Cheffins Fine Art sale ignites market with stellar prices across the board

£70,000 paid for diamond tiara with Princess Diana connections; Collection of antiques icon, Eila Grahame, makes over £577,000; Sale total over £1.4m

Cheffins Fine Art Sale made over £1.4m as a series of rare paintings, jewellery and furniture went under the hammer in Cambridge.

Stellar items included a previously unseen Edwardian tiara, owned by Lady Delia Spencer, great aunt of the late Princess Diana and lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother. Set with more than 800 old round brilliant cushion cut diamonds with a total estimated weight of 48cts, the tiara smashed its guide price of £30,000 and was sold for £70,000 to a collector from the UK.

The assemblage of antique-collecting royalty, Eila Grahame, who owned one of the most revered antique shops in Kensington Church Street, made over £577,000. Famous for her talent in spotting key antiques and collectibles, lots 423 to 697 generated interest on a global basis and resulted in incredible prices paid for a number of items.

The star of the Eila Grahame Collection was an Antonio Chichi cork model of the Temple Della Sibilla in Tivoli (lot 597) dating back to the 18th century. As one of the key cork model creators of the time, the item saw competitive bidding from collectors and museums alike, finally selling for an unprecedented £53,000 over its guide of £3,000. A number of pencil and watercolours by the famous Frans Anton von Scheidel also made strong sales with studies of a Turtle, an Octopus and a Turtle Shell (lot 500) making £11,000. The collection of Wrotham pottery shocked buyers with one item making £7,500 off of its £1,500 to £2,000 estimate, whilst a Jamaican tortoiseshell comb dating back to 1688 made £8,000 against an estimate of £3,000 (lot 570).

Jonathan Law, Director, Cheffins, comments:

"It was an absolute honour to sell the items from the Eila Grahame collection. As a true icon in the antique collecting world, we knew that all of the lots would really ignite the market, however we couldn't have anticipated the scale of the response which was achieved. Weith Delft and Wrotham items being some of the most popular, this sale has proved that the market for antique collecting is truly flourishing, even within the current political and economic climate."

Other highlights of the sale came from the Neave family in Dagnam Park, Essex. These included a pair of oil paintings in gilt frames by a follower of Claude-Joseph Vernet which made £28,000, whilst another still life of summer flowers, by a follower of Rachel Ruysch, made £22,000 (lots 759 and 823 respectively).

For the furniture section, the item which created the most interest was a George II giltwood pier table, circa 1740, which finally sold at £30,000 (lot 1022).

The sale took place on 30th November and 1st December and full results can be found at:

The next Cheffins Fine Art Sale will be held on 8th and 9th March 2017, with entries closing on 27th January.


For press enquiries please telephone Lisa Freeman-Bassett, Fine Art PR Manager, on +44 (0) 1223 213343 or email the Fine Art team here.



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