Contents

VOL 57 NO 8 FEBRUARY 2023

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MUST-VISIT SPRING FAIRS WOMEN ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISTS SALE RESULTS

Toy Story A lifetime collection

of automata goes under the

hammer

FEBRUARY 2023

WRITE MOVE

Why love letters

are making collectors swoon

IN THE FRAME THE ARTIST AT THE HEART OF A 500-YEAR-

OLD MYSTERY

To the Manor Born

Behind the scenes at the contents sale of a

Northumberland country house

ALSO INSIDE British designer Gerald Summers • Book offers • Best puzzles

COVERThe dining room at Meldon Park in Northumberland the contents of which goes under the hammer his month in Edinburgh, image courtesy of Bonhams, see the feature on page 34

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THIS MONTH

REGULARS 3 Editor’s Welcome: Georgina Wroe

introduces the February issue with an inevitable touch of romance in the air

6 Antique News: A round-up of events to pique collectors’ interest, from three must-see exhibitions to the latest from the newly-opened Gainsborough’s House in Suffolk

10 Your Letters: This month’s mailbag

includes thoughts on a popular TV show and a request for information on a flea market find

12 Around the Houses: A Dunhill

‘aquarium’ lighter sets a new record in London, while detectorists in Somerset unearth some treasure

16 Waxing Lyrical: David Harvey gives

the time of day to a charming George III bonheur-du-jour

28 An Auctioneer’s Lot: Columnist

Charles Hanson steps back in time to a 16th-century cottage where he uncovers some collectors’ delights

42 Saleroom Spotlight: Behind the

scenes at Sworders’ annual ‘Out of the Ordinary’ sale which promises a treasure trove of eclectic curiosities

50 Subscription Offer: Take out an annual

subscription to Antique Collecting and save 50 per cent, plus receive a book worth £75 free of charge

52 Puzzle Pages: Pit your wits against our cunning quiz maestro Pete Wade-Wright

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61 Auction Calendar: An up-to-date

and comprehensive guide to the sales taking place this month

66 Marc My Words: Antiques Roadshow’s

Marc Allum urges us all to get ahead for Christmas 2023

FEATURES 18 Company Man: Coins from the East

India Company from the collection of Robert Puddester are expected to make £2m in London this month. Antique Collecting lifts the lid

24 Court Drama: An exhibition in

Warwickshire shines a light on the court painters of Elizabeth I and hopes to unravel one of the period’s most intriguing unanswered questions

30 Summers’ Time: After years in the doldrums, furniture by the midcentury British designer Gerald

Summers is finally being appreciated, as a recent sale attests

54 Top of the Lots: We preview a collection

of mechanical toys going under the hammer in London, as well as a cache of horsehair jewellery sure to get buyers’ pulses racing in Salisbury

56 Book Offers: Save more than a third on

the latest titles from our sister publisher ACC Art Books

58 Fair News: Planning a buying trip in

February? Make sure you check out the latest fair news before you go

59 Fairs Calendar: All the latest bargainfull events near you and around the rest

of the UK

34 Park Life: The contents of

Meldon Park, a country mansion in Northumberland, goes under the hammer this month in Edinburgh. Antique Collecting goes behind the scenes to see what’s on off er

38 Write from the Heart: Ahead of

Valentine’s Day, letters penned by some of history’s greatest lovers make the basis for a great collection

44 Action Women: Long overlooked in

favour of their male counterparts, female abstract expressionists are put in focus at a new exhibition opening this month

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