February 2014 Sale Report





The February sale at Wotton Auction Rooms contained an interesting and eclectic variety of effects, many resulting from recent strong probate instructions relating to local deceased estates. The house market continues to gather pace and, as the weather improves gradually, the saleroom is busier than ever.


A most interesting collection of Barnstaple pottery was consigned for sale from South Wales. The one hundred or so lots had been gathered over the past twenty five years or so and caused a considerable amount of interest when details of the collection became known. It covered a very wide range of pieces from vases to jugs and included small whimsical animals known fondly amongst enthusiasts within the circle as grotesques. Those eager to learn more about the collection initially viewed online and then gathered at the saleroom to bid. The relative softness of the earthenware of these types of pottery pieces makes them vulnerable to damage but the general condition of the collection was considered to be very good and bidding became very competitive amongst buyers eager to enhance their own collections.


One new buyer who only encountered the collection whilst viewing the sale generally, fell for the whimsical nature of this pottery and although he had never owned a single piece previously, he now walked away with about one third of the lots. This left other collectors with mixed feelings, firstly sad that they had been unable to buy the lots that they had wanted, but perhaps pleased that their own collections were worth rather more than they thought. Eighty per cent of the collection sold and totalled around £13,000.


Other ceramics did well; a 17th century Chinese blue and white vase complete with cover and decorated with water plants and kingfishers and insects, etc sold for £3,000 against an estimate of £1,500 to £2,000.


A pair of early tin glazed earthenware figures of angels, one of which was dated 1640 and the other which had sadly lost its head, sold well. Considered to be Italian, they returned to Italy for £1,500, via an internet bid. The best of the Worcester porcelain wares included a small vase of baluster shape form painted with highland cattle and signed by Stinton, one of the factorysí best painters. The vase realised £520 despite being only 10 cm in height.


Jewellery continued to sell well, as did the silver collection. Amongst the clocks a regency mahogany and brass inlaid bracket clock with an 8 day striking movement on a single bell made £700, a Congreve rolling ball clock in brass made in Bristol in 1986 made £600, a Georgian mahogany stick barometer with silvered dials by W Harris & Co of London made £850. Amongst the miscellaneous effects an Edwardian table top gramophone with an embossed brass horn made £440 and an admittance ticket to the funeral of the late Field Marshall Duke of Wellington sold at £280.


Amongst the paintings a pair of oils on canvas by W Richards showing highland views made £400 and a substantial 19th century/early 20th century oil painting on canvas of a sunlit canal scene made £520. Amongst the ephemera an interesting and extensive collection of Victorian and later postcards depicting Romany and gypsy life realised £560 and a copy of Don Quixote made £500.


Our forthcoming sale on March 18th/19th will be a strong and diverse auction, and at the time of writing (February 27th), the saleroom is almost at capacity and will include a very important collection of over 80 gold coins including English, European and American examples; an extended jewellery section, and an extremely wide variety of collectables, etc. We expect this to be largest sale of the year so far.