Everything for Spring
Without doubt the collective auctions here at Wotton-under-Edge are about as diverse as you might encounter anywhere. This month’s sale, on behalf of some two hundred and fifty vendors totaling around 1700 lots, included modern art, garden statutory, Persian carpets and rugs, coins, stamps, books, silver, jewellery, ceramics, glass and collectables, as well as a large range of antique and later furniture. In fact, you could fill a house from scratch by just attending one sale. A good lively crowd attended over the two-day period, backed up by 1168 registered online bidders, resulting in around 90% of all lots offered being sold with 43.5% to the online buyers.
The sale commenced with our first specialist Post War Art & Design sale. Having gathered multiple collections, it made sense to create a specialist section. Having the catalogue online for a month and converting the mezzanine floor of the school room into a modernist gallery, gave the collection maximum coverage. Lot 1, a Mary Fedden watercolour, set the tone selling to a room bid of £3,600 against three phone lines and keen internet activity. A phone buyer was successful when securing a Bridget Riley print for £2,600 and international phone lines contested an Edmund De Waal pot which settled at £2,000. The specialist section was a great success, the 128 selected lots realised over £40,000. We hope to go to market with another sale of this kind in November.
This was followed by the ceramics which included a Linthorpe pottery vase, designed by Dr Christopher Dresser and of gourd shape with a streaked green glaze. This was purchased over the phone at £5,400. Amongst the silver three silver plated figures of Grenadier Guardsman sold at £2,800. Jewellery once again saw an almost total clearance realizing over £12,000. Watches continue to sell well, and here a Rolex Geneva gents 9ct gold manual wristwatch made £1,050, while a mixed lot of watches sold at £960. The best of the clocks included a mantle clock of gothic cathedral form at £920. A good quality Russian agate and gilt metal egg shaped box sold at £1,600.
A large collection of unsorted coinage, most of which was discovered in four tea chests in the cellar of a local property, attracted considerable interest. Carefully sorted into periods and denominations and dating back from the Roman period to Queen Elizabeth II, this section totalled over £10,000.
A collection of 19th century mother-of-pearl, abalone and similar materials, mainly consisting of pierced panels for restoration, gaming pieces, etc, totalled £2,300. The book section saw an almost total clearance with sales at over £8,000.
So, with one thousand lots down and a further seven hundred to go, the second day commenced with the outside lots on which these rooms have built a strong reputation. A large crowd gathered, at one point blocking the road outside the Tabernacle. Bidding was fierce and almost every one of the two hundred lots sold, including a pair of established olive trees in a pair of large glazed pots at £1,000 and a huge copper cauldron some 90 cm in diameter at £1,300. This section totalled over £20,000.
Onto the furniture section, the crowd stayed strongly for this part of the sale, resulting in £1,700 paid for a 19th century mahogany bookcase with central division, £1,500 for a pair of Gainsborough elbow chairs, £980 for a George III mahogany serpentine side table, while the best of the Georgian mahogany chests of drawers made £980 and the best of the bureaux £560. A heavily over painted Regency sabre leg sofa made £2,900 and, finally, to the Persian carpets and rugs, the best of which, an Arts and Crafts example made £2,500.
The next sale at the end of May will include a number of surplus pieces from Wilton Castle near Ross-on-Wye, the property having been sold, together with further instructions from solicitors, executors and private individuals from the wider surrounding district.