Bucking the trend of the general economic gloom in the country at present, the 19th July Sale at Towyside Salerooms was held in a buoyant atmosphere reminiscent of happier pre-covid times. The viewings were very well attended and saw many new faces as well as customers not seen for a long time. There was much chatting and catching up between friends with similar interests and the auctioneers were reminded of the ‘good old days’ before auctions became sterile internet-based administrative processes. Today some auction houses do not even have buyers in the saleroom on auction days! This will not happen at Peter Francis; we enjoy the fission of personal bidding too much!
Some well-attended viewing days led to a busy saleroom on the day as well as a higher volume than lately registered to bid online. The sale was crackling from the offset with even the small selection of furniture items, not in the best demand at present, proving a near sell-out. Still a great time to buy a period dresser though – fantastic value.
Leading prices on the day included a fine 1.5carat diamond solitaire ring at £5,000 plus BP, a 16th century Flemish School portrait in oils at £3,200 plus BP, a pair of silver Partridge table ornaments that more than doubled their estimate to realise £2,700 plus BP, a Rolex Oyster gents wristwatch at £2,600 plus BP, an original Giles Cartoon hammered down at £2,600 plus BP, far above the estimate, a beautiful large Moorcroft Pottery ‘Hibiscus’ vase doubled expectations at £2,000 plus BP and at the end of the day a BMW Z3 sportscar found a new home at an affordable £2,000 plus BP.
Selected Stamps did well led by a USA mint collection at £1,900 plus BP and of the Welsh art an Aneurin fetched £1,600 plus BP, a Ray Howard-Jones watercolour made £1,050 plus BP and a small Claudia Williams realised £900 plus BP. A good selection of gold coins were led by a USA 20 Dollars from 1924 at £1,500 plus BP and rare books were headed by a First Edition of Paul Brickhill’s ‘Great Escape’ with relevant signatures at £1,100 plus BP and a copy of Eric Williams ‘The Wooden Horse’ with signatures of some prisoners at £1,050 plus BP.
Probably the most unusual and fascinating lots in the sale, particularly for ‘petrol heads’, were a lifetimes collection of motor vehicle badges and various radiators from a local Estate which left their estimates well behind to realise a hammer total of over £7,000 plus BP. The Auctioneer promised the Widow of the former collector that she would be able to afford a cruise and she has gone to book it!
Altogether a very satisfactory outing on the day with many good prices across the spectrum, representing a good reflection of the amount of hard work involved in putting together an interesting catalogue.
The gross receipts well exceeded £150,000 and this may rise with the following online timed sale of unsold lots running for a further week.
With storerooms well stocked, we move back to our regular fortnightly auctions from 2nd August, all live online but hopefully with the appreciated personal appearance of bidders in the saleroom on auction day!