Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cox's a stonking success

Left: Part of the Compton panelled room which sold for £20,000 including vat and premiums. Removed by Cox's from a Georgian house, the c1900 solid oak panelled room is 8ft high, 31ft long by 20ft wide, plus two 4ft 6ins window and fireplace alcoves, up to dado height raised and fielded, and flat above that. All panels are solid oak, many being quarter sawn. Entrance doors have brass door furniture by Gibbons of Wolverhampton in Arts and Crafts style.

Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire UK - THE mainly no-reserve clearance sale held at Cox's Yard went very, very, well, owner Peter Watson said today.

"We sold eighty per cent of the lots and brought in over £230,000 (inc vat and premiums). Top lot was the Compton panelled room at nearly £20,000. The garden stuff sold very well, with staddle stones ranging from £150 to £450, and troughs up to £1050 for bigguns. All our oak beams, which we had been trying to shift for a while, went for between £5 to £10 cubic foot - a real bargain," Mr Watson said.

Baths were being bought for scrap at £5 to £10 each, except for specials like a plunger waste with soap shelf which went for £250, although it still needed re-enamelling. Modern resin cast baths at £350 new have somewhat knocked the stuffing out of average antique cast iron baths, although they have always been slightly sticky, apart from very small and very large which tend to have good value and be in constant demand. Victorian and Edwardian cast iron fireplaces were also being bought for scrap at £5 or £10, unless they were inserts wider than 38ins or Georgian square registers or hobs, or had some other merit, when they fetched more like £150 to £250. Mention of the new EU Fireplace Directive perhaps having an impact on sales brought a swift response from Watson. "EU directives are there to be ignored," he proclaimed. Cox's did not try to sell their 2,000 doors as it would have made the sale too long, and in any case, restoring them is bread and butter for the joinery workshop over the winter.

There were around 250 registered bidders, around half local, and the rest from all over. Perhaps 12 dealers who bought up a considerable amount, among whom Dennis Theodore from South Wales was a big hitter. Cox's spent a lot of time on generating publicity, helped by Darren Jones of Ronson's wife who is in PR and "did us proud," said Peter.

There may be another sale early next year to thin things out even more before the final move to new premises in 2007.

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