Godwin art cabinet an auction marvel
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 22nd October, 2018
An 1880s Edward William Godwin (1833-1886) English Aesthetic Movement art cabinet (lot 198) is the major highlight of Leski Auctions forthcoming Decorative Arts, Watches & Collectables sale from 11am Sunday October 28 at 727-729 High Street, Armadale.
Godwin was a progressive English architect-designer renowned initially for his “Ruskinian Gothic-style” creations of mid-Victorian Britain including The Guild Hall in Northampton.
He was among the first European designers to include the arts of Japan, which in 1853 had opened its doors to the Western world, in his works.
From 1867, his Anglo-Japanese furniture style (furthering the impact of the Aesthetic Movement with his influence later detected in arts and crafts) , mainly executed with ebonised finishes, was designed for his own use and for Dromore Castle.
Later, similar Godwin designs were produced by the firms of William Watt and Collinson & Lock and this auction piece is a classic example of the former’s creations.
Godwin counted among his friends and clients several luminaries of the day including novelist and poet Oscar Wilde, painter James Whistler and Princess Louise (Queen Victoria’s sixth child and fourth daughter) for whom he designed a studio at Kensington Palace.
Another strong furniture piece is the circa 1900 Liberty & Co of London’s English arts and crafts occasional table (lot 199) inlaid with Tudor rose motif and made of walnut, satinwood, ebony and beech, and complete with the maker’s plaque.
An 18-carat gold moon phase Patek Phillipe gent’s wristwatch (lot 549) will no doubt have collectors rubbing their hands with glee – along with a Fritz Piquet & Bachmann 1880s 18-carat gold cased half-hunter repeater pocket chronometer (lot 562) – while an 18-carat gold ring with a 1.3-carat diamond surrounded by 12 brilliant cut shoulder diamonds should create plenty of interest.
Various Chinese items will attract plenty of attention, particularly a 19th century porcelain bowl with dragons and floral motifs (lot 14), a 19th/20th century seated Guanyin polychrome carved marble statue (lot 59) and a Qing Dynasty 19th century portrait painting on paper of two Chinese ancestors (lot 15).
Other items of note include a Hungarian Zsolnay factory 1960s creation entitled Mother and Child (lot 296) by artist Judith Nador, a mid-20th century a Swedish Orrefors Graal engraved glass vase (lot 362) by Edward Hald and a French Lalique Silenes vase (lot 450).
Another fascinating collector item is the 19th century Viennese regulator single weight wall clock (lot 428).