Winter 2012 / 13
Finch & Co
Finch & Co
Catalogue No. 19
16/11/2012 15:51 Finch And Co CVR.indd 1
Its art thatâ€™s been filtered through time, so you know its good Grayson Perry, Evening Standard, 12th October 2012
Finch & Co
Filtered Through Time
Suite 744, 2 Old Brompton Road, London sw7 3dq, UK Tel: 020 7413 9937, Fax: 020 7581 4445 Mobile: 07836684133 / 07768236921 Email: email@example.com Website: www.finch-and-co.co.uk
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 A Magnificent Large and Rare Pair of Tibetan Cast Bronze Fantastical Lion Dogs the Male and Female with Tails Held High Richly Scrolled Manes and Wings standing on Clawed Paw Feet Snarling with Long Protruding Tongues Punched geometric design and engraved floral patterns on face and chest Traces of gilt, red and blue pigment, black lacquer The underside fitted with a receptacle for relics 18th Century
s i z e: 27cm high, 34cm long, 15cm wide – 10½ high, 13½ ins long, 6 ins wide p rov e na nc e: Presented in 1851 to Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817–1911) Second OYcial Director of Kew from 1865 to 1885, by the 11th Dalai Lama of Tibet MkhasGrub-Rgya-Mtsho who was a personal friend. From 1848 to 1851 Sir Joseph Hooker studied and collected the spectacular species of Rhododendron that grow in Sikkim and the bordering area of the Himalayas. In 1851 the Dalai Lama gave Hooker specimens collected in Tibet to send back to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Sir Joseph Hooker wrote a book The Rhododendrons of Sikkim-Himalaya detailing the previously unknown species he had collected, some of which can still be seen in Kew’s rhododendron dell. In 1861 Sir Joseph Hooker succeeded his father Sir William as Director of Kew and by 1885 had concluded his father’s vision for the Botanic Gardens. He was arguably the most important British botanist of the 19th century. A great traveller and passionate plant collector, he was one of Charles Darwin’s closest friends. Gifted in 1911 to his grandson John Hooker, thence by descent An animal representing natural and supernatural forces, and suggesting power and virility, the lion is a symbol of the Buddha and historically of the authority of Tibetan sovereigns and the Dalai Lama. High-ranking Tibetan divinities and saints were portrayed seated on maned lions or the skins of tigers. Fantastical hybrid animals were created by the artists working for the monasteries and temples that were part winged lion, part Tibetan mastiV that appear to be variations on the creatures found in the Chinese repertoire. The Tibetan mastiV is an ancient breed of dog bred to resemble the Himalayan snow lion regarded as a powerful and almost mythical being. The mastiV still exists in Tibet and is used as a guardian of flocks, monasteries and temples. Intelligent and as tenacious as it is ferocious it can confront predators the size of wolves and leopards, often sleeping during the day in order to be more active, alert and aware at night. Marco Polo is said to have encountered large Tibetan dogs in his travels and described them as tall as a donkey with a voice as powerful as that of a lion. The breed is now so popular in China that in March 2011 a red Tibetan mastiV was sold to a coal baron in Northern China for 10 million Yuan.
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 A Fine Spanish Votive Ivory and Silver Rosary Mounted with a Toledo Worked Steel Pendant Cross with Four Small and One Large Carved Ivory Memento Mori Skulls Spaced along a Silver Chain with 58 Turned Ivory Ave Beads the large Naturistically Carved Ivory Skull Acting as the Terminal Bead Mid 17th Century
s i z e: approx: 142cm long â€“ 56 ins long s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 7, item no. 5, for a Turkish string of black and red coral prayer beads Subha The word bead is derived from the Anglo Saxon bidden: to pray, and bede: prayer. Prayer beads are most commonly associated with the Middle Ages and the Roman Catholic Church, but their use is universal and pre-dates the Christian era. Christianity was in fact the last of the major religions to employ prayer beads in an important ritualistic role. Even today the religions of nearly two-thirds of the worldâ€™s population utilise some form of prayer beads.
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 An Ancient Egyptian Bronze of an Apis Bull Displaying a Sun Disc with Ureaus on His Horns 26th Dynasty circa 664–525bc
s i z e: 7.5cm high, 7.5cm long – 3 ins high, 3 ins long 10cm high – 4 ins high (including base) p rov e na nc e: Ex Pitt Rivers Museum Dorset, sold Sotheby’s June 1984 Ex English Private collection The Apis was a sacred bull that served as the herald or BA of the god Ptah. His principal sanctuary was therefore located near the temple of Ptah at Memphis. Unlike other sacred animals the Apis bull was always a single individual animal chosen for his particular markings such as a black and white diamond on his forehead, the result of being born from a bolt of lightning. The bull was closely linked with the reigning Pharaoh as both were divine physical manifestations of a god and both were crowned at the time of their installation. At the death of the Apis bull there was national mourning and the embalmed corpse was taken along the sacred way from Memphis to Saggara for burial in a granite sarcophagus in the underground catacombs.
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 An Ancient Egyptian Serpentine Torso Ushabti Inscribed with the Name Di-Aset-Hebsed The Singer of the Harim of Amun 25th–26th Dynasties, circa 680–650bc
s i z e: 9.5cm high, 6cm wide, 3cm deep – 3¾ ins high, 2¼ ins wide, 1¼ ins deep 13cm high – 5 ins high (including stand) p rov e na nc e: Ex Mustaki collection Ex English collection Di-aset-Hebsed was the sister of the famous 4th Prophet of Amun and Mayor of Thebes, Montuemhat at the end of the 25th and beginning of the 26th Dynasties. This figurine carrying two pointed hoes and wearing a tripartite wig and collar, would have belonged to the priestess Di-aset-Hebsed. Apart from naming its owner and providing her oYce, the four surviving rows of text contain the beginning of the Late Period version of Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead, which is the so called Ushabti formula. Other Ushabti of Di-aset-Hebsed were excavated from Tomb 4 at Medinet Habu, and in material and iconography this figurine is typical of those produced at Thebes for the highest ranking priestesses during the Kushite period.
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 A Victorian Taxidermy Head of a Coursing Lurcher Mounted on an Oak Belt Shaped Shield Wearing a Brass Mounted Collar Inscribed with the name The Carabiniers and that of the owner A Sprot Esq Circa 1860–1880
s i z e: 37cm long – 14½ ins long (max) 20cm high – 8 ins high (wood plaque) p rov e na nc e: Ex Scottish collection The name Lurcher is said to come from the Middle English word Lorchen, to lurk, or from the Romany Lur meaning thief, and Cur meaning a mixed dog breed. In the 14th and 15th century English and Scottish governments banned commoners from owning sight hounds such as Irish and Scottish deerhounds and greyhounds, and so lurchers were bred to avoid these restrictions. The aim of the cross was to breed an intelligent canny dog with enough speed suitable for poaching small game. Lurchers can be as big as a deerhound or as small as a whippet dependent on the cross. Coursing developed over time into a sport for all. At the big 19th century meetings in Northumberland most of the runners were owned by coalminers whose dogs ran with the same chance of winning as those of the Duke of Leeds. The Waterloo Cup, the famous classic coursing event, was first run at Altcar near Liverpool in 1836. It became a national event attracting huge crowds of up to 75,000 people a day. The winning dogs such as Master M’grath and Fullerton became national heroes with the thrice winner Master M’grath being presented by Royal command to Queen Victoria.
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 An African Western Cameroon Grasslands Kaka Chiefs Hat the Woven Cotton Cap with Projecting Porcupine Quills First half 20th Century
s i z e: approx: 47cm long – 18½ ins long p rov e na nc e: Reputedly collected from Magba Village, West Cameroon At the turn of the 20th century Hausa traders introduced the hand embroidered hat to the Grasslands of the Cameroon’s and these began to replace the elaborate hairstyles once worn by men throughout the area. Instead of reproducing the tufts of hair with projecting knit burls stiVened with tiny wooden inserts, this cap imitates the ornamental hairstyle by being embellished with porcupine quills. This type of headgear denotes high social status and was probably worn on ceremonial occasions.
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 A South German Carved Ivory Figure of a Bedraggled and Unkempt Beggar in the Style of William Krüger Mid 18th Century
s i z e: 11.5cm high – 4½ ins high s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 13, item no. 46, for another example Engravings were often used for the inspiration for these carvings, but they were always recreated in the round and show no sign of their two-dimensional origins. The concept of the Wahre Arme or true poor in 18th century Germany was particularly associated with the picturesque. The holes and raggedness of the clothes do not take away from the romanticised rococo style. The great Kaendler and Eberlein at Meissen modelled various porcelain figures of peasants and beggars in a similar style in the mid 18th century, and these were extremely popular with their wealthy patrons.
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 An Unusual Memento Mori Pendant of Ivory in the form of an English coYn, the heart shaped silver depositum plate bearing the initials J.V Early 19th Century
s i z e: 5cm long, 1.8cm wide, 1cm high – 2¼ ins long, ½ ins wide, ¼ ins high This miniature ivory coYn was probably worn as a pendant in memory of the deceased some of whose hair may have been contained inside. Such jewellery originated in the 16th and 17th Centuries and was typically English. The coYn was, and to some extent still is, a status symbol. Its finish and furniture indicative of the social standing of the deceased. No 15th century peasant or artisan expected to be buried in a coYn and by contrast no aristocrat would have been given a shroud burial in the churchyard. In the 16th century a re-usable parish coYn was introduced, but by the end of the 17th century its use was abandoned due to pestilence and the plague. By the 18th century the trade of funeral furnishing had taken oV and the trade had the total monopoly on the provision of coYns, supplying suitable types in accordance with the rank of the deceased.
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 A Rare Oval Silver Indian Peace Medal Engraved with a Portrait of George Washington President 1793 and a Native American Chief his Discarded Tomahawk at his Feet Smoking a Pipe of Peace both standing before a field being ploughed by two oxen the reverse engraved with an early rendition of the Great Seal of the United States of America
s i z e: 16cm high, 10.5cm wide – 6¼ ins high, 4 ins wide c f: An example very similar of 1792 in the Smithsonian Museum New York awarded at a conference between a delegation of Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida Tuscarova and Stockbridge tribes and President Washington, the Secretary of War, the Governor of Pennsylvania and others on March 13th 1792 These medals were made in three sizes from 1786 to 1893 by the United States mint in Philadelphia. They were designed and created by John Reich, each one having a portrait of the current United States President. They were minted until the term of President Andrew Jackson ended. The Presidents and their agents would present these medals to the Chiefs and significant warriors of the Native American tribes as tokens of friendship and goodwill, often accompanied by explanations of newly established United States sovereignty over tribal land. Within the tribes they became sought after as symbols of power and influence as they had been given to important Chiefs and men of rank. They were also a symbol of the supposed relationships between the American Federal government and the Native Americans in the late 18th and 19th centuries, but in most cases these were ultimately determined by force. Prior to Thomas JeVerson’s presidency the obverse and reverse of the medal were separate silver sheets and before 1804 were engraved and not struck. As evidenced by those taken by Lewis and Clark on their famous 1804–1806 expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase, which were struck as opposed to being engraved.
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 A Native American Indian Plains Dakota Sioux Beaded Knife Sheath the Reverse Painted in a Geometrical Pattern BuValo hide, glass and steel trade beads, tin cones and horsehair Circa 1870–80
s i z e: 24cm long – 9½ ins long s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 9, item no. 101, for another example of a knife sheath By 1840 the introduction of European steel needles enabled the native American women to utilise the small glass seed beads that were traded across the Plains in more complex and complicated designs. In the 1860’s the beads became available in larger quantities and longer and broader bands of beadwork replaced the short narrow strips of quillwork along the seams of items.
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 A South German Limewood Sculpture of the Risen Christ with Traces of Original Gesso and Polychrome Late 15th – early 16th Century
s i z e: 54cm high, 24cm wide, 14cm deep – 21¼ ins high, 9½ ins wide, 5½ ins deep Christ is portrayed alive with the bloody wound in his side, no longer suVering, triumphant over death. The idea of a triumphant Christ was promoted up to the Middle Ages. The New Testament and the early theologians made use of language traditionally associated with Imperial Roman victories and with ancient athletic contests to draw attention to Christ’s power. Falling out of favour the idea did not reappear until the Renaissance when Christ is portrayed as the beautiful triumphant athletic victor.
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 An Eskimo Inuit Hunting Club made from the Penis Bone of an Arctic Walrus Early 19th Century
s i z e: 55.5cm long â€“ 21Âž ins long s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 6, item no. 15, and catalogue no. 12, item no. 106, for other examples p rov e na nc e: Ex English Private collection Just as the BuValo was the mainstay of life to the Native American Indians of the Plains so the walrus was to the Eskimo Inuit of the Arctic. Every part of the animal was used for food or for another specific purpose. The Arctic seas are so cold that the male walrus can only mate by means of a large penis bone, which happens to be the most naturally and perfectly formed hand-held club.
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 A Fine Japanese Shunga Album of Twelve Erotic Scenes Hand Coloured Wood Block Prints on Fine Paper within Two Silk Covers Mid 19th Century
s i z e: 16cm high, 24cm wide â€“ 6Âź ins high, 9Â˝ ins wide Shunga is the generic name given to Japanese erotic paintings, prints and illustrated books. It means spring drawings. Erotic art was endemic throughout the country and has been produced there for centuries. When the prints first reached Europe in the 19th century their impact was immediate and startling. Their complete reliance on line and flat areas of colour revealed a set of artistic values quite opposed to the traditions which had dominated western art ever since the Renaissance. Many European artists of the time especially the Impressionists were deeply influenced by the Japanese prints whose images appeared to them to be revolutionary. Shunga were produced by almost every Japanese artist of note, but their subject matter often condemned them to obscurity in the West. The Japanese approach to sex was conditioned by a very diVerent moral system. The emphasis was on order and social obedience. There was little sense of personal sin and the body was as important as the spirit. In Japan sex was not elevated to a status of mystical significance as in India and China, but was seen as a natural, intrinsically enjoyable event. There was no equivalent to the Western concept of pornography with no connection between moral corruption and the representation of sex. A host of practices, evident from these prints, more or less frowned upon in the West, were common in Japan.
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 An Pair of Carved Hardwood South African Kwa-Zulu Natal Ceremonial Dance Staves the Handles Shaped with a Spiral Twist the Finials of an Elegant Half-Moon Shape 19th Century
s i z e s: a: 76.5cm long – 30 ins long b: 70.5cm long – 27¾ ins long p rov e na nc e: Ex English Private Cotswold collection The carving of wood among the Zulu nation was an exclusively male occupation and the type of objects carved were all strongly associated with men, cattle and ancestors. These beautifully finished dance wands or staves were used at social and ceremonial occasions. Songs, and the dances that accompanied them played an important role in the communal life of the Zulu.
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 Three South African Zulu Carved and Decorated Bone and Horn SnuV Spoons 19th Century
s i z e s: a: 26.5cm long – 10½ ins long b: 29cm long – 11½ ins long c: 37.5cm long – 14¾ ins long p rov e na nc e: Ex Private collection of the late Anthony (Toby) Jack SnuV taking was enjoyed by both sexes and by people of all ages amongst the Zulu nation, although smoking was restricted to men and older women. SnuV was made by grinding home grown and dried tobacco leaves, sometimes with the addition of the ash of charred aloe leaves as it made the snuV stronger. Cannabis was also used, especially for communal ceremonial occasions. These elegant spoons were regarded in a similar way to jewellery, as personal property, and were often worn as hairpins by young Zulu men in their elaborate hairstyles.
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 A Renaissance German Nuremberg Bronze of a Roman Centurion known as Longinus the Soldier at Golgotha who Pierced Christ’s Side with a Lance Mounted on later serpentine base Dark brown natural patina with traces of brown lacquer 16th Century
s i z e: 25cm high – 9¾ ins high / 28cm high – 11 ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e: Ex English collection sold at Auction 2012 According to Christian medieval tradition the body of the Roman centurion Longinus was twice recovered and lost and then found once more in Mantua in 1304, together with the Holy Sponge stained with Christ’s blood as Longinus had assisted in cleansing Christ’s body when it was taken down from the Cross. Still venerated today in Mantua are corpules of blood said to be from the Holy Lance and believed to have miraculous curative properties. At the Crucifixion Longinus had recognised Christ’s divinity and was converted to Christianity. Martyred, the Roman Catholic Church made him a Saint and his body lies in the Church of San Agostino in the Vatican in Rome.
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 An Interesting Late Romanesque Oak Figure of a Roman Centurion, Probably Saint Longinus Traces of polychrome First half 13th Century
s i z e: 69cm high, 18cm wide, 11.5cm deep – 27¼ high, 7 ins wide, 4½ ins deep p rov e na nc e: Ex collection Park Hotel, Lockaren, East Flanders, Belgium Exhibited 1973 in Antieke Houten Beelden in Lokers Bezit organised by the City Commissioners of Art Ex Private English collection This oak carving depicts a Roman soldier most probably the centurion at Golgotha who upon piercing Christ’s side with a spear, and struck by the manner in which Christ has endured His last moments, cries out in sudden recognition Truly this man is the son of God. Later known as Longinus, he is always depicted in military attire and is still venerated as a Saint and martyr in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox and the Armenian Apostolic Church. Although unnamed in the Gospels the legend grew over time that he was converted to Christianity after the Crucifixion and tradition claimed him to have suVered for piercing Christ’s side by being condemned to live in a cave where every night a lion came and mauled him until dawn, after which his body healed back to normal, in a pattern of torment to be repeated until the end of time. There is a fine marble statue of Saint Longinus in Saint Peters Basilica in the Vatican by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. A fragment of the spear-point from the Holy Lance is also conserved in the Basilica.
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 A Pair of Fine French Palais Royale Ormolu Mounted Mother of Pearl Pin Boxes
In the form of Versailles flower tubs decorated with paper flowers, the sliding drawers made of satinwood, all raised on four bun feet Early 19th Century s i z e s: approx: 6.5cm high, 5cm square – approx: 2½ ins high, 2 ins square (each)
The exquisitely delicate articles made of mother-of-pearl and now collected under the name of Palais Royale were so called after the palace in Paris originally built in 1629 for Cardinal Richelieu and later occupied at the end of the 18th century by the powerful Duc d’Orleans. Members of the Duke’s entourage required especially luxurious articles for their toilette, travel and other needs and so talented craftsmen were employed within the vicinity of the palace to provide them. In time the products of these workshops proved so popular that they were made on a commercial basis with many being sold to Grand Tourists as they passed through Paris.
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 An English Regency Turned Ivory Box Mounted with a Scene of Swans Swimming Upon a Lake Ivory, gold, wax and glass Early 19th Century
s i z e: 6cm dia., 3cm high – 2¼ ins dia., 1¼ ins high Since the 14th century all the swans on the River Thames have been, and are, the property of either the Sovereign or two of the oldest City of London Guilds: the Vintners and the Dyers. During the 3rd week of July, Swan Masters and their traditionally dressed assistants row out onto the river to establish ownership of the cygnets by upending and inspecting their parent’s beaks. Those belonging to the Dyers are marked with a single nick to the beak and those of the Vintners with two, whilst the Sovereign’s swans remain unmarked. This takes place on the stretch of the Thames between Sunbury & Pangbourne. When the Swan Upping Company, which includes the Vintners markers in green livery and the Dyers in blue, reach Windsor Castle the Queen is saluted by the cry Her Majesty the Queen, Seigneur of Swans. The work, which lasts from Monday to Thursday, concludes with a banquet at which roast cygnet is served.
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 A Victorian Taxidermy Specimen of an English Golden Eagle Aquila Chrysaëtos contained within an Architectural Mahogany Case on Bun Feet 2nd half of 19th Century
s i z e: 75cm high, 83.5cm wide, 33.5cm deep – 29½ ins high, 33 ins wide, 13¼ deep s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 17, item no. 97, for a German Golden Eagle The eagle possesses legendary eyesight and can be trained to hunt with men and dogs, and it is still used in Asia to catch large game. With a wingspan of over six feet, it can ride the high thermal air currents, soaring and gliding in the sky for hours at a time. They are long-lived birds, which are now protected by law. Once found across the whole of mountainous North America and Eurasia they have become an endangered species due to poisoning, trapping, shooting and the use of pesticides and herbicides in modern agriculture. However, there are some 400 known pairs living in the European Alps that often successfully rear two young every year and there has been a programme of reintroduction to the remoter parts of the Scottish moorlands and mountains that is boosting their numbers annually.
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 A Large Double Sided Seychelles Coco de Mer of Female Form 19th Century
s i z e: 33cm high, 27cm wide, 16cm deep – 13 ins high, 10½ ins wide, 6¼ ins deep s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 3, item no. 35, and catalogue no. 15, item no. 31, for other examples Coco de Mer are the largest known seeds in the world and take 8 to 10 years to ripen on 100 year old tall palm trees that are unique and indigenous to only two of the 115 Seychelles Islands. Now protected, they were historically found by sailors floating mysteriously in the warm currents of the South Seas, hence their name Coco de Mer.
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 A Rare Erotic Chinese Export Reverse Painting on Glass Late 18th Century (in early 19th century rosewood English frame)
s i z e: 13cm high, 10cm wide â€“ 20cm high, 17.5cm wide (framed) 5 ins high, 4 ins wide â€“ 8 ins high, 7 ins wide (framed) The Chinese created erotic paintings on glass both for themselves and for the export trade to Europe. Small panels on glass such as this example were often inserted into the backs of a ships Captains shaving mirror. The skill required to execute reverse glass paintings is greater than that needed to decorate fine porcelain, and subject matter ranged from the mythological, to religious, literary, political and historical depictions mostly copied by the Chinese artists from European prints. However, this rare erotic glass painting was taken from an earlier Chinese original on silk or paper.
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 Two Miniature Chinese Carved Rhinoceros Horn Ritual Wine Cups Kangxi, Qing Dynasty – late 17th Century
s i z e: 2cm high, 3.5cm dia. – ¾ ins high, 1¼ ins dia From the earliest times the Chinese have known of the existence of the rhinoceros and its legendary horn. For over 2000 years they have fashioned objects from the horn and it is a material that they have always valued more highly than gold. It was Chinese custom to use rhinoceros horn cups for rituals and ceremonies, which were intended to confer long life, and even immortality to the participants. As a nation they have also been accustomed to drink wine from small round cups without handles for many centuries and even today they continue to do so.
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 An Interesting Original Naval Manuscript Prepared by Lieutenant William Andrew St John Representing his Naval Training at the Naval Academy at Portsmouth for an OYcer in the British Fleet Entitled A Plan of Mathematical Learning Taught in the Royal Academy 520 pp illustrated with full page frontispiece 21 vignette illustrations of which 12 are original watercolours and 9 are original pen and ink wash drawings 4 full page and one large folding maps with outline colour 4 full page astronomical illustrations 1 full page compass rose and numerous small colour outline navigational charts all executed by Royal Naval Academy student William St John Bound in contemporary English diced calf, multiple gilt tooled border fillets, gilt decorated spine in compartments Portsmouth, England 1807 s i z e: 37cm high, 27.5cm wide – 14½ ins high, 10¾ ins wide A career in the Navy was one open to talent unlike many in 18th and 19th century Britain. It was possible to rise through the ranks to the quarterdeck on merit alone, although the recruitment of most naval oYcers was based on patronage and family ties. Many young men, second or third sons of an aristocratic family with little money or estates joined the Navy, as this was the only profession, which did not require, and indeed did not allow, the application of money. Future oYcers were taken young and provided with a rigorous, free professional training with which they might rise to fame and fortune. Boys were often seized by a strong passion for a career at sea, and some as young as six were taken on board to learn the ropes from the hands of an experienced sea daddy. An oYcer in the Navy was however, required to be able to navigate and command as well as reef and steer and to this end the Royal Naval Academy 1733–1837 was established at Portsmouth Dockyard as a facility to train oYcers and in an attempt to improve their education. However, the sincere belief in the superiority of practical experience learned on board ship ensured that the oYcer class favoured the traditional model. King William IV demonstrated this in his remark there was no place superior to the quarterdeck of a British man-of-war for the education of a gentleman.
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 A Large Pair of African Loango Coast, Angola Ivory Tusks Carved in relief in great detail with scenes of daily commercial life along the coast in a continuous spiral band Circa 1860–80
s i z e s: a: approx: 86cm long – 34 ins long b: approx: 89cm long – 35 ins long s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 5, item no. 64, and catalogue no. 12, item no. 108, for other examples p rov e na nc e: Ex English West Country Private family collection During the 19th century along the West African Loango coast, now part of Angola, a busy commercial trade took place in slaves, ivory, fish, timber, rubber and animals in which both Europeans and indigenous peoples took part. Merchants returning home often purchased these expressively carved ivory tusks from the local workshops along the Loango coast as a reminder of their travels.
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 An Indian Dhal, a Round Buckler Shield Composed of Lacquered Crocodile Skin with Four Decorative Silver Bosses First half 19th Century
s i z e: 46cm dia. â€“ 18 ins dia. (max) Dhal were used in Persia as well as in India as a means of defence on foot or horseback. They are nearly always round made of steel, leather or hide decorated with ornamental bosses. The hide shields are often covered with lacquer to make them appear to be translucent.
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 A South American Spanish Colonial Silver Mounted Carved Horn Votive Amulet in the form of a Clenched Fist Possibly Peruvian or Bolivian 19th Century
s i z e: 13.5cm long â€“ 5Âź ins long These votive carvings were known in 16th century Spain as a Higa, a fist shaped amulet that is directed against the evil eye. The thumb and first finger forming a characteristic position of a mano cornuta or potent gesture directed against evil.
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 A Bering Sea Inuit Walrus Ivory Anthropomorphic Polar Bear with its Cub, probably Amuletic Early 19th Century
s i z e: 3.5cm high, 9.5cm long, 2.5cm wide – 1½ ins high, 3¾ ins long, 1 ins wide s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 18, item no. 36, for another anthropomorphic figure Traditional Eskimo Inuit carvings were small as large ones would have been burdensome to carry, as they were a nomadic people who moved around during the course of their annual seasonal cycle. Implicit in their 19th century worldview was the belief that the humans could transform themselves into animals, animals could become people and spirits could appear as animals or humans. This belief was communicated in the multi-image treatment of objects, and this fine carving perfectly encapsulates this theme of transformation.
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 An Eskimo Inuit Arctic Walrus Penis Bone Club the end decorated with the Head of a Polar Bear carved in Walrus Ivory Late 19th Century
s i z e: 58.5cm long â€“ 23 ins long c f: The Zoomorphic Collection of John Hawkins exhibited June 2010 page 55, item no. 44 Polar bears are often associated with Eskimo Inuit subsistence, but were once rarely found south of Norton Sound preferring to stay north hunting seals along the ice edge. Sometimes they were carried down the coast on floating ice, but upon reaching land they would always instinctively begin to travel back to the north. Polar bears were the chief predators of seals and the carving on this club is intended to provide a special power to the hunter.
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 A French Finely Carved Ivory SnuV Box Decorated with a Basket of Fruit and Flowers on a Tripod Stand with Stems of Pomegranates, Artichokes and Pears Trailing from each Corner
Late 17th – early 18th Century
s i z e: 1cm high, 8cm wide, 5cm deep – ½ ins high, 3 ins wide, 2 ins deep During the late 17th and early 18th centuries snuV, which is essentially treated tobacco leaf, arrived from the New World in moist blocks tied with string. To convert it into powder it was rubbed along a rasp of perforated metal and the resulting fine grains were kept in a tight close fitting box to keep it potent, fresh and aromatic. Louis XIV had an aversion to the taking of snuV so many of the snuV boxes produced at the time were discreet rather than showy, enabling the nobility who lived at Versailles to indulge in snuV taking secretly so avoiding royal displeasure.
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 A Fine French Gold Travelling Seal and Sealing Wax Case Contained In Its Original Shagreen Sleeve the Matrix un-engraved Hallmarked for Bordeaux 1780–89
s i z e: 12cm long – 4¾ ins long – 12.5cm long – 5 ins long (case) The importance of a seal aYxed to a letter or document in the days before the majority of people could read cannot be over emphasised. The device or coat of arms would be engraved on the matrix or metal instrument in reverse and when pressed into the molten sealing wax would leave an identifiable impression.
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 A Fine Large Wedgwood Black Basalt Library Bust of the Ancient Greek Epic Poet Homer Impressed Wedgwood Mark 1780–1812 Early 19th Century s i z e: 59cm high – 23¼ ins high Homer, Greek author of the Iliad and the Odyssey is traditionally thought to have lived around 950bc. Most representations of him seem to be based on a bust in the Naples Archaeological Museum. Wedgwood obtained a plaster cast of this bust from Hoskins and Grant, moulder and caster in plaster to the Royal Academy, and it was produced in black basaltes, after William Hackwood had worked on it, in two sizes in 1775. Josiah Wedgwood had a high regard for Hackwood’s modelling and wrote to Bentley in 1776 wishing we had half a dozen Hackwoods. It was deliberate policy on Wedgwood’s behalf to make his pottery considerably cheaper than marble and much more durable than plaster, and when given a slightly polished surface it was as attractive as either, and also a rival to any finely worked bronze. The demand for the black basaltes library busts was considerable and in 1800 an order from Dublin requested over one hundred of them!
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 Two North Italian Late Renaissance Bronze Models of Crabs Black brown lacquer over dark brown natural patina Late 16th – Early 17th Century
s i z e s: a: 15.5cm wide, 9cm deep, 4cm high – 6 ins wide, 3½ ins deep, 1½ ins high b: 9cm wide, 6.5cm deep, 2.5cm high – 3½ ins wide, 2½ ins deep, 1 ins high p rov e na nc e: Ex English collection sold at auction 2012 These two bronze models of crabs were cast from nature and were made in imitation of earlier antiquities. The details of the claws and shell are faithfully rendered to replicate a live crab just plucked from the sea. These models were very popular over a long period of time especially because of their association with the astrological sign of Cancer.
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 An Unusual Large South German Silver Mounted Tiger Cowry Shell Cypraea Tigris Table SnuV Box together with a smaller Silver Mounted Tiger Cowry Shell Pocket SnuV Box, Probably Netherlandish Late 17th – early 18th Century
s i z e s: a: 6.5cm high, 12cm wide, 8.5cm deep – 2½ high, 4¾ ins wide, 3¼ ins deep b: 3.5cm high, 7cm wide, 5cm deep – 1¼ ins high, 2¾ ins wide, 2 ins deep People have been collecting shells since prehistoric times, for food, for essential tool making and for ornamentation, but it was during the Renaissance which brought the great voyages of discovery that concology took oV. In the 16th and 17th centuries marine mollusc shells from tropical waters across the world were highly prized exotic collectors items and were often mounted to be used as spoons or boxes. The tiger cowry shell is called the porcelain snail in German due to its beauty of decoration and its lustrous surface.
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 A Ancient Northern British Celtic Gneiss Stone Female Figure of a Goddess, perhaps Brigantia The large head with characteristically Celtic oval eyes an upturned slit mouth a crown of hair the rudimentary body with small arms and tiny hands gesturing towards her abdomen 2nd–3rd Century ad
s i z e: 64cm high, 19.5cm wide, 12cm deep – 25¼ ins high, 7¾ ins wide, 4¾ ins deep s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 13, item no. 124, for an Ancient Northern British Celtic Stone Head c f: A Celtic female head of similar form found in Dumfries said to represent a local goddess. Illustrated in Toynbee, 1952 J.R.S. XLII pg 63–5 Gneiss, from the German word meaning eyes, is a foliated metamorphic rock in which the coarse quartz or feldspar mineral grains have been arranged into a banded structure. Most of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland has bedrock formed of Lewisian Gneiss and the prehistoric stone circle at Callanish is constructed of it. The Celtic Goddess was at once mother, warrior, virgin, hag, conveyor of fertility and of strong sexual appetite which led her to seek mates amongst both mankind and the Gods, giver of prosperity to the land and protectress of the flocks and herds. She was more static and archaic than the male gods and so remained tied locally to the land for which she was responsible and whose striking natural features seemed to her worshippers to be manifestations of her power and personality. When they were no longer venerated as deities they became converted into local nymphs, guardians of pools and wells, or great supernatural hags haunting mountain passes or driving their deer over hills, conferring benefits or evils on humanity as they saw fit. When Christianity eventually displaced the old Celtic religion many of the Celtic pagan gods and goddesses remained traceable in the characters of the local saints and in the spirits of individual localities.
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 Three Fine Ivory Portrait Reliefs Mounted on Bristol Blue Glass by G.Stephany and J.Dresch in Original Black Lacquered Frames a&b: apparently of the same sitter, possibly the 1st Lord of the Admiralty George John Spencer 2nd Earl Spencer circa 1800, a; with an old ink inscription to the reverse Stephany and Dresch sculptors in ivory No. (?) Harrington Place, Bath and in another hand This belongs to the Countess of Ely c: is probably a profile relief portrait of William Wordsworth, Poet Laureate 1770–1850 Circa 1795–1800
s i z e s: a: 14cm high, 12.5cm wide – 5½ ins high, 5 ins wide b: 14cm high, 12.5cm wide – 5½ ins high, 5 ins wide c: 15cm high, 13cm wide – 6 ins high, 5¼ ins wide s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 14, item no. 40 for a ivory portrait profile of the Duke of York and Albany by Stephany and Dresch c f: A ivory portrait of Charlotte Princess Royal by Stephany and Dresch acquired by Queen Mary and now in the Queen’s collection Between 1700 and 1800 the population of Britain rose from 5½ million to 9 million and this together with increased wealth in many quarters led to a greater appreciation and demand for art. Besides employing craftsmen to build houses and make furniture and to assist in choosing suitable décor, the new rich were prepared to commission those artists whose work appealed to them to paint and sculpt portraits, landscapes, silhouettes and miniatures to be displayed and enjoyed. Stephany and Dresch working in both London and Bath in the late 18th century were very suitably placed to exploit this demand for portraiture.
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 Two Chinese Carved Ivory Spiked Erotic Balls 19th Century
s i z e: approx: 3.5cm dia. â€“ 1Âź ins dia. (each) s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 4, item no. 12, for a collection of eight Known in China as ladies pleasuring balls these intricately carved ivory balls have articulated spikes that rotate within each sphere. Exported from the Cantonese ivory workshops in the 19th century they continue to fascinate the European collector with a taste for the exotic.
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 A Rare Chinese Erotic Finely Carved, Engraved and Polychrome Painted Soapstone Panel Old cracks to panels Qing Dynasty – 18th Century
s i z e: 9.5cm high, 9cm wide – 3¾ ins high, 3 ins wide The people of ancient China were fond of making love. They saw it as a way of harmonising the energies of heaven and earth, and thus of continuing nature’s cycle of creation. So love became an art, the art of living, and very early on Chinese treatises appeared in which sexual positions and techniques were described in practical terms and with a wealth of detail. It was also an integral part of Chinese religion and the Taoists combined sexual practices with their techniques of meditation.
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 An Ancient Egyptian Carved Wooden Foot from a Statue of a Tomb Guardian New Kingdom 1550–1069bc
s i z e: 5.5cm high, 6.5cm deep, 3cm wide – 2¼ ins high, 2½ ins deep, 1¼ ins wide p rov e na nc e: Ex English collection Despite the fertility of the Nile valley timber was always a precious commodity in ancient Egypt. Many trees were grown for their fruit such as the date palm and fig, but they were also used for building and the construction of furniture. The tamarisk and the sycamore fig were both widely used for the making of coYns as well as for carving into statuary. Ash was sometimes used for weapons, particularly those requiring flexibility. The finest wood used by the Egyptians was imported cedar from the Lebanon and this was much used for making the very best coYns.
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 An Ancient Egyptian Faïence Beaker With A Cartouche Inscribed For The Pharaoh Rameses III 1182–1151bc New Kingdom – 20th Dynasty
s i z e: 5.5cm high, 4.5cm dia. – 2¼ ins high, 1¾ ins dia. p rov e na nc e: Ex Californian Private collection Inscribed in a darker blue cartouche for the New Kingdom Pharaoh Rameses III this beaker is a ritual funerary vessel that was most probably found in his tomb. These were also made in metal and carved from stone, but the blue of the faïence used for this funerary beaker was important because of its symbolic associations with resurrection and rebirth.
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 A Scrimshaw Marine Ivory Whalebone and Baleen Cane the Carved Sperm Whale Tooth Handle Formed as a Clenched Fist set upon a Panbone Shaft with Baleen Inlay Circa 1840–70
s i z e: 92cm long – 36¼ ins long f i s t: 12cm long, 5 cm wide – 4¾ ins long, 2 ins wide Although a popular item for the scrimshanders to craft these walking canes were never made to be used on board ship. Both useful and ornamental on dry land they were mostly made to trade with on the quayside when the whalers returned to port. Known as the Friendship hand the fist was symbolic of hospitality and goodwill.
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 A Collection of Three Specimen Shells: a: A radiated tortoiseshell Geochelone Radiata b: A Burmese brown tortoiseshell Geochelone Emys c: A Mexican slider turtle shell Pseudemys Scripta Cataspila 19th Century
s i z e: a: 18cm high, 29cm long, 20cm wide – 7 ins high, 11½ ins long, 8 ins wide b: 18cm high, 36cm long, 27cm wide – 7 ins high, 14¼ ins long, 10½ wide c: 15cm high, 33cm long, 24cm wide – 6 ins high, 13 ins long, 9½ ins wide s e e: Finch and Co catalogue no. 15, item no. 6 for a specimen of an Indian Star Tortoise Tortoises and turtles are amongst the earth’s oldest living of all reptiles. They first appeared 200 million years ago, but have evolved little in the intervening time so that the living species are remarkably similar to those that lived side by side with the dinosaurs. The radiated tortoise owes its survival to the gentle nature of the Antandroy people of Madagascar who venerate the tortoises which they call Sokakes. They will not harm them under any circumstances and some special individuals have been known to villagers for many decades. The Burmese brown tortoise is the largest Asiatic tortoise found in Assam, Burma, Thailand and the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo. It is a highland species which is becoming increasingly scarce as it is usually eaten almost whenever it is found. The Mexican slider turtle lives around the gulf coast of Mexico in ponds and other fresh water pools. Its range extends from the arid north above Tamaulipas, south to the vicinity of Punta del Morro, Veracruz. Very little is known about its life and eating habits, although it is regularly sold in the local markets as food.
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 An Interesting and Curious Watercolour Miniature on Ivory of Christ the Redeemer Walking Amongst Lions Set in a Painted Convex Glass Mount in an Alabaster Frame by James Bisset (1762–1832) Artist, Writer, Collector, Art Dealer and Poet A label to the reverse inscribed Bisset Birmingham Circa 1800 s i z e: 16.5cm dia. – 6½ ins dia. A notable figure in Birmingham’s cultural and commercial life, James Bisset was born in Perth, Scotland and moved to Birmingham at the age of 13 where his brother was a merchant. He became an apprenticed japanner and by 1785 was listed in a local street directory as a miniature painter. He invented a method of painting on the inside of convex glass and by 1797 was advertising as a fancy painter. Having developed a successful business producing ornamental wares in the early 1800s he became a coiner of medals permitted to use the title Medallist to his Majesty and designed one commemorating Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. In 1808 he established Birmingham’s first museum and picture gallery in a large house in New Street displaying everything from paintings to taxidermy, and medals to works of savage nations all of which was visited by one of the greatest collectors of the day, Sir William Hamilton.
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 A Fine Flemish Carved Ivory Figure of Christ Crucified Christo Vivo Second half 17th Century s i z e: 39cm long, 19cm wide – 15¼ ins long, 7½ ins wide s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 17, item no. 152, for an Indo-Portuguese ivory of Christ on the cross Through carvings such as this it was the intention of the Church to harness the natural sense of sympathy and pity for the suVering of others in order to inspire and deepen faith in Christ and to strengthen devotion to him. The image of Christ on the cross became both the sign of God’s love and his sacrifice for humanity, as well as the focus for humanity’s own compassion for the suVering saviour. The carving of His muscular body supporting an uplifted head with eyes wide open conveys to the faithful his physical strength and purposeful endurance, whilst the whiteness of the ivory symbolises his purity and divinity. In the throes of agony, but still alive, he prays to God Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34) Christ is praying for humanity. Although dying a brutal death, he intercedes for the salvation of others and achieves the divine.
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 A Medieval Mosaic Cosmati Floor Fragment Inlaid with Red and Green Porphyry 10th–13th Century
s i z e: approx: 7cm x 6cm – 2¾ ins x 2¼ ins s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 13, item no. 16, for another fragment Ancient Roman Porphyry beloved by Emperors and Caesars for its Imperial purple colour was extensively recycled by the Scalpellini of Rome who called it Porfido Rosso Antico. They sliced it thinly and used it for the famous Cosmati pavements of European churches, and as inlays for altars and furniture.
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 An Italian After The Antique Bronze Belvedere Antinous on Fitted Wood Base 18th Century
s i z e: 21cm high, 8¼ ins high / 24cm high – 9½ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e: Ex English collection sold at auction 2012 The Paris Musée Central des Arts in 1800 described the antique marble known as the Belvedere Antinous as one of the most perfect statues that has come down to us from antiquity. The statue had been ceded by treaty to the French in 1797 and arrived in Paris in 1798 in a triumphal procession. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars it was removed and arrived back in Rome in January 1816. Antinous was a name given to figures of male youths and as early as 1545 the statue was known by this title. It became one of the most famous sights to be seen in Rome and was often drawn by visiting artists. It was popular with both collectors and connoisseurs as well as with sculptors. Bernini, Duguesnoy and Poussin all studied it, as did Hogarth later in the 18th century who claimed that in regard to the utmost beauty of proportion it is allowed to be the most perfect..... of any of the antique statues. During the 18th century the Antinous was reproduced from the original in a variety of diVerent sizes and materials with both arms complete.
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 Two Palau Islands Women’s Turtle-shell Ceremonial Dishes Micronesia First half 19th Century
s i z e: 21.5cm wide, 13cm deep, 2.5cm high – 8½ ins wide, 5 ins deep, 1 ins high 20cm wide, 14.5cm deep, 2cm high – 8 ins wide, 5¾ ins deep, ¾ ins high s e e: Finch and Co catalogue no. 10, item no. 2, catalogue no. 14, item no. 42, for other examples p rov e na nc e: Collected by Admiral Sir William Edward Parry in the early 1820’s thence by descent. Admiral Parry (1790–1855) travelled widely. He was an Arctic Explorer who attempted one of the earliest expeditions to the North Pole. His daughter Lucy who married the son of Admiral Robert Coote inherited these dishes. Their son Stanley Victor Coote had a daughter, Honor Dorothea who married Colonel Anthony Charles Barnes. In 1947 the Colonel died. In 1983 his wife Honor moved into a retirement home and sold the contents of the property, which included these dishes. She died a year later. Made by women of the Palau Islands by heating the turtle shell in hot water and then shaping it in wooden moulds, these dishes are of ceremonial importance. They are used as a form of currency during ritual exchanges and regarded by the women as their exclusive property. They are gifted to the next generation through the female line and are kept as treasured heirlooms.
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 A Taxidermy Specimen of a African Spurred Tortoise Geochelone Sulcata 19th Century s i z e: 27cm high, 52.5cm long, 33.5cm wide – 10¾ ins high, 20¾ ins long, 13¼ ins wide C.I.T.E.S documentation available The African spurred tortoise is the largest mainland tortoise species and can be identified by its typical wide honey-coloured carapace with well-defined growth annuli on the scutes, and by its head and limbs thickly covered in scales. The species derives its name from the presence of two or three strong spurs on each side of the tail. It is an arid country species found right across the southern fringes of the Sahara and uses its sandy colouration as camouflage. Much of its habitat is so dry that it may not have access to standing water for years so it avoids excessive moisture loss by having an impermeable skin and by digging shallow burrows in the ground, sometimes sloping down to a depth of 30 inches. In captivity they have been known to live upwards of 50 years, but will drink water far more frequently and in greater quantities than it would ever have access to in the wild.
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 A Very Rare English Gold and Tortoiseshell SnuV Box Mounted with a Carved Ivory Micro Miniature of Nelson’s Historic Formation of a Double Line of Frigates at the Battle of Trafalgar By G Stephany and J Dresch With Chester Hallmark Contained in contemporary gilt tooled red Morocco box Circa 1805–10
s i z e: Box: 2.5cm high, 8.5cm wide, 4cm deep – 1 ins high, 3¼ ins wide, 1½ ins deep Case: 3cm high, 9.5cm wide, 5cm deep – 1¼ ins high, 3¾ ins wide, 2 ins deep s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 17, item no. 153, for a micro-miniature of a frigate under sail by Stephany & Dresch c f: A very similar box showing the distinctive British fleet dispositions under Nelson’s tactics at Trafalgar exists in the private collection of Lloyds of London. It is also gold mounted, but made of wood reputedly from a splinter of the Victory. It is said to have belonged to Lady Emma Hamilton and was presented to Lloyds by H E Fulford in 1939 Nelson’s highly original tactical decision at Trafalgar to not form the single line ahead for battle, which had hitherto been sacrosanct and strictly enjoined by Naval Fighting instructions, but to attack in the order of sailing in two columns in order to overwhelm the rear half of the enemy’s line was to change the course of naval warfare. His decision to delegate the direction of one line to the second in command was also novel, as was his releasing of his Captains from too rigid a conformity with the standing instructions: No Captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy. Nelson was defying conventional naval warfare by ordering his Captains to split the British fleet and spear the enemy’s line to create a pell mell battle. Prior to Nelson’s initiative which was forever after known as The Nelson Touch, two opposing fleets would meet and fight in a formal line of battle which rarely achieved a decisive result. Using innovative direct tactics Nelson aimed to cause a mêlée in which the superior experience of the British sailors who spent all their time at sea, would be conclusive. Stephany & Dresch worked in London and Bath in the late 18th and early 19th century. Their work became so popular amongst fashionable society that they were granted the title of sculptors in miniature on ivory to their Majesties by George III. Their carved ivory scenes were regarded as marvels of micro-technique, and the tiny, but accurate naturalistic construction made their miniatures unable to ever be replicated.
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 An Ancient Roman Marble of the Goddess Cybele The Magna Mater seated on her Throne with her Attendant Lions 2nd Century ad
s i z e: 24cm high, 17cm wide, 13.5cm deep – 9½ ins high, 6¾ ins wide, 5¼ ins deep p rov e na nc e: Ex Private Austrian collection Purchased Cairo 1965 Cybele was the great mother goddess of Anatolia associated in myth with her youthful lover Attis. As mistress and Queen of her people Cybele was responsible for their well being in all respects. She is primarily a goddess of fertility, but also cures disease, gives oracles and protects her people in war. She is also the goddess of mountains and therefore the mistress of wild nature as symbolised by her attendant lions. Her cult was especially favoured by women and after her arrival in Rome on April 12th, 204bc her worship quickly spread through the provinces particularly in Gaul and Africa where it was readily accepted as a municipal cult. Ecstatic states including prophetic rapture and insensibility to pain were characteristic of her worship.
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 An English Tudor Oak Corbel Depicting a Snarling Lion Traces of original gesso and red polychrome First half 16th Century
s i z e: 65cm high, 23cm wide, 42cm deep – 25½ ins high, 9 ins wide, 16½ ins deep p rov e na nc e: Ex Museum of London, Ex English collection Before the Great Fire of London in 1666 the buildings of the city were described by a French visitor Monsieur Mission as all wood and plaster.... the storeys were low and became wider and wider as they went up. Everything was askew and looked as if it was about to collapse. After the fire Parliament declared the city was to be rebuilt in brick and stone. This magnificent carved corbel of an English heraldic lion was probably from a merchant’s house in the old pre-fire City of London.
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 A Georgian Silver and Agate Pocket SnuV Box Inscribed Joseph Mallord William Turner and dated 1785 A note inside stating This agate and silver snuV box was presented to Joseph Mallord William Turner dated and signed 17·85 Agate panel to base with crack 18th Century s i z e: 2.5cm high, 5.5cm wide, 5.5cm deep – 1 ins high, 2¼ ins wide, 2¼ ins deep J.M.W.Turner (1775–1851) has a good claim to be the most perceptive and creative artist that Britain has ever produced. Born on 23rd April 1775 above his father’s barbers shop at 21 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, from an early age he displayed an interest in drawing and art. In 1785, at the age of ten, he went to live with his maternal uncle at Brentford. It is said, for the sake of his health. Whilst at school in Brentford he began to earn his first sums of money by the practice of art. He coloured some of the plates of Boswell’s Antiquities for the foreman of the Brentford Distillery and was paid four pence each. Shortly after this his copies of engravings were being sold in his father’s shop for a shilling each. His uncle also had a house near Sunningwell in Oxford and Turner’s earliest preserved drawing Folly Bridge was executed whilst he was living there, it bears the date 1787, he was twelve years old. The next year he was sent to school in Margate and there he began his enduring love of the sea and the English coast. In 1789 when he was fourteen he was apprenticed to Thomas Malton, the architectural topographer, and the strict discipline of draughtsmanship taught him perspective and gave him a trained eye. On 11th December 1789 he was admitted into the Royal Academy Schools, after a years probation, and in 1790 at the age of fifteen his first watercolour was shown in the Academy’s exhibition. Perhaps when Turner left for Brentford his father presented him with the going away present of this snuV box. It is said that he was always very fond of his eldest son, and a memoir by Peter Cunningham written in 1852, the year after Turner’s death, tells of when they both visited a customers London residence for the father to dress his clients hair, the 5 year old artist made his first drawing from a coat of arms upon a table, and that ever after this his father when asked by customers what his son was going to be would proudly reply William is going to be a painter!
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 Sir Joseph Hooker’s Painted Tin Botanical Specimen Collecting Box with Inner Lead Press Decorated with English Landscape Scenes to the Outer and Inner Lids A Paper Label to the Interior States Sir Joseph Hooker OM.GCSI, Late Director Kew Gardens Early 19th Century s i z e: 15cm wide, 10cm deep, 3cm high – 6 ins wide, 4 ins deep, 1¼ ins high p rov e na nc e: Gifted by Sir Joseph Hooker to his grandson John Hooker in 1911 Thence by descent Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817–1911) trained as a doctor in Edinburgh, but his principal interest was always botany. Between 1839 and 1843 he travelled as assistant surgeon and botanist on HMS Erebus visiting many places including Madeira, the Cape of South Africa and the Antarctic. Between 1848 and 1851 he travelled through Northern India and the Himalayas surveying the flora there and sending back specimens to Kew. Amongst them were many previously unknown species of rhododendron about which he wrote a book, followed by two volumes of Himalayan Journals and a work entitled The Flora of British India. In 1865 he succeeded his father Sir William Hooker as Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. His important contributions to Kew include the first Jodrell Laboratory, the T range glasshouses and the order beds where the plants are arranged according to the Bentham-Hooker classification. In 1885 he retired as Director and his role was taken over by his son-in-law William Thiselton-Dyer (1843–1928).
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 An English Cased Taxidermy Specimen of a Magnificent Golden Eagle Aquila Chrysaëtos 19th Century
s i z e: 108.5cm high, 76.5cm wide, 40.5cm deep – 42¾ ins high, 30 ins wide, 16 ins deep s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 17, item no. 97, for another example The Golden Eagle was called Aquila by the ancient Romans who regarded the bird as the symbol of Rome’s power and supremacy. The image of the eagle was borne as a standard before every Roman legion. Made of silver or gold and always with extended wings, it often held a thunderbolt and since the age of Marius, (circa 157–86 bc), had become the signum of the whole Roman army.
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 A Finely Patinated Fijian Hardwood Pole Club Bowai the decorated flared handle with concave butt inscribed with an inventory no. XXVII.d. Early 19th Century
s i z e: 115cm long – 45¼ ins long s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 15, item no. 41, for another Bowai It is believed that Fijian weapons have been made in a number of stylised forms for over 300 years. Fijian traditions and surviving clubs that have been passed down through succeeding generations suggest that the indigenous weapons made and used by the 19th century warriors of the Islands were identical in shape and form to those of at least 200 –300 years before. Each diVerent shape has a special name, and for each club a diVerent rooted ironwood sapling is trained over time, and then harvested and meticulously crafted into a formidable weapon. These clubs were used in divination rites and would be stood upon their butt ends. If they remained standing during the ceremonies the omens were good, but if they fell over, it was bad.
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 A Fine Collection of Five Fijian Chiefs Breast Ornaments Tabua fashioned from sperm whale teeth All with old aged patination Early 19th Century
s i z e s: 18cm wide – 7 ins wide (max) – 14.5cm wide – 5¾ ins wide (min) s e e: Finch and Co catalogue no. 13, item no. 117 and 119, catalogue no. 16, item no. 126, for other examples Made to be worn as pendants from sinnet cord suspended through stone drilled holes to each end these chest ornaments had a profound ceremonial significance on the Pacific Island of Fiji. Worn only by Chiefs and men of rank they were important ritual exchange items at dynastic gatherings such as weddings.
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 A Russian Trompe l’Oeil Desk Weight with Summer Fruiting Berries and their leaves carved of Agates Jade and Amethyst on a Black Marble Slab laid upon a faceted Grey Jasper Plinth 19th Century
s i z e: 18cm wide, 11.5cm deep, 5.5cm high – 7 ins wide, 4½ ins deep, 2¼ ins high s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 10, item no. 75 for another example The Russian Urals and the Altai mountains of Mongolia are the richest source in the world for decorative coloured stones. Mined in large blocks rather than as small fragments these stones would then be transported six hundred miles to the Imperial stone cutting manufacturers. Founded by Peter the Great in 1721 at the time of the construction of the Peterhof Palace and Park, the lapidary and grinding mill specialised in creating small ornamental works of art that displayed the wealth of Russian mineralogy.
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 Two French Palais Royale Ormolu Mounted Mother of Pearl Boxes a: A jewellery or trinket box, the lid inset with a painted gouache of a townscape entitled Ansicht von Wien and signed Wigand b: A sewing box containing sewing accessories and a gold mounted dome shaped thimble, the lid inset with a painted gouache of a landscape entitled Wien und Dobling Early 19th Century s i z e: a: 4cm high, 13.5cm wide, 8cm deep – 1½ ins high, 5¼ ins wide, 3 ins deep b: 3.5cm high, 13cm wide, 6.5cm deep – 1¼ ins high, 5 ins wide, 2½ ins deep Originally made in the workshops of the Palace of the Duc d’ Orleans in Paris, these mother of pearl luxury articles became popular with fashionable Parisian society. These two examples of Palais Royale boxes with their painted picturesque Viennese views were most probably made for the Austrian market and are fine examples of the grand tour souvenirs brought home by the aristocratic tourists of the day.
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 A German Gilt Cabinet Bronze of a Grotesque Hooknosed Hunchback Dressed as Mr Punch standing on a silver oval, mounted on a stepped rock crystal base, a baton of rock crystal in his hand, now reduced. His hunchback separately cast, now missing Second half 17th Century
s i z e: 10cm high – 4 ins high / 14cm high – 5½ ins high (including base) The character Pulcinella or Punch originated in Italy and many of these small sculptures were inspired by Jacque Callot’s popular suite of engravings Varie Figure Gobbi published in Florence in 1616. Mr Punch arrived in Britain during the Restoration period and during this time the puppet show of Punch and Judy was seen by Samuel Pepys being performed in Covent Garden. During the 17th and 18th centuries dwarves with their distorted bodies resulting from growth disorders were considered a miraculous caprice of nature and highly venerated for their wit and as entertainers at most of the princely courts of Europe. They were fully integrated into baroque society as is shown by the dwarf jester called Hante who served at the Dresden court of Augustus the Strong.
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 A Finely Turned Green Serpentine Verde Di Prato Gilt Copper Mounted Bodkin Case Italian or French Fine condition 18th Century
s i z e: 11cm long – 4¼ ins long Some of the most famous buildings in Florence are ornamented with this green stone from Prato with its glinting spots of altered enstatite, relics of the crystals that formed in the original igneous rock. In the interior decoration of the Florentine Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore it is combined with white marble to great eVect. First used in the 12th century, Henry Moore used it for a sculpture of a mother and child in 1931. Thereafter quarrying dwindled and ceased in the 1950’s.
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 A Rare Central Zaire Lega Sacred Ceremonial Headdress formed from the Bony Armour of a Temmincks Pangolin Early 20th Century
s i z e: 38cm long â€“ 15 ins long s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 12, item no. 31, for a specimen of a Temmincks Pagolin c f: A Lega hat made from a Pangolin in the Stanley collection of African Art at the University of Iowa Museum, USA The Lega live in eastern Kivu province, Zaire, a densely forested area close to the Equator. They live by hunting and gathering, fishing and some slash and burn agriculture. Worn by a high-ranking initiate of the Lega Bwami society this distinctive headdress demonstrates the status of its owner. Regarded as a sacred object it was used in dances and initiations carrying an important symbolic message. Associated with power and authority, for the Lega the pangolin is also a cultural hero who they believe taught them how to roof their houses with large leaves similar to the arrangement if its bony scales. A great many African objects are decorated with stylised isosceles triangles, which directly refer to the pangolinâ€™s armour. It is also a pattern used in the scarification of the body. The pangolin is regarded as a sacred animal by the Lega and is never killed. Strict laws guarantee its protection. If an animal does meet with an accidental death, this creates such a ritual disequilibrium that it must be expiated by extensive appropriate rituals and distributions. Thus, pangolins were always found dead by the Lega and never hunted.
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 A Fine African Central Zaire Kuba Women’s Ceremonial Ivory Pestle the grip indented and worn smooth from a long period of use Old smooth and silky patina 19th Century
s i z e: 48cm long – 19 ins long / 51cm high – 20 ins high (including stand) s e e: Finch and Co catalogue no. 13, item no. 47, and catalogue no. 16, item no. 99, for other examples These pestles are used by Kuba women to pound food for ceremonial occasions and are shaped and patinated by decades of use. They are believed to be emblematic of a powerful ancestral hunter and are ritually gifted through the female line, with each succeeding generation regarding them as status imbued objects.
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 A Fine Japanese Carved Boxwood Netsuke Depicting a Human Skeleton Attacking a Wolf the Fur Well Rendered the Ivory Eyes Inlaid with Horn Signed Shoko, Hida School Mid 19th Century
s i z e: 4.5cm high, 5.5cm long, 2 cm wide – 1¾ ins high, 2¼ ins long, ¾ wide c f: Raymond Bushell: Netsuke Hanbook, no. 199, for a very similar Netsuke by Shoko, and Neil Davey: Netsuke, no. 741, for another Netsuke by Shoko of a skeleton mixing Miso, Ex Mrs Isobel Sharpe collection This is a fine netsuke by the naturalistic craftsman Shoko of the Hida School who specialised in carving wood netsuke of animals and figures. He was particularly fond of showing his skill at carving skeletons, which were perfectly anatomically correct. The subject matter is probably an allusion to the legend of Komachi and Fukakasa Shosho. Fukakasa was a tempestuous general who lost his life in a vain eVort to prove his love for Komachi, while she survived into a loveless old age. To the Japanese the tempestuousness of Fukakasa symbolised by the wolf, and the pride of Komachi symbolised by the skeleton, allegorise the vanity of life.
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 A Large Curious South German Carved Ivory Memento Mori of a Human Skull with Lower Jaw displaying lost teeth and crooked grin Late 17th – early 18th Century
s i z e: 7cm high, 5cm wide, 9cm deep – 2¾ ins high, 2 ins wide, 3½ ins deep s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 13, item nos. 105, and 106 for other smaller examples Known as the Deaths Head carved ivories of the human skull were popular in Baroque Germany as contemplative reminders of the transience of earthly life. However, there was also a rising scientific interest in human anatomy, so a carefully carved ivory model of a skull became a must have for a collectors Kunstkammer.
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 An Ancient Egyptian Alabaster OVering Table
Old labels to reverse inscribed E.E. Thebes and another Egyptian Alabaster OVering Dish Old Kingdom or a Little Later. Found in a Tomb at Thebes. Ex P.E. Negus Collection The Label Marked J.D.R. Fryer Collection Old cracks and museum restoration Old Kingdom 2686–2181bc s i z e: 36cm dia., approx 1.5cm deep – 14¼ ins dia. approx ½ ins deep p rov e na nc e: Found in a Temple at Thebes by the Egyptian Exploration Fund in the late 19th century Ex collection P.E. Negus Ex J.D.R. Fryer collection Ex R. Widdowson collection Stone oVering tables were an important element of an ancient Egyptian private tomb and were unusually placed in an accessible location so that oVerings could be brought to it by the funerary priests or the relatives of the deceased. Later the upper surfaces of the tables were carved with the loaves, trussed ducks and vessels required so that the stone carved images could serve as magical substitutes for the real food oVerings. Sometimes there were cups, grooves or channels cut into the surface so that liquids such as beer and wine could be poured onto the table and oVered to the deceased. This fine early alabaster table of simple design would have functioned with oVerings of carefully prepared real food.
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Finch And Co 001-120.indd 81
 An Ivory Cane Handle in the Form of a Human Head with 36 Phrenological Markings for the Mental and Moral Faculties According to the System of Dr Franz Joseph Gall On an ebony shaft 19th Century
s i z e: 90cm long – 35½ ins long Phrenology is the study of the natural language of the mental organs situated in various parts of the brain. Moral and intellectual qualities were supposedly ascertainable from a study of the external configuration of the skull. Begun by Dr Franz Joseph Gall (1758– 1828) in Vienna and elaborated to extreme length by his followers, phrenology was valuable in demonstrating for the first time that diVerent regions of the brain might serve specific purposes, and from it developed the seminal concept of cerebral localisation.
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 An Unusual Pair of Lucky Shoes Carved from Scottish Cannel Coal 19th Century
s i z e: 8cm high, 14.5cm long, 4cm wide – 3 ins high, 5¾ ins long, 1½ ins wide s e e: Finch and Co catalogue no. 17, item no. 32, for a parrot coal table Cannel coal is found in large masses in the coal measures of Newcastle and Scotland. It was used for carving ornaments and furniture and the veneer of furniture. It is a sapropelic coal that is composed largely of finely disintegrated plant debris. It has more volatile hydrocarbons than jet and fragments burn more easily with more flame and less smoke. In 19th century Scotland there was a small industry making snuVboxes, miniature tables and shoes such as these. Jewellery was seldom made. In Whitby the 19th century jet workers sometimes used cannel coal for larger sculptures.
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 A Fine Chinese Export Reverse Glass Painting depicting a Courtier holding a Hawk and his Seated Lady Companion with a Pipe within an Oriental Garden In original Chinese frame Mid 18th Century
s i z e: 31cm high, 35cm wide – 12¼ ins high, 13¾ ins wide 33.5cm high, 42cm wide – 13¼ ins high, 16½ ins wide (framed) s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 17, item no. 6, for a Chinese Export reverse glass painting of dead game In England in the mid 18th century there was a great demand for Chinese reverse paintings on glass of native Chinese landscape scenes with or without figures. Generally the early export glass paintings used delicate palettes, and the later paintings of the 19th century lack the refinement and quality found in this particular example. As the trade progressed the subjects became simpler and tended to reflect the more general tourist appeal of the Chinese export manufacturers of the mid to late 19th century.
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 A Japanese Ivory Okimono Depicting a Human Skeleton Contemplating a Skull Holding a Lotus Blossom and a Rosary Memento Mori Signed Meji Period – late 19th Century s i z e: 6.5cm high – 2½ ins high The first purpose of a Japanese carved Okimono is to give pleasure as a decorative placed object. The second is by its subject matter to provoke thought. In this example a contemplation of the vanity of life.
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 A English Ivory Toothpick Box with a Gold Mounted Micro Ivory Miniature Depicting a Picturesque Landscape with a Man Fishing Set on a Blue Glass Ground By G.Stephany and J.Dresch Late 18th – early 19th Century
s i z e: 1.5cm high, 9cm wide, 2.5cm deep – ½ ins high, 3½ ins wide, 1 ins deep s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 17, item no. 153, for a micro ivory miniature of a frigate by Stephany and Dresch c f: Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, a very similar box with inscribed label Done by G.Stephany and J.Dresch Sculptors in Ivory Working in London and Bath in the late 18th and early 19th century G.Stephany and J.Dresch became so popular amongst fashionable society that they were granted the title of Sculptors in Miniature on ivory to their Majesties by George III. Marvels of micro-ivory technique, their products were highly sought after and when their work was exhibited at the Royal Academy wealthy collectors would outbid each other in order to obtain them.
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 A German Turned Ivory Puzzle Ball Containing Several Smaller Separately Turned Spheres Within 19th Century
s i z e: 6cm dia. â€“ 2Âź ins dia. The Renaissance obsession with perspective and solid geometry gave rise to these carvings where the ambition was to carve one shape inside another as many times as possible. Rudolf II of Prague was so fascinated by the extraordinary and ingenious feats of the Florentine craftsmen in ivory that he began to practise the art himself, and so the tradition of princely and aristocratic ivory turning for pleasure was begun.
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 An Antique Narwhal Tusk Monodon Monoceros Fine smooth patina, and mellow golden colour Early 19th Century
s i z e: 203.5cm long â€“ 80Âź ins long s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 3, item no. 40, catalogue no. 7, item no. 129, catalogue no. 13, item no. 123, for other examples p rov e na nc e: Ex Private Fijian collection C.I.T.E.S documentation available The twisted spear of the narwhal was for long believed to have grown on the brow of a glorious, virtuous and beautiful beast known as the unicorn. The horn was therefore possessed of powerful magical properties and in Renaissance Europe became the chief detector of the presence of poison. Opinions varied concerning the mode of its operation and the causes of its power, but that power itself was very seldom questioned. Upon detecting poison the horn would sweat and become clammy to the touch. Thus the horn of a narwhal was often simply laid upon the table during a courtly feast or banquet so that any change in its appearance might instantly be seen.
Finch And Co 001-120.indd 88
Finch And Co 001-120.indd 89
 A South Indian Sculpted Black Basalt Stone Figure of the Hindu God Krishna Modelled as a Boy Stealing the Butter Ball Decorated with Attached Silver Necklace and Earrings Bronze Anklets and Bracelets Probably from Orissa Late 18th Century
s i z e: 12.5cm high, 11cm deep, 6cm wide – 5 ins high, 4¼ ins deep, 2¼ ins wide Krishna is often described in Hindu legend as a mischievous, rather spoilt child whose mother was inclined to overlook the pranks he played on her and their neighbours. Once he climbed up to where storage jars containing milk, butter and curds were hung from the ceiling of the house and broke them and played with the butter that fell out. On another occasion he and his brother Balarama untied the neighbour’s calves and chased them and held onto their tails. Worse still they deliberately used their neighbours’ newly cleaned houses as a toilet in order to annoy them. When they complained to Krishna’s mother she was reluctant to be cross with him as he looked so innocent, and merely smiled at him indulgently. However, one day it seemed as if he had gone too far and had been caught eating earth. When he was reproached by his mother he denied it and invited her to look in his mouth and see for herself. Krishna is, after all, the supreme God and so when his mother looked in his mouth she saw not earth, but the whole of the universe with all of its continents, mountains, oceans, lightning, fire and wind together with all of the planets and stars enlightened by Nature, Mind, Destiny, Soul and Time.
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 An Interesting Islamic Indian Silver and Niello Pendant Directional Compass in the form of a Mango First half 19th Century
s i z e: 3cm long â€“ 1Âź ins long The compass set within the mango-shaped pendant always points east and thus to Mecca, so when worn the faithful would always know in which direction to pray. Mecca is central to Muslim life and obligatory pilgrimages Hajj must be made by every free adult Muslim of sound mind that has suYcient funds to cover his journey and the expenses of his family during his absence.
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 A Bering Sea Eskimo Inuit Toggling Harpoon Head Carved of Walrus Ivory in the Form of a Swimming Seal 19th Century
s i z e: 37.5cm long â€“ 14Âž ins long Toggling harpoon heads display an elegance that results from combining art and technology. The heads are fitted with short thong loops to which the float line is attached with a line fastener. Fore-shafts are also attached to the harpoon thong. Until they are ready to be fitted the heads are stored neatly on wooden mounts. Eskimos living in areas of seasonal ice cover use the toggling harpoon as the hunted animal is held fast and a direct connection to the hunter or to his kayak is made possible. It also makes hunting at seal breathing holes much more eVective.
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 An Ancient African Central Zaire Ivory Ceremonial Side Blown Trumpet Oliphant Aged dark honey coloured dimpled surface 18th – early 19th Century
s i z e: approx: 80cm high – 31½ ins high p rov e na nc e: Ex Belgian collection s e e: catalogue no. 3, item no. 100, for another ancient ivory oliphant African ivory side blown trumpets once served the prerogatives of leadership, they were prized regalia and often used for visual eVect. The sound produced by these oliphant’s is remarkably similar to the actual trumpeting of an elephant. By opening and closing the tone hole the trumpet blower can replicate the sounds of his language so that the eVect is of having the praises of the chief sung through the voice of the elephant in an instrument made from the animal; the ultimate form of accolade. Praise singing is only one of many functions that oliphant’s perform in West and Central Africa. They accompany court dances, funerals, weddings, investiture ceremonies, royal circumcisions, welcome diplomatic envoys, announce wrestling matches and even give directions to people lost in the forest.
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 A French Leather Backswording Guard the interior marked with a Red Napoleonic N Late 18th Century
s i z e: 15cm dia. (max) 12cm high – 6 ins dia. (max) 4¾ ins high p rov e na nc e: Ex English Private collection A backsword is a single-edged metal sword, but as steel was very expensive, and could be lethal, provincial contests were often fought with a stout stick. Backswording was used as practice for either fencing or swordsmanship. A straight ash or oak cudgel was placed through and held in a protective leather guard by the hand. To win a game one had to score a blood, which was to produce a one-inch long trickle of blood from a point above your opponents’ eyeline. Contestants were constantly looking for an opening to get under their opponents guard and then when they did, striking hard to make their mark.
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 A Persian Safavid Period Walrus Ivory I Shaped Dagger Handle Carved with calligraphic inscriptions above and below a figure of a ruler standing under an awning to the reverse a noble couple standing in a garden under an arch Old repairs Silky smooth worn patina 16th–17th Century s i z e: 12.5cm high, 5cm wide, 2cm deep – 5 ins high, 2 ins wide, ¾ ins deep Daggers worn tucked into a belt or suspended close to hand were the Islamic warrior’s personal weapon indispensable in close combat as well as eminently useful in everyday life. Perhaps because of their intimate nature daggers have often been highly decorated both for show and for pleasure. The arts of Iran in the 16th and 17th centuries were under the direct patronage of Safavid Shahs with both Court and commercial workshops producing goods of a fineness, elegance and quality that influenced the rest of the Muslim world. The figures carved on this dagger handle are of the same style found in miniatures painted in the texts and books of the Safavid period.
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 American Whale-Tooth and Baleen paper knife inscribed Captn J.Adams Whaler Emma New York the tooth inlaid with baleen and mother of pearl, the serrated blade made of baleen pierced with an open cross Fine patina and condition Late19th Century
s i z e: 28cm long â€“ 11 ins long In the archives of the American New Bedford, Massachusetts, Whaling Museum there is a logbook for the whaling ship Emma C Jones (active 1875 to 1879) which was part owned by Edward CoYn Jones. He was an agent for and part owner of numerous whaling vessels on the East Coast of America. His wife Emma Chambers Jones bore him four children, three of whom survived to maturity. She was physically very frail and spent most of her life under the care of doctors both in Litchfield, Connecticut and in New York City where she lived in an apartment house. Her diaries span the years 1876 to 1909 and describe her cultural and social activities in New York City, her friendship with the New Bedford artist Robert Swain GiVord (1840â€“1905) and her travels to Europe.
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 An Interesting Sailors Scrimshaw Turned and Carved Miniature Walrus Ivory Samovar and Pair of Tea Bowls and Saucers together with a Tea-Slop Bowl Probably American Circa 1850–75
s i z e s: 13cm high, 5 ins high (samovar) – 6cm dia. 2¼ ins dia. (bowl) 7cm dia. – 2¾ ins dia. (saucers) – 3.5cm dia. – 1½ ins dia. (tea bowls) A variety of toys were made by sailors and whalemen on board ship as gifts for their children upon their return from sea. In New England it was common practice for carpenters to create wooden toys as a side line. Young girls were often encouraged to play with dolls and dolls houses as it was thought to train them in childcare and housekeeping. This samovar is a working model in miniature, and when placed in a dolls house could be considered both educational and playful.
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 A Painting by Roman Black of an Australian Aboriginal Churinga Monogramed RB to bottom right hand corner A label to the reverse stating: Federation of British Artists Gallery, 6 SuVolk Street, Pall Mall East, London SW1 White Churinga Construction, Roman Black MA, RBA, Studio 13 Radnor Walk SW3 Acrylic and oil on paper laid on board Original gilt edged frame Circa 1964–65 s i z e: 69cm high, 18cm wide – 27 ins high, 7 ins wide 72cm high, 20.5cm wide – 28¼ ins high, 8 ins wide (framed) Roman Black was a professional artist and former university lecturer in ethnology and geography. Born in Poland in 1915, he lived in England from 1939. During the Second World War he served with the French Army and later in the British Merchant Navy as an able seaman in a four-masted sailing ship. After the War he converted a 50-year-old fishing boat and sailed from England to Spain and North Africa to paint and exhibit. He was elected in 1959 to the National Society of Painters and Sculptors and in 1963 to the Royal Society of British Artists. He regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Paris Salon. He is represented in various museums and art galleries in Europe, Australia and America. In 1964 Roman Black published a fascinating and informative book on Australian aboriginal art in which he described and illustrated aboriginal art of all ages, old and new. The chapter on sacred and ceremonial objects has a particularly interesting section on churingas and the symbolic meaning behind their totemic decoration and design. This painting was probably inspired by his research into these sacred objects.
Finch And Co 001-120.indd 98
Finch And Co 001-120.indd 99
 A Late Renaissance North Italian Bronze of a Bull after Giambologna Mounted on a Black Marble Base Light brown natural patina with translucent lacquer Early 17th Century
s i z e: 9cm high – 3½ ins high / 11cm high – 4¼ ins high (with base) p rov e na nc e: Ex English collection sold at auction 2012 Together with horses, bulls were one of the favourite subjects of animal bronzes of the Renaissance and were probably inspired by the ancient small votive antiquities of Egyptian, Greek and Roman origin. In Christian iconography the bull is the symbol of St Luke the Evangelist and was sacrificial.
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 A Japanese Carved Walrus Ivory Okimono of a Human Skull Memento Mori a large Python entwined around it with a Frog in its Jaws a Toad and Frog carved into the back of the Skull beneath the curling Snake Smooth silky old patina Meiji Period – late 19th century
s i z e: 5.5cm high, 5.5cm deep, 3.5cm wide – 2¼ ins high, 2¼ ins deep, 1¼ ins wide Okimono means carving to stand in an alcove and these miniature sculptures were made in Japan in the 19th century almost exclusively in ivory. They were often carved on commission for western patrons who required a larger rendering of a favourite netsuke. Their fine detail and highly skilled naturalistic carving suggests that they were undoubtedly intended as original works of art to be contemplated and enjoyed at leisure.
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 An Interesting English Regency After the Antique Glass Mosaic of Winter from the Ancient Romano British Villa of Bignor Sussex Discovered in July 1811 An Old Ink Inscription to the Reverse Reading Winter from the Mosaic Pavement at the Roman Villa at Bignor Sussex Presented to William Davey Dawes by W.Figg Circa 1811–1820 s i z e: 50cm high, 39cm wide – 19¾ ins high, 15¼ ins wide Nearby to both Arundel and Petworth the 1st–2nd century ad Romano-British villa at Bignor was a major archaeological find on English soil. The Ganymede mosaic pavement was discovered on July 18th, 1811 when the Bury field was being ploughed. Mr John Hawkins of Bignor Park took the excavation in hand and placed it under the supervision of Samuel Lysons, the leading antiquary of the day. Hawkins assisted by a farmer, Mr Tupper, the owner of the field, did nearly all the digging which lasted for eight years. The size and extent of the Villa together with the quality of the mosaic pavements must have been astonishing. The seven fine mosaic pavements found at Bignor Park rank in design and execution with the best found elsewhere in Britain, i.e. London, Silchester, Woodchester and Cirencester. It is clear that in the middle of the 4th century ad the villa was the home of a very prosperous merchant or dignitary who was able to provide himself with one of the largest country houses in Roman Britain and to decorate it with some of the costliest and finest mosaics in the province. In a room over 40 feet long was discovered a large mosaic pavement depicting the four seasons most of which had been destroyed by ash trees growing over it in the 18th century. The chief remaining object of interest was the head of Winter, in the appropriate North east corner, in an octagon of intersecting squares. The four seasons was a popular subject with the Roman designers and in the Conservatori Museum in Rome there is another large ancient pavement with a figure of Winter that closely resembles the one at Bignor. The powerfully drawn head and shoulders of the Bignor figure are covered with a British Celtic hooded cloak well known in the 3rd century ad throughout the Roman Empire for its thickness and warmth. Mentioned in Diocletian’s edict of prices (ad301) it commanded a higher price than any other similar garment. The figure holds a bare bough over his left shoulder and the cold eVect has been skilfully obtained by the use of the black, brown and blue grey tesserae of the figure on the white background. The decorative eVect of this carefully constructed Regency glass replica is as striking and great as that of the original ancient mosaic.
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Finch And Co 001-120.indd 103
 A Western Pacific Gilbert Islands String of Shark Tooth Currency Consisting of 113 Sharks Teeth 19th Century
s i z e: approx: 48cm long â€“ 19 ins long s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 6, item no. 94, for two Gilbert Islands shark tooth daggers The Gilbert Islands have been under continuous British rule since the 18th century and were once heavily populated. As a consequence, inter-tribal fighting was frequent with elaborate oVensive and defensive equipment extensively crafted on the Islands. As metal was generally unavailable, sharks teeth provided the sharp cutting edge woven into coconut fibre cordage and sewn into grooves on daggers and spears. Thick plaited coir combat armour was developed to counteract the lacerating eVect of these weapons worn with a spiky puVer fish skin helmet.
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 A Rare Fijian Chiefs Necklace Vuasagale Composed of 13 Sperm Whale Teeth Early 19th Century
s i z e: 12cm long – 4¾ ins long (max) / 9cm long – 3½ ins long (min) s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 12, item no. 39, for another Fijian Vuasagale p rov e na nc e: Ex Private Fijian collection Carefully shaped and polished the smaller teeth of the sperm whale were prized for making necklaces worn as ceremonial regalia by Fijian chiefs and men of rank. These Vuasagale were the forerunners of the split tooth necklace which used many more teeth and iron tools to make. With the advent of European whaling in the Pacific the supply of both the precious whales teeth and iron implements became much more available. By the late 19th century the sabre toothed necklace had become commonplace.
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 A Chinese Export Reverse Glass Painting of an English Maiden The portrait within its original gilt frame In fine condition Late 18th Century
s i z e: 50cm high, 35cm wide – 61cm high, 47.5cm wide (framed) 19¾ ins high, 13¾ ins wide – 24 ins high, 18¾ ins wide (framed) In 18th and early 19th century Canton a thriving export market existed for China trade paintings. Western subjects were copied from prints supplied by European traders. C.Toogood Downing writing in the early 19th century described the studios of the Chinese artists working for the export trade on China Street in Canton.... It may be mentioned in this place that the Chinese are very famous for their paintings on glass. This is an art, which is almost lost in Europe, but is very successfully practised in this country. This style of painting suits the Chinese artists very well as it exhibits the splendour of their colours. Painted glass must be very extensively used in China for ornamenting the houses etc., as even the suburbs without the walls of Canton, great numbers of shops for the sale of this single article are collected together, so that the foreigners have given the locality the name of Painter Street. Our Jack-tars are much caught by this showy material and generally carry away some trumpery specimens to dazzle the eye of the fair dame of Shadwell and Blackwall. C.Toogood Downing The Fan-Qui in China in 1836–7 Vol II, pg; 90–117, 1838.
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Finch And Co 001-120.indd 107
 An Ancient Roman Ivory of Aphrodite Pudica Probably an Attachment from a Banqueting or Dining Couch 1st–2nd Century ad
s i z e: 17cm high, 6.5cm wide, 2.5cm deep – 6¾ ins high, 2½ ins wide, 1 ins deep s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 18, item no. 80, for a Roman Bronze furniture mount p rov e na nc e: Ex Irish collection, purchased by the Grandfather in Paris in 1920s, thence by descent c f: Masterpieces of Ivory from the Walters Art Gallery. Richard H Randall, Jr.; catalogue no. 60, Bust of Alexander the Great that once ornamented a couch. With thanks to Paul Roberts of the British Museum for his assistance in the dating of this piece The simpler custom of sitting at a table for a meal was abandoned in later times by the Romans in favour of the ancient Greek custom of lying on a couch to eat. In the dining rooms where guests were received a particular arrangement of couches became necessary. A square table stood in the centre of the room surrounded on three sides by low couches whilst the fourth side remained open to access of the attending slaves. At the end of the Republic these arrangements changed when the use of round tables became more popular. The three couches were transformed into one following the curve of the table resembling the form of the Greek letter C. Such dining couches were richly ornamented and their bolsters and cushions would be upholstered to harmonise with the wall decorations and the mosaic pavement of the room. In a Pompeian wall painting a light awning is shown protecting the diners from the sun whilst one large bolster on the edge of the couch nearest the table serves as a prop for their left arms, their right being used exclusively for eating and drinking.
Finch And Co 001-120.indd 108
Finch And Co 001-120.indd 109
 A fine English Bronze Portrait Bust of Prince Rupert Nephew of Charles I Early 18th Century
s i z e: 19cm high – 7½ ins high Prince Rupert (1619–1682) was the grandson of King James I of England and VI of Scotland. He spent his early life in Holland where he had an outstanding career as a soldier. During the English Civil War he fought for the Royalists in most of the major battles and was promoted to General. After the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660 he distinguished himself in a naval career, becoming First Lord of the Admiralty in 1673. Prince Rupert was also an inventor of several metal working processes including mezzotint engraving. He is buried in the Crypt of Westminster Abbey.
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 A Scrimshaw Model of a Whaler’s Cannon Fired Harpoon with Barbs and Explosive Head Carved of Whalebone Sperm whale ivory and pan bone Late 19th – early 20th Century
s i z e: 37cm long – 14½ ins long p rov e na nc e: Ex English Private collection In the late 19th century the Norwegians invented an explosive killing head for harpoons and these became universally used by the Arctic whalers. They were fired from harpoon guns mounted on a swivel in the bow of a whaleboat and when the harpoon head entered the whale far enough a mechanism went oV that triggered an explosion. These harpoon heads made ice whaling in Arctic waters much more feasible because when an ordinary harpoon struck the whale it would often disappear under the ice, never to be found. The explosive device killed the whale before it could swim under the ice.
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 A Fine and Large Fijian Chief ’s Kava or Yaqona Bowl Tanoa Carved of Vesi Wood Early 19th Century s i z e: 17.5cm high, 66.5cm long, 48cm deep – 7 ins high, 26¼ ins long, 19 ins deep p rov e na nc e: Brought back from the Pacific in the 19th century by a British Diplomatic family Thence by descent Ex West Country Private collection s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 12, item no. 95, for another example Yagona is intoxicating liquor that is ritually drunk on the Isles of Fiji. It is made from an infusion of grated, chewed and pounded roots of a species of pepper plant Piper Methysticum that is indigenous to the Pacific Islands of the South Seas. The bowls used for the liquid are called Tanoa and are central to the ceremonies held in the meetinghouse. The tall straight growing forest trees known as Vesi were once sacred and the wood was reserved for making articles for chiefs and priests, the most significant of which is the Tanoa.
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 An African Western Cameroons Grasslands BanbankiTungo Carved Ivory Tusk with Silver Mounts Late 19th – early 20th Century
s i z e: 87cm wide – 34¼ ins wide c f: Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, USA, no. 72.12.41 (Paul Gebauer collection) for a very similar example believed to have been carved by the artist Bobe Ngincho By design these carved tusks closely resemble ivory carvings from Benin because the motifs are arranged in rows, but rather than representing a narrative scene as in Benin pieces, each band repeats icons that are commonly found in the Grasslands repertoire. The Baptist Missionary Paul Gebauer found these icons to have a symbolic meaning and interpretated them with the help of Chief Vugah II of Big Banbanki. The lizard and elephant motifs allude to royal power, the frog motifs refer to propagation and increase, the stylised spider motif to peace and protection, and the humans to the King’s retainers and supporters. Banbanki-Tungo was the most important centre for ivory carving in the Cameroon Grasslands and several examples of these tusks exist in the Paul Gebauer collection in the Portland Museum of Art.
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 A Fine Large Fijian Sperm Whale Tooth Breast Pendant Tabua Old smooth silky patina 19th Century s i z e: 18.5cm wide – 7¼ ins wide s e e: Finch & Co catalogue no. 13, item no. 81, and catalogue no. 18, item no. 83, for other examples Tabua are important symbols of rank worn on the breast by men and have a powerful value as ritual exchange items. The Methodist missionary Dean remarked in 1921 that the fates of men, clans and tribes have often depended upon the way in which the whale’s tooth has been presented or received.
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 A Rare and Interesting Set of Twenty-Seven Specimen Wood Dummy Books Each with one or two printed leather labels: satinwood east indies, elm pollard english, ash english, butternut america, fustic south america, lacewood levant, orange tree, laburnam english, walnut english, hemlock brunswick, palmetto india, coromandel, locust tree north america, hackmatack canada, red cedar new south wales, sycamore english, birch english, harewood, camphor wood brazil, satinwood porto rico, larch scotch, red pine america, mahogany africa, teak moulmein, mahogany panama, teak africa, white cedar new brunswick, rock elm america, red fir baltic, mahogany cuba, pencil cedar north america, cocuswood west indies, apple english boxwood west indies Early 19th Century s i z e s: Most approximately: 28cm high – 11 ins high Three: 24cm high – 9½ ins high p rov e na nc e: Private Collection Christies, London, 16th Sep 1999, (sale no. 6182, lot 71) Wood has been a matter of interest and concern to human society for thousands of years. Primeval man used wood for tools and weapons even before he fashioned clothes to wear. Wood was highly versatile and could be used as firewood, for building shelters or windbreaks of sticks covered in animal skins, as well as for handles and shafts for stone tools. Today, knowledge of the woods used in furniture making is not just a question of connoisseurship. It is a fundamental requirement for understanding any piece of furniture and essential for the dealer or collector who is trying to assess the quality and worth of an antique piece. Most woods used in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to make English furniture grew in those parts of the world under British rule and control as they were more easily traded and transported home. It has been said that, in this respect, the story of British furniture is the story of Britain’s development as a commercial and colonial power.
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the Walters Art Gallery by Richard H Randall, Jr. Sotheby’s, 1985 Robins, Gay; The Art of Ancient Egypt, B.M London 1997 Ross, Doran, H; Elephant, University of California, Los Angeles, 1992 Sandars, NK; Prehistoric Art in Europe, Penguin Books, 1968 Scammon, Charles.M; The Marine Mammals of the North Western Coast of North America, Dover Publications, 1968 Scott, Jonathan; The Pleasures of Antiquity, Yale, 2003 Seipel, Wilfred; Exotica, Skira, Vienna, 2000 Selman; 18th Century Ethnographic Collections in the Hancock Musuem, Newcastle, 2003 Sloane, Kim; Enlightenment, Discovering the World in the 18th Century, British Museum Press, 2003 Snyder, J.B; Canes, SchiVer, 1993 Stackpole, E.A; Scrimshaw at Mystic Seaport, Marine Historical Ass., 1958 Stanley, Tim, Palace & Mosque, V&A Publications, 2004 Syndram, Dirk; Gems of the Green Vault in Dresden, Koehler and Amelang, Munchen, 2000 Syson, L; and Thornton, D; Objects of Virtue, BM Press, 2001 Tait, Hugh; Catalogue of the Waddesdon Bequest, BM Press, 1991 Tanner, Julia; From Pacific Shores, University of Cambridge, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 1999 Taylor, Colin, F.; The Plains Indian, Salamander Books, 1994 Taylor, Colin, F.; The Native Americans, Tiger Books International, London, 1995 Trnek, H and Vassallo e Silva, N; Exotica, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisboa, 2001 Varjola, Pirjo; The Etholén Collection, Vammalan Kirjapaino Oy, Finland, 1990 Vincent, G.T., Brydon, S, Coe, Ralph T.; Art of the North American Indians, The Thaw Collection, University of Washington, 2000 Visonà, M, Poyner, R; Cole,H, and Harris, M; Art in Africa, Thames and Hudson, London, 2000 Walker, R.A; The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, 1999 Walters, Anna Lee; The Spirit of Native America, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1989 Wardwell, Allen; Island Ancestors, Univ. of Washington Press, 1994 Warner, J.A; The Life and Art of the North American Indian, Hamlyn, 1997 Welles, Henderson, J; Carlisle, Rodney, P; Jack Tar A Sailors Life, Antique Collectors Club, 1999 Whitfield, P.Dr.; The Marshal Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Animals, Marshal Publishing, London, 1998 Witte, Hans; A Closer Look, Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, 2004 Zimmer, H; The Art of Indian Asia, vol. 1&2, Pantheon Books, 1955 Designed and typeset by Prof. Phil Cleaver, et al design consultants, 020 7831 5941 Photography by Phil Connor, 07831 151549 Printed in Great Britain by Butler Tanner & Dennis
© 2012 Finch & Co No Part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the permission in writing of the publisher.
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Catalogue No. 19
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