SMASHED AND REPAIRED VASE
SELLS FOR £17,000 IN
ROGERS JONES CO CARDIFF AUCTION
A smashed and repaired vase, described by Cardiff auctioneers Rogers Jones Co as 18thcentury Vincennes or Sevres porcelain, set the Penarth Road saleroom buzzing last week when it sold for a staggering £17,000.
Consigned to the sale by the executors of a deceased South Wales estate, the pear-shaped vase with twin handles was decorated with a portrait of a seated aristocrat holding a plan or drawing in a panel surrounded by gilt borders of flowers and ribbon.
A photograph of the vase and a description highlighting the quality of the portrait, printed in the sale catalogue and posted online, alerted collectors and dealers alike, resulting in a three-way bidding battle for ownership.
In the event, an online bidder from France and a dealer who travelled from London to attend the sale in person were both beaten by a telephone bidder who emerged the victor. The price was a multiple of the presale estimate, set to reflect the vase’s seriously damaged condition.
It emerged subsequently that the vase was by the Sevres factory and the portrait was thought to be that of Charles Emmanuel III (1701-1773) the Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia from 1730.
The buyer, another London dealer, said he would have the vase restored and it would likely be purchased by a collector.
“It was a fantastic result and proof that our sales have both a national and international reach,” auctioneer Ben Rogers Jones said.
“I knew the vase was of the highest quality and I described the painting in the catalogue as ‘supreme’, but I felt that the damage was so bad, it would deter buyers – it had been smashed into five or six pieces and glued together quite amateurishly.
“I also felt it was by Sevres, but their porcelain was copied widely, so I erred on the side of caution. Clearly the buyer was confident about its restoration and maker.”
Closer to home, a menu autographed by all 11 Cardiff City players who won the FA Cup in 1927 sold for £1,800. The autographs were collected at a civic dinner given by Cardiff’s Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress at the City Hall on Monday April 25, two days after the Swallows’ legendary 1-0 victory over Arsenal.
Among the guests was Spencer Gadsby, a keen autograph hunter, who had the presence of mind to pass around his copy of the embossed gatefold menu with its City of Cardiff crest for each of the players to sign.
Mr Gadsby was a sales director for the men’s clothing company, Wolsey, responsible for the South Wales area. It is believed the company supplied the Cardiff City strip and Mr Gadsby had been invited to the dinner by way of thanks. The menu, which had been estimated at £500-1,000, was purchased by a collector in the room.
Mr Gadsby was a keen collector of autographs and the sale also included two of his autograph books signed by celebrities associated with sport, politics, literature and entertainment. Among them was Buffalo Bill, William Cody, who brought his Wild West Show to Cardiff in 1903. Others included Fred Astaire, Augustus John, David Lloyd George, P G Wodehouse, H G Wells, Malcolm Campbell, the Aga Khan, Bette Davis, Harry Lauder, Ivor Novello, Maurice Chevalier, George Bernard Shaw, Bing Crosby, Nellie Melba, Richard Tauber, Jimmy Durante and numerous cricket and rugby teams.
The books were offered together with an estimate of £300-400 and sold to a bidder on-line for 460.
There to witness the excitement in the saleroom was a film crew, recording a programme for the BBC TV series Celebrity Antiques Road Trip. Watching their purchases sold were Welsh actor Christopher Timothy (All Creatures Great and Small, Doctors); Patrick Robinson (Casualty, The Bill); James Braxton (auctioneer and Bargain Hunt expert) and Margie Cooper (dealer and BBC Antiques Roadshow expert).
The next major sale at the Cardiff saleroom of Rogers Jones Co is on Friday August 29 when collections of movie posters and movie memorabilia will be sold on behalf of various owners. For further information, please contact the auctioneers, telephone 02920 708125 email@example.com.
Picture shows the Sevres vase: