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April 27, 2015, 02:52 PM

Antique garden ornament resurgent at Summers Place

By Thornton Kay

One of a pair of Coadestone urns sold for 54,000 [photo SPA

Cast iron conservatory flower stands 10,000 [photo SPA
Carved marble head estimated at 400 sold for 10,000 [photo SPA
Miocene fossil table and stools [photo SPA

West Sussex, UK - "There was a resurgence of interest in old garden pieces in the 500 to 10,000 market at the April sale at Summers Place," James Rylands told SalvoNEWS, "and a good indication of the strength of that market was the high percentage of lots which did better second time round. Buyers seem prepared to take a while to decide and were then keener to buy. An example of this was lot 418, an unusual pair of three-tiered cast iron plant stands which eluded identification and were offered at 5,000 to 8,000 last time round, lowered to 3,000 to 5,000 this time round, and then sold for 10,000. But we thought they would do well."

Another antique lot, something of a sleeper, was a carved marble model of the head of the Venus de Milo, damaged and repaired in the style of Cavaceppi, the eighteenth century Italian restorer of antique Roman marble statuary whose grand tour pieces were sought by English nobles and are still renown in places such as Petworth. The head was estimated at 500 as a nineteenth century copy of a Cavaceppi-style restoration, but instead sold, to the delight of the consignor, for 10,000. If it indeed subsequently proved to be a genuine Roman head it would be worth more like 20,000.

A pair of monumental 102ins high Coade urns, copies of the classic marble Medici and Borghese Roman vases, sold for a low estimate 54,000. These came from Newtownpark House, Co Dublin, a country mansion with a rich history not least of which was that Napoleon's doctor on St Helena, Barry O'Meara, was born there. The urns had previously been sold by Christie's in 1976.

A sculpture by David Wynne entitled Lovers made from Norwegian rose marble sold for 51,000, estimated at 20k-30k. Summers Place has a soft spot for Wynne with many pieces by him having been sold over the years, and this piece was no exception, with Mr Rylands saying that it was a good investment at the price, and worth every penny.

Top fossil lot was some Miocene fossilised wood from Indonesia which had been turned into a set of stools and a table with chrome steel legs, estimated at 4,000 and which sold for 7,000.

The bi-annual May and September sales of garden and architectural antiques, modern sculpture and art fossils held for decades at Summers Place, formerly an outpost of Sotheby's, have been gradually expanding into several auctions a year of various flavours at various times following the management buy-out by Messrs Rylands and Van der Werff a few years back.

In June another garden and design sale is slated for Summers Place featuring more pieces from collector Eddie Powell this time with paintings from Robert Lenkiewicz of his trademark completely unclad women. James Rylands commented that he regretted turning down an offer by Plymouth's most celebrated modern artist to paint his portrait in the days when his paintings were much less sought after.

Next auction: 23rd & 24th June 2015 - Garden, Design and Eddie's Eye II Auction

Summers Place Auctions

Story Type:  Auction Report

ID: 88855

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