South-west England

Caddy at £750 reflects current tastes

29 May 2001

UK: AS with spoons, silver takes on an extra glow in the currently buoyant market for tea caddies an example of which came up at the April 26/27 sale at Taunton held by Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s (15% buyer’s premium).

It's pot black for Fenton

23 May 2001

UK: This month has been a vintage one for photographic images in the UK, with over £4.5m netted between the four sales held in London and Exeter at Sotheby’s, CSK and Bearnes between May 10 and 12.

Duke’s secure Makepeace sale

21 May 2001

HY. Duke & Son of Dorchester have been brought in at very short notice to sell major pieces by John Makepeace on the premises at Parnham House in Dorset on May 26.

Near sell-out at saleroom that managed to stay open in the West

21 May 2001

UK: Gathering new business from buyers unable to attend salerooms in Devon and Wales, these Wotton Gloucestershire rooms were one of a small handful to benefit from the foot and mouth plague.

Late 18th century pair of Adam design marquetry side tables

08 May 2001

UK: A dozen telephone lines led to the Tithe Barn salerooms of Bruton Knowles, near Cheltenham on April 26, all contesting the finest lot of period satinwood in the provinces this year.

The Sign of Four

09 April 2001

The contents and joints are loose and the upper hinge is nearly detached, but the maroon cloth gilt binding of this 1890 first issue of what was only Conan Doyle’s second Sherlock Holmes story, The Sign of Four, are pretty good and this copy sold at Dominic Winter for £3000 to Bromlea & Jonkers.

Beauty before age for buyer of bookcase

09 April 2001

UK: THE extent to which the decorators’ market has become a force to be catered for was illustrated at the 1200-lot Gloucestershire sale held by Wotton Auction Rooms (11.75 per cent buyer’s premium) February 20-21 when this relatively modern Queen Anne-style bureau bookcase led the bidding.

Koster's Travels in Brazil

09 April 2001

UK: ONE of eight coloured aquatints, plus map and plan, from an 1816 first edition of Travels in Brazil by Henry Koster, who first went to Brazil in 1809, hoping that a change of climate might alleviate his TB, and eventually settled to the life of a sugar planter at Jaguaribe, near Recife in Pernambuco, where he died in 1820.

Pure Somerset vernacular attracts bids on £7000 chest

09 April 2001

Early works in ceramics, brass and elm catch the eye at Bristol success UK: A RARE 17th century coffer, made of elm rather than the more usual oak had a pedigree about as good as it gets for vernacular furniture.

Hard bargaining in front of the TV cameras

02 April 2001

UK: THE arrival of the BBC at the Somerset auctioneers to film Bargain Hunt attracted a larger than usual crowd to this 670-lot dispersal but it appears bargain hunters had a hard time of it.

Longer journeys, harder fights – but it’s worth it

02 April 2001

UK: IT’S not just rose-tinted nostalgia – the old days really were more pleasant and these really are some of the toughest times the trade has known. The fact is that more dealers are chasing fewer lots at auction than ever before. Gloucestershire auctioneer Philip Allen has noticed a dramatic increase in private buying at auction in the past decade, which has obviously denied the trade much business, but what he has to say about the activity of dealers is even more depressing.

Decorative touch completes attractions of £12,000 mirror

02 April 2001

Age, practical usage and quality have always made for healthy prices for looking glasses and when one adds today’s demand for the decorative it was not too suprising to see this fine late Regency rococo frame lead the Cheltenham sale held by Bruton Knowles (10 per cent buyer’s premium) back on February 27 where it sold at £12,000.

First we had Craven A, now comes Craven B…

26 March 2001

UK: West Country auctioneers Bearne’s of Exeter made headline news last May when they sold a collection of vintage 1850s photographs from William, 2nd Earl of Craven for £1.4m.

Oak dressers find buyers in natural Cotswolds environment

26 March 2001

UK: THE Cotswolds seems the natural environment for oak dressers and a couple were on offer here.

Staffordshire discovery gallops to £12,700

26 March 2001

UK: PEOPLE are rightly reluctant to travel to foot-and-mouth infected countryside, and although the local area was free from the disease, the February sale at Devon-based S.J. Hales was attended by just 25 bidders in the room.

Another zero is added to 007’s number

19 March 2001

UK: I THINK I am right in saying that no James Bond book, at least no uninscribed copy, has ever before reached five figures at auction, but the Dominic Winter sale of March 7 added that required extra nought when an absolutely splendid copy of Ian Fleming’s first Bond spy story, Casino Royale of 1953, was bid up to £11,400. There was stiff competition from several London dealers, but in the end it went to Bromlea & Jonkers.

A glimpse of peseta power finds a welcome in Devon

19 March 2001

UK: THE downward spiral of the euro against sterling since the single currency was launched has been a problem for auctioneers, particularly in the South, who could once count on French, Italian and Spanish dealers keeping the lower and middle ranges of the market buoyant, so there was naturally some satisfaction for these Devon auctioneers to see a little of the old peseta power in February.

Quality outranks age in the Somerset £26,500 silver baskets case

12 March 2001

UK: FRESH on the market, reasonably estimated and of undoubted quality – but three silver dessert baskets offered at Somerset still provided a surprise when, as has happened elsewhere, the ‘right’ piece of silver exceeds all expectations.

Campbell mementos set pulses racing

12 March 2001

UK: COINCIDING with the recent recovery of Donald Campbell’s boat from Coniston Water, photographs and ephemera relating to Campbell’s famous father Sir Malcolm attracted extra interest at this Devon sale.

Bread and butter on a giltwood and gesso table

26 February 2001

UK: FURNITURE provided the bread and butter at Exeter in January where, as so often, dependable sets of dining chairs, tables, linen presses and longcase clocks brought the best bids.