A PAIR of 19th century landscape paintings, carrying a price estimate of £300 to £400, caused a stir at Elstob & Elstob’s auction house when they sold for a staggering £22,500.

The Autumn Fine Art and Antiques Sale, which took place from October 29 to 31, was the largest to held by the Ripon-based auctioneers with almost 2,000 lots going under the hammer. Whilst the two paintings by an unknown artist topped the results at the auction, several other lots also achieved extraordinarily high prices, contributing to a record cumulative total for the sale.

Remarkably little is known about the two paintings, including the identity of the artist, although both are stamped with the letters ‘IW RA’. Painted in oil on board, they are thought to depict views of Oxford and are attributed to the English School – the dominant school of painting in England throughout the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. Both works are framed with the largest measuring 15.5cm by 42cm.

“It was incredibly exciting to watch the bidding for the paintings unfold and we were thrilled at such an outstanding result,” said auction house director, David Elstob. “Quite a few people showed an early interest in the paintings but as the price climbed into the thousands, it fell to two bidders who fought it out between them.

“The successful buyer was from a London gallery and I understand that they now plan to conduct extensive research into the paintings, so we may well learn more about them and the artist in due course,” he added.

Another high-performing lot at the sale was a large ‘Bacchantes’ vase by the renowned French designer Rene Lalique (1860-1945), which soared above its guide price of £6,000-£8,000, finally selling for £20,000. Designed in 1927, the vase was made from opalescent, frosted and polished glass and carried the number 997 and Lalique’s signature.

The Autumn sale showcased around 100 lots from Waldershare Park in Kent, the family seat of the Earl of Guilford. Included in the collection were the coronation robes worn by Mary Violet, Countess of Guilford (1882-1947) – wife of Frederick George North, the 8th Earl of Guilford (1876-1949) – when she attended the coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902.

Made by the esteemed London tailors Ede, Son & Ravenscroft, the robes were accompanied by a silver-gilt coronet, signed camphor trunk and framed photograph of the Earl and Countess. The lot was knocked down for £3,600, comfortably exceeding their guide price of £2,000-£3,000.

Also from the Guilford family collection was a stunning Nicole Freres brass inlaid music box that reached £13,000, far out-stripping its price estimate of £500-£700. The brass plaque to the underside of the lid was engraved with four tunes: Ye Banks and Braes; Annie Laurie; Eily Mavourneen; and Com’e Gentil Serenade Don Pasq-le.

Elstob & Elstob, which is only in its second year of trading, has already established itself amongst the leading auction houses in the North of England. In January of this year, it relocated to larger premises at Ripon Business Park to meet a rising demand for its services. This is the first time that it has extended a sale over three days to accommodate the ever-increasing volume of consignments.

Elstob & Elstob has recently taken on additional office staff, including a specialist to run a new sporting and militaria department. There are currently 13 specialist departments and the auction house employs top-level experts that have held posts at institutions such as Sotheby’s, Bonhams, Christie’s and Doyle in New York.

The next event will be a specialist Jewellery Sale held on Saturday 28 November at 1.00pm. In accordance with the current national lockdown, this auction will be carried out exclusively online.

For further information about the sales and services provided by Elstob & Elstob, please contact 01765 699200 or email: info@elstobandelstob.co.uk