betjeman

An archive of ephemera recalling the times the Poet Laureate, Sir John Betjeman, spent at his Summer retreat on the North Cornish coast will feature in the sale.

As a child, Sir John enjoyed family holidays at Trebetherick, a small village community, after his father built a holiday house there. He returned throughout his life, the area inspiring several of his poems, which illustrate his affection for the area and its churches and railway. He subsequently moved to live in the village, purchasing a house called Treen, where he died in 1984, aged 77.

Among his many friends were sisters Mrs Nell Oakley OBE and Kathleen Stokes and their children. The archive includes a poignant autograph letter to Mrs Stokes's daughter, Phoebe, written from Treen in 1962, in which Betjeman expresses his sadness to hear of her mother's death.

An autograph manuscript of a poem "In Memoriam", written by Betjeman in 1962 in memory of his fiends, includes the line "Where's Kathleen Stokes with her Sealyhams". (Mrs Stokes bred Sealyham terriers at her home in Effingham, Surrey). A first edition of Betjeman's book "Summoned by Bells", is inscribed in the author's hand: "for Phoebe with the affection of John Betjeman in memory of the old days at Coolgrena". Coolgrena was the house where Kathleen and her sister Nell spent their early summers in Trebetherick. The book is a First Edition/First Printing, published in 1960 and described as an edition of 125 but not numbered. Four Christmas cards from Betjeman to Phoebe and her husband show the poet's sarrdonic wit. One is inscribed "and can't be bothered to sign his name legibly? No too grand." and another, "Let dogs delight to bark and bite in Effingham all day, the cats round here ?? loud and clear, oh send them all away."

The archive, which is being sold by Kathleen Stokes's granddaughter, is estimated at £250-350.

adam eve

Remarkable jewellery which makes for miniature contemporary works of art which were commissioned by the larger than life daughter of a Viennese cabaret artiste and founder of the Elizabeth Johnson Organisation will feature. The jewellery was made by Anton "Toni" Fraühauf (1914-1999)  who is considered to be one of the pioneers of modern European jewellery design. A prominent member of the Italian Modernist Movement, his sometimes abstract three-dimensional creations were inspired by the texture of leaves and tree bark and incorporated sculpture and paintings, combining such materials as wood and Plexiglas with gold, silver and precious stones.

Other designs by Fraühauf are architectural, reflecting the new high-rise buildings of the 1960s. He was known to incorporate other objects into his work such as coins, medals, and plaques, a form of upcycling half a century before the phrase was coined.

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gold abstract ring

One of the most unusual pieces in the sale is The Garden of Eden pendant, a large enamel and diamond-set piece depicting Adam and Eve complete with the Tree of Knowledge with resident Bird of Paradise, the Serpent, the root of all evil, and the Sun formed by a diamond. It is suspended from a chain comprising enamelled bar links connected by diamonds and is estimated at £800-1,200. It is believed to be one of the largest pieces of jewellery produced by Fraühauf. A large, 18 carat gold brooch with an abstract design, which can also be worn as a pendant,  an 18 carat gold dress ring set with a large step-cut textured mount will be going under the gavel. An 18 carat gold pendant and matching earrings set with emeralds and rose-cut diamonds is estimated at £650-750. Another pair of these earrings are in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Collection.

palmerston

Something weird and wonderful which will be sure to capture the interest of political historians is an ivory, gold and enamel toothpick box containing the hair of Henry Temple 2nd Viscount Palmerston (1739-1802) father of two times Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. It has been kept in a bank vault for more than 50 years. The box has been consigned for sale by a member of the family of John Julias Angerstein (1732 or 35-1823) a merchant and philanthropist, who was born in St Petersburg to a German émigré family. Angerstein emigrated to England in about 1749 and later helped to develop Lloyd's as a great insurance house, becoming its chairman between 1790 and 1796. His impressive art collection was bought by the nation after his death and became the nucleus of the collection at the new National Gallery. During his life he held a prominent position in Society and numbered Lord Palmerston amongst his friends as well as King George III, William Pitt the Younger, Admiral Lord Nelson, Samuel Johnson and the actor, David Garrick. The box is inscribed and dated 1802 and has a central glass-covered roundel containing woven hair, a crown set with seed pearls and the letter P, while the interior is set with a mirror and lined in silk velvet and is estimated at £300-500.

Check out the rest of the sale here.

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