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The Discerning Eye of a Collector


  2 May 2018     Archived


Property of the Estate Late Vyvyan Myerson (1939-2017)

Following the recent successful sale of Mourning Jewellery belonging to the late Vyvyan Myerson, Strauss & Co is offering a further 152 lots from his Estate on the current Online-only auction, due to close on Monday 7 May at 8pm. The first session covers the broad extent of Vyvyan's interests in furniture, silver and glass, of which he had a wide knowledge. Bidders will be given an opportunity to compete for pieces that represent a lifetime of collecting. Sparked by his curiosity and desire, from a young age he saved his pocket money in order to acquire all manner of treasures.

The sale commences with a small group of esoteric British paintings predominately from the 19th and early 20th centuries, including landscapes and figurative works that represent the taste of a collector from a bygone era.

Vyvyan's dining room never failed to impress, from the table resplendent with his Sheffield silver-plate double coaster trolley complete with cut-glass decanters (lot 40), and silver-plate biscuit barrel by Mappin & Webb (lot 45) brimming with delicious biscuits, to his Victorian mahogany sideboard (lot 132) set with the pair of Victorian Sheffield plated telescopic candlesticks (lot 41) and Sheffield plated meat dish and cover (lot 43). A genial host, Vyvyan loved visitors and would happily share his interests with fellow collectors. The collection of treen on offer (lots 75-89) represents his interest in these diminutive objects finely turned by both apprentice and skilled craftsmen, snuff boxes in the form of shoes and boots applied with studded decoration, cribbage scoring boards and Tunbridgeware boxes inlaid with sticks of wooden tesserae. His love of tiny silver objects for dolls' houses extended to miniature tea services, chairs and tables (lots 54-57). Diverse in his tastes, his collection covers many areas of the decorative arts from gold and silver propelling pencils (lots 47-49) to walking sticks (lots 96-99), copper koshering vessels (lot 100), and 18th and 19th century oriental porcelain and Chinese bronze censors (lots 108-122).

There are several travelling lap desks on offer; from Regency to Victorian examples, these beautifully made boxes, in various timbers, heightened with brass banding, their interiors complete with leather writing surfaces, pen, ink and secret compartments, were part of the 19th century gentleman's travelling accoutrements, (lots 134, 136, 139-140, 144). Vyvyan's fascination for metamorphic furniture is represented by the Edwardian gout stool (lot 147) which transforms itself by a rachette mechanism from an obscure low foot stool into an ideal resting spot for a painful foot. Together with the mahogany coaching table (lot 137) and the Edwardian campaign travelling desk, these pieces were not only useful but folded away neatly leaving space for yet another piece of furniture. Finally, the patinated silver-plate leather-bound novelty flask, disguised as a book appropriately titled ''The Traveller's Friend'' (lot 92), epitomised Vyvyan's humour and interest in the unusual. His home in Simon's Town housed over a thousand objects, many of which will be offered at Strauss & Co auctions later this year.

The sale also includes, from various properties, prints, multiples, paintings, sculpture, works on paper and books.

Browse > Bid > Buy on www.straussart.co.za

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