Special Auction Services

Founded in Newbury, Berkshire in 1991, Special Auction Services host a wide range of specialist collectors’ sales throughout the year.

As well as regular antiques and collectables sales, they hold tailored auctions focusing on categories such as toys, music and entertainment, cameras, sporting memorabilia, cigarette cards, postcards, jewellery, coins and watches. Their annual Trains Galore sale takes place in December.

Since 2006, the firm had been run by auctioneers Thomas Plant and Neil Shuttleworth.


Dolls made by Bergen-Belsen victims after liberation

‘Liberation dolls’ come to auction in Newbury

09 May 2022

When the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was liberated on April 15, 1945, a party of British Red Cross nurses and doctors stayed and tended those they could help back to health.

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Two versions of the Compass

18 April 2022

It was supposedly as a result of a bet whether it was possible to make a camera that could fit into a cigarette packet that Noel Pemberton Billing (1881-1948) began work on a miniature, collapsible camera that would accept 35mm film.

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The world in stereo

18 April 2022

The sale of Photographica & Cameras at Special Auction Services in Newbury on April 26 features this complete set of 'Tour Of The World' stereoviews by the Keystone View Company of Meadville, Pennsylvania.

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Dee family’s animal magic

28 March 2022

Henry William Dee, the son of Soho silversmith Thomas William Dee (c.1792- 1869), made a speciality of producing silver novelties for Garrard, Leuchars & Son and Asprey’s and other retail goldsmiths. There was real genius here and the patterns for many were patented.

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Avery jockey scales go weigh above estimate

07 March 2022

Former champion jockey Joe Mercer 1934-2021) was a keen buyer of racing memorabilia.

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A duo of ‘Qianlong’ objects inspired by China’s archaic past emerge at regional sales

28 February 2022

This blue and white ewer with a Qianlong mark offered at Cheffins (24.5% buyer’s premium) in Cambridge as part of an Interiors sale is of a type modelled on a Zhou bronze ritual wine vessel or 'he'.

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German mass market appeal

31 January 2022

A rare large-scale Erzgebirge mid-19th century painted wooden market was one of the stand-out lots of the largest-ever Toys, Dolls, Dolls’ Houses and Teddy Bears sale to be staged by Special Auction Services (20% buyer’s premium) in Newbury.

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The quality Aynsley appeal

03 January 2022

The Aynsley factory’s reputation for good quality, unadventurous bone china tea and coffee wares made it the safe choice for many British households.

Musical box by François Nicole

Pick of the week: Nicole musical boxes to get your teeth into

13 December 2021

François Nicole (b.1766), the Geneva-based pioneer of the key-wind musical box, is thought to have made around 440 boxes during his working life, but only around 60 are known today.

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Fossils fuel interest in 19th century microscope slides

01 November 2021

A group of early 19th century microscope slides mounted with specimens of fossilised wood sold for £11,500 (estimate £1000-1500) to a Canadian private collector at Special Auction Services (25% buyer’s premium) in Newbury.

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Owner stories boost value of Pearson teddy bears

16 August 2021

Toys from the private collection of Sue Pearson, the UK’s leading dealer in antique and vintage teddy bears and soft toys, were offered in Newbury.

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Rare Steiff ‘hot-water’ bottle bear makes special appearance

28 June 2021

Some of the zest has gone out of the teddy bear market since the crazy days of two decades ago.

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Hound kept in garage

05 April 2021

Classic Hammer Horror film posters are always popular at auction. This example below was probably the first UK quad release of The Hound of The Baskervilles (1959) starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

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Early railway toys puff into Newbury

25 January 2021

This charming early English-style station below was produced for the export market by German toy manufacturer Märklin.

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ATG letter: Aston’s – I wish SAS well

02 November 2020

MADAM – It was heartening to read that the premises of Aston’s Auctioneers and Valuers of Dudley (ATG No 2463) have been taken over by Special Auction Services (SAS) of Newbury, Berkshire.

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Aston’s premises go to ‘friendly rival’ as Special Auction Services expands into the Midlands

12 October 2020

Special Auction Services is expanding into the West Midlands and has taken over the premises of toy and collectables specialist Aston’s Auctioneers & Valuers in Dudley.

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Hornby train sets still on the right track after 100 years

20 July 2020

The Hornby train set is 100 years old this year. ATG reports on the sale of a remarkable century-old survivor plus highlights from across the UK regions

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Snaggletooth figure on offer

20 July 2020

This Star Wars Kenner Blue Snaggletooth action figure, undented toe version, complete with original weapon, is estimated at £80-120 in the Special Auction Services October 27 Toys for the Collector sale.

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Portobello dealer’s collection of kitchenalia and more proves a sell-out at Newbury auction

06 July 2020

Joan Dunk (1930-2019) was a Portobello Road market stalwart. Her stall, for decades an outside pitch on the corner of Westbourne Grove, was affectionately known as IDA – the trade name of an early 20th century German kitchen equipment manufacturer which she adapted to mean ‘Interesting Domestic Appliances’.

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Collection from Portobello Road market trader comes to Berkshire auction

03 June 2020

The house contents of Portobello Road market stalwart Joan Dunk (1930-2019) is to be sold in Newbury next week.

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