Review of 2016

1/12/2016     Latest News, Antiques

The cream floated to the top in Carmarthen recently when Auctioneers Peter Francis held their last Fine Art and Antiques Auction of the year.

A selected sale with a smart glossy catalogue it was no surprise that the bargains of the day lay in the limited number of furniture lots included in this sale. It was always going to be that Silver, Jewellery and Art were the best sellers and so it proved.

Silver was led by a very large and fine quality silver Centre Piece, London 1843 (170 troy ozs) at £6500 plus premium. Silver was generally buoyant and well contested.

A good section of private Estate Jewellery was led by an 18ct white gold diamond solitaire ring (2.5 carats approx) made £5700 plus premium (Estimate £1500-2500). A diamond and ruby flowerhead pin brooch followed at £4100 plus premium (estimate £800-1200) and a ruby and diamond brooch bendant made £1700 plus premium (estimate £400-600). Strong competition online and on the phone was the norm for this section.

Watches are always collectable, especially military type and a German Second World War Hanhart Pilots Watch left its estimate well behind to realise £2400 online.

The trend recently is towards 20th Century Art rather than more traditional older works. This continued in this particular auction as a Phillip Sutton oils of Tenby rushed off over estimate (£1500-2000) to sell at £3500 after strong local competition in the room. A L.S. Lowry print of ‘PEEL PARK’ came in on expectation at £2600 and a Valerie Ganz print of a ‘South Wales mining valley’ made £700. A more traditional small work by the Pre-Raphaelite British artist John Brett was very good value at £1800.

The small selection of furniture was led by a Welsh Coffwr Bach which would have realised perhaps twice as much years ago but never the less made more than estimate at £1000. Musical instruments did well led by a French cello at £3100 with three harps also finding buyers up to £780.

The final sale of 2016 was a mixed Furnishings & Collectables of the type we hold every fortnight and again jewellery and modern Welsh ceramics featured well. A mighty total in excess of £35000 was the result on the day.

Overall this year has been exceedingly busy and many areas remain buoyant, despite the economic uncertainty we live in. It has to be said that the weaker pound has encouraged our foreign online bidders and the impression is that activity of this type has never been stronger.

As well as our calendar of regular sales, timed online only sales were held during the year with some success. Our recent timed sale of Wines & Spirits was led by an exceedingly rare pair of bottles of Welsh Whisky with wonderful history and provenance which returned a combined gross total of £16500 after fierce and protracted competition.

Earlier in the year a rare Mickey Mouse money box was spotted in a modest box of toys in the online Toy and Juvenalia sale and that proceeded to smash its estimate to realise £7500! These additional auctions will continue in 2017 and a sale of Toys and Juvenalia will be online over the Christmas holidays.

Traditional furniture remains very good value, although showing some signs of minor recovery and traditional, particularly Victorian art remains in the doldrums. Contemporary and especially Welsh 20th Century art remains strong, silver and jewellery very buoyant, as are collectable watches, medals and militaria and oriental items.

The outlook for 2017 looks encouraging and three excellent large consignments, including some fine lots for the 8th March 2017 Fine Sale, have already arrived this week as we start to wind down for the Christmas holidays. Always nice to finish with plenty in stock for the New Year and the sales floor is already overflowing with lots for the first auction in January on the 11th. May we wish all our clients a Happy Christmas and a successful and healthy New Year.




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