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Bill Simpson's
Antiques Review

Welcome to the WMN's new antiques review page.

Antiques and Fine Arts Editor Bill Simpson will provide a review of the most recent sales across the Westcountry, providing antiques enthusiasts with a chance to see what sold for what and where.

Don't forget to collect your copy of the Western Morning News on Wednesdays and Saturdays to learn all about the up coming sales in your area.



Welcome WMN Readers
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Sale report – Plymouth Auction Rooms

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Extreme weather conditions did not deter dedicated collectors or trade bidders from travelling from Somerset, Gloucester, Exeter and West Cornwall to attend the February auction at Plymouth Auction Rooms. The credit crunch was nowhere to be seen with a packed crowd remaining throughout the 400 lot auction and some very good prices in the ceramics and jewellery sections.

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An oak Gothic Revival pedestal desk that had been in a bay window at a property in Yelverton, near Plymouth was spotted by several dealers with a guide of £300-£400. A serious bidder from Bournemouth booked a phone line but was quickly left behind as a furniture specialist from Ashburton outbid a local dealer to secure the piece for £1,250.

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From the same vendor a Victorian walnut breakfast table was offered, but this was also taken by the Devon trade to outdo commission interest from an Oxford dealer, when this made £400.

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A collection of Beswick horses and animals attracted interest from three surrounding counties, even the condition of some pieces failed to deter eager collectors from bidding. It came from a Plymouth home and raised just under £3,000, and included the bid from a local collector of Beswick who outbid a wealth of opposition to secure a “Wild Eyes” cow for £380 – even with a broken foot.

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The next lot was strongly contested by Exeter and Gloucestershire bidders in the room but again it was the Plymouth collector who was prepared to pay the £360 needed for the Beswick shorthorn bull, but the Gloucester specialist was successful with his bid of £480 for the hunting group of three riders and hounds, even though most pieces were damaged.

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The ceramic section of the sale attracted quite a lot of absentee and internet bids from far and wide, from Scotland, London, America and particularly Ohio. The collection of Toby character jugs raised £2,400 with the top price going to a 19th century model of a sailor sitting on a barrel at £220 to a commission bid from a Wiltshire collector.

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A good entry of gold jewellery attracted many new collectors from Devon and Cornwall, some of whom had never attended an auction before. Several pieces were contested by two Devon jewellery dealers that left many estimates behind, like a 9ct gold albert that made £470, another at £370 and a third making £310. A Plymouth dealer obtained the 14ct gold bracelet for £350 but A North Devon buyer secured a fine Georgian miniature dated 1770 for £410 against stiff competition including London interest on the phone.

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Local collectors were very confident with their bidding and secured a large Tanzanite ring for £650, a diamond cluster ring at £900 and a solitaire diamond ring for £670 but despite waiting all day, a local man was disappointed not to have the 1930s gentleman’s le Coultre wrist watch. This went to the London trade for £350.

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Other auction prices include a Georgian silver teapot for £260, a collection of silver Pigeon cups at £390, two diamond butterfly brooches at £280 and £210 and a diamond and sapphire ring for £280.