8th March 2017
The March Fine Art & Antiques Sale in Carmarthen came in like a lamb with a small catalogue of selected items only totalling some 275 lots, some way down on recent similar auctions. However, despite concerns about this, the auctioneers are delighted to report that it roared away like a lion on the day!
Across the board all categories were very well received with furniture being close to a sell-out, paintings, especially the Welsh Art really doing well, jewellery keenly contested and other areas including militaria and Chinese porcelain performing well. The final total on the day well exceeding expectations and was enhanced by further sales after the auction.
Furniture was led by a fine Edwardian Serpentine Cabinet at £4936 (inclusive of premium), followed by a 19th Century primitive comb back elbow chair that surpassed expectations to realise £2318 (inclusive of premium). The Welsh Art was headed by what the auctioneers believe to be a record price for a Carey Morris work when a portrait of a girl at a well in oils realised £3538 (inclusive of premium), having been estimated at £1500-2000. A fine collection of paintings by Valerie Ganz from a Warwickshire Estate but originally bought locally, realised a total of £9500 plus premium on the day, and a Donald McIntyre oils came in at £2000 plus premium. 20th Century Welsh art continues to be very saleable in the present market.
A French work by Marcel Mouly in oils also made £3538 inclusive to a French buyer.
Jewellery did well led by a gold Bishops pectoral Cross at £1100 plus premium, a Kashan carpet made £1000 and the militaria was led by an 18th Century converted flintlock pistol, now percussion, by Nock of London at £800.
Overall an exceptional day with a low percentage of unsold lots and good prices across the board due to an encouraging response from local and internet bidders.
Lots are already to hand for the 31st May Fine Art Sale and entries will be accepted until the end of April.
Special commission rates apply on high value individual items.
Our fortnightly Antiques, Furnishings & Collectables sales continue and are very buoyant at present.
Next sale is 22nd March.
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FROM THE GLYNN VIVIAN GALLERY
REVIEW OF 2016
The cream floated to the top in Carmarthen recently when Auctioneers Peter Francis held their last Fine Art and Antiques Auction of the year.
A selected sale with a smart glossy catalogue it was no surprise that the bargains of the day lay in the limited number of furniture lots included in this sale. It was always going to be that Silver, Jewellery and Art were the best sellers and so it proved.
Silver was led by a very large and fine quality silver Centre Piece, London 1843 (170 troy ozs) at £6500 plus premium. Silver was generally buoyant and well contested.
A good section of private Estate Jewellery was led by an 18ct white gold diamond solitaire ring (2.5 carats approx) made £5700 plus premium (Estimate £1500-2500). A diamond and ruby flowerhead pin brooch followed at £4100 plus premium (estimate £800-1200) and a ruby and diamond brooch bendant made £1700 plus premium (estimate £400-600). Strong competition online and on the phone was the norm for this section.
Watches are always collectable, especially military type and a German Second World War Hanhart Pilots Watch left its estimate well behind to realise £2400 online.
The trend recently is towards 20th Century Art rather than more traditional older works. This continued in this particular auction as a Phillip Sutton oils of Tenby rushed off over estimate (£1500-2000) to sell at £3500 after strong local competition in the room. A L.S. Lowry print of ‘PEEL PARK’ came in on expectation at £2600 and a Valerie Ganz print of a ‘South Wales mining valley’ made £700. A more traditional small work by the Pre-Raphaelite British artist John Brett was very good value at £1800.
The small selection of furniture was led by a Welsh Coffwr Bach which would have realised perhaps twice as much years ago but never the less made more than estimate at £1000. Musical instruments did well led by a French cello at £3100 with three harps also finding buyers up to £780.
The final sale of 2016 was a mixed Furnishings & Collectables of the type we hold every fortnight and again jewellery and modern Welsh ceramics featured well. A mighty total in excess of £35000 was the result on the day.
Overall this year has been exceedingly busy and many areas remain buoyant, despite the economic uncertainty we live in. It has to be said that the weaker pound has encouraged our foreign online bidders and the impression is that activity of this type has never been stronger.
As well as our calendar of regular sales, timed online only sales were held during the year with some success. Our recent timed sale of Wines & Spirits was led by an exceedingly rare pair of bottles of Welsh Whisky with wonderful history and provenance which returned a combined gross total of £16500 after fierce and protracted competition.
Earlier in the year a rare Mickey Mouse money box was spotted in a modest box of toys in the online Toy and Juvenalia sale and that proceeded to smash its estimate to realise £7500! These additional auctions will continue in 2017 and a sale of Toys and Juvenalia will be online over the Christmas holidays.
Traditional furniture remains very good value, although showing some signs of minor recovery and traditional, particularly Victorian art remains in the doldrums. Contemporary and especially Welsh 20th Century art remains strong, silver and jewellery very buoyant, as are collectable watches, medals and militaria and oriental items.
The outlook for 2017 looks encouraging and three excellent large consignments, including some fine lots for the 8th March 2017 Fine Sale, have already arrived this week as we start to wind down for the Christmas holidays. Always nice to finish with plenty in stock for the New Year and the sales floor is already overflowing with lots for the first auction in January on the 11th. May we wish all our clients a Happy Christmas and a successful and healthy New Year.
Rare Welsh Whisky arrives in Carmarthen for sale around 120 years after it was produced
Founded in Frongoch, Bala in 1889, The Welsh Whisky Distillery Company was the first of its kind in Wales. It was short lived however and production ceased shortly after the turn of the century. Very few bottles are known to exist and only once previously has one appeared at auction. Peter Francis Auctioneers have two bottles going into their specialist online only sale of Fine Wines, Spirits & Cigars starting on November 24th and finishing on December 5th. The two bottles come from the same vendor with paperwork and provenance, detailing their ownership and how a further bottle made its way to Prince Charles during his investiture tour of South Wales in 1969. One bottle can be viewed at St Fagans National History Museum and another one is housed at Penderyn’s Distillery.
Update: Sold for £7300 and £7200
17th October 2016
Peter Francis, the Auctioneers in Carmarthen, South Wales, have added two new experts to their growing panel of consultants in specialist fields.
David Gardner becomes consultant in Oriental rugs, Carpets and Textiles, having advised the company for many years on an informal basis. David is well known in the field and has delivered one day presentations on the identification and valuation of rugs and carpets to the National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers. He has also acted as an official vetter/adjudicator for rugs, carpets and textiles at international Antiques fairs in Birmingham and London, and has exhibited at a number of prestigious Antiques fairs around the country. He has built up a circle of many friends and acquaintances in the rug and carpet trade, over more than 35 years, on whom he can call for a second opinion as need arises.
Also joining the team at Towyside Saleroom in Carmarthen is Mike Donoghue in the field of Chinese and Oriental Ceramics. Although not a Valuer Mike is experienced and knowledgeable as an academic in the enormous area of Chinese and Asian ceramics. He will lend his expertise to the cataloguers in all sales to assist in properly describing lots consigned for sale.
The firm already employ consultants in the field of stamps and ephemera, jewellery and vintage fashion.
4th November 2015
A Welsh Auctioneers broke its house single lot record this week after a series of spectacular auctions since August.
A 19cms Chinese porcelain celadon glazed vase which had been rejected as a fake by Chinese Experts from Beijing was entered in a regular fortnightly Auction with Peter Francis in Carmarthen and estimated at £150 - £250. After 15 minutes of protracted bidding between a Specialist Dealer in the saleroom and a mainland China online bidder the hammer finally fell, to a spontaneous round of applause at £114, 500 (plus buyers premium)
Part of a huge collection of Chinese porcelain and works of art from a London Estate which had been curated by Chinese experts prior to sending to sale in Wales, the running total for the consignment is over £500,000 with the Fine Art & Antiques sale of the 18th November including further valuable lots to come.
WELSH AUCTIONEER WINS NATIONAL AWARD
At the annual Autumn Forum of the National Association of Valuers & Auctioneers in Oxford recently, a Welsh Auctioneers walked off with the award for Fine Art & Antiques Auction House of the year for 2015.At the awards dinner the evening prior to the Forum, Carmarthen Auctioneers Peter Francis were shocked to receive the accolade after having entered only a few weeks before hand. Principal of the firm and Managing Director Nige Hodson, a fellow NAVA, expressed his gratitude to the assembled audience and added that Peter Francis himself, the former Senior Partner of the firm who died in 1992, would have been very proud. He also remarked that such recognition from peers in the industry was a just reward for all the hard work the staff and valuers in the Carmarthen Salerooms consistently put in. When interviewed later he stated how important he felt professional qualification in the industry was, as a means of protecting the interests of clients.
The firm having won the Novice Auctioneer of the Year Award twice in the last six years with different trainees, the Auction House was justifiably proud of this significant further award, recognising its continued efforts to maintain high standards of service.