Chiswick Auctions

1 Colville Road, London W3 8BL
+44 0-20-8992-4442

About Auction House

We are an established London auction house who champions works of art from all eras and mediums. Located in the exclusive neighbourhoods of South Kensington and Chiswick, clients can access confidential and professional valuations in addition to viewing rare and beautiful works of art.

Auction Previews & News

4 Results
  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    The even smaller Little Red Book: rare prototype of Mao’s quotations offered in UK auction, Feb. 29

    LONDON – A scarce prototype edition of the Quotations of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, the famous Little Red Book, will be auctioned in London later this month. It comes from one of the world’s largest and finest private collections of Cultural Revolution artifacts and will be sold by Chiswick Auctions as part of their February 29 sale of Books and Works on Paper. A scarce prototype edition of the famous Little Red Book (Quotations of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung). Estimate: £30,000-£35,000 ($37,795-$44,090) The rare imprint of Mao’s Little Red Book was produced in August 1963, some 10 months before the official Beijing version was released in May 1964. Compiled and printed by in the Shenyang Military Region, it numbers 156 pages rather than 250 pages and lacks both the engraved portrait of the Chairman and the Communist Manifesto slogan “Workers of the world, unite!,” both of which became integral to the finished edition. It includes quotation texts of Mao Tse-Tung from as early as 1937. No other prototype edition has ever appeared at auction. The example in Chiswick’s sale retains its original white paper wrappers and is estimated at £30,000-£35,000 ($37,795-$44,090). It is one of several rare editions of the Quotations of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung included in a collection compiled more than 25 years by the renowned New York antiquarian book dealer and children’s book specialist Justin Schiller. His home in upstate New York includes many thousands of objects related to the Cultural Revolution, many of them purchased during regular visits to China. Schiller considers the propaganda from this period of history to be “the ultimate in fake news.” First attracted to the subject for its powerful aesthetic – he draws a parallel between the graphic art of 1960s China and children’s book illustrations – Schiller also recognized its historical importance at a time when many Chinese were keen to offload the relics of a troubled past. At the beginning of his collecting journey in the 1990s, important material was relatively easy to come by. Today he estimates that at least 80 percent of the original propaganda material produced during the time of the Cultural Revolution has now been…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Chiswick’s Nov. 7 auction led by rare Aesthetic Movement cabinet that incorporates Dutch Old Master painting

    LONDON – A rare Aesthetic Movement cabinet combining Japanese lacquer panels and a Dutch Old Master painting comes up for sale at Chiswick Auctions on November 7. Made circa 1875, probably to a design by Thomas Jeckyll (English, 1827-1881), it is expected to bring £40,000-£60,000 ($48,440-$72,670). Aesthetic Movement cabinet, probably to a design by Thomas Jeckyll (1827-1881), from the London flat owned by Andrew McIntosh Patrick (b. 1934-), former director of the Fine Art Society. Estimate: £40,000-£60,000 ($48,440-$72,670) Although entered in Chiswick’s Asian Art Part 2 sale, the cabinet is very much a cross-culture object of the Victorian period. Mounted as doors within an English rosewood frame are four lacquer and mother-of-pearl panels (two in the side doors and two in the sides of the cabinet) of birds amongst stylized blossoms that date from Japan’s Momoyama period, circa 1600. Such panels (these probably once forming part of a religious shrine made for the Portuguese market) were known as nanban lacquer, a reference to the word the Japanese used for foreigners.  A third door is in actuality a painting dated 1627 that depicts exotic and domestic fowl in a rustic landscape. It is signed for Pieter Holsteyn, an artist active in Haarlem who specialized in depictions of birds. That the panel was not reduced to fit the cabinet door, suggests it was carefully chosen in terms of size and subject matter. Furniture incorporating Japanese lacquer was not a 19th-century invention. However, this cabinet was created during the peak of the Japonism movement, prompted by the “opening-up” of Japan during the Meiji period. It was possibly part of a larger design project. Jeckyll, the English architect best known for his planning in 1876 of the Peacock Room at 49 Princes Gate, produced similar furniture for Alexander Ionides (1810-1890) at 1 Holland Park. Although the cabinet’s early history is unknown, it was part of the exhibition “Japan and Britain, An Aesthetic Dialogue, 1850-1930” that ran at the Barbican Art Gallery, London, in 1992 and later at the Setagaya Art Museum in Tokyo. In 2007, it was acquired by Andrew McIntosh Patrick, former director of the Fine Art Society, and housed first at…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Library of antique British boxing books, ephemera is the main event at Chiswick’s Aug. 24 Books & Works on Paper auction

    Featured: Rare 18th C. manuals on the art of boxing, written by famed bareknuckle fighters LONDON - Chiswick Auctions’ Aug. 24 Books and Works on Paper features a collection of boxing books compiled by private collectors Brian and Debbie Watkins over five decades. Highlights include two rare Georgian manuals on the art of boxing written around 1790 by well-known bareknuckle prize fighters. Boxing Reviewed; or, the Science of Manual Defence, displayed on Rational Principles was penned by the Birmingham pugilist Thomas Fewtrell around 1790. Estimate £1200-1800. Chiswick Auctions, August 24. Boxing Reviewed; or, the Science of Manual Defence, displayed on Rational Principles was penned by the Birmingham, England, pugilist Thomas Fewtrell. Dubbed “the gentleman jaw breaker,” he is said to have taken part in more than 1000 fights in his career. In this book, possibly the first written by an active pugilist, he studies the techniques of several leading Georgian boxers. The frontispiece depicts a scene titled “Thomas Johnson the first Pugilist in the World,” who was the English champion between 1784-91. It carries an estimate of £1,200-1,800. Fewtrell was a friend and sparring partner of Daniel Mendoza (1764-1836), a fellow prize fighter who was also highly regarded as an instructor of pugilism. He held frequent public exhibitions and published several books on boxing technique. The copy of The Modern Art of Boxing offered here is a previously unrecorded variant state from 1790. In later paper-covered boards, it is guided at £1000-1500. Also by Mendoza is a rare autobiography from 1808, one that appears never to have been offered for sale at auction before. Memoirs of the Life of Daniel Mendoza; Containing a Faithful Narrative of the Various Vicissitudes of His Life, and an Account of the Numerous Contests…, is estimated at £4000-6000. The work numbers 320 pages with the title page outlining it was “Printed for D. Mendoza, Ship Tavern, Commercial Road, by G. Hayden, Brydges Street, Covent Garden, 1808” – eight years before a better-known edition of this work.  The text is thought to have been written around 1806 when Mendoza spent time in debtor’s prison. This copy, estimated at £800-1200, is a copy of a contemporary account of the contest fought on December 11, 1821, between Bill…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Hogwarts acceptance letter from first Harry Potter movie to be auctioned in London, June 22

    Accompanied by a Harry Potter Productions letter of provenance, the invitation is in its unopened original envelope, with an intact Hogwarts seal LONDON – A Hogwarts acceptance letter and envelope used in a much-loved scene in the first of the Harry Potter movies is expected to sell for more than £10,000 ($16,620) at a June 22 auction conducted by Chiswick Auctions. The rare movie prop has been consigned by an individual who bought it at a school charity auction in 2002.  Harry Potter Interest As all JK Rowling fans know, it was on Harry Potter’s 11th birthday that he began to receive letters inviting him to enroll at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The letters arrive by owl, fly down the chimney, and shoot through the mailbox. Each is addressed in green ink to “Mr H. Potter, the Cupboard under the Stairs, 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.” Multiple examples of the prop were used in the production of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), but the one to be auctioned is a little special. Unlike the many entirely printed versions that were also used in the scene, its envelope features a real and unbroken red-wax Hogwarts seal, which keeps the contents (a letter of introduction and a list of requirements from Professor McGonagall) safely secured inside. This little piece of movie history was donated by Mark Radcliffe, a producer and partner of 1492 Pictures (which produced the first three Harry Potter films), to a school charity auction. The lot is accompanied by a letter of provenance on Harry Potter Productions letterhead confirming that this is one of only a limited number of props given out by the studios for charitable purposes, plus a color photocopy of the letter inside the never-opened envelope. The covering letter is addressed to the Vice Chairperson of the PTA of Newdigate Infant School in Dorking, Surrey. It reads: “Thank you for your interest in Harry Potter. Please find enclosed for your charity, a Hogwarts acceptance letter and envelope, as seen in Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. As the envelope is sealed, I have also included a copy…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    London’s Chiswick Auctions to offer Sally Jacobs costume designs created for important British stage productions, May 24

    Featured: Jacobs’ mixed-media designs for Royal Shakespeare Co., English National Opera, and other productions of the 1960-‘80s LONDON – An archive containing hundreds of stage costume designs by Sally Jacobs (1932-2020) are featured in Chiswick Auctions’ Books and Works on Paper sale slated for May 24. One of the lots (Lot 161), which includes mixed-media designs for important stage Royal Shakespeare Company productions from the 1960s, is expected to sell for £18,000-£22,000 ($22,465-$27,460). Sally Jacobs (1932-2020), original 1985 design for The Royal Opera Company’s ‘Othello’ from a group lot of 297 costume designs for stage productions. Estimate £16,000-£18,000 ($19,965-$22,460) Jacobs worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) from 1962-65 before moving to Los Angeles to produce designs for the Mark Taper Forum until 1982. Jacobs’ designs entered in the auction include those for the 26 costumes for the RSC’s production of Love's Labours Lost in 1964 plus 15 designs for company’s The Screens, directed the same year by Peter Brook. The 17 designs for the RSC’s Don Gil of the Green Breeches, by Tirso de Molina, include those for renowned actors Diana Rigg and Glenda Jackson. Jacobs’ career was innovative, wide-ranging and influential. Among the later designs in the collection (almost all are signed and dated) are those created for productions at the English National Opera and Royal Opera in the 1980s and ’90s. At Covent Garden in London, Jacobs followed her triumph on Turandot with another Serban production, Fidelio in 1986. She created the set as a vast dungeon which finally breaks open as Leonora rescues Florestan and sunlight floods the stage. All 25 stage designs for the production are part of the archive. In a 1988 commission for the English National Opera she also created designs for the critically acclaimed Eugene Onegin, directed by Graham Vick. Fifty-one designs from that production are featured in the May 24 auction, as are the 31 designs for David Freeman’s 1996 version of Zimmermann’s modern classic Die Soldaten. Clive Moss, specialist at Chiswick Auctions, said Jacobs’ designs compare favorably to those held by such institutions as the Harvard Theatre Collection and Victoria &…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Chiswick to auction MI5 spy’s Breitling diver’s watch, BBC chronograph, March 22

    Selection also includes possibly unique 18K gold Breguet watch made circa 1972 LONDON – A rare 1960s wristwatch made for the BBC comes up for sale at Chiswick Auctions in London on March 22. Made by Lemania, the stainless steel manual chronograph was chosen by the British television network for its great accuracy. In the pre-digital era, program staff and producers relied on a good timekeeper during live broadcasts. The watch has the BBC initials engraved to the back and the BBC inventory number 4269. It is expected to bring £1,500-£2,500 ($1,810-$3,015). 18K gold Breguet manual watch with skeleton champagne hour ring and black numerals and hands. Originally sold on Nov. 29, 1972 in London. Original strap with gold Breguet buckle. Estimate: £15,000-£20,000 ($18,105-$24,140) Chiswick’s specialist Watches sale includes a number of very special issues. An extremely rare Breitling stainless steel automatic diver’s watch is from the estate of a spy who worked with MI5, Britain’s domestic counter-intelligence and security service. The 2009 Superocean Steelfish has the MI5 Security Service crest to the dial at the nine o'clock position and appropriate engraving to the case back. Made in a limited edition of just 900 pieces to mark 100 years since the creation of the agency in 1909, it is estimated at £2,000-£4,000 ($2,415-$4,830). An 18K gold watch by Breguet is thought to be a unique piece made by the top-drawer Swiss brand 50 years ago. This manual watch with a skeleton champagne hour ring and black numerals and hands was sent to Breguet to confirm its authenticity. According to Breguet, the watch was sold on November 29, 1972 in London for the price equivalent of 3,850 French francs. Complete with its original strap with gold Breguet buckle, it comes to auction with an estimate of £15,000-£20,000 ($18,105-$24,140). There was an era when the well-turned-out gentleman would also accessorize with a fountain pen. A particularly smart example to be offered by Chiswick is a No. 5 by Edward Todd & Co., New York, in an engine-turned gold case. Engraved for Thomas Griffin, Mayor of Kidderminster, England, 1925-1926, it was a presentation piece to Griffin who held the record for…

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    First world atlas created by an Englishman offered by Chiswick Auctions, March 16

    Cartographer John Speed’s 1676 bound edition combines ‘The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine’ and ‘A Prospect of the most famous Famous Parts of the World’ LONDON – A market-fresh copy of the first world atlas compiled by an Englishman will be offered at Chiswick Auctions on March 16. John Speed’s A Prospect of the most famous Parts of the World, bound together with The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, comes to auction via family descent. It carries an estimate of £12,000-£15,000, or about $14,300-$17,800. A view of English cartographer John Speed’s 1676 bound edition combining ‘The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine’ and ‘A Prospect of the most famous Famous Parts of the World.’ Image courtesy of Chiswick Auctions John Speed (1552-1629) is perhaps the most famous English mapmaker of the early modern period. The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, the first English attempt to produce a grand-scale atlas of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, was first published in 1611-12, and A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World was first published in 1627. Both are Speed's work and are renowned for the beauty of their engravings. The 1676 edition included in the March 16 sale incorporates the two great works in one volume. It was published posthumously with the addition of eight new maps showing New England, Virginia and Maryland; Carolina, Jamaica and Barbados; East India, Russia and Canaan. The world map shows California as an island, with Australasia as yet uncharted. Chiswick Auctions specialist Clive Moss describes it as “the best edition of the most influential atlas by England’s greatest cartographer – and remarkable because it has never been offered for sale before.”Telephone enquiries: +44 (0)20 8992 4442. Email: [email protected]. Click to visit Chiswick Auctions online (

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    Trunks from Muhammad Ali’s final fight, ‘Drama in Bahama,’ to be auctioned Feb. 14

    LONDON – A unique souvenir of Muhammad Ali’s final boxing match will be offered on February 14 at Chiswick Auctions’ Autographs and Memorabilia sale in London. The MacGregor boxing trunks were worn by Ali during the “Drama in Bahama,” a December 11, 1981 match at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre in Nassau that pitted the legendary American athlete against Jamaican Trevor Berbick. Age was not on the once-invincible Ali’s side. He was 39 years old, overweight at 236 lbs, and already suffering brain damage from having absorbed too many blows. In contrast, Berbick was a youthful 27 years old and would go on to win a WBC Heavyweight title. Trunks from Muhammad Ali Despite concerns about his fitness prior to the fight, Ali tried putting some combinations together in the early rounds and even landed a few solid jabs, but by the sixth round he appeared tired and started getting hit. The 10-round contest – which failed to sell out – went the distance, with Berbick winning by a unanimous points decision. After the fight, Ali retired, his illustrious career ending with an overall record of 56-5. The “Drama in Bahama” match was the only time Ali ever wore MacGregor trunks rather than examples made by Everlast. The MacGregors were presented by Ali’s trainer Angelo Dundee to his close friend Hartmut Scherzer, a German sports reporter who visited the dressing room after the Nassau fight. The trunks are white satin with black trim and have an elasticized waistband and a MacGregor manufacturer’s label on the front. They are expected to sell for £15,000-£20,000 (approximately US$18,510-$24,670).All forms of bidding are available for Chiswick’s February 14, 2023 auction featuring the boxing trunks from Muhammad Ali’s final fight. Those who cannot attend in person can bid by phone, leave an absentee bid, or bid live via the Internet through Chiswick Live. For additional information or to set up a phone line for bidding, call +44 20 8992 4442 or email [email protected]. Visit Chiswick Auctions online at

  • Auction Industry
    Works from the collection of Allen & Beryl Freer to be offered at auction

    The Delighted Eye II, Works from the Collection of Allen & Beryl Freer opens the door to a life full of inspiration, love and culture, it will inevitably bring true joy to any art lover. LONDON.-Chiswick Auctions in West London announced The Delighted Eye Part II sale on February 25, 2021. It follows a year after Christie’s part I auction, The Delighted Eye: Works from the Collection of Allen and Beryl Freer, which was a white glove sale, attracting widespread interest for these highly sought-after works. The part II sale is therefore set to draw interest from all corners of the globe on February 25, 2021. The sale celebrates Allen and Beryl Freer’s love of art, their keen eye for twentieth century British paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics, furniture and books and the numerous friendships that sprung from the artists, makers, and publishers that they met, as they continually acquired new works for their extensive collection. The Freer’s passion for art filled their detached sixties home in a suburb south of Manchester, with treasures. The sale, a celebration of their collecting, comprises more than 250 artworks, over 50 pieces of ceramic and furniture and more than 200 books. Estimates range from £100 to £2,000 and many of the works are to be offered without a reserve. Commenting on the sale, specialist in charge of the sale, Krassi Kuneva, says: “The Delighted Eye Part II offers art lovers and collectors at all levels, the opportunity to acquire a work from an extraordinary collection, which so amply illustrates the quality and breadth of 20th century British art”. ALLEN FREER: COLLECTOR, WRITER, ARTIST & CRAFTSMAN Allen Freer’s aspiration to build a collection started early. He recalled: ‘I was eighteen before I went into a house with pictures...I was entranced not only with the books and pictures but with the total ambiance. Then and there I knew that when the war was over, I wanted a room like this one, with books and paintings and engravings and bits of old and new furniture keeping each other company.’ He succeeded, as his daughter Dr Catharine Davies reminisces:…

  • Auction Preview
    Chiswick Auction X BrandCo Paris

    In 1995, when Princess Diana visited France for the Cézanne Art Exhibition at the Grand Palais, the First Lady of France gifted her the new Dior ‘Chouchou’ bag. Later, Diana ordered one in every available color. It was regularly seen with her and the company eventually changed the bag’s name to Lady Dior in her honor. Available in the upcoming sale, presented by Chiswick Auctions in collaboration with BrandCo Paris, three medium-sized Lady Dior handbags in bubblegum pink, fuchsia, and cream python will be available. The auction will also include handbags from Hermès, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton. One of the highlighted lots is a Hermès Kelly bag. Introduced in 1892, the bag drew attention when Grace Kelly began carrying it regularly. Hermès named the bag after the actress in 1977. The available example features palladium tone hardware, a leather body, and a double zip pocket. A Chanel Première chain watch is also featured. Launched in 1987, the design was inspired by Paris’ Place Vendôme. The available watch has a black leather and gold plated strap. Explore the full listings for this event and register to bid online on Chiswick Auctions.

  • Auction Preview
    Asian Art, including Chinese Paintings

    The ‘hundred boys' theme was very popular during the Qing and Ming dynasties. The 'hundred boys' refers to King Wen of the Zhou dynasty, who had 99 sons and adopted one more to have an even 100. Later, the theme was used to represent the desire for many sons to continue the family line. The upcoming Asian Art, Including Chinese Paintings auction, presented by Chiswick Auctions, features an Imperial Chinese hundred boys lantern vase. The piece shows images of children imitating adults, indicating the ambitions of the literati class for their sons to achieve high intellectual status and future success. Another key lot is a luduan incense burner. The luduan, or Chinese unicorn, is a mythical beast that can detect truth. It is usually placed in pairs at either side of the imperial throne to indicate the keen intelligence and excellent judgment of the emperor. The auction also features Japanese woodblock prints by Oju Yoshitoshiga. The vertical diptych depicts Kintaro riding on a giant carp in the water. Interested collectors can explore the full listings and register to bid online on Chiswick Auctions.

  • Auction Result
    Chiswick Auctions announces rediscovery of Joseph Vivien work and its private sale

    Portrait of a Lady shown in the guise of Minerva by Joseph Vivien, sold privately for £17,000. LONDON.-Chiswick Auctions announced the private sale of a re-discovered art work by the great French master of pastels Joseph Vivien (Lyon 1657 – Bonn 1735). The work titled: Lady shown in the Guise of Minerva has been acquired by the Friends of The Sinebrychoff Museum in Helsinki, through Chiswick Auctions in London. It was purchased for £17,000. Commenting on this important sale, Laetitia Masson, Head of Old Master Paintings and Drawings at Chiswick Auctions, said: “I am thrilled that this rediscovered pastel portrait, which has undergone much research by ourselves and an external expert, has now found such a good home. It is one of the best examples of the mythological portrait genre that was in vogue in the early 18th century Europe and is one of the finest examples of Joseph Vivien's talent as a pastellist. When the work was brought in, its owner was unaware of who the revered artist was, however Laetitia immediately recognised the quality of the work, she says: “I knew by the delicate handling of the pastel medium that the work had been created by an important hand and someone who had mastered the technique. I immediately consulted the Art Historian and Pastel expert Neil Jeffares who, as I excited as I was, came over to inspect the piece in the flesh and fully attributed the work on the spot”. The work’s provenance can be traced back to possibly have been in the collection of Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. The seller of the portrait, a private collector, purchased the work very close to the Empress Eugenia’s home in near Farnborough hill, England, where she lived in exile until her death in 1920. The female sitter in the portrait sports an armoured breast plate, alluding to Minerva, the Roman goddess of Wisdom, War and Commerce. The oval-shaped work is typical of the format of miniatures popular at the time and suggests the level of intimacy that would have existed between the artist and his sitter. The pastel…