Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chimneypieces at auction better private treaty hopes

Simon Chorley Art & Antiques, Prinknash Abbey Park Gloucestershire


Above: A George III statuary white marble chimneypiece, circa 1770. Sold for £20,000.



Above: A late Century English statuary white marble chimneypiece, circa 1880. Sold for £19,000



Above: An English late 18th Century statuary white marble chimneypiece, circa 1785. Sold for £21,000


Private treaty or the open market was the decision that a Gloucestershire based charity had to make when moving from premises rich in fixtures and fittings, which would be incongruous in the new building. Advised by their bankers concerned about security, that a private sale would be preferable, the charity put the matter in the hands of Simon Chorley's auction rooms in Gloucestershire. "We looked at the possibility of a private treaty sale, but the amount of material meant it would be a huge commitment for a single buyer," said Mr Chorley.

With no one party forthcoming the lots went to auction on March 6 at Prinknash Abbey Park Rooms. Proving the potency of selling in the saleroom, the move paid off. The sale saw everyone of the 134 lots get away bringing a hammer total of £138,000.

Plenty of buyers were in the room and on phones when the seven 18th and 19th century chimney piece closed the day. It carried a modest overall estimate of £80,000-101,000 they sold to dealers at a total of £112,000.

Best seller was a c.1785 English statuary white marble chimneypiece with an inverted breakfront shelf above a frieze carved with a central female bust and scrolling acanthus and lidded vases. A sienna marble surround to the aperture added colour and quality. Measuring 4ft 6in high by 5ft 3in wide, the chimneypiece came complete with a later grate, brass hood, tiled back hearth and curb. Estimated at £15,000-18,000 it sold to a dealer in the room at £21,000.

Simon Chorley

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