Amid the turmoil in world financial markets there has been plenty of life in the auction market at Simon Chorley Art & Antiques. Perhaps some people are investing money in antiques as an enjoyable ‘safe haven’ while the banks are wobbling. Certainly book and postcard buyers were out in force on 23rd October tempted by a fine selection of both categories.
Leading the books was a rare copy of Galileos ‘Dialogo’, the first book to give voice to the theory of the rotation of the earth. His scientific views of the world did not find favour in religious circles and Galileo was taken to trial for heresy by Pope Urban VII. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest and the book remained on the ‘Index Librorum Prohibitorum’, a list of books forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church, until the early 19th Century. Arousing international interest it eventually sold for £5,000. It was a satisfying result as the book had been on the shelf for some time and not considered valuable until it was spotted by one of Simon Chorley’s valuers on a home visit.
Among the stamps was a large collection of first day and commemorative covers of RAF and aviation interest including examples signed by Douglas Bader and other flying aces of WWII. This was grouped to sell and flew off to an impressive £1300. Also of military interest was a small group of medals which included a George V Military Medal awarded to Private C E Warren of the London regiment, this group fetched £550 against an estimate of £70-100.
Recent sales at Simon Chorley Art & Antiques have seen some huge prices for albums of early postcards. This sale had a postcard section of 27 lots many of which made prices in excess of £500. Interest in postcards has grown due to a number of factors including nostalgia for a time when the coastline and countryside were unspoilt. The collection was certainly local and contained albums devoted to many of the communities in the Forest of Dean and around the Cheltenham and Gloucester area. Lot 278 a group of three albums relating to Blakeney, Mitcheldean and Lydney posted a total of £880 while a single album of Cinderford cards made £600.
The wine section which closed the sale saw some strong prices overall particularly for Bordeaux and port. A group lot of Champagne including two bottles of 1949 Krug, an undated bottle of Francis Gonet and a half bottle of Delbeck made a cork popping £1,000.
Despite the many positive signs vendors must remember that the market for traditional furniture, glass, copper and brass is now at its lowest level for some years. Young people looking for a cheap eco friendly way to furnish a house should come and see for themselves the sort of quality bargains to be had while vendors must remain realistic about current prices and consider the enjoyment they have had from their antiques over the years as part of their value.
Source: IONA PR