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Martin McIlroy is the Head of the Works of Art and Silver Departments at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.

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Review Entries for Day Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Following the highly sucessful sale of the Faberge parasol handle for £17,500, another masterpiece from the Faberge workshops is to be offered in our quarterly Fine Sale on the 22nd April 2009.

This time the object to be offered is a pink enamelled gold and silver oval buckle. It is decorated with pink enamel over engine-turning within bright-cut and gadrooned gold bands, the gold rim stamped '56'.


To the back of the buckle there is the Faberge stamp together with the makers mark H.W for Henrik Wigstrom. As the silver mark shows the womans head facing to the right the piece can be dated between 1908 and 1917.


There is also a scratched 17237 which is probably the Faberge inventory number. The enamel buckle measures 68mm long overall. It will be interesting to see exactly how much this Faberge buckle fetches in the forthcoming sale. Thank you to all of you who contacted me regarding the Faberge parasol handle I hope this creates just as much interest.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009 6:45:53 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, March 03, 2009

One of my favourite forms of sculpture is Austrian cold painted bronzes. Possibly the greatest exponent of the art of miniature bronzes was Franz Bergman (1838-1894). His bronze subjects were wide ranging, from birds and animals, carpet sellers to American Indians, erotic semi-naked females to reptiles. This study of an elephant with a seated rider is a magnificant study of power and muscle.


Franz Bergman was very quick to seize on popular subjects of the day and model them in bronze. During the Egyptian revival period, scantily clad bronze nude females would rise up from spring loaded Egyptian sarcophagae.  Arab street sellers were modelled seated on carpets with their wares spread out before them. Cats modelled in the style of Louis Wain were extremely popular. This impressive bronze of an Asian (Indian) elephant with howdah strapped to its back draped with woven blankets shows the majesty of this beast of burden.

The model is stamped underneath the stomach with the Bergman vase stamp, serial or model number and 'Geschutzt' or Patent. This Bergman bronze model of an Indian elephant is to be included in our Fine Art Sale on the 22nd/23rd April with an estimate of  £1500 - 2000.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009 9:37:51 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Thursday, February 19, 2009

From the British firm of Bassett-Lowke comes this superb speedboat 'Iolanthe' . The iconic shape of the hull shouts 1930's and Sir Malcolm Campbell would have been proud of her. She has a painted wooden two-tone hull, engine compartment with cover enclosing a clockwork motor, and a cockpit protected by a windscreen. The rudder can be adjusted to give a wide or narrow  turning circle.


The inter-war years was the 'Golden Age' of speed with attempts on the land speed record, as well as the water speed record,the 'Bentley Boys' winning Le Mans 24 hour races and Britian winning the Schneider trophy, what boy could fail to want to go to the boating pond with this beauty?

Bassett-Lowke was founded in 1899 and went on to produce some ot the finest model railway locomotives, ships, traction engines and engineering models ever.  They produced models for museums as well as ship models for numerous shipping lines.

This Bassett-Lowke clockwork operated speedboat 'Iolanthe' will be included in our Maritime Sale to be held on 1st April, at our Alphin Brook Road saleroom.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009 4:51:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Thursday, January 29, 2009

Following my recent blog on the Faberge parasol handle I can now bring readers up to date. This handle made by the workmaster Michail Perchin for faberge was included in Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood sale yesterday 28th January 2009. As with all pieces of Faberge, there was both national and international interest and all telephone lines were booked.


It wasn't long before the internet and telephone bids took over and after some intensive bidding the handle was finally sold for £17,500 (hammer price). The vendor who was present was delighted.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009 2:15:39 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Monday, January 12, 2009
A pair of continental silver grouse
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Monday, January 12, 2009 8:34:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Sunday, December 21, 2008

There are a few jewellers who excite an auctioneer more than the name Faberge. Imagine, if you will, a lady comes into our reception with two umbrellas, the first has a handle of carved wood in the form of a Scottie dog. The second umbrella handle is much more important, immediately recogonised by our jewellery expert Jethro Marles, the handle was from the House of Faberge. The quality of the handle was apparent from the start. The handle was the work of Michail Perchin working in St Petersburg for the Faberge family.

handle of umbrella by faberge

The Faberge parasol handle was enamelled, gold, bowenite and rose diamond mounted. The pale green bowenite ball above a collar decorated with translucent pink guilloche enamel with applied gold wreaths of laurel and between rose-diamond set bands. Stamped with workmaster Michail Perchin, St Petersburg marks.

Estimated at £10,000-15,000 this Faberge parasol handle will be one of the major lots to be included in Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood auction on the 28th January.  The owner originally thought of throwing the umbrella away or taking it to a local charity shop. Thanks to the expertise of Jethro Marles the Faberge parasol handle was correctly indentified and now is included in our inaugural Fine Sale on the 28th January 2009.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008 10:06:40 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Currently I am cataloguing a collection of World War One recruiting posters and advertising posters. The posters date from 1914 through to the late 1920's and include examples of French, British,  American and Canadian recruiting posters. Posters were designed to inform simply and quickly, with basic images in blocked colours and few words, something memorable but also cheap to produce.

british recruiting poster 'remember belgium enlist to-day"

Railway posters always prove popular with collectors and included in this collection is a poster for the London Underground providing information on fares. A previous collection of railyway posters were sold through our rooms and totalled £45,000. One of the top prices was for an L.M.S. poster "Blackpool" by the artist Fortunino Matania (1881-1963) which realised £4,200.

matania , fortunino (1881-1963) lms poster "blackpool" realised £4,200

The collection of posters will be included in a forthcoming collectors sale in the new year. Dates and details to follow.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008 2:29:10 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Thursday, December 11, 2008

Martin McIlroy will start blogging shortly.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008 6:45:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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