A PIECE of York history has gone under the hammer at a North Yorkshire auction house.

Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn held an eclectic country house sale on Saturday, September 16 saw a host of rare and interesting lots come under the hammer.

One of the most unusual lots in the sale was a large 14th century gilt and painted carved oak corbel, which once formed part of the vaulted ceiling of the south transept of York Minster.


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The corbel was removed during the renovations following the fire that broke out in 1984 and was sold with a certificate of authenticity from the Minster for £3,800.

The blaze destroyed the historic cathedral’s South Transept roof on July 9, 1984.

York Press: The Minster fireThe Minster fire

Children's television show Blue Peter ran a competition in 1986 which gave youngsters the chance to design some of the bosses on the new roof with six winners announced at the time.

York Press: Cleaning up York Minster after the fire in 1984Cleaning up York Minster after the fire in 1984

Further rare lots that piqued buyers’ interest on the day included an atmospheric painting of Westminster Abbey by Moonlight by George Hyde Pownall (1866-1932) led the Picture Section, after selling for £6,000.

It was sold alongside a work by the same hand depicting St Paul’s in the evening light.

York Press: The painting by George Hyde PownallThe painting by George Hyde Pownall (Image: Tennants)

Also selling well was a still life of assorted flowers by Laurence Biddle (1888-1968) (sold for £700), Figures and Cattle by a Woodland Stream by Archibald Russell Watson Allan (sold for £600), and a good selection of works by Brian Irving (1931-2013) which included Windy Day in the Dales with Farmer and Dogs (sold for £320).

Amongst the ceramics in the sale were a Pearlware Model of a Horse made circa 1800-10, probably in Newcastle, which sold for £1,200.

York Press: The Pearlware horseThe Pearlware horse (Image: Tennants)

The sale also saw Part II of the TB and R Jordan Collection come under the hammer, which offered 50 lots of paintings by Staithes School artists for sale. The collection achieved a 98 per cent sold rate, with many of the lots selling for well above estimate.

Highlights of the collection included Cattle Grazing in Summer Pastures by Ernest Higgins Rigg (1868-1947) (sold for £680), Assorted Roses in a Silver Vase by Owen Bowen (1873-1967) (sold for £950), and Whitby Castle and Abbey from the Pool by Rowland Henry Hill (1873-1952) (sold for £420).

A fully illustrated catalogue for the sale can be found on Tennants Auctioneers' website - www.tennants.co.uk