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I’m reminded of the time when I tried to arrange a telephone bid on a small piece of Tunbridge Ware. This was being offered at an established saleroom in the south of England. No estimate was listed.

The auction room considered the item to be rather insignificant. The receptionist greeted my request with as much lip-curling contempt as she could muster: “We don’t allow telephone bids for low-value items under £100.” How could I tell her that I’d sold the last one for £1800? What was I supposed to do? Leave a £1500 commission bid? Not likely.

The point is that auctioneers don’t know everything. The good ones understand that.

Steve Kember

"Another nail in the dealer’s coffin"

MADAM – I have purchased from Moore Allen & Innocent on a number of occasions and have always found them very helpful and efficient, but their idea of charging for condition reports is absolutely ridiculous, and another nail in the dealer’s coffin.

Either they have no respect for existing customers, or they’ve hired Diane Abbott as head of their brainstorming department!

David Jones

Church Farm Antiques, Aldeburgh