From Lear to leopard, another busy auction at Key’s of Aylsham

Tanker at Greenwich, by L S Lowry, sold for 14,500

Tanker at Greenwich, by L S Lowry, sold for 14,500 - Credit: Archant

Under the Hammer: More news of what is making the salerooms buzz from Kevin Lines of Keys Fine Art Auctioneers of Aylsham, the leading East Anglian fine art and antiques auction house.

Pearlware silver shape teapot by Absolon of Yarmouth, 2600

Pearlware silver shape teapot by Absolon of Yarmouth, 2600 - Credit: Archant

Our first three-day Fine Sale of the year saw a packed saleroom, buzzing phone lines and brisk internet bidding, as around 1,300 lots went under the hammer, encompassing glassware, ceramics, Oriental, silver, jewellery, coins, clocks and watches, militaria, furniture, wine and spirits and pictures.

Many lots went for well above their pre-sale estimates, proof that a crowded saleroom can get the bidding really moving. Encouragingly, furniture prices were particularly buoyant – this is a section of the market which has been in the doldrums in recent years.

Day three saw an interesting picture sale, including works by famous industrial era artists L S Lowry, and even a rare picture by nonsense poet Edward Lear, which went for six times its pre-sale estimate.

Venice, by Edward Lear, sold for 7200

Venice, by Edward Lear, sold for 7200 - Credit: Archant

Featured sold items

A pencil drawing by L S Lowry (of 'Matchstick Men' fame) entitled 'Tanker at Greenwich'. Pictures by Lowry only come up rarely for auction, and brisk bidding pushed the price to £14,500.

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A pen, ink and watercolour by Edward Lear (better known as a nonsense poet) entitled 'Venice' smashed its pre-sales estimate of £1,000-£1,500 and sold for £7,200

Anything to do with Nelson always sells well in Norfolk, and late 19th century/early 20th century painted plaster life-sized study of the great man sold for £2,100, well above its estimate of £800-£1,200

Lowestoft porcelain is flying at the moment, and a very rare Lowestoft mug decorated by

the Tulip painter dating from around 1775 sold for £4,500 – double its pre-sale estimate of £2,000-£3,000

The sale included several ceramic and glassware items by Absolon of Yarmouth, including a very rare Pearlware silver shape teapot and cover dating from around 1790, which went for £2,600 (estimate £1,000-£1,500)

Also by Absolon, an unusual creamware cylindrical shaker and cover sold for £1,900 (estimate £800-£1,200)

The Arts & Crafts period remains very collectable, and an oval copper-framed wall mirror fetched £520, against an estimate of £250-£350

An unusual piece of taxidermy – an early 20th-century leopard's head – caused much excitement in the saleroom, selling for £1,900 against a pre-sale estimate of £400-£500.

...and coming up

Keys' East Anglian Art Sales are the biggest and most important sales of works by artists from our region anywhere in the world, writes Kevin Lines. Such is the demand that we now hold two such sales each year, and the first takes place this month, on Friday April 27.

Included in the sale will be the second part of the personal collection of the late Dr Peter Kennedy Scott, who built a worldwide reputation as an expert on the Norwich School of painters.

You can find details of every lot in both forthcoming and past sales on the Keys website at