Auction Reports


Quack Doctor prescribes surprise remedy

28 August 2017

Tentatively catalogued as ‘18th-19th century German, possibly Meissen’, a porcelain figure of the Quack Doctor from the Cryes of London series was the surprise tonic at Reeman Dansie’s (20% buyer’s premium) August 1 Colchester sale.


Cup of tea trumps champagne ahead of Chiswick at South Kensington

28 August 2017

With everything buzzing at Chiswick Auctions (22% buyer’s premium) ahead of the opening of the South Kensington showroom next week (see last week’s ATG No 2305), life at the west London rooms goes on providing a solid base for this ambitious expansion.


Cricket cages catch the eye at Cambridge sale

28 August 2017

Catching the eye at the Oriental Sale at Cheffins (22.5% buyer’s premium) in Cambridge on August 10 were the two highly collectable 4¾in (12cm) tall gourd cricket cages shown here.


How the country house sale lives to fight another day

21 August 2017

Recent country house contents sales at Chorley's, Halls and Hansons show that evolving the model is breathing new life into a traditional format.

Furniture: summer sales indicate some market recovery

21 August 2017

This focus on furniture kicks off with a royal link and three more cheers at summer sales for the furniture market which a number of auctioneers are saying shows modest signs of recovery.


Rare Beatles concert poster from 1963 sells at Tennants for nearly three times estimate

21 August 2017

Back in December 1962, a Yorkshire show promoter booked a new Liverpool band to play at Harrogate’s Royal Hall on the strength of their first record which had charted at No 17 a couple of months earlier.


An 18th century stoneware jug takes 40 times top estimate at Sworders

21 August 2017

The surprise package of Sworders’ (22% buyer’s premium) Homes and Interiors sale of August 1 was an early buff stoneware jug of a type commonly associated with the potteries of Fulham and Vauxhall.


Ceramics and furniture star in Hartleys summer sale

21 August 2017

The wide-ranging summer sale at Ilkley saleroom Hartleys (15% buyer’s premium) on June 14 left auctioneer Andrew Hartley in an upbeat mood. He could look back on “some high prices in most areas, and in particular the furniture section showed early signs of a market waking up for items right across the board”.


Snuff box with William of Orange inscription had shipwreck provenance

21 August 2017

A 19th century oak snuff box offered at Lawrences (22% buyer’s premium) of Crewkerne on July 11 was inset with copper and inscribed Made from the wreck of the Betsy Cains which brought King William to England 1688 and A.Reed Esq. Mayor 1827.


Lowestoft musicians play £4000 part in Keys’ sale

14 August 2017

A pair of white glazed figures of musicians made by the Lowestoft factory c.1770 sold for £4000 at the July 18 sale at Keys (plus 20% buyer’s premium) of Aylsham.


Two becomes one and life goes on in Leyburn

14 August 2017

Condensed into one day instead of the usual two, the Summer Sale at Tennants (20% buyer’s premium) nevertheless provided a bird’s eye view of the middle market which these triannual ‘fine’ auctions at Leyburn traditionally offer.

Early auction starters catch up

14 August 2017

Below we present further highlights from the busy summer season that we didn’t have space for in earlier editions.


Stirrup cup shows horse sense

24 July 2017

Despite their function, stirrup cups in the form of equine heads are a little harder to find than those of dogs and foxes.


Final Christie's South Kensington sale: going, going… and definitely gone

24 July 2017

At just after 10am on July 19, William Porter – the first of four carefully chosen auctioneers – climbed the rostrum to a ripple of applause from an audience of two dozen staff and a dozen or so buyers. “Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Christie’s South Kensington and welcome to the Interiors sale.” Long pause. “For the last time,” he said. “Boo,” heckled a voice from the front.


Studio pottery from Porlock

24 July 2017

The interest in studio pottery goes beyond the premier names in the field. Three pieces by Waistel Cooper (1921-2003), a Scot who worked first in Porlock in Somerset and later from the Barbican Pottery in Penzance, generated plenty of bidding at Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s (19% buyer’s premium) July 6 sale in Taunton.


Traditional concertinas are sound auction buys

24 July 2017

Helped by a revival of interest in traditional music, the market for the best antique concertinas has accelerated in recent years. Prices for some models have trebled across the decade.


Phone bidders fuel cigarette box bidding

24 July 2017

This shagreen, silver and enamel cigarette box and cover, made for Liberty and Co and attributed to Manx designer Archibald Knox (1854-1933), doubled its estimate to sell for £10,500 at Halls (20% buyer’s premium) in Shrewsbury on June 21.


Sweet dreams are made of these Rowntree's tins

24 July 2017

Mitchells’ (20% buyer’s premium) Vintage and Antique Toy Sale on July 15 included a collection of 15 Rowntree’s sweet tins from the Edwardian era.


A monumental Lancastrian and Pearson in silver

22 July 2017

Leading the sale of Arts & Crafts at the Woolley & Wallis June 21 sale was the monumental Pilkington’s Lancastrian vase shown above, standing some 48cm (19in) high.


The many faces of Burmantofts

17 July 2017

It was, said specialist Michael Jeffery, “one of, if not the finest, collections of Burmantofts put together by a private individual”.