2017 was a busy year for the Antiques, General Furnishings, Household and Private Machinery Sales, with one every month bar December, and an extra sale for a single vendor in September, which was also Online.
While run of the mill furniture continues to be a struggle, with the odd silver-lining such as Ercol, there were some notable highlights for quality and the unusual. In the unusual category an oak Haberdashery shop unit that had certainly seen plenty of activity sold for a surprising £470.
There were a number of pieces of quality furniture, the most aesthetically pleasing being a lovely kidney-shaped Victorian lady’s writing desk or dressing table, one side of which was badly bleached and dried out, which still had many admirers and sold for £500.
An elegant George III shaped-front sideboard also made £500, and an older possibly mid-18th century small mahogany side table sold well for £340. Generally there is very little demand for dining room furniture as few people eat formally any more, but a good Victorian wind-out mahogany dining table made £400.
More surprisingly a set of 8 good Victorian dining chairs with carved balloon backs sold for £36 each, and a set of 4 chairs and 2 carvers, heavily carved in a “gothic” style made £45 each. There is also little demand for Victorian mahogany chests of drawers, so prices of £130 to £170 for good examples are quite pleasing.
Whilst many of the pictures we get to sell are prints, the buyers certainly come out when there is quality on offer. A framed and glazed watercolour by A C Gow R.A. made £420; a very pretty small watercolour by Helen Allingham was well sold to a buyer on the internet for £2,250; and most pleasing of all was an enchanting small oil on canvas of 2 Terriers and a parrot by Alfred Duke which sold to a regular private buyer in the room for £4,000. Needless to say the buyer has Terriers!
We have had a few nice Miniatures to sell this year, all making £100 or more. A good portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte in a brass frame, signed, made £160, and a pretty one on ceramic entitled “Madonna D’ella Sedia” made £150.
The trade for silver has been difficult this year due to the continual fluctuations in the price. However a beautifully engraved coffee pot, London 1852, 11 inches high and weighing 25 troy ounces made £480; a tray marked London 1908 measuring 12 inches in diameter and weighing 26.5 troy ounces sold for £320; and a sugar caster marked London 1890 and weighing 13.6 troy ounces fetched £160.
Gold fared better: an 18ct gold watch strap of 31.8 grams sold for £600; an 18ct white gold solitaire diamond ring made £350; and a 9ct gold and diamond bracelet was sold for £340. Sovereigns are popular: an 1893 half sovereign on a 9ct gold chain went for £160; 2 sovereigns in gold pendants sold for £320 and £375; and 2 sovereign rings made £280 each.
There is good demand for quality clocks and watches. Long case clocks are not so popular but a good burr walnut-cased Grandmother clock made £420. A very good-looking 9ct gold cased half-hunter watch by J W Benson sold for £600 and an early 19th century battered silver cased hunter watch by James McCabe, not going, made £200. Of the modern watches the best price was for a boxed TAG Heuer watch which made £1,175.
There were certainly some unexpected results in the “Collectables” section. A Huntley & Palmers biscuit tin in the shape of the FA Cup, and produced in limited numbers in 1927 in the hope that Reading FC would make the final (they were beaten 3-0 by Cardiff City in the semi-final), complete with 90 year old original biscuits, made £380 much to the delighted of the Vendor! A “Tich” model steam engine, 3 ½ inch gauge and in brass, made £700; a carved Coco de Mer shell sold for £420; and a Swiss clockwork signing bird in a brass cage made £350.
We often get good entries of machinery and workshop equipment for the “amateur” and we were pleased to achieve some high prices for a number of good quality wood-working machines from a deceased estate. A Hammer bench saw made £900; a band saw sold for £500; a Festool router made £520, and planes sold to £300.
Our first sale of 2018 is on Saturday 27th January. Our sales calendar can be seen on our website, www.tsauction.co.uk.
Please contact Chris Boreham, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Sue Wheeler, email@example.com, with regard to entries.