FORTHCOMING HIGHLIGHTS

November 8th 2014



Sold on the instructions of the executors of the late Miss Frances J. Woodward (1922-2014), author of 'Portrait of Jane: A Life of Lady Jane Franklin', Hodder & Stoughton, 1951 - Hawaii, United States of America, Polar Exploration and Oceanic Ethnographic interest - THE LADY JANE FRANKLIN LEI HULU - a yellow feather necklace, lei hulu, with ribbon (frail), approximately 19ins. (48cms.) long (excluding ribbon).   Footnote One - the yellow feathers from which this lei is made come from the 'o'o bird, a honeycreeper now extinct as a species.   In 'Hulu Manu, Feathwork of Hawai'i', by Leilehua Yuen, we read 'The feathers for all these works came from a variety of birds. The most valued were the pale yellow feathers, called `e`e, which came from the wing tufts of the 'o'o (Moho nobilis). From the mamo (Drepanis pacifica) came dark golden yellow feathers.....bird catchers, kia manu, were deeply conversant with the habits of their prey and the best methods of catching each.   Ha'inakolo was their god.   Birds caught specifically for their feathers were captured at the beginning of the molting season, when the feathers were loose and easily removed without damage to the bird. The display feathers used in courtship were no longer needed by the bird, but were still in good enough condition to be valuable for feather work.   The birds were snared in nets or caught on poles daubed with pilali (bird lime), a sticky substance which glued the birds' feet to the pole. After the desired feathers were removed, the bird lime was cleaned from the bird with kukui oil. The bird was then set free to raise its family and grow a new crop of feathers'.    In view of the fact that the birds from which these feathers are taken are now extinct as a species, the number of feathers needed to make the lei since one bird had only a very few courtship feathers (the famous yellow cloak of Kamehameha I is estimated to have taken the reigns of eight monarchs and the golden feathers of 80,000 birds to complete), together with their exclusivity to nobility, and their very fragile nature, makes these feather necklaces extremely rare, and seldom do they appear at auction or on the open market.   A similar lei hulu was sold at Bonhams, New York, 13th May 2010, lot 2026 (US$ 33,550 including premium).    Footnote Two - Lady Jane Franklin, the widow of Sir John Franklin, gained worldwide admiration and respect for her efforts to trace her husband's disappearance on his fatal 1845 voyage seeking the North West Passage.   In later life she travelled the world with Sir John's niece Sophia Cracroft (1816-1892), including to Hawaii, then known as the Sandwich Islands, in 1861, and Japan.   In Hawaii they were entertained as if they were royalty by the King, Kamehameha IV, and Queen Emma.   Provenance - Miss Frances J. Woodward.   The lei was discovered among the effects of Miss Woodward, in a Japanese lacquer box, which dates to the second half of the 19th century and is included in this sale as Lot ???, which also contained the hand-written note (illustrated), giving the provenance of the lei to Lady Jane Franklin, with its additional notation at the bottom which is signed L.L. Lefroy (Louisa Langlois Lefroy), and the pair of cased ambrotype portrait photographs of King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma, with their notes of Royal provenance, also included in this sale as Lot ???.   Born in Nottingham in 1922, Miss Woodward lived in Cambridge for 30 years and was a teacher of history, English and religion.   During the Second World War she worked at Bletchley Park as a decoder, in recognition of which she received a commemorative badge.   Lady Jane Franklin and Sophia Cracroft visited Hawaii in 1861, where they were escorted by the King's ADC, Mr Kalakaua.  On one excursion Sophia Cracroft says 'Mr. Kalakaua promises us each a necklace of the rare feathers which are worn only by Chiefesses of the highest rank' (KORN, Alfons L. - 'The Victorian Visitors', University of Hawaii Press, 1958, page 69).   A diary entry by Sophia Cracroft for Monday, May 27th (1861), records, on a visit to the Queen Dowager (Queen Kalama, widow of King Kamehameha III) - 'She expressed herself most kindly to my Aunt through Mrs. Bishop, and presented us each with a feather necklace, which I have already described as worn only by High Chiefesses' (KORN, Alfons L. - 'The Victorian Visitors', University of Hawaii Press, 1958, page 122).   Lady Jane Franklin died on 18th July 1875 and Sophia Cracroft and her brother-in-law George Benjamin Austen Lefroy (1818-1892), a grand nephew of Jane Austen (ref. KORN, Alfons L. - 'The Victorian Visitors', University of Hawaii Press, 1958, page 9) who had married Sophia's younger sister Emma Cracroft (b.1823) on 17th November 1853, acted as executors of her estate, and Lefroy inherited many of her possessions, including the Franklin feather cape which he gave to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu in 1909.   When Sophia Cracroft died on 20 June 1892 probate was again granted to George Benjamin Austen Lefroy. George Lefroy and Emma Cracroft had seven children including Jessie Lefroy (1859-1941), who bequeathed a quantity of Franklin related material known as the Jessie Lefroy bequest to the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, and Louisa Langlois Lefroy (1863-1954), and it is beyond doubt that the latter is the person referred to in the note found with the lei.   It is probable that Frances Woodward befriended Louisa in the course of her research into her biography of Lady Jane Franklin, and safe to assume that she was either given or purchased the lei from Louisa.   My sincere thanks to my father, Colonel Geoff Pearce, for his assistance in compiling this catalogue entry. 

£ 5,000 - 10,000

November 8th 2014



Sold on the instructions of the executors of the late Miss Frances J. Woodward (1922-2014), author of 'Portrait of Jane: A Life of Lady Jane Franklin', Hodder & Stoughton, 1951 - Hawaii, United States of America, Polar Exporation and Oceanic Ethnographic interest - THE PAIR OF PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHS OF KING KAMEHAMEHA IV AND QUEEN EMMA, PRESENTED TO LADY JANE FRANKLIN, WIDOW OF SIR JOHN FRANKLIN, IN 1861 - a rare pair of ambrotype portrait photographs of King Kamehama IV (1834-1863) and Queen Emma (1836-1885), in black thermoplastic or gutta percha cases (cracks to front of each case), each decorated with a view of The Washington Monument, Richmond, Virginia, each approximately 6.3 by 5.1ins. (16 by 13cms.) (overall); together with the two hand-written notes regarding the provenance, found with the lei hulu (preceding lot), in the 19th century Japanese lacquer box, Lot ??? in this sale, among the effects of Miss Frances J. Woodward (2) (see illustration).   Provenance - Lady Jane Franklin, presented to her by King Kamehameha IV in 1861.   A diary entry by Sophia Cracroft, niece of Sir John Franklin and travelling companion of Lady Jane Franklin, dated Monday, May 27th (1861), records, on their farewell visit to the King and Queen - 'He shewed my Aunt some tapa cloth and fine matting he has got for her and says he has some more things, including his and the Queen's portraits' (KORN, Alfons L. - 'The Victorian Visitors', University of Hawaii Press, 1958, page 122).   Without doubt, these are those portraits.   See footnotes and provenance to preceding lot.   My sincere thanks to my father, Colonel Geoff Pearce, for his assistance in compiling this catalogue entry.

£ 1,000 - 2,000
November 8th 2014



Property of a lady - a pair of museum quality Japanese bronze & mixed metal shakudo & shibuichi decorated vases, Meiji period, late C19th, one decorated with an owl perched on a branch, the other with a blackbird, each with engraved signature tablet, 9ins. (22.9cms.) high (2).

£ 8,000 - 12,000

 



January 24th 2015



ARR - Property of a deceased estate - Dorothea Sharp RBA ROI (1874-1955) - LOOKING OUT TO SEA - oil on canvas, 16.2 by 18.1ins. (41 by 46cms.), in gilt frame - signed lower left.   Provenance - with Polak Fine Art Dealers, King Street, St. James's, London.


£ 8,000 - 12,000


December 6th 2014



Maxime Camille Louis Maufra (1861-1918) - 'MER BLEUE, QUIBERON' - oil on canvas, 13.2 by 21.8ins. (33.5 by 55.4cms.), in gilt frame - signed lower right.

£ 10,000 - 15,000