Bill Simpson's
Antiques Review

Welcome to the WMN's 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.

Sale report – Plymouth Auction Rooms

The evening art auction conducted by Plymouth Auction Rooms certainly had an international flavour to it with one bidder flying in from Sweden to attend. His journey was successful as he bought one of the top lots of the sale; an original oil by Robert Lenkiewicz titled ‘Ruti Kneeling in a Landscape’.

This was an unusual painting that caught the eye of more than one bidder, and the Swede faced plenty of stiff competition, especially from a local art dealer sitting just beside him in the room. Bids rose quickly from £3,500 until the hammer fell at an impressive £5,600.

A commission bid by a collector from the British Isles was enough to secure ‘Gemma with White Blouse’ also by Lenkiewicz. Estimated at £6,000 to £8,000 the auctioneers received a flurry of pre sale bids on the attractive painting from collectors as far as Spain, and a respectable price of £8,000 was finally achieved.

Telephone lines were booked for bidding on numerous lots throughout the evening including two large paintings by former Plymouth artist Lee Woods. Each were from the Genetic Animal Series, the first lot ‘Purple Cats’ eclipsed its £300-£500 estimate with a Cornish collector, bidding by phone, outbidding some determined efforts in the room to secure it at £840.

The under bidder was determined not to be out bid on the second painting entitled ‘Cows’ however and after a tense battle with bids slowly rising in £20 increments he was successful at £900.

Being out of the ordinary, an unusual cut out figure of a Beefeater by Robert Lenkiewicz was quite difficult to estimate, so there  were many excited hands up in the saleroom when bidding opened at £300. As the price grew it boiled down to two bidders in attendance, standing on opposite sides of the saleroom, which was won at £1,150 by a Plymouth specialist who intends to restore before placing it in a frame.

‘Girl in Green Dress’ was secured for £2,000 by a lady collector from Devon, who persevered over a commission bid and a fine art gallery, also from Devon, offered a winning £520 bid for a group of eight antique coloured prints by J Bowles.

Evening auctions have proved popular for this Plymouth saleroom, with private and professional collectors attending after working hours. There was also a varied mix of contemporary and antique pictures available, a latter example being an original oil by William Gibbons depicting fishermen hauling aboard lobster pots dated 1878. An estimate of  £1,000 upwards proved just right when it sold to a private collector from Plymouth for £1,100 even though they had actually stopped bidding once  but decided , with a little encouragement from the auctioneer, to go ‘just one more’.