25/04/2023 Latest News
Coronation fever appears to have come to Perth after a 17th-century mirror featuring King Charles II was sold for a record-breaking sum.
The stumpwork and lacquer mirror dates back to 1652 and includes a portrait of the then monarch.
Lindsay Burns & Company Auctioneers put the catalogue price at £1,000 to £2,000 but when it went under the hammer in Perth it sold for a whopping £65,000.
Nick Burns says it is the highest sale figure in his 23 years as an auctioneer and the second highest in the company’s history.
He puts it down to a combination of the high quality of the product and interest in the royals sparked by the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, May 6.
“It was exceptionally popular,” said Nick, who revealed that the item was previously owned by a resident of Perth and Kinross.
“Maybe the coronation was on people’s minds a bit and added a rush of blood to the head for some of the bidders.”
The detail and condition of the item is considered outstanding.
Its black lacquer frame measures 61.5cm high by 52.5cm wide and has gilded details.
A rectangular mirror plate is within a stumpwork surround. Its arch is decorated with a flowering tree and initials ‘M.D’ are surrounded by angel, sun and buildings with small reflective details.
These include a whale, frog, birds, fox, dog and other animals.
The left side is decorated with a female figure, possibly Catherine of Braganza, standing holding a hawk.
On the right is a male figure, presumed to be Charles II.
An apron decorated with an urn issuing flowers and foliage dated 1652 is flanked by a lion, birds, insects and acorn tree.
Nick labelled the mirror an “exceptional item at an exceptional price”.
“The workmanship is fantastic and the frame is superb,” he added.
“The condition of the item is particularly good.”
“The colours have stayed vibrant and they have remained quite a nice muted tone.
“It looks like a wall mounted mirror now so will have had a support on the back. I suspect it would have been a dressing table mirror.
“It would have belonged to someone of note.”
In his 23 years as a professional auctioneer, Nick has never administered such an expensive item.
The closest he can recall is a 19th-century Chinese blue and white mark and period porcelain vase from the reign of Emperor Daoguang that sold for £55,000.
The most expensive sold by the company were 19th-century Italian Grand Tour marble wines that went for 15 years ago for £75,000.
Three other similar lots also exceeded expectations during the auction on Tuesday.
A 17th-century silkwork and stumpwork depicting King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria had an estimation of £500 to £800 but sold for £1,700.
And a 17th-century silkwork and stumpwork picture displaying animals sold for £2,500 having had an estimation of £500 to £800.
Also, a stumpwork picture depicting Charles II and Catherine of Braganza surrounded by trees an animals sold for £2,950 after an estimation of £800 to £1,200.
To read the full article on The Courier click here
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