On Tuesday 4th July, Roseberys held the second of their tri-annual Design Since 1860 auctions. The pre-sale viewings drew particular interest from studio ceramics enthusiasts and admirers of contemporary furniture design.
The department was proud to offer a rare set of ceramics by Jacqui Poncelet, purchased directly from the artist by the current vendor. As a student of Hans Coper, and one of the RCA graduates from the early 1970s who pioneered establishing the ceramic vessel as an abstract form - her significance was recognised when it came to auction day. All five lots in the sale sold, with most interest in the large angular hand-built slab vases – the top lot of the group was lot 141 which smashed its pre-sale estimate of £800-1200 and achieved a strong £2,000 plus fees.
Results for Moorcroft were exceptionally strong, with the sale including three particularly rare pieces. Battles were fought mainly across multiple telephone bidders who were determined to secure Lot 121, a flambe landscape vase. In an unusual colourway and in very good condition it fetched £9,750 including fees. Also in fierce demand was lot 123, a green and cream landscape vase, which again was in good condition and achieved a final result of £14,300 inclusive.
Constance Spry pottery continues to enjoy particular success at Roseberys, with this sale offering its third consecutive example of her highly sought-after Crown and Lion vase. Lot 97 was consigned from a private collection, having been kept in the family since its purchase around the time of the queen’s coronation. The lovely condition of this mantel vase helped it realise £6,500 including fees. Other Constance Spry vases in the sale – lots 96 and 98 – were also popular, selling above the top estimates.
A particularly stylish lot in the sale was lot 59, a leather wallet by Josef Hoffmann. The wallet was in fabulous condition and stamped to the interior with the mark of ‘Wiener Werkstatte’. The gorgeous Jugendstil geometric pattern to the gilt tooling attracted lots of interest and the wallet sold for an impressive £1300 inclusive of fees.
Roseberys were delighted to offer four lots of decorative plates designed by Piero Fornasetti. All lots were subject to strong bidding on the day, showing the market is still strong for Fornasetti’s striking and distinctive wares. Lot 178, six ‘Strumenti Musicali plates’ decorated with gilt musical instruments against a malachite effect ground, was the cream of the crop on the day, selling for £1,170 with buyer’s premium.
In Scandinavian furniture, Lot 266, a Model 49 sideboard by Henry Rosengren Hansen, produced circa 1960, realised a lofty £4,420 (including buyer’s premium). This particular model, rarely seen in this large size, came fresh to the market and in excellent condition having remained in one family since its purchase. Notable for its solid rosewood construction and with striking butterfly grain panel doors, this lot certainly made a strong impression amongst collectors of Danish design.
The Italian Design section saw particularly strong results for architect and designer Ignazio Gardella. Lot 271, a beautifully crafted centre table, and Lot 316, a pair of elegant and stylish ‘LTA3’ table lamps, realised £3,900 & £2,860 respectively including buyer’s premium. Gardella is now recognised as one of the leading designers of the post war Italian period, with his works increasing significantly in popularity over the last decade.