Antiques News


15 October 2020

Dorking Halls Antiques Fair - 18 October 2020

Popular Dorking Halls Antiques Fair has been confirmed for their scheduled fair on Sunday 18 October. Organised by family run Dovehouse Fine Antiques Fairs the first event launched 2012 to an invited group of knowledgeable exhibitors. In November 2013, the company acquired Dorking Halls Antiques & Decorative Arts Fair, a long established, 1 day monthly fair since 1976 and one of Surrey's longest running and highly regarded antiques & decorative arts fairs. Both fairs were incorporated at the Dorking Halls to re-establish the standard & quality of this much-admired event.

Event: Dorking Halls Antiques

Organiser: Dovehouse Fine Antiques Fairs

Venue: Dorking Halls, Reigate Rd, Dorking RH4 1SG

Date: 18 October 2020

> Dorking Halls Antiques Fair

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12 October 2020

Tinplate double deck bus

House & Son of Bournemouth will be selling the second tranche of a large local collection of tinplate toys and over 1000 novelty inkwells on October 13.

All items will be sold without reserve, including this Bing tinplate clockwork open top double deck bus, lithographed with the London General Omnibus Company logo and advertisements for Pascall confectionery, Wright's Coal Tar Soap and Dunlop. Estimate £200-400.

> Tinplate double deck bus




25 September 2020

Tiny Teapot found in garage during lockdown clear out sells for £390K

A tiny teapot that spent decades in a garage gathering dust has sold for £390,000 at auction after a man unearthed it during a lockdown clearout.

The Chinese-enamelled wine ewer had been destined for a charity shop after being left in a garage and then an attic for years. But on the off-chance it might be worth something, its 51-year-old owner decided to try his luck and show it to an auction expert. The expert revealed the 15-cm tall pot was in fact a rare imperial antique dating back to the Qianlong period between 1735 and 1799 and could fetch around £100,000 under the hammer.

But when it went on sale on Thursday at Hanson Auctioneers it smashed its original target and reached a huge £390,000. The seller, who watched the auction live at home with his brother and family, said: "I'm thrilled. This will change a few things for us all. It's come at a really good time. "I got a few cans of Guinness in beforehand. We'll be going for a drink tonight and toasting grandad."

The teapot had been in the family since the seller's childhood and, at one stage, was kept in a cabinet in the house before being left in an outbuilding. The family believes it was brought back to England by their grandfather who was stationed in Asia during the Second World War and was awarded a Burma Star. "Mum passed away 17 years ago, then dad nine years ago and the teapot ended up in a loft in Newhall," said the seller. "Later it was boxed up and moved to a relative's garage in Church Gresley. We'd been thinking of sending everything to a charity shop."

Fortunately the family decided to investigate beforehand and speak to the auction house. Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: "It has to be the best lockdown find ever. Ewers and teapots of this type were fashionable at court during the period of Emperor Qianlong. "He was fascinated by European enamel and the new method of enamel painting and the style was replicated in his imperial workshops. "During Emperor Qianlong's reign this art form reached heady heights of perfection, with designs reflecting the emperor's extravagant taste."

> Tiny Teapot found in garage during lockdown clear out sells for £390K




22 August 2020

'Gandhi' spectacles take £260,000 at Bristol auction

Items associated with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi - later known as Mahatma ('the great soul') Gandhi are highly sought-after collector pieces. Gandhi (1869-1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist and political campaigner, who employed non-violent resistance and led the campaign for Indian independence from Britain. After training as a lawyer in London, Gandhi moved to South Africa in 1893 to represent an Indian merchant in a lawsuit. He went on to stay for 21 years. It was in South Africa that Gandhi first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights.

East Bristol Auctions had estimated the spectacles at £10,000-15,000 ahead of the August 21 sale. The glasses had been consigned to the auction house in Hanham, Bristol, by the owner who left them in a white envelope in its letterbox one weekend. The vendor had inherited them from an uncle who was believed to have been given them c.1920-30 by Gandhi while in South Africa.

Andrew Stowe, auctioneer at East Bristol Auctions, said: "It's a phenomenal result! These glasses have been lying in a drawer for the best part of fifty years. The vendor literally told me to throw them away if they were 'no good'. Now he gets a life-changing sum of money. It's the 'good news' story that we all want - as an elderly gentleman, our vendor has probably had a rough time in recent months and to be able to change his life is just incredible."

The uncle of the vendor had been working for British Petroleum at the time and was stationed in South Africa. The family believe they were presented to the uncle by way of thanks from Gandhi for some good deed. The early 20th century, c.1920 gold plated circular rimmed spectacles were catalogued by the auction house as 'by repute owned and worn by Mahatma Gandhi'. The auction house's description states: "The spectacles formed an important and somewhat iconic part of Gandhi's overall appearance. It was known that he would often give away his old or unwanted pairs to those in need or those who had helped him. A rare and important pair of spectacles."

Stowe said ahead of the sale: "We first looked at the story to verify it was possible - and all the pieces of the jigsaw slotted together perfectly. The vendor's uncle was in South Africa at the right time, as was Gandhi. We then looked at the specifics of the glasses, which also matched other known examples in museums etc. "Then we discovered one pair in a museum which has the bridge section distinctly distorted to fit Gandhi's nose, and ours carries the identical distortion - that can only be something specific to Gandhi. Unfortunately, through 100 years and three generations, the story hasn't been preserved as neatly as we'd all like - but the broadstrokes are all there, and the jigsaw fits together." Following the sale Stowe added: "We had interest from all over the world - bids came from India, Qatar, American, Russia, Canada. It's completely spellbinding, and a wonderful thing to be a part of.' "These glasses represent not only an auction record for us, but a find of international historical importance. Gandhi's glasses have surpassed all expectations, and previous house records. It's been a great day!"

A number of items owned by Gandhi have sold at auction over the years. In 2009 a pair of his spectacles, alongside his leather sandals, a Zenith pocket watch and a brass bowl and plate from which he is thought to have taken his last meal, sold for $1.8m (£1.4m) at Antiquorum in New York. In June 2019 a maquette for the famous Gandhi statue in London's Tavistock Square made £52,000.

> 'Gandhi' spectacles take £260,000 at Bristol auction




18 August 2020

The Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia - 3-8 November 2020

The 30th edition of the Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia 3-8 November 2020, with a Private Preview 2 November, will be one of the first of the UK's important art and antiques fairs allowed to run after government restrictions were lifted from October 1 2020.

The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, in June 2020, was postponed due to Coronavirus but organisers Clarion Events always hoped that the sister fair in November would be allowed to go ahead.

Organiser: Clarion Events Ltd

Venue: Olympia, National Hall, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX

Date: 3-8 November 2020 (Private Preview 2 November)

Enquiries: Tel: 0207 384 8144

> The Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia - 3-8 November 2020




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