Monday, January 07, 2008

Bonhams' Savoy sale makes £1.86 Million

Bonhams, The Savoy London

Above: A five panel specimen wood marquetry screen made by David Linley, inlaid with architectural designs, the timbers including thuya, oak, burr oak, Maccaser ebony, maple, yew, sycamore and stained fruitwood, each panel 61cm wide x 213cm high sold for £15,600

Above: An Edwardian satinwood and rosewood banded bookcase from the 4th Floor Hotel Side sold for £13,200

Above: A 5ft 4in Model 160 grand piano
from the The River Restaurant sold for £11,400 (Estimate: £2,000 - 3,000)

Above: Lincoln Taber, British (1941-1989) A very large twelve panel trompe l'oeill painted screen from the The Thames Foyer sold for £10,800

Above: A large oak parquet dance floor from theLancaster Room of the Savoy sold for £2,640 (Estimate: £400 - 600)

The Savoy Sale – a three-day auction of 3000 lots of furniture from the Savoy hotel made £1,857,096 twice the pre-sale estimate. Over the course of three 12-days, over 3,500 people from across the world chose to bid on a little piece of history from one of the world’s best-loved hotels. Bids flooded in from as far away as South America, the Far East and Australia. A multitude of private individuals bought; as did hoteliers, interior designers, and party-planners.

The ‘Savoy effect’ was evident from the start as items regularly fetched up to ten times their pre-sale estimates. Lot 1 achieved the first round of applause when the large garden urn from outside the main entrance of the hotel, estimated at £400 – 600, made £2,640. Further highlights included a large oak parquet dance floor from the Lancaster Room which sold for £5,040 (estimate 400 – 600) to London-based party planners, Bentley’s Entertainments. The Beaufort Screen – a large 12-panel trompe l’oeil screen by Lincoln sold for £10,800. A white Grand Piano, played by Frank Sinatra on visits to the hotel, made £11,400 (estimate £2,000 – 3,000).

Harvey Cammell, Bonhams Director of the Savoy Sale and Furniture specialist said “We always knew that this sale was going to be special and different, but frankly we have been astonished by the response to the auction. The regular applause says it all. The world has a love affair with the Savoy. That much is evident. The sale has been helped in no small measure by the media interest from around the world, which filled column inches, radio and TV air-time in countries as far apart as Brazil and China for the past three months. We have had hotel groups bidding for collections of chairs and tables alongside individuals decorating their homes. The effect of the Savoy name was highlighted by the sale of lot 223 – a Rosewood serving counter from the hotel’s fitness gallery, emblazoned with the name Savoy in chromium-plated letters. Bidding for this particular lot were as many as 12 people in the room chasing the £300 – 500 estimate to an incredible £9,000.”


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