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Chorley's Summer Sale is almost a Sell Out

Results of Two day sale on 23rd and 24th July 2009.
Economic conditions over the last year have impacted on everyone in some way.  In the auction world, Chorley’s has noticed that small items of intrinsic value seem to be realising higher prices than ever.  The reason for this may be that people dissatisfied with the interest they currently receive from money held on deposit are moving funds into tangible assets.  As a result, prices for medals, coins, silver and jewellery are all buoyant.  At the same time, fresh to the market collectors items are in huge demand and these factors ensured a very successful summer sale on 23th and 24th July at Chorley’s.

Day one, Thursday 23rd July, included a range of collectables from musical instruments to toys.  The collection of coins was particularly hotly contested, the view days were packed affairs and the saleroom was buzzing on sale day.  Things started well with Lot 4 bringing £700, the coin, a ‘Newark shilling’ would have been produced by the Royalist forces under siege at Newark from 1644-1645 and used to pay the troops.  Lot 110, a small group of Scottish hammered coins which comprised three groats and three pennies also far exceeded its face value and was eventually knocked down for £1,000.  The prices realised for the tokens proved to be one of the surprises of the day.  Tokens were used from the 17th century onwards as a substitute for currency when there was a shortage of coinage in circulation.  These bear the name of the trader who issued them and are widely collected, sometimes by trade and sometimes by geographical area.  Lot 61, an album containing various tokens estimated at £200-250 fetched £800, and Lot 62, another album this time carrying an estimate of £350-450 raced to a £1,500 total.

Lot 170Lot 170The top lot (Lot 170) in the medallion section was an interesting ‘Stonehenge’ medallion – a rare piece struck for the Ancient Druids Universal Brethren to raise funds to help Thomas Muir, one of the Edinburgh Martyrs.  The design of the medal has been attributed to William Blake, although as he had not seen Stonehenge he used the drawings of William Stukeley as his model.  Blake is thought to have visited the Scottish Parliamentary reformers aboard the hulks while they awaited transportation to Australia.  It is always difficult to value an item which is seldom seen at auction, it was conservatively pitched at £200-300 and eventually made £850.

There were no particular rarities in the medal section but Lot 286 saw some fierce bidding.  This lot included the memorial plaque and First World War medals to Henry Watts Cash.  The lot reached £750, partly because it included various bits of paperwork pertaining to Henry Watts Cash including a birth certificate and a photograph of him in uniform.  This shows the importance of provenance when selling medals as it is crucial to keep as much related documentation with any group in order to add value.

Chorley’s has handled the sale of a number of collections of postcards recently and so it was less of a surprise to see prices such as £2,400 for Lot 355 which contained a number of photographic cards showing family groups.  Lot 370 drew a healthy £1,300 leaving many onlookers in the room stunned that postcards can reach such figures.

LuresLuresThe fishing tackle landed a few of the day’s best prices with a Hardy salmon reel, Lot 474, making £700 while a collection of various lures (Lot 492) in a fitted case netted £2,100. 

Day Two, Friday, 24 July began with the book section which brought the angling buyers back for a second bite.  Lot 517 contained a number of old fishing tackle catalogues – these are of huge interest to collectors and are fairly rare.  The group sold for £3,500 drawing more gasps from a crowded saleroom.

Certain areas of the market which have struggled of late, including glass, ceramics, silver and pocket watches, all defied expectations and some fantastic prices were achieved.  The 18th century glass all performed strongly with Lot 585, a group of six decanters fetching £700.  The ceramics also prospered with Lot 621, a rare Pegwell Bay pot lid attracting international interest and selling for £820.  Among the silver was Lot 690, a Victorian card case of particular quality.  One side was embossed with a view of Windsor Castle, the other side with Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott.  These are not unknown at auction but they seldom reach the hammer price of £950 as this one did.   The pocket watches drew a number of keen bidders and several individual watches saw prices in excess of £300.

Sales like this prove that privately sourced collections carrying sensible estimates can still create the conditions for frenzied bidding between collectors.  This meant an almost 100% sold rate and most lots selling in excess of top estimate. 

Chorley’s are now looking forward to their next Fine Art and Antiques sale on Thursday 24th September 2009.

For further details please contact Chorley’s on 01452 344499. 

Source: IONA PR


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