The Gentleman's Library Sale Returns to Bonhams

Bonhams' Annual Gentleman's Library Sale returns on the 23 February. The Sale boasts a selection of rare and intriguing items including exquisite furniture, sculptures, and model trains. As prices range from £150-35,000 this sale is accessible to all potential bidders.

On offer in the furniture section is an important early 18th century walnut and marble mounted cabinet on stand which is inset with eleven beautiful Italian late 17th/early 18th century pietra dura and pietra paesina 'landscape' plaques. This remarkable cabinet, which has belonged to successive generations of the illustrious Hall family including Brigadier Edward George Hall CB MBE, was featured in Country Life in 1956.

Bonhams' Head of Furniture and Works of Art, Thomas Moore said: Although a number of related examples of English furniture inset with similar pietra dura 'landscape' plaques exist, in actual fact relatively few in terms of their cabinet work date to the first quarter of the 18th century. Significantly this model was made circa 1720. Likewise, only a very small group of closely comparable German versions dating to this same period are recorded. As a result, this rare 'Grand Tour' piece is an important model with a fascinating provenance which can now be added to the canon. It is a personal privilege to be presenting it with an estimate of £20,000 – 30,000 as part of our Gentleman's Library sale.'

Left- A Fine 3½ inch gauge model of G.N.R. Ivatt 'Atlantic' express locomotive no. 1414 (Estimate: £5,000-8,000)
Right- 3½ inch gauge live steam model locomotive "William Shakespeare". (Estimate £10,000-15,000)

Also on offer are two rare model trains, The 3½ inch gauge live steam model locomotive 'William Shakespeare' (estimate: £10,000-15,000) and The 3½ inch gauge model of G.N.R. Ivatt 'Atlantic' Express Locomotive NO. 1414 (Estimate: £5,000-8,000). The former was built by A.Nash in 1961 and was based on the B.R 4-6-2 'Britannia' class 7 MT no.70004 Standard Pacific. This locomotive was notorious for snapping its connecting rod at speed while hauling the Golden Arrow Pullman train from London to Dover and thus was withdrawn from service in 1967. Out of the 55 built only two survived- one is privately preserved and the other is housed in the National Railway Museum. The model is equipped with a superheated copper coal-fired boiler, piston valve cylinders, safety valves and a pressure gauge amongst other impressive features, it is finished in a BR green with black and orange lines. The No. 1414 train was originally designed by H.A. Ivatt and was built at Doncaster in 1905. Only one of these locomotives escaped scrapping when the class was withdrawn in 1950 and is preserved by the Science Museum in London.

Other Highlights include:

An Unusual and Rare near Life-Size late 19th/Early 20th century continental carved and stained wood 'Lay' figure or artist's mannequin. Lay figures have been commonly found in European studios since the 16th century. They were used originally by artists in place of live model, with working joints so that they can be manipulated into any given pose. Although some of the early models were life sized the vast majority were small. It wasn't until the 18th century that life-sized lay figures began to be used more frequently by portrait artists, they were adorned with costumes so that they could work on elements of the painting in the absence of the sitter. The figure on offer is 170.5cm high and possesses articulated joints, moulded short hair and almond shaped blank eyes. It is estimated at £6,000-8,000.

A Pair of 19th Century French Silver Seven-light Candelabra. Made by Flamant & Champenois and Flamant Fils in Paris circa 1890. The branches of the candelabra have removable drip-pans and lead to the main bodies with an acanthus leaf and fruiting vine ornament. The central stands with smiling masks and is decorated with swags by putti seated on the triangular bases. It stands at 64cm tall and is estimated at £25,000-35,000.


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