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Results highlights from The William H. Stokes Collection | 4 March 2019


Sale total of £490K nearly doubles the pre-sale low estimate | 86% sold by lot | Auction duration of 7 hours with competitive and simultaneous online, commission, ‘phone and room bidding from UK and international clients


The Pedestal achieved a tremendous result on 4th March with the auction of The William H. Stokes Collection of Early Works of Art and Furniture in Cirencester – home to the antiques business for many years – with a sale total of £490,000 realised and 86% of lots sold.

The 370 lot auction mostly featured pieces from William H. Stokes’ own personal collection, some purchased as long ago as the 1950s and 60s and just a handful of stock items from when the firm ceased trading.

The sale comprised wonderful examples of early furniture, often profusely carved, from the 16th and 17th centuries, the signature tune for which William H. Stokes was renowned.

However, Stokes was also a shrewd connoisseur with empathy for many diverse facets of early period craftsmanship including English and European wood carving, brass, iron, textiles, silver, all manner of fine objects, treen and a myriad assortment of lamps and decorative furnishing items, as well as textiles and tapestry fragments.

Commenting on the results, Simon Green, Early Works of Art and Furniture specialist at The Pedestal, said: ‘It was amazing how the auction captured the imagination of everybody interested in the oak world, both older and younger, locals and International, dealers and private buyers. The pre-sale viewing and the auction itself were both extremely well attended, such was the name and long-standing reputation of William H. Stokes. Throughout the auction we saw fierce bidding for many lots resulting in strong prices’.

The group of textiles in the auction amounted to around 40 lots, ranging from cushions and fragments to vestments, tapestry borders and frieze panels. Many of these emerged from drawers and the bottom of chests located in the business on Dollar Street, Cirencester. The opportunity to buy such early textiles in quantity at auction is rare as the London auction houses no longer have textile departments and do not offer stand alone auctions in this collecting category.


Browse the online issu auction catalogue here

Please note that all sold for prices include buyer’s premium at the rate of 25%

To discuss consigning in future auctions of early works of art and oak furniture at The Pedestal, contact us: | 0207 281 2790


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Lot 65, a large Charles I oak chest, circa 1640,
carved with a bold and intricate strapwork frieze and three angels,
with wings outspread and heads that project forward in relief beneath grape clusters
Est. £3,000-5,000, sold for £5,000

Lot 94, an English carved figure of a king, c. 1480,
probably representing God the Father
Est. £2,000-3,000, sold for £9,750

Lot 273, a carved oak heraldic dragon newel post finial,
English, circa 1550; Provenance: Bradninch Manor, Devon
Est. £1,500-2,500, sold for £9,375

Lot 370, a pair of cushions with 17th century tapestry fronts,
a length of tapestry and two fragments
Est. £200-300, sold for £4,375