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It's not all doom and gloom in Gloucestershire

Results of 22nd January 2009 sale, Simon Chorley Art and Antiques.

January's newspapers have been full of gloom about unemployment, recession and the economy. With this in mind, the team at Simon Chorley Art & Antiques were delighted by an almost unprecedented pre-sale interest. Trade buyers remarked that they still need to buy stock and many reported that they have experienced better than expected trading conditions since Christmas.

The huge amount of work put into pre-sale condition reports resulted in an auctioneer's book bulging with commission bids. This is always a good sign that some high prices will be achieved.Lot 518 sold for £3,200Lot 518 sold for £3,200

The early surprise was Lot 52, a Tom Scott watercolour of St Mary's Loch. With some slight surface damage it was estimated conservatively at £150-200. Strong Scottish interest soon propelled bidding to an impressive hammer price of £2,800 which delighted the vendors - Oxfam. Landscapes also performed strongly in the oil paintings section: Lot 67, two small naïve oils of Lambeth Palace and Eton from the Thames reaching £1,000.

The porcelain proved slightly patchy with good prices for quality Worcester but some disappointing results for the more general china. This is a trend we have seen developing for some time and, while it is disheartening for vendors it represents an opportunity for buyers in need of dinner services and everyday china. The surprise of the day was Lot 145, a Chinese vase which rocketed to an impressive £7,000 (against an estimate of £80-120). Recent years have seen a large number of Chinese ‘sleepers' at provincial salerooms and while this vase would appear to fall into that category it was in very poor condition. Nonetheless, it shows the value of the on-line catalogue which allows buyers worldwide to view every lot in full.

A strong silver section also yielded some weighty prices. A handsome set of four late Victorian candlesticks (Lot 207) lit up the room at £2,600. From the same vendor came a Queen Anne tumbler cup (Lot 219) for £1,250 and a Charles II tankard, Lot 222, which topped the section at £3,000.

The jewellery section saw strong prices and a 100% sold rate. Prices in general exceeded the estimates and it is certainly an area in which investors are taking an interest. A modern 5-stone diamond half eternity ring netted £800 and several lots with heart-shaped items did well, perhaps canny buyers are preparing for St Valentine's Day!

Collectable items such as medals also seem to be faring well at present and Lot 294 saw a bidding war on the telephones reach £850 against a low estimate of £30-40. Fans remain very collectable and a small section saw mixed results. By far and away the star of the show was Lot 305, painted with a view of St Peter's, Rome, it saw temperatures rising and eventually sold in the room at £1,650 to an Italian who had come from Italy to bid in person.

A good selection of Oriental works of art merited its own catalogue section. This proved worthwhile with 100% sold and some good prices including £800 for an ivory box, Lot 385, and £650 for a carved ivory Okimono of a lady holding an immortal, Lot 381.

The clocks performed well, led by Lot 398, an hour repeating carriage clock with beautifully decorated porcelain panel sides at £1,400. Furniture, like porcelain, saw a polarisation of prices with some incredible results including £3,200 for Lot 518, a combination tea and card table. Another good price for so-called ‘brown' furniture was the £2,000 paid for a Pembroke supper table, Lot 520. A number of oak pieces sold well, Lot 522 a tallboy raised £1,500 and a refectory table, Lot 530 made £1,000. The top lot in this section was a Continental ebony cabinet inlaid with tortoiseshell selling for £4,200. Lot 67 sold for £1,000 against an estimate of £600-800Lot 67 sold for £1,000 against an estimate of £600-800

SCAA are now sourcing lots for the next sale on March 19 2009. With the market buoyant we are encouraging vendors to consider selling coins, jewellery, medals and silver. Quality paintings, porcelain and furniture are also performing well. Buyers should look out for bargains among the Victorian furniture, traditional watercolours, china and glass.

For further information please contact Simon Chorley or Thomas Jenner-Fust on 01452 344499 or

Source: Iona PR


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