February 2017 Sale Report



Fifteen hundred lots were entered for the February sale here at Wotton-under-Edge and around ninety per cent of those found buyers.  The sale bore all the usual characteristics with diversity heading the list.  Some two thousand eight hundred images were taken for the online catalogue and website, resulting in approximately fifty per cent being sold online, underbid by other online bidders, those attending the sale, those who left commission bids or those who bid via telephone.

Plentiful images, good and honest cataloguing and detailed condition reports are absolutely crucial to building trust with buyers worldwide, thus benefiting those who entrust their goods to us for sale considerably.

Perhaps the most interesting consignment came from a twenty foot container which had been locked for many years in a storage yard in Fareham.  The owner, a retired antiques dealer, had recently died and a family member had inherited the contents, but what were they?

Philip Taubenheim visited the yard, the container was opened and although a number of pieces of antique furniture could be seen, the majority of the contents were boxed and almost floor to ceiling.  A random search of some near to hand crates revealed 18th century Staffordshire china in one box, the next produced domestic china, pots and pans and so on.  So no clear logic of what it contained really emerged.

The container was completely emptied and delivered to the salerooms and after two days careful unpacking and grading the task was completed.  About thirty per cent had to be disposed of, but the remaining seventy per cent included a really interesting collection of silver, ceramics, glassware, pictures, a large and varied collection of collectables, rugs and books, together with a few pieces of furniture, resulting in total of about one hundred and sixty lots, about ten per cent of the volume of the sale.  So, how did it fair?

The most valuable objects to emerge were two rare woodworking planes by Norris, a firm producing very high quality woodworking tools during the early to middle part of the twentieth century.  Furthermore these two examples were in their original boxes, bearing labels and still coated in the original grease in which they left the factory so therefore probably never used.  Interest was raised from many countries across the world, the buyer eventually beating off an Australian telephone bidder (3am in the morning his time), to a price of 4,200.  The total value of the container was a little over twenty five thousand pounds so far, with further items to come.

Generally, amongst the Chinese porcelains, an early 19th century blue and white vase found during a routine house visit, sold at 1,300, while a collection of 18th century Liverpool tiles, despite considerable damage, made 600.

Jewellery sold well.  An 18th century ring set with ten diamonds sold at 1,200, an Edwardian brooch/pendant with old cut diamonds and pearls realised 1,750.  Virtually every one of the eighty or so lots of silver found a buyer, consistently above pre-sale estimate.  This included a Russian silver beaker and an enamelled silver cigarette case which returned to Russia at 1,200.

Persian carpets can be very unpredictable and here two old, but very worn and dirty examples totalled 2,200.  The previous owner had apologised for bringing them in!

A collection of vintage ventriloquist dummies including Claude the Cat, JJ, Johnnie & Jimmy who were all dolls, together with Mickey the monkey and Fragrance the skunk, sold for a total of 1,135.

A somewhat unusual collection of items relating to Oswald Mosley British Union of fascists material was consigned.  Although principally written material, it also included a march flag, motoring badge, a march apron, presentation medallions, wristwatch, total value raised here was 2,100.

Amongst the paintings a 17th century oil painting on canvas of oval form showing a portrait of a young woman in a blue dress with a pearl necklace realised 950.  Amongst the more unusual items included a panoramic site trainer, steel crated and of military significance that made 700.  An 18th century continental walnut coffer with mother-of-pearl inlay detail 840.  A Georgian mahogany longcase clock by Jean Nicolle of Jersey at 1,300.  A substantial oak framed settee with scrolled arms and early upholstered detail made 1,400.

At the time of writing, the saleroom is rapidly filling for the forthcoming sale on March 28th & 29th, which will include the contents of a large local farmhouse, which had been well equipped with modern soft furnishings and other equipment.  A large collection of stamps from a deceased estate, 25 lots or so, principally Swiss stamps, an extensive collection of high quality art related books principally on 20th century art.  Furthermore, outside effects are beginning to make their appearance again as winter recedes and spring arrives on the horizon so the saleroom will without doubt be full to capacity once more.               


Lot 651 - Sold for 4,200

Lot 304 - Sold for 1,750

Lot 743 - Sold for 950