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Bears and a Hippo Fire Up Animal Passions Amongst Bidders...

23rd July 2021

After five consecutive days of sales in fierce heat, Lawrences' massive 2200-lot Summer Fine Art auction drew to a close with a very successful offering of clocks, works of art and furniture.

Some good prices for `traditional` furniture showed the enduring strength of demand for quality that exemplifies the period in which it was made: a pair of console tables, each supported upon a crouching cherub, made £2375; a French marble-topped sideboard made £3000; an 18th Century burr walnut veneered kneehole desk was bid eagerly to £3500; and a George III mahogany dressing chest also exceeded expectations to make £4500.

Two clocks sold well: a French porcelain-mounted carriage clock combined quality of manufacture with highly decorative design to make £2500 and a very fine early 18th Century `seaweed` marquetry longcase clock by Jonathan Mitchell slightly exceeded hopes of £6000-8000 to tick away at £8750.

The `works of art` on offer in such sales can be richly varied: a small pair of coloured wax relief sculptures by Bernard Caspar Hardy (1726-1819) made £2750; a Victorian marble statue of a coyly bashful nude woman, 88cm high, made £3250; and a bronze sculpture of a hippopotamus, looking more friendly than its natural temperament would suggest, made £1000. Striking an even more appealing tone, a pair of Victorian painted stone bears, 81 cm long, found determined bidders prepared to take them way above hopes of £1000 to as much as £3500.

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