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.


Italian specimen marble table top

Five lots to watch at auction this week including Dirk Bogarde's pietra dura table and a Zulu War shield

07 January 2019

With estimates from £50 to £25,000, here are five previews from upcoming sales this week.

Joseph Trinder
Martin Brothers

Five lots to watch at auction this week including a mirror linked to the Titanic and a Martin Brothers pottery dog.

10 December 2018

With estimates from £1500 to £30,000, here are five previews from upcoming sales this week.

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Steiff teddy bear all dressed up for a wedding

10 December 2018

This very rare bear shown below made a very high price for such a small fellow – just 14cm (5½in) high.

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Five toy and model lots to watch out for at upcoming auctions

27 November 2018

A selection of lots coming up in either dedicated toy and model auctions or sections within larger sales.

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Great lookers eyed on the same day by Newbury auctioneer

05 November 2018

“The chances of finding one that had been bought in a £90 box lot was probably one in a million; the chances of finding two more on the same day are incalculable.” Scientific instruments expert Hugo Marsh was talking about specialist camera lenses he was shown in September, first by a south-coast vendor, then by a West Country enthusiast, which sold at Special Auction Services (17.5% buyer’s premium) at Newbury on October 23.

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Transit instruments measure up in Newbury sale

22 October 2018

Probably a puzzle to all but experts in the field, the item shown below is a transit instrument – one of three which all went well above estimates at a cameras and scientific instruments sale held by Special Auctions Services (17.5% buyer’s premium).

Whitefriars glass

Saleroom selection: Six pieces of Baxter Whitefriars glass on offer at auctions around the UK

01 October 2018

Whitefriars glass can be traced back to the 18th century but it really came into its own after James Powell purchased the business for his three sons in 1834.

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Pick of the Week The Byne Ladies will stay together

25 June 2018

Three 18th century English carved and painted wooden dolls, in the same family for over two centuries, were sold at Specialist Auction Services of Newbury on June 19.

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A welcome breeze for fans of fans

18 June 2018

Two notable single-owner collections, augmented by items from the round of Oriental art sales, made spring a bumper crop in the specialist world of fans.

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How £100 can go a long way in the fans collecting field

18 June 2018

Advertising and souvenir fans from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries received a mixed reception at the April 10 Special Auction Services sale at Newbury devoted to works collected by the late Martin Willcocks.

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Very rare 17th century English doll turns heads to sell for £9500 at North Yorkshire auction

08 June 2018

Despite having lost a hand and suffering minor wear and chips to her chin, not to mention being just 5.5in (14cm) high, a doll caused a considerable stir at auction with six phone lines and internet bidders all desperate to succeed.

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Why Bing is the toy train in-thing

21 May 2018

Called to look at some toy trains in the home of a lady who had recently died at a great age, Special Auction Services (17.5% buyer’s premium) specialist Hugo Marsh was surprised to be shown two early and rare Bing items. They had been collected by the lady’s first husband and stored away since he was killed in the Second World War.

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Second World War Leitz lens clearly a £70 bargain

16 April 2018

Bought recently for just £70 in a job lot, this German military-issue Leitz lens below sold for £5500 in Special Auction Services (17.5 buyer’s premium) Photographica sale on March 13. The Hektor 13.5cm f/4.5 lens, offered with an estimate of £4000-6000, sold to the European trade.

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Huge group of photos at auction reflects 19th century collecting craze of the carte de visite

12 April 2018

Parents will now be shelling out hundreds of pounds as kids fill up football World Cup sticker albums and negotiate playground swaps in a now time-honoured fashion. Back in the mid-19th century the photo collecting craze was all about the carte de visite, as a May 3 auction underlines.

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Tri-ang sell-out auction strikes a blow for the traditional toy market beyond Star Wars and Lego

30 March 2018

Despite Lego and Star Wars hogging the headlines when it comes to high prices paid out recently by toy collectors, the ‘old school’ has struck back to land a blow for more venerable brands.

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Terrific line-up of Tri-ang and Brit toys

05 March 2018

A single-owner collection of Tri-ang and other British toys will go under the hammer in what has been described as the largest of its type to come to auction.

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Sizeable bids for steam loco toys in Trains Galore sale

15 January 2018

Whatever chaos faces hundreds of thousands of commuters on the railways as we enter the New Year, the better-ordered world of model trains steams on to continued success.

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Previews: £501 - £2000

02 January 2018

Our weekly selection from salerooms and dealerships.

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Mr Copper and Wibbly-Wobbly

03 July 2017

Like many who deal in antiques, the late dealer Andrew Cottrell zeroed in on his chosen niche with an all-consuming passion, accumulating vast knowledge (and stock) in the process.

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