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Sale report: Spring Antique Collectors’ Auction 2024

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With some 509 lots covering everything from art and furniture to jewellery, wines & spirits, sports memorabilia and ethnographica & tribal art, the catalogue for our first major sale of the year was nothing if not diverse!

Art – and books – sections provide the first highlights…
The first highlight came in the early Oil, Acrylic Paintings & Mixed Media section. Lot 54 – an oil on board interior scene of a young woman sitting by a desk, dated 1897 and signed Carlton Alfred Smith, saw the hammer fall at £800. A few minutes later it was a first UK edition of ‘The Gremlins’ book from The Walt Disney Production, A Royal Air Force Story by Flight Lieutenant Roald Dahl. Published in 1943 the wartime tale was the first work of the legendary children’s author, and first edition copies are much sought by collectors. This example, despite a condition report relaying ‘Boards are worn, crease on front, marks on some pages inside, name on endpaper’ fetched £75 to a bidder on the internet.

Books continued to perform well with Lot 105 – ‘European Butterflies & Moths’ by W.F. Kirby (1889) – featuring 61 coloured plated and in great condition inside despite some external wear – achieving £100. Lot 106 – a collection of six Wisden Cricketer’s Almanacks dating from WWII and later – including softbacks 1943, 1947, 1948 and hardbacks 1944, 1946 and 1983 – sold for an impressive £420.

A tale of aviation pioneers – and vintage clothing…
It was a unique collection of documents relating to early pioneer of military ballooning and aviation Lieutenant Colonel Francis Charles that next got bidders hot under the collar. Including a small number of photographs, alongside numerous handwritten and printed documents related to ballooning and fragments of fabric and cord, the collection went for £1,400 to an online bidder from London.

Vintage clothing produced the next star – Lot 119, a collection of early 20th century ladies’ clothing of various styles and periods (but mainly 1910s and 20s) shattered its estimate of £30-50 when the hammer fell at £400!

Silver, jewellery and watches…
Once again, the silver, jewellery and watches categories provided some strong sales with Lot 143 – a 19th Century continental silver automaton musical box, whimsically decorated with winged cherubs and opening to reveal a singing bird with real coloured feathers, saw the hammer fall at an impressive £1,500.

In the jewellery section, two ‘Iliana’ rings each fetched £380 – Lot 155 an 18ct white gold sapphire ring with diamond set shoulders, and Lot 157 – an 18ct white gold three stone emerald rind with diamond chip set shoulders. Meanwhile Lot 163, a vintage single strand cherry amber graduated bead necklace, shattered its £80-100 estimate when it went for £300. The star watch of the day was Lot 207 – a vintage 925 silver quarter repeating pocket watch that sold for £380.

Elsewhere in the silver section lot 248 – a pair of silver-topped claret jugs marked Sheffield 1896 went for £240 and Lot 262 – a novelty set of 12 silver plated menu holders in the form of clam shells fetched £75. In the sculpture section, the star of the show was equine in form. Lot 269 – an impressive bronze figure of a tired hunter by John Willis Good (1845-1879) sold for the top end of its estimate at £1,200.

Wines, spirits – and more…
Our reputation for achieving substantial prices for collectable wines and spirits continues to grow – with 39 lots consigned in this sale.

Lot 309 – a single bottle of Nieport & Ca. LDA Porto Colheita 1952 port sold for £130; Lot 317 – a bottle of L Garnier liqueur Frabriquee a la GDE Chartresuse sold for £1,000 despite the condition report relaying mid-shoulder and a damaged wax capsule and last but not least – Lot 319 – a Clan Drummond gift tin of Glenfiddich Special Reserve Whisky, along with a bottle of Glenfiddich Special Reserve in a gift tube, achieved £120.

Next are a pair of ‘sleepers’ – but the fact they smashed their estimates is where any similarity ends! Lot 398 – an extensive 12 place setting, walnut-cased canteen of plated cutlery fetched £550 against an estimate of £100-200 – proving that formal dining is still de regur in some circles. Lot 461 – a selection on dentistry equipment and teaching aids – including a human skull with sliced cranium and hinged, sprung jawbone, a steel travel cabinet containing various drill attachments and sundries and four slide cases containing various 35mm photographic dental images, sold for £600 (estimate £100-150) – although whether the bidders comprised collectors of dental equipment or those with a taste for the macabre, will likely never be known!

Traditional (and modern) furniture brings in the bids…
The popularity of mid-century modern furniture looks set to continue – in this sale Lot 491, a mid-century G-Plan teak and glass oval coffee table – sold for £200. Lot 498, meanwhile, shows there’s also a taste for more traditional interiors – this late 17th / early 18th Century & later carved oak fire surround with mirror above sold for £550, and we’re sure it will make a stunning centrepiece in a period property. Another show-stopping centrepiece, in the form of Lot 497 – a large, modern gilt composite overmantle mirror with Rococo and floral scrolling, meanwhile, sold for £400.

However, the star lot of the entire sale has to be Lot 504 – a Black Forest style carved standing bear stick stand, which saw the hammer fall at £2,200 following a bidding frenzy.

We are now taking consignments for our Summer Antique Sale as well as a series of specialist collectors’ auctions that we will run throughout the year. To arrange a free, no obligation valuation of your items email [email protected] or call 01785 714905 – alternatively message us a few photographs via WhatsApp on 07949 603872.

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