CHORLEY’S AUCTIONS of Gloucester are the latest saleroom to take a five-figure sum for the work of the ceramicist Dame Lucie Rie (1902-1995).
Tea was once a luxury. Its price, heavily taxed, placed it beyond all but the well-to-do. The Female Spectator in 1745 declared that the tea table “costs more to support than would maintain two children and a nurse.”
“Show me another” is a well-trodden phrase in the antiques world when a spectacular or uncommonly rare item appears for sale. It’s a saying that adds value normally, but not in every case.
ILLUSTRATED IS Woman by a Leaded Window. It was painted in 1958 by Glasgow School of Art-trained Robert Colquhoun. Oil on canvas, it is a couple of feet square and was presented to Dundee not long after its paint had dried.
THE LOWER ground-floor area of Perth Museum – my favourite place – is where the city’s permanent art collection finds a home. A handful of Old Masters grace the left-hand wall, including the magnificent maybe-Caravaggio Prometheus, while the free spirit right-hand surface is presently hung with oil paintings of Perth.
ON WEDNESDAY, Edinburgh auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull will sell an early 19th Century mahogany stick barometer by J. Della Torre of Perth. It carries tempting pre-sale hopes of £300-£500.
Swann Galleries in New York inadvertently achieved one of the highest prices ever paid for a British poster last month when they knocked down a wonderful London Underground promotional example for the equivalent of £90,000.
MEDAL SPECIALISTS Dix Noonan Web are selling a quality collection of medals and awards this weekend relating to The Black Watch, including medals to the 42nd Highlanders and 73rd Foot, which merged to become the famous regiment.
THERE’S RARE and there’s special. So when Glasgow auctioneers McTear’s described an 18th century 18 carat gold key wind pocket watch as rare, they weren’t fibbing. Key wound watches from anywhere in the 1700s are uncommon.
DESPITE HAVING spent my entire working life with typewriter then computer, I have mustered only two great claims to literary immortality. One was being featured in a Norwegian newspaper crossword – Clue 7 Across. The second is writing a script for Pansy Potter, the famous strongman’s daughter of comics fame.