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£12k sale of Nelson-interest sword pistol leads the field in December Fine Art Sale

A sword-pistol originating from the collection of Alexander Davison – Nelson’s trusted confidante and treasurer – sold for £12,980 in December

A sword-pistol originating from the collection of Alexander Davison – Nelson’s trusted confidante and treasurer – sold for £12,980 in December

Impressive performances across a packed catalogue at Staffordshire Auction House Cuttlestones’ 7th December Fine Art auction were topped off by the sale of an important military antique with links to Lord Horatio Nelson.

The lot in question, a sword-pistol originating from the collection of Alexander Davison – Nelson’s trusted confidante and treasurer who handled the naval hero’s belongings following his death in the Battle of Trafalgar – attracted significant interest from International bidders both via the internet and on the telephone. It eventually sold for £12,980* to an International collector.

Elsewhere in the auction, a particularly strong jewellery section realised some impressive hammer prices, perhaps among bidders looking to snap up the ultimate Christmas gift. Here, lot 138a – a 3.33ct diamond ring – achieved £5,782, whilst lot 122, two strands of graduated amber beads, sold for £1,298.

On another seasonal note Lot 426, a Moorcroft Vase portraying the snowy pastoral scene of the ‘Woodside Farm’ design sold for £1,062. This limited edition piece was part of a 50-lot strong Moorcroft collection consigned in the auction that, in total, achieved a hefty £9,000.

In Oriental Works meanwhile, Lot 485, an Ivory netsuke in the form of a rat proved that size isn’t everything. Measuring just 4cm in length and with what appeared to be a slight crack to the tail, the piece triggered a bidding frenzy before the hammer fell at £1,121.

With oil paintings, watercolours and mixed-media works all well represented, the star of the strong Art section proved Lot 565, a large Italian School oil painting depicting classical figures in an Italianate landscape, which sold for £1,534. Clocks, as ever, proved popular. A Georgian longcase Mahogany example (lot 587), featuring a handsome silvered and gilt dial with eight day movement and subsidiary seconds dial, a moon rolling mechanism and bearing maker’s name ‘Wm Lafsell, Fox Park’, fetching £3,422.

The final lot of particular note featured in the furniture section, in the form of a Lot 657, a stunning pair of William IV tea tables. Featuring shaped tops raised above fluted tapered columns on quatrefoil bases, with four scroll feet and bearing and fluted roundel detail, the impressive pair sold for £2,714, despite bearing the marks of their considerable age in the form of light scratching, scuff marks to the feet and light damage to the veneer of one of the tables.

Cuttlestones’ first Fine Art Auction of the New Year will take place on Friday, 1st March 2013, with items already being consigned for sale. For full results of the Friday, 7th December Fine Art at Cuttlestones’ Penkridge Auction Rooms, visit www.cuttlestones.co.uk or to arrange a valuation call 01785 714905.

*Please note, all achieved figures include buyers’ premium

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