Sworders

Sworders are an auction house based in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex. They have a history dating back to 1782 when their Bishop’s Stortford-based forerunner started out in agriculture and property sales.

In 2008 Sworders moved to new purpose-built auction rooms and they also maintain a valuation office in Hertford.

The firm stages regular sales of antiques and collectables as well as other specialist events including dedicated modern art and design auctions and quarterly Country House sales.


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Sworders’ box of treats serves up banknote feast

24 August 2004

DURING an otherwise routine probabe valuation in a village near Saffron Walden, John Foster from Stansted Mountfitchet auctioneers Sworders discovered a box of coins tucked away in the back of a cupboard. On closer inspection he found an album of East Anglian banknotes which had probably been collected in the 1950s and 1960s for only a few pounds.

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Mutineer’s prop

22 June 2004

THIS walking stick, thought to have once belonged to John Adams, the longest surviving of the Bounty mutineers, will be on offer at Sworders' (15% buyer’s premium) Summer Country House sale on July 20-21. It is made from a vine found on Pitcairn Island, where Adams and eight of the other mutineers famously settled after landing there on January 23, 1790.

The Wright stuff – pamphlet soars to £2500

16 June 2004

FOUND in a box of aviation books that was brought into the salerooms of Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet following a North London house clearance was a little pamphlet entitled Experiments and Observations in Soaring Flight.

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Why the watercolour world of Lear now looks affordable

15 June 2004

OVER the last couple of years, a number of auctioneers have been complaining that lesser-name Victorian watercolours in the sub-£500 range have become the weakest of all areas at picture sales, sometimes to the point of having no market at all.

New face at Festival

19 May 2004

MOST of us are familiar with the designs Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden and Keith Murray produced for Wedgwood, but how many have heard of Norman Makinson?

Chinese photograph albums

05 May 2004

TWO albums of 19th century Chinese photographs assembled by a British diplomat sold for £5200 in a general antiques sale held by Sworders at Stansted Mountfitchet, on March 30.

Ink stand coming up at Sworders

02 February 2004

Although he remains a somewhat shadowy figure, during the last 25 years George Bullock (1777/8-1818) has emerged as perhaps the foremost English designer and cabinet maker of the early 19th century. Amongst many questions still remaining unanswered about Bullock’s life are how much he actually designed himself (no records of his firm survive) just who was his partner Colonel Charles Fraser, which country houses commissions did he undertake, and did he commit suicide?

£9200 for The Chimes that Dickens gave to a man who struck back

23 September 2003

THERE were very few books in the September 9 antiques sale held by Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchett, but one of them was a copy of Charles Dickens’ The Chimes that was signed and inscribed to a man with whom Dickens was later to become involved in a tiresome and disagreeable round of threats of litigation – an episode that was categorised in the title of a 1996 American book on the subject as The Charles Dickens-Thomas Powell Vendetta.

Mahogany dining table makes £63,000

16 September 2003

Consigned to Sworders by a dealer who had bought it when clearing a London office, this George III patent extending mahogany dining table created a massive amount of interest when offered by the Stansted Mountfitchet auctioneers on September 9. “When it arrived it was so obviously a good thing,” said specialist Guy Schooling who found two potential candidates for the maker, S. Martin, whose name and the inscription Invenit et Fecit appeared on a brass plaque applied to the base.

Orpen and Turner draw specialists to Essex

14 May 2003

ON the same day as Whyte’s Dublin sale, the Irish theme continued this side of the water at Essex when Sworders (15 per cent buyer’s premium) offered a drawing by Sir William Orpen (1878-1931) at their Stansted Mountfichet rooms on April 29 – a 16 by 14in (40 x 35cm) signed pencil and coloured washes piece entitled The Furniture Painter.

Arts and Crafts lighten silver woes

20 January 2003

THE sad plight of silver is as well known as the boom in all Arts and Crafts pieces – what happens when the two come together was the question at Sworders’ sale when this pair of plated candlesticks, right, were offered.

Essex bidders eye profits to be made under the table…

23 September 2002

THERE was only one spectacular price but plenty of exceptional results at this vast Essex dispersal at Sworder's, September 10-11 (Buyer's premium: 15 per cent) – a reminder to the trade that quality goods may be hard to find but wider margins can be made from low-value material.

Nelson is pride of blue and white

24 July 2002

English blue and white pottery may not be the most fashionable ceramic collecting area, but the 144-lot Patricia Davis collection offered in the June 11 morning session at Sworders Essex rooms suffered only 22 casualties.

Tompion trouble led to this Banger rarity

15 October 2001

FEW clocks can claim to be as rare as this example, pictured right, which is being offered for sale at Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex on October 23. The rarity is based in part on the maker’s misfortune.

An accident goes on record

12 October 2001

Nephew of the influential Amsterdam-based painting teacher Petrus Franciscus Greive (1811-1872), Johan Conrad Greive (1837-1891) was a modestly-talented 19th century Dutch artist who specialised in river and canal scenes often with numerous figures.

Designer label

02 October 2001

Gordon Russell, the Cotswolds School designer, is now famous for his austere designs of utility furniture. Unfortunately for Russell, this means that his work is often neglected and undersold by owners who do not realise his significance in the history of Arts and Crafts design.

Autumn’s sudden supply ends summer doldrums

02 October 2001

“It never gets any easier, it only gets more difficult,” a dealer told Guy Schooling before Sworders’ autumn sale on 18 September. Certainly the Essex auctioneer was ready to assume the worst after a summer so quiet he had to cancel a general sale in August, but the market is also known for its unpredictability, and a frantic two weeks at the beginning of September brought more than 500 lots through the doors.

Five-figure stars surprise Stansted

17 April 2001

UK: Sworders, Stansted: A mammoth 1200 lots made up the March dispersal by the Essex auctioneers and there were some real quality pieces among them, both in the ceramics and the furniture.

Sworders buy Pickford

10 April 2000

UK: ESSEX-based auctioneers G.E. Sworders & Sons have revived ties with Hertfordshire by taking over Andrew Pickford in Hertford.

Bidder quintuples estimate on table he has waited for

19 April 1999

G.E. Sworder & Sons, Stansted Mountfitchet, March 16 Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent UK: "CERAMICS and collectables are usually well received by the trade, but at this 1000-lot sale they were met with a muted response, silver and jewellery were eagerly sought after while the furniture met with a keen response from trade and private buyers,” said auctioneer Guy Schooling.

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