Most watched lots right now – including the archive of a royal dressmaker and a full Dirty Dozen30 October 2019 Pictured here is our latest round-up of some of the ‘most watched’ items on thesaleroom.com.
All of these lots have been added to more than 40 users’ watch lists, meaning that they are among the items attracting the most interest and are likely to receive plenty of bidding once the live auction begins. So, what have other bidders spotted this week? Read on…
A sketch of Christian Dior, once owned by the Queen’s dress designer: 49 watchers
This 1953 Cecil Beaton sketch of Christian Dior working in his studio in Paris is estimated at £500-700.
It is being sold as part of the estate of society dress designer Ian Thomas (1929-93) on October 31. Thomas was dress designer to the Queen and other members of the royal family for over 30 years, working first under Thomas Hartnell and then under his own label from 1969.
Cecil Beaton was a personal friend and Thomas owned many of his photographs and pen and ink portrait sketches, including this one.
Other items from the estate in the same auction – taking place at Amersham Auction Rooms, Buckinghamshire - include an eclectic range of fashion and royal memorabilia from framed and signed photographs of the Queen to a prototype embroidered panel produced in preparation for the 1953 Coronation gown that is valued at £4000.
A St Ives artist’s design: 54 watchers
Among the more eagerly anticipated items of auction house Lyon & Turnbull’s London sale on November 14 are works ‘from an important St Ives artist’s estate’. Many relate to Porthia Prints, a short-lived company established by St Ives artist Denis Mitchell (1912-93) and his brother in the 1950s.
With the promise of a little extra money, the pair encouraged local artists to submit original designs for screen printing on linen which were turned into table mats that were sold. At least 17 painters and sculptors, a veritable A-Z of the post-war St Ives scene, took part in the project that between 1955-60 supplied designs for sale through high street furnishing store Heal’s of London.
Attracting particular attention is this trademark Ben Nicholson print titled Two Circles that is inscribed Denis from Ben. Estimate £1000-2000.
A sofa that simply has ‘Togo’: 51 watchers
Instantly recognisable by its distinctive Pop Art-inspired shape, and perfect for lazy days in front of the television, the Togo sofa suite designed by Michel Ducaroy (1925-2009) for Ligne Roset has remained a cult classic for over 40 years.
Launched at the 1973 at Salon des Arts Ménagers in Paris, Togo Sofas and Seats are still in production today. With £5000 or so to spend its still possible to buy a brand new Toga on the high street but this ‘pre-loved’ example, included in auction house Roseberys’ November 4 sale is an original from the 1970s. It comprises a three-seat sofa, a two-seat sofa and a three-seater ottoman, all upholstered in black leather. Estimate £300-500.
Chairs with a special name behind them: 49 watchers
This near pair of low easy chairs that come for sale at auction house Toovey’s in Washington, West Sussex on November 8 may look a little tired but they carry a series of marks identifying them as by the most desirable name in upholstered furniture - Howard & Sons of London.
The firm established in 1820 by John Howard is known for its exceptional quality upholstered furniture that won awards at multiple international exhibitions and earnt the patronage of exclusive clients throughout the 19th and early 20th century. Most of their work is marked – in this case with stamps to the rear legs, and the label reading 'Lenygon & Morant Ltd Makers of Howard Chairs & Settees, 48 South Audley St.
The armchairs also retain their initialled calico covering, though their next owner may do a little bit of sympathetic restoration.
A complete set of the ‘Dirty Dozen’: 52 watchers
The November 16 sale at London saleroom Watches of Knightsbridge includes a complete set of the so-called ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches - the 12 Swiss manufacturers commissioned to supply timepieces to the British Ministry of Defence during the Second World War for issuing to servicemen and women. It will be offered as a single lot with an estimate of £35,000-40,000.
The full set consists of watches by Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger Le Coultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex. All with new and matching brown leather straps, the majority have serial numbers to identify the wearer and symbols to show them to be government property. Many are engraved WWW which back in the 1940s stood for Watch, Wrist, Waterproof.
The Grana military issue c.1945 is considered to be the rarest of the 12. Given that only around 1500 of these were made by this otherwise routine maker, it alone can bring well over £5000 by itself. A similar set of ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches sold for £30,000 (plus premium) at Watches of Knightsbridge in November 2018.
Specialist watch collectors will be following this lot very closely…
What is a watch list?
Setting up a watch list enables you to follow particular lots you are interested in, it’s a helpful way of easily keeping track of items you want to bid on or review later.
To set up your own watch list:
- Set up your account on the site, if you haven’t already.
- Sign in to your account.
- Find the lot or lots you are interested in following.
- Then click the button to add them to watch list. If you are on the catalogue page click the blue watch list button and if you are on the lot page itself click the ‘add to watch list’ button with the heart icon.
How do I view my watch list?
Click on My Saleroom at the top of the main site page.
Scroll down to ‘My Watch List’.
You’ll see lots listed as ‘Active’ which means you can still bid on them, and as ‘Ended’ which means the auction has finished.