North-west England


Halls consolidate and create opening for new auction firm in Chester

11 December 2002

Shrewsbury–based Halls Fine Art have agreed to sell their Chester saleroom business to manager and auctioneer Adrian Byrne as a going concern. The decision was made as Halls’ lease on the saleroom came up for renewal. Halls Fine Art director Richard Allen said: “It was considered prudent to consolidate our existing expertise in areas where Halls already has regional offices, particularly in the Shropshire border towns and Central Wales.”

Kelso gypsies, Walt Whitman and a hidden Dr Johnson

11 December 2002

ONE of the more expensive lots in this Cumbrian sale at Thomson Roddick & Medcalf on 6 November was an 1881 [Philadelphia] limited edition of the Complete Poems and Prose of Walt Whitman. An ex-library copy in well worn cloth and bearing a typescript note that it was bought “...at the sale of the library of the late Lord Rosebery”, it made £920. Some copies are signed, but the catalogue referred only to a manuscript limitation statement.

Papier-mâché is the new black

28 November 2002

“Black lacquered papier-mâché is back in vogue after a couple of years in the doldrums,” said Bonhams’ David Houlston, hailing one of the most successful components of November Chester sale on 6-8 November. This material was a decorative complement to the crepuscular interiors of Victorian houses and Mr Houlston believes that its resurgence is due to the ingenuity of modern decorators who have found brighter uses for the black.

Success on the plate

21 November 2002

Some dealers believe that the market for plated silver has never been the same since the Italians ducked out in the mid 1990s, and while it is true that types such as entrée dishes and tureens have gone off the boil, there is still (always?) demand for candelabra, anything set with mother or pearl or ivory (American interest here) and table centrepieces like the three examples illustrated here which were offered at Bonhams Chester (buyer’s premium 17.5/10 per cent) on November 6.

For Lowry on a budget – Delaney

08 October 2002

For those who can’t afford paintings by L.S. Lowry, the Manchester townscapes of Arthur Delaney (1927-87 appear to be becoming an increasingly popular substitute.

Arley's old faithful find room for a local

23 September 2002

SOME regular exhibitors have been standing at Cooper Antiques Fairs' premier autumn event, the Cheshire County Antiques Fair, for 14 years and not many have been doing it for less than five.

North star

29 August 2002

TATTON Park in Cheshire is the National Trust’s most visited property, but not only is it the country’s favourite, it is also a big favourite of Essex organiser Robert Bailey who holds four Tatton fairs a year.

Bidders book in for hoteliers’ pieces

29 August 2002

THE private collection of the late Lake District hoteliers Brian Sack and Francis Coulston provided some choice pickings for collectors with a decorative bent but a limited budget at Thomson, Roddick and Medalf on 9 July.

Golfing rarities by C.B. Clapcott

14 August 2002

IN A July 15 Golfing Memorabilia sale held by Bonhams Chester (17.5/10% buyer's premium) a scarce copy of C.B. Clapcott’s The History of Handicapping, a 10pp booklet of c.1924, secured in cream card covers by now rusty staples, was sold at a ten-times-estimate £4000, and one of 500 limited edition copies of a 1935 book by Clapcott, Rules of the Ten Oldest Golf Clubs from 1754-1848, a near fine copy in glassine wrappers, reached £1350.

Hard-hit dealers respond to the great outdoors

30 July 2002

WITH the furniture trade in a selective mood after a patchy round of June fairs, Bonhams relied upon local private buyers and international shippers to purchase the top pieces of furniture at their three-day Chester sale from 26-28 June.

Late 18th century silver watch sells for £10,000

30 July 2002

In the week before the world’s leading golfers competed for a silver claret jug on the Muirfield links outside Edinburgh, a much older prize from the Leith Links of the Honourable Company of Golfers of Edinburgh was being contested in Cheshire.

A routine valuation unearths star bookcase

12 July 2002

THE success of the Regency mahogany bookcase, right, contributed a large chunk of the £86,000 hammer total taken at Hall’s (15% buyer’s premium) of Chester on May 31.

Coming up in Cheshire...

28 June 2002

A veteran of golfing sales, Bob Gowland has been involved in this specialist field for the past 30 years. With stints at both Phillips and Bonhams under his belt, he has been acting independently for the past 18 months as Bob Gowland International Golf Auctions.

Blazing a trail for times gone by

17 April 2002

Operating for many years from their warehouse space in Eccleston, Lancashire, Bygone Times International were one of the UK’s largest dealers in memorabilia supplying themed bars and restaurants worldwide.

Canterbury rewards hard day’s work

17 April 2002

WITH 452 lots bringing around £43,000, this was a satisfactory enough Cheshire sale if sometimes hard work for Patrick Cheyne on 23 March.

Grants rescue this rare amber cabinet for nation

03 April 2002

THE Heritage Lottery Fund have announced a grant of £404,500 to help the Walker Museum in Liverpool acquire an exquisite Weld Blundell Amber Cabinet, which was due for export.

Programmes in the Big League

04 March 2002

FOOTBALL programmes were the mainstay of this mixed book, card and ephemera sale for Acorn Auctions in Trafford Park, but though one job lot of two dozen Manchester United programmes of 1960s-80s vintage did sell for £620, a similar number of single sheet programmes of 1945-46, valued at up to £2000, failed to sell, and for once it was Manchester City who came out on top.

Local associations boost bids on 17th century chair

25 February 2002

THE policy of these Cheshire auctioneers, Maxwells, to hold a decent sale in January rather than in the crowded period before Christmas generally pays off, and did so this year although, that said, the local associations of the top seller would probably have resulted in a good price at any period.

Spain’s loss is Cheshire’s gain

25 February 2002

Furniture was strong at this Cheshire sale at Patrick Cheyne on 26 January where the top seller was a set of eight (six and two carvers) and two near-matching George III style bleached walnut dining chairs.

Seventy years on, etchings rise again

15 February 2002

Buying art as an investment has always been a perilous business. Back in the 1920s during the so-called Etching Boom speculating collectors were prepared to pay hundreds of pounds – ie more than the price of an average London house – for single prints by ultra- fashionable artists such as Muirhead Bone, David Young Cameron and James McBey.

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