BLOG: Near and Far: An introduction to our first Fine Art Sale of 2018

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As we approach our first Fine Art Sale of the year on 24th February in Stowmarket, interest is building in a number of items we've listed for this auction. Amongst the hundreds of antiques and collectables we'll be selling, there are a few items of particular note. One of which is Lot 371, the oil on canvas painting "Cows watering by a small pond" by Jan Hendrik Scheltema (Australian, 1861-1938), which has an estimate of £6,000-£9,000. The painter Scheltma was born in Holland and studied in Brussels at the famous Royal Academy. In 1880 he immigrated to Australia and quickly became recognised for his beautifully refined paintings of cattle and horses. He exhibited with the eminent Victorian Artists Society from 1859 to 1902 as well as the Yarra Sculptors Society from 1889 to 1906. Today his paintings can be found in the collections of the State Galleries N.S.W., Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. A real collector's gem, I will watch with interest at how this sale goes. 

Another is an unusual 18th Century navigation compass, featuring a hand painted paper dial housed within a brass case (Lot 500). There are also a number of items that have caught my eye with some interesting connections to Suffolk.

We’re pleased to be selling an oil painting by local 19th century painter Samuel Read (1815-1883). Read was born in Needham Market and worked as a clerk in Ipswich before heading to London to realise his dream of being a painter. I estimate this framed painting will sell for around £150-£250, and would serve as a great addition to any collector's gallery or as a fine piece in your home. 
Through our charitable partnership with Pro Corda, the UK's leading music course provider for children with disabilities and special needs, based in Suffolk, we've collected some fascinating items which we will sell with all proceeds going to the charity. One of the most exciting of these items is an early 19th Century Fijian Culacula (paddle club, Lot 551). Items from the Oceania region have have become highly collectable in recent years and I estimate the Culacula will achieve £600-£1200. With this in mind I am sure this paddle club will deservedly attract some attention.

Another item of local interest is a signed book, "Reach for the Sky - the story of Douglas Bader" by Paul Brickhill (Lot 292). One of the Royal Air Force's most famous pilots, Douglas Bader bravely overcame the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become a successful fighter pilot and wing leader during World War II. The book is signed "Good Luck" from Douglas Bader and is dated 16/4/57. Bader was based at RAF Martlesham in Suffolk for some time and this signed book, which is in good condition, would serve as a fitting addition to any militaria collection. 

With only a matter of weeks until our first Fine Art Sale of the year we hope to see as many of you as possible joining us to see what fate these treasures have under the hammer. 

Oliver Miller
Managing Director of Bishop & Miller