George’s head fetches a king’s ransom

George III Jubilee bust

A George III Jubilee bust, which made £12,000 at auction

A BUST of George III fetched a king’s ransom at Moore Allen & Innocent’s selected antiques sale on Friday (September 24).

The 43.5cm bust, by Dublin sculptor Peter Turnerelli, was one of 80 given by King George to friends and family, among them the first Lord Melville, Henry Dundas, whose descendents live in the Cotswolds.

Bidding for the circa 1810 bust at the Cirencester auction far surpassed the £500 to £800 estimate to finish at a staggering £12,000.

And it wasn’t the only surprise to come out of the ceramics section. A damaged William Moorcroft Florianware vase proved it was more than it was cracked up to be, selling for £4,400 against an estimate of £150 to £200, despite missing one of its two handles, and as the second lot of the day set the tone for bidding throughout the rest of the sale, where good prices to achieved across the board.

In the jewellery section, an early 20th century platinum set solitaire diamond ring with a central stone of 1.75 carats sold for £4,000, whilst a single wine glass dating from 1720 reached £1,100 before the hammer fell.

An oak cased clock manufactured by Joseph Thomas of Cirencester some time in the late 1600s or early 1700s provided some local interest and attracted a winning bid of £600, but was outclassed by a late 18th century clock inscribed Edward Hopkins, Bradford, which made £700.

They say good things come in threes, and over in the furniture section three lots achieved the same winning bid of £3,400 – a 19th century Louis XVI style card table, a circa 1900 display cabinet, and a pair of Chinese porcelain floor vases, standing at 122cm.

That each was expected to make in the region of £1,000 to £1,500 is an indication of strong bidding on the day.

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