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Magnetic Memories

Auction Catalogue Monday 10th September 2018


Magnetic Memories A private collection of brooches and related artefacts Offered at auction on Monday 10th September 2018 Private viewings: Tuesday 4th September 5pm-8pm Public viewings: Wednesday 5th September - Sunday 9th September 10am-4pm

Contact details: Naomi Clarke Web: NWClarke.com Instagram: NWClarkejewellery


I am fascinated with the dialogue and provenance that surrounds our most valued belongings. Treasured family stories are rarely written down or recorded, but accrue as memories imbued in our heirlooms, evidencing lives lived before us. Passed down through generations, inaccuracies inevitably creep in and our inheritance becomes entangled with a contemporary view. Facts begin to merge with fiction and a new narrative is born. And so the cycle continues. The impression of the biography that is carried with jewellery has become central to my practice. I create simple geometric forms that outwardly do not appear to be wearable yet can nestle and wrap around the contents of a jewellery box. The multi-layered narratives of past and present are represented through stripped down imagery set in enamel and steel of identical sizes and shapes. Thus each memory becomes equal to the next, but equally interchangeable as magnetic components allow for the wearer to rearrange them, creating new and wearable ornamental narratives in doing so. Crafted through hand processes that reflect the emotional investment carried in the heirlooms and the stories that surround them, my jewellery represents a singular, sensory expression of the relationships that exist in owning and wearing jewellery of mixed histories and heritage. Naomi Clarke


Lot 1 A mild-steel and vitreous enamel photographic brooch. A large mild-steel brooch, the circular form enamelled in celadon green and embellished with engraved diary extracts further layered with photographic transfers from various dates and most likely to pertain to one family lineage, the reverse with nylon flock and stylised dual pin mechanism. Complete with a photograph of the brooch being worn by what is believed to be the most recent custodian. Diameter measuring cm, weight 31 grams. The brooch appears in good overall condition displaying wear commensurate with age and use. Vitreous enamel appears bright, minor nibbles to edge but possibly as made. No evidence of maker, possible provenance that the photographic and diary extracts pertain to one family, reference made to the purchase of an engagement ring and could be of interest if traced. ÂŁ120 - ÂŁ180


Lot 2 A cased parlour or puzzle game. A cased parlour or puzzle game, comprising six cubic magnetic objects in a variety of wood to include Tulipwood, Bog Oak, Rosewood, Indian laurel and Bocote, each component is inlaid to each facet with a sky-blue enamel and photographic panel depicting cropped features, a further facet to each is engraved with a newspaper extract making reference to Howden-le-Wear and Bombay. In associated JW Benson case. Each component measuring approximately 2cm and weighing 10 grams. (set likely incomplete) Slight irregularity between the objects. Although the objects appear of modern manufacture, they also have the feel that they have been made at different times and added to by differing hands. Function unclear, but of jewellery size and seem to attach to other lots (see additional images). Origin clearly stems from a family or parlour game. Plain enamel panels indicate space for future lineage to be added. Full engraved newspaper clipping is not present. Possibly pieces or parts missing. ÂŁ120 - ÂŁ180


Lot 3 Two vitreous enamelled brooches. Two enamelled brooches, the first of bi-metal oval form enamelled in skyblue and embellished with a decal transfer of a diary extract pertaining to WWII 1945, individual components from other lots in the collection appear to be attracted and directed to the centre of the brooch (see additional images), enamel and nylon flock reverse. Cased together with a similar mildsteel and celadon green enamelled brooch of scalloped outline and similar diary extract embellishment. In Associated case. Measuring 10cm and 8.5cm. Amongst the collection is the original diary the featured extracts were taken from. The war diary named to 'Cpl J. Suggett' relays his time stationed in India during 1945. In particular it documents the purchasing of an engagement and wedding rings. A 22ct Indian gold wedding ring was also identified amongst the collection. ÂŁ200 - ÂŁ300


Lot 4 A large mild-steel and vitreous enamel photographic portrait brooch. A large mild-steel brooch, the circular form enamelled in lemon yellow and laser engraved with photographic portrait dating from the 1930’s, nylon flocked reverse with pin mechanism. Together with a Great war medal pair found with the brooch and believed to feature in the photograph. Diameter measuring 7cm, weight 34 grams. Of apparently modern and recent manufacture. Minimal wear evident. Medals named to ‘G Dover’ unable to confirm connection and lineage to wider collection. Laser engraving removes the lustre from the vitreous enamel. No box or case present. £120 - £180


Lot 5 A graduated pair of dodecagonal mild-steel and vitreous enamel brooches. A lady and gentleman's graduated pair of mild-steel dodecagonal brooches, enamelled in shades of celadon green, both engraved with the same handwritten extract ‘treasured moments shared with you' the larger example further embellished with a photographic portrait of a British soldier, circa 1940. In associated fitted case. Measuring 6 and 5cm, weight 25 and 18 grams. (2). Of modern manufacture, although difficult to confirm. Enamel appears in good condition. No evidence of maker, provenance possibly traceable from limited photography and biographic information. Imagery appears to be of importance but incomplete - possibly once part of a larger set. ÂŁ150 - ÂŁ200


Lot 6 A bi-metal vitreous enamel brooch. A bi-metal circular vitreous enamel portrait panel later adapted into a brooch, the plain front in royal blue and the reverse depicting a late nineteenth century photographic portrait within scalloped and nylon flocked surround mount to the pin mechanism. Complete with family photograph of the brooch being worn, circa 1964 in Coventry, Diameter measuring 7cm, weight 40 grams. Of aged and worn appearance. Crazing evident. Significant wear to the reverse. The overall form slightly bowed and irregular. It is likely that the panel has been removed and preserved from a larger box or similar and could be of interest to a social historian. Individual components from further lots appear to be attracted and directed to the edge of the brooch (see additional images). ÂŁ100 - ÂŁ150


Lot 7 A mild-steel and vitreous enamel brooch. A mild steel and sky-blue vitreous enamel brooch of circular everted form, featuring an off centre photographic portrait, circa 1940. Complete with nine interchangeable octahedral magnetic components which nestle in the recess, nylon flocked reverse with pin mechanism. Missing case. Brooch measuring 7.5cm, weight 35 grams.

Of apparent modern manufacture. Enamel appears in good condition – bright and lustrous. Magnetic components appear interchangeable and could be used in conjunction with other pieces in the collection. Unable to confirm if all components are present. £200 - £300


Lot 8 A mild-steel and vitreous enamel brooch. A mild-steel and lemon yellow vitreous enamel brooch of square outline and scalloped accent edge, the main surface features a WWII British soldier (see lots 5 and 13) layered and alongside a newspaper clipping referring to a wedding of Suggett and Wilson, reference is made to India (see lot 3), the reverse finished in nylon flock and dual pin mechanism. Width measuring 6.5cm, weight 28 grams. Of aged appearance. Rough texture in localised areas. Enamel in good overall condition. Subject and featured materials clearly intertwine with other parts of the collection. ÂŁ120 - ÂŁ180


Lot 9 A cased archival family parlour game. A cased archival family parlour game, comprising of twelve walnut magnetic objects of cubic form, each with blue photographic panel depicting cropped facial features. Complete with mildsteel and sky-blue brooch receptacle of slim oblong form and stylised scalloped edge. Components measuring 1.2 cm, length of brooch measuring 8.5cm. Age undetermined, but possible that the walnut components are later or replacement parts. Colours are well matched and all parts display general scratches marks and wear commensurate with handling. Repetition of imagery from other parts of the collection. ÂŁ300 - ÂŁ400


Lot 10 A cased archival family parlour game. A cased archival family parlour game, comprising of nine walnut magnetic objects of cubic form, each with green (9) and yellow (3) photographic panel depicting cropped facial features. Complete with mildsteel and celadon green enamel brooch receptacle of slim oblong form and stylised scalloped edge. Components measuring 1.2 cm, length of brooch measuring 11cm. Age undetermined, but possible that the walnut components are later or replacement parts. Colours are well matched and all parts displays general scratches marks and wear commensurate with handling. Repetition of imagery from other parts of the collection. ÂŁ300 - ÂŁ400


Lot 11 A mild-steel and vitreous enamel brooch. A mild-steel and celadon green vitreous enamel brooch, of circular everted form with scalloped detail and featuring an off centre photographic portrait (see lot 7), circa 1940 layered over handwritten diary extracts. Magnetic components with further archival extracts found amongst the collection work interchangeably and nestle to the recess, the reverse with nylon flocked finish and stainless-steel mechanism. Together with the original claw brooch believed to be worn in the portrait. Uncased. Maximum diameter measuring 7cm, weight 22 grams. Appears of modern manufacture, superficially aged. Flaws to archival imagery. Enamel appears in good condition. Brooch appears incomplete and is likely to belong to a larger suite or collection. Maker untraced. ÂŁ200 - ÂŁ300


Lot 12 A mild-steel and vitreous enamel photographic portrait brooch. A large mild-steel brooch, the circular form enamelled in jade green and laser engraved with photographic portrait (see lot 4) dating from the 1930’s and further newspaper extract circa 1945, nylon flocked reverse with pin mechanism. Diameter measuring 7cm, weight 45 grams. Appears of modern and recent manufacture. Superficially aged. No box or case present. See similar lot 4 with partial identical imagery, suggestive of a later family event or commemoration. £120 - £180


Lot 13 A mild-steel and vitreous enamel brooch. A mild-steel and grey vitreous enamel brooch, of circular everted form with scalloped detail and featuring an off centre photographic portrait of a WWII soldier on a motorbike. Magnetic components with further archival extracts found amongst the collection work interchangeably and nestle to the recess, the reverse with nylon flocked finish and stainless-steel mechanism. Uncased. Maximum diameter measuring 7cm, weight 22 grams. Appears of modern manufacture, superficially aged. Flaws to archival imagery. Enamel appears in good condition. Brooch appears incomplete and is likely to belong to a larger suite or collection (possibly lot 11). Maker untraced but collection appears to have been made by commission. ÂŁ200 - ÂŁ300


Lot 14 A mild-steel and vitreous enamel brooch. A large mild-steel and plain lemon yellow vitreous enamel puzzle brooch, the square raised and everted form with scalloped corner and nylon flocked and easel style pin reverse. Complete with a series of matching magnetic components featuring typewriter font words such as ‘blossom’ ‘picture’ ‘ring’ and ‘sister’. Width measuring 7.5 cm, weight 42 grams. The brooch appears unworn or for display purposes. Enamel in excellent overall condition. Components display more general wear and perhaps have seen more handling. Uncased. £200 - £300


Lot 15 A mild-steel and vitreous enamel brooch. A mild-steel and sky blue vitreous enamel brooch, the oblong form with stylised scalloped edge and overlaid engraved and applied archival imagery. Width measuring 6cm, weight 38 grams. Of modern manufacture. Thick gage. Good overall condition with general wear commensurate with the age and use. No evidence of maker. Uncased. ÂŁ120 - ÂŁ180


Lot 16 A cased archival parlour or puzzle game and brooch. A cased archival parlour or puzzle game, formed as a set of eight cubic magnetic objects, in a variety of wood to include Tulipwood, Bog Oak, Rosewood, Indian laurel and Bocote, each component is inlaid to each facet with a celadon enamel and photographic panel depicting cropped features, a further facet to each is engraved with a newspaper clipping making reference to Howden-le-Wear and Bombay. Complete with mild-steel and celadon green brooch receptacle of oblong form and stylised scalloped edge. In associated case. Each component measuring approximately 2cm and weighing 10 grams, brooch measuring 10cm and weighing 17 grams. (see lot 2 for related example). Appears of modern manufacture, components could have been made at different times. Imagery reminiscent of eye miniatures. Plain enamel panels indicate space for future lineage to be added. ÂŁ400 - ÂŁ500


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