Sold on thesaleroom.com: A classic of 60s psychedelia, Chinese export silver and one of the few surviving Swallow Dorettis24 June 2020 From the thousands of lots that appear at auctions every week on thesaleroom.com, here we focus on three exceptional lots bought by online bidders this month
A Qing silver and enamel box for the Thai market
A highpoint of Dreweatts ‘lockdown’ sale of Asian art in Newbury on June 17 was provided by this mid 19th century Chinese export silver gilt and enamelled box. Estimated at £600-800, it sold via thesaleroom.com £14,000.
The box, that depicts the auspicious scene of the Eight Taoist Immortals gathering in a garden against a lapis blue ‘shaolan’ ground, was almost certainly made for the Thai market. It carries a 'wen yin' (cash silver) mark and another for the workshop of the Canton-based silversmith and retailer Hui Yuan that specialised in silver for the Siam trade.
The box has a layer of copper sheet adding rigidity to the base – a common feature in Siamese silver that was adopted by Chinese silversmiths creating items for export. It was dated by Dreweatts' cataloguer to c.1840-75.
A group of seven Show Your Head posters
The artist John Hurford was a key figure in the British psychedelia movement of the late 1960s. His drawings, mainly in pen and ink and enlivened by brilliant washes of colour, were reproduced in the leading counter-culture publications of the day.
Pictured here is perhaps his best-known work that was used as a poster to promote the second public rally for the legalisation of marijuana in London's Hyde Park on July 7, 1968. The designer was Martin Sharp, co-founder of Oz magazine that included it as a pull-out in its June 1968 edition.
The Show Your Head poster was printed in different colour variations: offered for sale as a single lot at Bellmans in West Sussex on June 17 were seven copies, five with purple text and two with orange text. These have become a lot more desirable than a £80-120 estimate suggested. Bidding reached £4500.
A 1954 Swallow Doretti
The Swallow Doretti, built using Triumph mechanicals on a new wider and longer chassis, was launched in 1954 with California its target market.
The standard version cost £1102 at the time when a Triumph TR2 was priced at £887 but an Italian two-seater considerably more. Ultimately production ceased after just over a year and only 276 were made. More than half of the total production went for export.
This 1954 Doretti, a right-hard drive and one of only five made with a hard-top, was purchased by the vendor 's late father during the 1970s. It has been subject to a ground-up rebuild over many years would benefit from additional cosmetic work.
At Kings Lynn firm Anglia Car Auctions on June 20, it sold via thesaleroom.com for £36,000 (estimate £18,000-22,000).