Saving the Best Until Last
Almost without doubt, this was the largest sale to be held in the country over the Christmas and New Year period. It broke many records including the highest number of online bidders registering at the saleroom - some 1,380 individuals registered to take part online and placed commission bids worth £156,000 before the sale began. These bids then competed with those attending in the room, bids left on the auctioneers book and telephone bids, resulting in around a 90% selling figure of the near 1,800 lots on offer. Some sixty percent of all lots sold were purchased online and all departments saw vigorous bidding, the jewellery section in particular. A three stone diamond ring, the central stone approx. 2.65 ct, flanked by two further diamonds totalling almost a carat, attracted strong trade interest in competition with a local private buyer well known to these rooms. The latter won the ring at £14,500 and virtually every other piece of jewellery was sold. There was a sell out too amongst the silver section, where a rare pair of Georgian silver entrée dishes, probably by John Robins and dated London 1805, weighing in at around 100 oz, sold at £1,800. With both silver and gold prices rising around the Christmas period, all precious metals were eagerly contested resulting in a very few unsold lots.
These rooms have become well known for the sale of Eastern carpets and rugs. Displaying well over the balcony, they attract strong interest. The best lot, a pair of Persian silk rugs sold at £2,400 and a single similar example realized £980.
Amongst the paintings, an oil by Herbert Royle, of a woodland scene with sheep made £1,550.
Day Two of the sale again saw a large company in attendance and the first surprise of the day witnessed a white marble panel showing the Holy Lamb, estimated at £40-£60, sell for £3,200. A good 18th century walnut longcase clock with thirty hour movement by W Speakman of London realized £2,300, a fine inlaid Edwardian mahogany bedroom suite sold for £1,050, a good George III mahogany serpentine chest of drawers made £1,800.
Results for more unusual lots included £1,300 for a 19th century ivory chess set, £460 for a White Star Line deck blanket, £500 for an uncut rough amber block, £540 for a pair of pottery dishes by the St Ives potter Bernard Leach, a Paragon china tea set at £900, a 15ct gold Albert watch chain at £740, a small 19th century coffer with medieval style at £780, burr walnut pedestal desk at £800, an 18th century red walnut corner chair at £1,500 and an Irish oak sarcophagus shaped wine cooler by Williams & Gibton at £880.
The calendar of sales for 2018 is now posted on the web site and a large number of entries are already to hand for the January auction.