Thursday 18th December, 2014
"One of the UK's principal Fine Art Auctioneers, with General Sales, 
Fine Art Sales, Collectors Sales and Sporting Sales"

Christmas & New Year Opening Times

***Christmas & New Year Opening Times***

Wednesday 17th December – 9.00am – 5.30pm
*Last Day of Sale - Mince Pies & Sherry for the Customers*

Thursday 18th December - 9.00am – 5.30pm

Friday 19th December - 9.00am – 5.00pm

Monday 22nd December – 9.00am – 5.30pm

Tuesday 23rd December - 9.00 am - 3.00pm
*Early Closing*

Wednesday 24th December - Closed

Thursday 25th December - Closed

Friday 26th December - Closed

Monday 29th December - Closed

Tuesday 30th December - Closed

Wednesday 31st December - Closed

Thursday 1st January - Closed

Friday 2nd January - Closed

Monday 5th January - Re-Open – 9.00am – 5.30pm

The first General Sale in the New Year will be on Wednesday 7th January 2015


A fine quality commode with a fascinating history is set to be the star lot in Lawrences’ furniture auction in Crewkerne on January 16th.

The mahogany chest has passed by descent in the family of Lawrence Dundas (1710-1782) and his descendants, the Marquesses of Zetland.

“Sir Lawrence came from an old Scottish family and began selling stockings and cloths but with `judicious treating` was able to make good money, “ says Lawrences’s specialist, Richard Gold. “During the Seven Years War (1754-1763) he had the contracts to supply bread and forage for the allies in Germany.  He made a further fortune by speculating in Government and East India stock. Sir Lawrence used his wealth to improve his social status and was a great patron of the Arts.  He employed leading designers to decorate and furnish his fine houses across the country: Dundas House, Edinburgh; Aske, Richmond, Yorkshire;  Moor Park, Hertfordshire;  and 19 Arlington Street, London. He enlisted Gobelins for tapestries, Francois Boucher for paintings, Capability Brown for the gardens and Robert Adam for other furniture. Thomas Chippendale supplied not only the grandest furniture but also bedroom furniture in the `plain General Taste`.”

The link to Thomas Chippendale becomes intriguing as a chest of drawers of similar design and construction is to be found in the collection of the Earls of Pembroke at Wilton. An old label on the commode links it beyond doubt to the Dundas collection at Aske in Yorkshire. “Although this item is not recorded as a commissioned piece by Chippendale, it is almost certainly by him,” says Mr. Gold. “The likelihood is further enhanced by the distinct similarity to chests at Dumfries House. These were once thought to be unattributable but are now ascribed to Chippendale when he was being sponsored and supported by James Rannie, a wealthy Scottish merchant.”

The chest, 36 inches high and 41 inches wide, is now appearing at auction for the first time and is expected to make £30,000-40,000. Further details from the auctioneers at (01460 -73041)


Lawrences held a large auction on November 20-21st comprising an important election of medals. In the year of the centenary of the Great War, there was plenty of material for collectors including military badges and sweetheart badges.

A group of six medals awarded to an Australian officer, Lt Col A H K Jopp, included a `Pip, Squeak and Wilfred` set (the trio of Great War campaign medals) and medals for service in South Africa in the Second World War. Jopp was a native of Sydney and served in Egypt and at Gallipoli before joining a fledgling Flying Corps. Twice mentioned in despatches, described as a `gallant and brave officer`  and with notable connections in Australia government, the group included photographs and even schoolday sports medals awarded to Jopp. An Australian bidder on the telephone secured the lot for £13,140.

Another group of five medals included an Albert medal and Royal Humane Society Lifesaving medal (a success) awarded to Commodore L. A. De Sausmarez who, as a young Naval officer, leapt into shark- and crocodile infested waters to save an Able Seaman who was in distress. The lot included a sketch of the rescue by the ship’s doctor, a presentation clock, a portrait, a family tree and other items and was bought against keen competition for £14,930.

A Distinguished Service Order group to a Brigadier in the Coldstream Guards included a Military Cross and bar and other items such as photographs, a diary and certificates. This made £6690. The recipient also received Coronation medals for 1911, 1937 and 1953 as well as a 1935 Jubilee medal.

Other highlights included a Hong Kong Police medal awarded in 1905 (£2210); a Great War Military medal with an accompanying trio (£830); a Boer War group awarded to a surgeon in the 4th Somerset Light Infantry (£860); a World War II Military Cross group (£1730); and a Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry officer’s crossbelt and pouch made £1250. The young man died of Spanish flu in 1918 after surviving the horrors of war.

After the 1100 lots had been offered on the first day of the sale, auctioneer Jeff Day commented “how strange it is to remember that young men were joining up in 1914 in haste,  afraid that they would miss a war that many of them believed would be over within a few months. These medals tell us something about the bravery, heroism and determination of those men who fought for four long years.”


The final day of Lawrences’ major Autumn Fine Art auction in Crewkerne comprised clocks, works of art, furniture, carpets and rugs.

A Cole-type strut clock made by C. F. Hancock of Mayfair proved popular and exceeded its £3000-4000 estimate to take £5970 and an Atmos clock doubled hopes to make £2270. A walnut longcase clock took £2500 and a mahogany stick barometer saw a rise in pressure as it exceeded its £1000-1500 to make £4540.

A `New Terrestrial` pocket globe by Nathaniel Hill was  about the size of a tennis ball and rolled up to £1310 and a carefully stocked apothecary’s cabinet was bid to £1790. An Indo-Portuguese tortoiseshell table cabinet from the 17th Century had a fall front enclosing an arrangement of nine drawers. The fine rich colour ensured that bidding reached just over £6200. A neatly worked needlework sampler, produced by Anne Raffan in the late 19th Century, made £1610.

Amongst a host of solid prices in the furniture selection, £1790 was paid for a beech and yew wood `Gothic` Windsor armchair; £3460 for an 18th Century Continental toilet commode with elaborate marquetry; £3460 for a pair of folding mahogany campaign chairs (c.1750-1770); £1310 for a Turkey carpet; and a total of £11,230 for a suite of 31 `Regence` style oak dining chairs, each elegantly upholstered with gross- and petit point needlework.

The Crewkerne firm reported a total in excess of £1,200,000 for the week of sales.



There were strong prices across over four centuries’ of art in Lawrences recent picture auction in Crewkerne.

Highlights in the prints section included just over £5000 paid for the best of a group of four Leonard Beaumont linocuts made in the 1930’s. The unusual blue colour printing of `Sunbathers` ensured that it just exceeded its top estimate, whilst other prints by Beaumont made £570-860 each.

Whilst an important sepia study of John Martin’s `Adam’s First Sight of Eve` from 1812 made £5490, a higher price in the watercolour selection was the £9790 paid for an ink and brush study of a goat by Sir Edwin Landseer. This was fresh to the market from a Somerset private vendor and had formerly been in the collection of a son of the 6th Duke of Bedford in the 1880’s. Three small watercolours of Whitby by George Weatherill raced to £4660 despite being in less than perfect condition and other strong prices included £8120 for a drawing by Simeon Solomon; £21,500 for two watercolours by John Nash from 1920-1922; £9790 for two watercolours of birds by Archibald Thorburn ; and £2620 for an energetic horse racing picture by Peter Curling.

In the oil paintings, £14,340 was paid for a highly decorative Rococo study of cherubs (an allegory of poetry) derived from a painting of 1758 by Francois Boucher; £6450 for a fine view of New Hungerford Market on the Thames by Frederick Calvert from 1836; £4060 for a pair of cattle studies by William Luker, the animals captured in all their glorious boxy sturdiness in 1847; £5490 for a small oil of the `Cutty Sark` at Falmouth by Henry Scott Tuke , c.1924; and £9790 for a serene 1969 study of a grey horse in County Cork by celebrated Irish artist Patrick Hennessy.

The week’s top price was paid for a previously unrecorded portrait of Frederick Howard, the 5th Earl of Carlisle (1748-1825), painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence and his studio in about 1794. Fresh to the market and in unrestored condition, the picture had passed down by direct descent through the Howard family and had never been exhibited or seen before outside the family. Predictably, this combination of quality, aristocratic distinction, strong provenance, good condition and the sense of it being a `new discovery` conspired to yield an unexpectedly strong price of just over £131,000. The sale total for the pictures exceeded £400,000.


The vast variety on offer in one of Lawrences’ popular jewellery auctions in Crewkerne attracts a large amount of keen enquiries and prices at the firm’s recent outing were showing fresh strengths across the market.

Amber, long recorded as merely a decorative resin, has now achieved the status of being acquired like a semi-precious stone and a there were nearly 30 lots of amber jewellery in the sale. Prices ranged from as little as £105 for a necklace of dark honey-coloured beads up to £2860 for a 39cm necklace of eye-catchingly shiny large orange beads. It is not merely the colour that appeals to collectors. “It is the large butterscotch amber beads that seem to be fetching the highest prices,” says Lawrences’s specialist, Miranda Bingham. “Recent interest in amber is predominantly coming from China. In the Buddhist tradition, amber is considered to bring good luck to people.  In Chinese medicine it is valued for its calming properties and apparently when warmed by the skin it releases succinic which has natural analgesic properties. The larger the bead the larger the price it seems, and the round beads are the most sought after as they are associated with Buddhist rosaries.”

Perhaps more predictably, diamonds dominated the day with strong bidding for quality stones, often set with other coloured gems such as yellow sapphire (£2150), aquamarine (£1730) and tanzanite (£2270). Although rings are usually the most desirable lots, there was certainly a good demand for other wearable items: a Victorian amethyst and gold necklace (£4780), a Georgian diamond flowerhead brooch (£3220), a diamond set pendant (£5970), a stunning Art Deco emerald and diamond brooch by Cartier (£5490) and a Georgian topaz and gold set riviere necklace (£7400) all sold well. The section’s top price was saved for the last lot: a Belle Epoque black opal and diamond brooch of remarkable lustre and elegance. This was bought for £11,950 [see image].


There was over 500 years of ceramic production on offer in Lawrences recent sale in Crewkerne and bidders paid strong prices for European and Oriental works.

In a well-received selection of Decorative Arts and studio pottery, a William de Morgan dish by Charles Passenger decorated with an iron red figure of a winged lion roared to £2740. The Harry Horlock Stringer collection of studio pottery achieved £14,500 with considerable interest from online bidders pushing prices beyond their estimates.

Other good prices included £830 for a Staffordshire figure of P. T. Barnum’s famous Jumbo the elephant; 1790 for a Meissen hot water jug and cover; £3460 for a Meissen coffee pot and cover finely decorated with travellers and boats in mountainscapes; and £5010 for a group of three Muscovite figurines in traditional dress.

Oriental pieces proved to be popular again and an ivory okimono of two seated men kicking each other made a conversely cheerful price of £1670; an amber carving of a figure amidst rocks leapt to £2500; a pair of famille rose jardinieres and stands blossomed to £2270; and a set of four famille rose tureen stands, Qianlong period, each showing dragons and flaming pearls led the selection to make £14340.


With nearly 900 lots on offer, Lawrences’ recent auction of silver and vertu was guaranteed to offer something of interest to every collector and the strong prices throughout a long day of bidding ensured that very little was left unsold.

A vast assortment of cutlery and flatware constituted the first quarter of the auction and the undoubted highlight was a 13cm long (5inch) butter knife made by The Guild of Handicrafts in 1902. With a finely worked `cage` handle, this little knife appealed sufficiently to make £4420. 

Small proved to be beautiful as a pair of Edwardian pepperettes modelled as budgerigars fluttered away at £1490; and a Victorian silver mounted cut glass scent bottle, also in the form of a budgerigar, made £2390. A `castle top` card case by the collectable maker Nathaniel Mills, showing Trafalgar Square, was bid to £4060. Also in demand were impressively crafted items such as a Victorian dessert stand with putti and a lamb upon a circular mirror (£2270); an elegant pair of George II candlesticks by James Gould (1734) which made £2030; a curious Victorian Scottish reception bell modelled on a hunting theme with foxes, hounds, horses and game which hit the right note with a buyer at £1550; and a small collection of domestic wares relating to Napoleon Bonaparte, the Empress Eugenie and Prince Napoleon which comprised copper kitchen wares, napkins and linen pillow cases. This glimpse into life in the Emperor’s household took £950

A popular selection of exquisite `objects of vertu` witnessed some strong bidding with a 9ct gold cigarette case (£1150), a remarkably lifelike cold painted bronze lizard by Bergmann (£1250);  a novelty vesta case in the form of a train ticket from Waterloo to Ascot, barely 5cm long (£930); some fine Georgian portrait miniatures included a portrait of The Hon. Mrs Digby (former maid to Queen Charlotte) by Richard Cosway (£2390) and another of a young gentleman ascribed to Andrew Plimer made £2150. A miniature vesta case depicting the celebrated Victorian golfer Tom Morris in coloured enamels hit the spot at £2390. The day’s total was just under £300,000

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