Enter the dragon: Art, ceramics and more from a dedicated Welsh auction05 April 2021 One reason art and antiques maintain such a strong appeal among collectors is thanks to the way they can encapsulate the sense of a country’s history.
When it comes to Wales, there are not just plenty of nationally-minded buyers but also many enthusiasts for Welsh-themed objects.
Among the auctions taking place on thesaleroom.com this month is the latest ‘Welsh Sale’ being held by Rogers Jones in Cardiff on April 17.
From the pictures of the great modern artist Sir Kyffin Williams to pieces from the famous Nantgarw porcelain factory, there is something for all types of buyers in this sale, both serious collectors and people just looking to buy something that catches their eye.
The items at the upcoming Welsh auction include art, ceramics, furniture, books, maps and collectables, and here we pick out a few items to give you a flavour of what’s on offer.
1. Welsh dragon plaques
The two painted wooden Welsh dragon plaques, pictured above, are estimated at £100-150 at Rogers Jones. They come with an associated swag relief inscribed 'Y Ddraig Goch A Ddyry Gychwyn' – a historic Welsh motto which translates as “the red dragon advances”.
View the catalogue entry for these two Welsh dragon plaques on thesaleroom.com
2. A prime ministerial lot
A group of items relating to former prime minister David Lloyd George (1863-1945) also features at the Rogers Jones sale. A famous Welshman, he grew up in Pembrokeshire and then Carnarvonshire (Welsh was his first language) and he later led Britain through the First World War during his six-year premiership.
The items have come to auction via the auction house’s Colwyn Bay office and include a handwritten signed letter from October 1919, written in Welsh on 10 Downing Street headed paper. Also part of the lot is a carved slate easel portrait frame inscribed ‘Rt Hon. D. Lloyd George’ and dated 1911, containing a black and white photograph of Lloyd George in robes.
The lot is estimated at £250-350.
View the catalogue entry for these David Lloyd George memorabilia on thesaleroom.com
3. Nantgarw porcelain
The Rogers Jones sale will offer 12 pieces of Nantgarw at the sale. The Welsh soft-paste porcelain is highly sought after for its translucent qualities and appealing pattern and among the vintage pieces at the upcoming auction is this oval dish decorated with a large spray of flowers, three scattered sprigs and a single butterfly, all within a solid gilt rim.
It is impressed ‘NANT GARW CW’ to the base and comes to auction from a private collection in Wales. It is estimated at £300-500.
View the catalogue entry for this Nantgarw porcelain dish on thesaleroom.com
4. Kyffin Williams signed print
While oil paintings by Wales’ leading modern painter Sir Kyffin Williams (1918-2006) can easily fetch prices in the thousands and even tens of thousands of pounds, his prints are much more affordable.
This print of a sunset coastal scene in North Wales with roadside cottages is a trademark work and is signed in full. Offered framed and glazed, it is ready to hang and is estimated at £300-400.
View the catalogue entry for this Kyffin Williams print on thesaleroom.com
5. Portrait of Dylan Thomas
Among the top lots at The Welsh Sale is a portrait of Dylan Thomas painted just two months before he died. It was painted by Canadian artist Gordon Stuart (1924-2015), who was based in Swansea, and made three portraits of Thomas across three afternoon sittings near the poet’s home in Laugharne in September 1953.
Stuart recalled that Thomas “..was a good subject and very kindly towards me and told me he was looking forward to going to America”.
On the poet’s fourth US tour, Thomas suffered a severe chest infection and bouts of heavy drinking left him in a coma. He died on November 9, 1953, at the age of just 39.
One of the three pictures is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, another in the University of Texas, with this one titled Portrait of Dylan kept by the artist and then by his widow. It has been entered for auction by the Gordon Stuart estate.
The estimate is £10,000-15,000.
View the catalogue entry for this portrait of Dylan Thomas on thesaleroom.com