February Fine Sale Report

18/02/2019     Ceramics & Glass, Welsh Art, Latest News, Vintage Vehicles

Spring arrived in Carmarthen on the 13th February with a blaze of sunshine and fusillade of banging results as Peter Francis Auctioneers held their first Fine Sale after nearly six months of refurbishment after recovering from flooding in October. The sale included lots consigned before the inundation, new instructions and a few lots that were affected.  Forming a catalogue of over 600 lots of a very wide variety of quality, which yielded some encouraging results as the market moves into 2019, Brexit and all.

All viewing days for the Fine Sale including a special weekend reception were heavily attended. The room was packed on the day and we had a record 880 bidders registered online and a huge number of phone lines as well. A long day on the stand for all concerned, it was none the less exciting and spirited selling all day with regular high points.

Surprisingly the day was led by a flood salvaged lot, a rare 17th century chest of drawers, which managed to realise £4000 hammer. Second in the list of highs and nearly as big a surprise was a cased Eagle, left in a house and sold by the new tenants when it was abandoned!  Initially thought to be a Sea Eagle as it was taxidermied by Hutchings of Aberystwyth, perceived wisdom suggests it is actually a Bald Eagle from the USA despite its Welsh Heritage!  It sold to a collector in North Wales who was delighted to buy it on the phone and keep it in Wales.


A real surprise was a deeply carved pair of ivory panels from the 19th century, very conservatively estimated due to their medium, which realised an impressive £3600 at the hammer. Less surprising but more than estimate was a massive silver Swan weighing 190 ozs troy which well exceeded its estimate at £3600 plus BP. Another damp item of furniture, a spectacular French Display Cabinet managed a still impressive £3600 plus BP.

Jewellery was led predictably by a diamond solitaire Ring at £3000 plus premium, followed by a spectacular pair of diamond and ruby earrings which made £2100 plus premium. A small Russian enamel Kovsh cup well exceeded its estimate to bring a flat £2000 plus premium.


In the ceramics section a rare Clarice Cliff Yo-Yo vase smashed its estimate to realise £2300 plus premium. This reminded the old Boss of a pair of similar vases (of much bigger proportions) sold in his youth when working in the Midlands, for nearly £10000. The one sold this time was the first seen since then, an obvious rarity in the market for dear Clarice. Also a particularly well preserved collection of Royal Worcester porcelain cups and saucers did very well to fetch £1900 plus BP (well over estimate). Chinese ceramics were led by a Yuan style blue and white Jar which had been in about 10 pieces at £1700 plus BP.

A collection of cuckoo Clocks from one local elderly expert were a near sell out, led by a two train musical example at £1400 plus premium. In militaria a Purdey hammer shotgun, with sleeved barrels made £1400 plus premium selling to a Dutch buyer and a good Military Cross medal group made £1300. Much interest was taken on the art generally which was very encouraging across the board and with very few unsolds. Leading work was a religious study by Elijah Albert Cox at £1400 plus BP and Welsh art was led by an Edward Morland Lewis of local interest and consigned by his family as part of a collection also including works by B.A.Lewis (The Gas!), all local Carmarthen scenes. Welsh art was a near sell out, popular as ever.

The sale closed with a selection of vehicles which were led by a 1968 Mini 1000 in local ownership all its life at £4100 and a 1988 Honda C90 Cub motorbike. The Honda was the property of an 84 years old Carmarthen Lady and the third she has owned, who has decided it’s time she gave up biking! This sold on commission to a collector from near Bath at £1500 plus premium.

Overall take on the day was over £250000 which is a gratifying result in reflecting so much hard work both in recovering from the trauma of the flooding and putting together such a good auction. Sales will continue every fortnight throughout the year with additional online special sales, weekly valuation days in house and away days at various venues including Margam Park in March. A particular sale feature coming up will be the contents of a Museum of Domestic Life a little later in the year.

A busy restart and much to look forward to including central heating soon!


Nigel Hodson

Managing Director





We now send a regular e-mail to all our subscribers with updates, catalogues and news. Sign up below!