Tuesday 21 February 2023

Lot 110

Robert Race, b. 1943, What we Saw on Yonder Hill, a wall mounted hand-operated automaton,...

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Lot 110

Robert Race, b. 1943, What we Saw on Yonder Hill, a wall mounted hand-operated automaton,...

Price Realised: £390

Estimate: £150 - £250

Price realised is hammer price plus fees (30% Buyers Premium inclusive of VAT).

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Lot 110


Robert Race, b. 1943, What we Saw on Yonder Hill, a wall mounted hand-operated automaton, wood, plywood, driftwood, brass, iron, nails, paint, titled What we Saw on Yonder Hill¸ signed and dated 1997 to reverse, the front marked USHERS, 7-55, and with oval trademark for YONDER HILL SAW MILLS CHARD JUNCTION & LONDON, approx. 22cm high, 35cm wide, 17.5cm deep; together with two other hand-operated automata by the same artist, comprising: Jumping Watchdogs, wood, painted wood, coloured cord, approx. 14cm high, 33cm wide, 18.5cm deep; and Three Men in a Box, wood, painted wood and plywood, painted Three men in a box to front of base, approx. 11.5cm high, 16cm wide, 9.5cm deep (3)

Sir Nicholas Goodison noted:

What we Saw on Yonder Hill: The two dancers are mounted on levers and move in a circular tango-like motion, their heads protruding from the top, their hands from the sides and their feet from the bottom, as they pursue their ordered routine. The title of the piece derives from the impress of the sawmill that made the Ushers beer crate forming the front.

Jumping Watchdogs: A blow on the coloured knob send the watchdog leaping forward, another brings him back into a crouching position. The three dogs are not quite apocalyptic, but they have sharp teeth.

Three men in a box: The three levers, which can be pressed one at a time or in pairs or all together, raise Jerome K. Jeromes Three Men in a Boat, all dressed in boating costume and adorned with period moustaches. The wood looks suspiciously like teak, a wood much used in boatbuilding.


What we Saw on Yonder Hill: Purchased, Hitchcocks, Bath, May 1997.

Jumping Watchdogs: Purchased, Robert Race, Bradford on Avon, March 1993.

Three men in a box: Purchased, Museum of Naïve Art, Bath, November 1991.

Note: Robert Race, b.1943, exhibits his moving toys, automata, and kinetic sculpture in Britain and internationally.He is a member and past Chairman of the British Toymakers Guild. His work often incorporates a wide range of natural, re-used, and recycled material to make objects which move in simple but interesting ways.

Roseberys do not guarantee the working order of any automata or toy.

Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over €1,000 as follows:
0 to €50,000 - 4%, €50,000.01 to €200,000 - 3%
€200,000.01 to €350,000 - 1%,
€350,000.01 to €500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding €500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at €12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website www.artscouncil.org.uk or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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