April - Recent sales noted

Several items recently sold on eBay merit a little comment. One was an enamel on copper miniature by Henry Pierce Bone. It was described as a portrait of Charles Robert Webber, who died only four months after his birth. The miniature was probably painted post mortem. As an indication of how values can go up and then fall, it appears the miniature was purchased in 2004 for £2234 ($4133). Then offered at Bonhams with an estimate of £1000-1500 ($1800-2600) in 2008, where it was unsold and finally sold on eBay in 2010 for $1545, which was quite cheap for a miniature by HP Bone.

An item I was suspicious of was offered for $500, although then removed from sale, but is still worthy of note. It was said to be "Irish - Frederick Buck 1771-1840 Portrait of a young Ensign Fernhough circa 1800 of the 92nd Highlanders by the Irish miniaturist Frederick Buck. Oil on wooden panel in ormolu oval frame. Signed F.Buck on painting and reverse in ink." However the quality was not good enough even for Buck, who was not noted for his skill, and at best was an amateur copy of a Buck miniature. It shows that care needs to be taken even if a miniature is claimed to be signed.

A couple of profiles (one showing) by James Gillespie, although not attributed to him sold for $340 each. And an unusual wax miniature of Napoleon sold for only $123.

A quite high price was paid for a very nice miniature of a British officer, Major James Scott, $3000.

A tiny miniature of a man on the reverse of a brooch, one of the smallest I have ever seen, sold for £228. The brooch was 2.5 cm x 2 cm, the front containing a lock of platted hair under glass surrounded by seed pearls, the miniature itself being around 1.25 cm x 1.5 cm.

Another loss was suffered on a miniature by John Smart Junior, son of the famous John Smart, and his stylistic likeness can be seen. It was clearly signed "J. S. J. 1802". The miniature was of Louise Adélaïde de Bourbon, Abbess of Remiremont (Chantilly October 5, 1757 - Paris March 10, 1824) She was the last Remiremont abbess, and founded at the beginning of the Bourbon Restoration a religious community that became famous among French Catholics under the name of Bénédictines de la rue Monsieur. The miniature previously sold for $5745 in Paris in 2007, but when offered on eBay in 2010 only realised $1715, quite a bargain.

No comments:

Post a Comment