Carousel Horses Lead the Charge at Bonhams Eclectic Connoisseur's Library Sale

London – An unusual set of 12 late 19th/early 20th century carved and polychrome wood carousel gallopers lead the charge at Bonhams Connoisseur's Library sale at Knightsbridge on 15-16 February. Produced by Anderson of Bristol (of Blists Hill Gallopers fame which were ridden by the young King George VI), this handsome set comprises elaborately carved steeds with individualistic expressions and colourful reins and saddles. Estimate: £20,000-30,000.

The sale is led by a mid-19th century 'Exhibition quality' centre table delicately decorated with kingwood, tulipwood, walnut, rosewood, ebony, and boxwood 'mosaic' inlaid parquetry, made by Johann Martin Levien (1811-1871). A true 'tour de force' of cabinet making, the top of this outstanding table is intricately inlaid with a variety of woods in an elaborate and visually appealing geometric design. Both the top and base of the table are also inlaid with beautiful parquetry. Although born in what is modern day Germany and itinerant for most of his youth, Levien eventually established his own firm in Grosvenor Square, London in 1848, having only two years previously received the Royal appointment of cabinet maker to Queen Victoria. It is documented that Levien exhibited some of his finest furniture at the 1855 Paris Exposition Universelle, possibly including a very similar table to this example, but it is also very likely that Levien had displayed items at the renowned Great Exhibition of 1851. Estimate: £40,000-60,000.

The sale includes an assortment of eclectic objects, such as a 15-inch terrestrial table globe by the British maker Leonard Cushee, circa 1760. Estimate: £8,000-12,000.

An impressive late 19th century German silver table nef offers a wonderful example of the table ornament traditionally used to hold salt or spices during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Estimate: £15,000-25,000.

Jon Baddeley, Managing Director of Bonhams Knightsbridge, commented: 'As well as offering some terrific timeless objects, such as the wonderful parquetry centre table that leads the sale, we're anticipating a lot of interest from buyers in the sale's wonderfully eccentric lots. The carousel gallopers are a delight; I'm also a particular fan of the early England football shirt, which is one of the earliest to ever appear at auction.'

Other highlights include:

• Cyrus Edwin Dallin (American, 1861-1944), a patinated bronze equestrian figure entitled 'Appeal to the Great Spirit'. Estimate: £15,000-17,500

• An impressive late 17th/early 18th century needlework casket. Estimate: £4,000-6,000

• A rare and early England football shirt worn by the goalkeeper Rupert D. Anderson, circa 1879 – one of the earliest England football shirts ever to appear at auction. Estimate: £2,500-3,500

• A French School 19th century portrait of a French cavalry officer at the Battle of Smolensk, with Napoleon mounted on white horse in the background. Estimate: £2,000-3,000

• A pair of Van Wassenaer dynasty heraldic family hangings, probably 18th century, without the frames. Estimate: £1,000-1,500

24 January


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