CATCHING THE WAVE
A good auction can be akin to a surfer catching a good powerful wave. It’s about timing, skill and a good deal of luck, riding it out as far as possible and we, here at Wotton-under-Edge, created just such a moment with this sale.
It was one of the largest we have conducted, with just over 1,800 lots being offered during the two days’ sale, but it was continuing quality and variety that made it one of our best. A large percentage was made up from deceased estates. One set of instructions received from those with Power of Attorney dealing with a property near Stroud, provided about five hundred lots, with more to follow in forthcoming sales. Many items from this particular property had not seen daylight since the 1950s with much of it still wrapped in newspaper of that period, a situation that buyers just love.
Oriental ceramics can throw up surprises and here an 18th century dish with simple geometric decoration, estimated at £80 to £100, sold at £5,100, while two earthenware Arbarello drug jars realized a total of £4,900.
Amongst the horology, a 17th century lantern clock with much work to be undertaken before restoration, sold at £2,000, while a good repeating carriage clock by Henri Jacot made £1,200.
A large collection of coinage found a very ready market. Interesting individual coins such as a Commonwealth period half-crown dated 1651 realised £460 and combined with various James I, Queen Anne, Henry VI, Georgian and Victorian coinage, as well as gold and half sovereigns, and a collection of modern-day coins in presentation packs to gross £13,175. A Royal Australian mint set of gold coins, 100 grams in total sold at £2,100.
A fine collection of Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco jewellery, principally from one property untouched since the 1950s and found in a tin box at the back of a wardrobe, did remarkably well, selling for a total of £42,600. This included a good platinum ring at £1,050, a diamond and solitaire ring at £1,150, a diamond and sapphire ring at £1,350, and a three stone diamond ring at £2,300. A topaz and diamond drop necklace realized £1,400, a diamond bangle £1,250, a diamond and pearl bangle £1,550, a group of pique work tortoiseshell jewellery sold for £1,600, and an Egyptian revival pearl fringe collar necklace made £2,600. Finally, an 18ct Albert watch chain made £1,200 and a diamond star burst brooch £1,600.
This was followed by a good selection of some 150 lots of silver which included a Guild of Handicrafts dish and pedestal bowl by Charles Robert Ashbee at £3,000, this section totalled over £22,000.
Amongst the miscellaneous effects a Chinese bronze sensor made £2,000, while another with carved timber top and base realized £1,550. An 18th century flintlock blunderbuss sold for £1,200 and a Nuremburg iron work casket realized £4,600.
The second day’s auction included a really good collection of Heals fumed oak bedroom furniture. This was sold in seven lots including cabinets, chairs and small bookcases and the collection went to several buyers at a total of £3,850. A good large 19th century dolls house from Delamere Rectory realized £1,350, a large Dutch colonial brass banded coffer sold at £1,250. A 19th century brass banded mirror made £1,000 and a fine quality modern super king bed £1,650. A 17th century oak panel, probably part of a four poster, made £950.
The pictures, books and stamps sections were included in the second day’s auction, due to pressure of space on the first day. Pictures did well, an 18th century portrait of a man in wig and red cloak made £1,000, a watercolour by Thomas Marie Hemy 1852-1937, showing the Pool of London, made £1,250. An Anglo Netherlandish school portrait of a man in black with ruff collar made £5,500. Two watercolours by Hercules Brabazon Brabazon of Venetian lagoon scenes after Turner sold at £1,300.
The best of the stamp albums containing examples from Victoria to George VI made £940, and an album of eight early 20th century Beatrix Potter greetings cards made a further £980.
A few interesting statistics about the sale:
The total number of lots on offer was 1,818
The total number of lots sold was 1,579
The total number of registered bidders online 1,339
The percentage sold online 47.2% and there were over 40 countries represented
The sale total was in excess of £250,000
Finally, the following sale in October will include a large collection of Wemyss ware, which can be viewed online now, together with a further good and interesting collection of mid-20th century and earlier textiles. We are at present working on a large collection of tin plate and lead toys, which if time allows, will be included in the October sale - failing that they will be seen in November. The next few sales are likely to contain a further huge variety of items on offer, for which these salerooms are well known.