Woolley & Wallis

Salisbury-based auction house Woolley & Wallis is a leading UK provincial saleroom.

Founded in 1884, they now hold regular specialist sales in areas from Asian Art and Tribal Art to 20th Century Design, Jewellery, European Ceramics, Arms & Armour and Fine Art.

In 2016, they opened a London office in Mayfair.


Tea and sympathisers

06 December 2002

Historians have spent many enjoyable hours attempting to decipher the symbolism of pictures on the back of Georgian teaspoons such as those illustrated right. Like the club tie or the secret society handshake, the picture back teaspoon was an English gentleman’s discreet method of signalling loyalties to potential sympathisers when serving afternoon tea.

Mixing grape and grain

28 August 2002

With tarriffs and subsidies yet again a hot political topic, it was appropriate that this wine label caused such a stir at Woolley and Wallis’ Salisbury salerooms on July 17.

Early 19th century diamond necklace

02 May 2002

“It was like the 1970s all over again,” said John Benjamin of Woolley and Wallis, describing the breadth of quality at his jewellery sale in Salisbury on April 24-25.

Rooms on a roll as a new centre for the rug trade

22 March 2002

THE move towards holding specialist sales among provincial auctioneers has been one of the success stories recent years and one that is paying dividends for Salisbury’s Woolley & Wallis in one of the most arcane worlds – that of carpets and textiles.

The result of royal intrigue

13 March 2002

Perfect conditions were required for the production of 18th century soft paste porcelain, but work only began on this rare group, right, after three ships laden with 44 factory staff and 88 tons of equipment had been ferried from Italy to Spain.

Decorator trade weaves it magic on prices for carpets

14 February 2002

The Wiltshire rooms Woolley & Wallis usually hold four specialist carpet sales a year but a fifth was squeezed in before the scheduled Valentine’s Day event, and with a 77 per cent rate and £77,000 total on the 284 lots on offer, the decision by specialists June Barrett and Ian Bennett was more than justified.

Tropical centre table

15 January 2002

Just the thing to lift the spirits in the cold, dark, stock-deprived days of winter, this spectacular whorl of a tropical centre table received a warm reception at the Salisbury salerooms of Woolley and Wallis on January 8.

William Billingsley painted campana vase

13 December 2001

This unrecorded, William Billingsley painted campana vase appeared at Woolley and Wallis’s sale in Salisbury on November 28, and not without great controversy.

A Meissen derived Kakiemon tankard

04 June 2001

UK: A striking amalgam of European form and Oriental decoration, this Meissen derived Kakiemon tankard was a rare hybrid, apparently one of only four in public record, and it consequently attracted worldwide interest at Woolley and Wallis’s sale in Salisbury on May 23.

The Lancers charge ahead of the field

12 March 2001

UK: BEARING 12 battle honours to unhappy, if topical, Afghanistan, this piece of splendidly confident Victorian headwear, led the way among the 570 lots of militaria on offer at Lewes based arms and armour specialists Wallis & Wallis (15 per cent buyer’s premium) on February 13.

Set of 12 Elizabethan lion sejant affronte spoons

31 October 2000

UK: The most comprehensive and perhaps the finest collection of early silver spoons to appear on the market since the 1960s went under the hammer at Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury last Wednesday (October 25).

Mahogany wheel-shaped barometer

10 July 2000

UK: JOHN Russell of Falkirk was a barometer maker to the Prince Regent and, as a result, this mahogany wheel-shaped example with the Prince of Wales feathers commanded considerable interest from leading London dealers at Woolley and Wallis’s Salisbury salerooms on July 4.

Giant 19th Century breakfront bookcase makes a stately £46,000

24 January 2000

UK: Giant bookcases from stately homes rarely appear at provincial auctions these days, so there was justifiable interest in this early 19th century breakfront example from dealers with showrooms large enough to accommodate its 18ft 51/2in by 9ft 51/2in (5.63 x 2.88m) proportions.

Charles Napier Hemy’s Life

18 October 1999

UK: Charles Napier Hemy’s seascape Life 4ft 6in x 6ft (1.24m x 1.83m), signed and dated 1913, with reverse inscription, set a record for Salisbury auctioneers Woolley & Wallis on October 12 when it sold for a double mid-estimate £110,000 plus premium.

Metamorphic library chair steps up to £5600

06 September 1999

UK: A PRIME piece of Gothic revival furniture, this early Victorian oak metamorphic library armchair, possibly to a design by John Loudon, made £5600 (plus 10 per cent buyer’s premium) from the Irish trade at the Salisbury salerooms of Woolley and Wallis on August 24.

Pressing the flesh

12 July 1999

UK: THE ENORMOUS wheel screw on this simulated oven gives some clue as to the gruesome purpose of the plated contraption which turned up at the Salisbury salerooms of Woolley and Wallis on June 23.

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