 1620)
Minterne Magna

5pm for a tour of the garden  (voted one of the prettiest gardens in England by The Times)
6pm - 8pm Drinks reception in the Trafalgar Room)

DCFCT would like to thank the Hon Henry and Mrs Sophie Digby for their generous support for this event


Application form from or 07778893695

Bookings can also be made through their website at

Free Valuation Mornings...


With over 200 years of combined experience, our Specialist Valuers will be available to value your antiques at our Head Office and Salerooms in CREWKERNE, EVERY MONDAY - 9.30am - 12.30pm.



Simon Jones (General Valuations & Collectors Items) and one of our Jewellery Specialists, will be available to value your items EVERY FRIDAY - 9.00am - 11.30am at The Castle Hotel, Castle Green, TAUNTON.





FREE HOME VISITS - Simon Jones (General Valuations & Collectors Items) and Miranda Bingham (Jewellery) will be in LYME REGIS, CHARMOUTH & BRIDPORT on the FIRST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH.  Please call to make an appointment - Tel: 01460 73041


FREE HOME VISITS - Chris Flower will be in MINEHEAD on the LAST THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH to value your antiques. Complete house contents and attic clearances arranged.  Please call to make an appointment. - Tel: 01460 73041.





Two of our specialists will be in BATH on the LAST THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH to value your antiques - 10.00am - 2.00pm at The Bath & County Club, Queens Parade, Bath BA1 2NJ.  No appointment necessary. 




Four of our specialists will be in WELLS at Roderick Thomas Estate Agents, 1 Priory Road, Wells, BA5 1SR EVERY QUARTER to value your antiques - 9.30am - 12.00noon. No appointment necessary.