Sale report: Specialist Collectors’ Sale 27th November 2020
Friday, 04 December, 2020
The final Specialist Collectors’ Sale of the year at Cuttlestones’ Wolverhampton Sale Rooms saw over 500 registered online bidders compete for lots in the diverse catalogue. With over 80% of lots selling, the auction house is continuing its strong performance in what has been a challenging year; with the COVID-19 pandemic seeing all its auctions shift to an online format.
Taking place during the second national lockdown, bidders had to rely on the fully illustrated online catalogue to view items – but that certainly didn’t deter them, with strong performance across the sections…
Local Interest lots prove a hit
A selection of items with historic links to Wolverhampton & Staffordshire generated considerable interest among the local media ahead of the sale, and bidders seemed equally keen to get in on the action. Highlights included Lot 25 - a "Wolverhampton Old Bank" £1 note, dated 1815, which sold for £45; Lot 178 - a book on 'The Natural History of Staffordshire" by Robert Plot (published 1686), which fetched £260 and Lot 180 – a collection of photographs and ephemera linked to Ely House College which sold for £60. Lot 184 – a collection of items linked to Wolverhampton including a magic catalogue, sweet tin, directories and various other miscellanea fetched £200, whilst Lot 215 – a selection of local early 20th century postcards, including Wolverhampton City centre, sold for £55.
Other items of historical interest that performed well included Lot 181 - a collection of photographs & ephemera focused on the construction of Ironbridge Power Station - saw the hammer fall at £160; while Lot 187 - various ephemera linked to North Staffordshire’s Wilkinson Potteries - including a letter signed by famed ceramic artist Clarice Cliff, achieved £2,000.
In the books section, the strong collectors’ market for Folio Society books – especially limited editions - was evident. Here, a collection of approximately 350 Folio Society books fetched a combined £5,645 hammer price - highlights included Lot 129, "The Four Gospels of The Lord Jesus Christ", Limited Edition No. 164/2750, at £250; Lot 134 – a 150th Anniversary Edition of "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" Limited Edition No. 94/1000 and signed by artist at £500; Lot 138 - Agatha Christie boxed sets at £190 and Lot 156 - "Travels in Arabia Deserta" by C. M. Doughty at £350.
Also in the books section was a significant collection of Wisden Almanacs, the first edition dating back to 1888, with the rest spanning the period 1895 – 2014 and only a few years missing. The collection fetched a combined £2,780 hammer price with, as expected, the earlier ones achieving the highest prices. Standout lots were Lot 277 - a complete run from 1950-2014 - which fetched £250; Lot 282 (1910 – 1918), which achieved £550 and Lot 283, 1919 - a rare edition - which saw the hammer fall at £75 despite being in poor condition.
Elsewhere, highlights popped up across the catalogue – including just over 100 lots of model railway locomotives, rolling stock and accessories which made either just below or just over their top estimates to amass a total hammer price of £7,188.
Vintage lots performed well – including a Lot 77, a vintage Phillips Rubbers shop sign, which sold for £300; Lot 108 – a Dandy Monster Comic Annual (1941) in poor condition which fetched £280; Lot 267 – a 1940s toothbrush holder from the estate of Steve McQueen, inc provenance from the original auction, which sold for £170; and Lot 458 - a Polython disc player with discs which achieved £230, while Lot 485 - an original crash test dummy head along with a solid cast aluminium one - fetched £120. Rounding off the highlights - and proving that it might well be worth having a good dig in your loft for old PCs – was Lot 486, a boxed Sinclair ZX Spectrum Personal Computer with a vintage Rockwell calculator, selling for £85.
The sale took place online on Friday, 27th November - the full catalogue including hammer prices is available to view wwww.cuttlestones.co.uk – and consignments are now being taken for the next Specialist Collectors’ Sale on Fri 19th March.