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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Chippendale Chairs Sell For £52,800 At Roseberys London

A pair of English George III giltwood armchairs by cabinet-maker and furniture designer, Thomas Chippendale, were one of the highlights from Roseberys latest fine art auction. Held in London on 24-25th June the sale totalled an impressive £900,493 (including buyers premium).

A pair of English George III giltwood armchairs by Thomas Chippendale
A pair of English George III giltwood armchairs by Thomas Chippendale
Roseberys Managing Director Ian Cadzow said: “This year has been a fantastic year for Roseberys, and we were absolutely delighted by the result from the sale. Across the board prices achieved were exceptionally strong, and proved that the market for good quality items is buoyant, even in the smaller London salerooms.”

The chairs were commissioned by the English politician and renowned antiques collector, Sir Richard Worsley, 7th Baronet. As part of a suite of giltwood furniture, the chairs were supplied for the drawing room of his prestigious family home, Appuldurcombe House, on the Isle of Wight between 1776 and 1778. They retained their original ‘Gobelins Tapestry’ which, although worn, was easily recognisable. Based in Paris the Manufacture des Gobelins is best known as being a royal manufacturer, supplying the court of Louis XVI and later French monarchs.

The provenance of these chairs ensured they were hotly contested by both UK private and trade buyers. Three telephone lines, and some heavyweight commission bidding, finally saw the chairs selling on the telephone to a private UK collector. [Lot 1197]

A robust section of Asian and Islamic arts saw a small selection of Chinese plaques from a UK private collection selling for some exceptional prices. Unseen for the last 20 years, the highlights included a 1935 painted porcelain plaque depicting a heron which was attributed to the revolutionary artist Cheng Yeting (1895-1948).

Roseberys Director, Peter Greenway said: “These plaques have become hugely popular with Chinese buyers during the last six to 12 months and this result demonstrates that with Chinese works of art great age does not necessarily determine the value of a piece. Art from the Republican period (1912-1949) is becoming highly sought after and on plaques such as these the quality and detail of the painting is all important.”

After the collapse of the Qing Empire, and the closure of Imperial kilns, Chinese artists found they no longer had to confirm to Imperial ideas about design. A new found freedom prompted the formation of the “Full Moon Gathering” by eight artists who followed a fresh approach to porcelain design. More commonly known as the “Eight Friends of Zhusan” Yeting is known to have been a founder member of this group who regularly met to discuss painting and develop a new form of artistic expression. The plaque, which sold for £62,400, was purchased from a well-known UK dealer in 1998 for £2,200. [Lot 1510]

Two other porcelain plaques attributed to Wang Yeting (1884-1942) and Zhang Zi’an achieved £14,500 and £15,000 respectively. [Lots 1507 and 1504]

Elsewhere in the sale, a private collection of 83 Chinese snuff bottles achieved a combined total of £66,516. The highest individual price was £4,080 for late 19th/early 20th Century Chinese silver gilt and jewel mounted pale jade bottle. While jewelled snuff bottles aren’t especially rare, the white colour of the jade and perfect condition proved a winning combination. [Lot 1629]

Over the last 18 months snuff bottles have been achieving high prices from Chinese buyers at auction, leading to European collectors being encouraged to sell. Amassed by a Greek owner in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s this exceptional collection had been in storage ever since and was completely fresh to the market.

The sale was held at Roseberys auction room in West Norwood, London on Tuesday – Wednesday, 24 -25th June. Full results can be viewed online at