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Paintings by unknown artist yield shock result

A pair of 19th century landscape paintings, carrying a price estimate of £300-£400, caused a stir at our Autumn Fine Art and Antiques Sale when they sold for a staggering £22,500.

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The Sale, which took place over three days from 29 to 31 October, was our largest to date with almost 2,000 lots going under the hammer. 

Remarkably little is known about the two paintings, including the identity of the artist, although both are stamped with the letters ‘IW RA’. Painted in oil on board, they are thought to depict views of Oxford and are attributed to the English School – the dominant school of painting in England throughout the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. Both works are framed with the largest measuring 15.5cm by 42cm. 

The successful buyer was from a London gallery and it is thought that they now plan to conduct extensive research into the paintings, so we may well learn more about them and the artist in due course. 

Another high-performing lot at the sale was a large ‘Bacchantes’ vase by the renowned French designer Rene Lalique (1860-1945), which soared above its guide price of £6,000-£8,000, finally selling for £20,000.  Designed in 1927, the vase was made from opalescent, frosted and polished glass and carried the number 997 and Lalique’s signature. 

The Autumn sale also showcased around 100 lots from Waldershare Park in Kent, the family seat of the Earl of Guilford. Included in the collection were the coronation robes worn by Mary Violet, Countess of Guilford (1882-1947) – wife of Frederick George North, the 8th Earl of Guilford (1876-1949) – when she attended the coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902. 

Made by the esteemed London tailors Ede, Son & Ravenscroft, the robes were accompanied by a silver-gilt coronet, signed camphor trunk and framed photograph of the Earl and Countess. The lot was knocked down for £3,600, comfortably exceeding their guide price of £2,000-£3,000. 

Also from the Guilford family collection was a stunning Nicole Freres brass inlaid music box that reached £13,000, far out-stripping its price estimate of  £500-£700.

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