Garden Ornament Sale Proves a 'Nice Little Urner'

Sum raised by replicas of pieces owned by William Hogarth smashes expectations

The two replica urns being soldThe two replica urns being sold. Picture: Summers Place Auctions


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The sale of two urns which are replicas of a pair given to William Hogarth by David Garrick has raised far more than was originally anticipated.

They were being sold on behalf of the William Hogarth Trust to raise money for its activities and original guide price was between £800 and £1250 for the copies of the 80cm tall Jesmonite finials presented by the Georgian actor in around 1750 to the artist who used them to decorate the entrance to his country house in Chiswick. The Hogarths had bought the house which is now next to the A4 with a walled garden which was originally an orchard and the ancient mulberry survives there today.

The sale was organised by Summers Place Auctions on 30 June and the urns were eventually sold for £4,200.

Val Bott, Chair of the William Hogarth Trust said, “The Trust was absolutely delighted with the income from the sale of the urns. We'd tried various ways of selling them, including placing one in Pot Pourri in the High Road and promoting them through posh gardening magazines. Summers Place Auctions specialise in antique garden items and were rather unsure what price these replicas would go for. We wanted to recover the cost of production and if possible gain some profit to support our work. The estimate was therefore £800-£1,000.

“They went into a sealed bids auction and the buyer offered £4,200; the auction house has generously charged us minimal commission because the William Hogarth Trust is a charity, so allowing for other costs like transport and photography we still have just over £4,000. It is a fantastic result. The moulds are still with sculptor who cast them so special orders are still possible!”

Rosalind Elliott cleaning one of the urns
Rosalind Elliott cleaning one of the urns

The original lead finials can be viewed by the public inside Hogarth’s House. Two copies were made in Jesmonite with help from Rosalind Elliot a long-time supporter of the trust, one pair of which are now on the gate piers at the house.

This page is sponsored by Rocks Lane who support community initiatives in Chiswick.

July 23, 2021

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