Bonhams, Edinburgh held its Winter Antiques & Picture Sale at its offices on Queen Street last week. The sale was a great success with many items going for far more than their estimated value. Of particular note was a Victorian carved oak dragon newel post dating from the late 19th century.
Probably removed from old Altyre House, a mansion house renovated in the late 19th century, the newel post is observed on its hind legs facing skyward. The style of the dragon carving demonstrates the influence of the Orient and also informs the dating. The 1870s and ‘80s were a period when Europe, and in particular Britain and France, looked to China and Japan for design inspiration. The post sold for an above estimate £3500 (estimated £800-1,200).
Though the newel post was one of the items with possibly the most interesting look and history, many other varied and interesting lots beat their estimated values. For example, an impressive pair of walnut, bronze and bevelled glass showcases from Frederick Sage & Company Ltd sold for £27,300 (estimated £15,000-20,000). The firm of Sage and Company won a prize for its ‘airtight showcases’ at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876.
Another lot of interest was a William and Mary walnut and marquetry long-case clock inscribed by John Billic (recorded London 1687-1699), which sold for £7,280 (estimated £3,000-5,000). And an 18th century oil-on-canvas painting titled “Harbour Scene” by Abraham Jansz Storck which was hotly contested sold for £9,100 (estimated (£1,500-2,000).