Wednesday, July 23, 2008

'Elvis' up for auction

London, UK - A Roman head apparently known as Elvis, 'because of its strong resemblance to the King of rock and roll', is due to be auctioned at Bonhams in London this October (Angus Howarth, 'All shook up by £1m antiquities auction', The Scotsman July 23, 2008). The story is a little confused as the head appears to be part of a sarcophagus and dates to 400 BCE.

This piece is part of 'a £1 million collection of antiquities which is about to come to auction' and the report is full of superlatives: 'one of the world's most stunning private collections of ancient art'. There are due to be 150 lots 'which once belonged to the Australian collector Graham Geddes'. The pieces include 'rare Greek and Roman vases and marble reliefs portraying battle scenes'.

Bonhams have as yet to provide details of the sale. However, the press release quotes Chantelle Waddingham, Head of Antiquities at Bonhams:

'The Graham Geddes Collection represents an enduring passion for the classical past by Australia's foremost collector and dealer. His love for antiquities was sparked in the early 1970's by the inspirational guidance of William Culican and Peter Connor, both lecturers of classical archaeology at the University of Melbourne.'

A Graham J. Geddes of Armadale, Victoria is listed as an approved valuer for Greek and South Italian vases 2,000 BC- 500 AD; Greek and Roman antiquities 2,000 BC- 500 AD, in the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program (list of June 2008; p. 45).

The press release comments a little more about Elvis:

'Fans of the King of Rock 'n Roll, seeing this face from the distant past will be forgiven for thinking that their idol may well have lived a previous life in Rome! Looking at this face with its Elvis-like quiff, strong jaw and nose, one is inevitably led to the thought that the human face for all is diversity and subtlety has after all an ability to repeat itself, hence the shock of the doppelganger, in this case a Roman Elvis.'

I am sure Elvis fans will be lining up for this one.

Image from

Posted by David Gill on 'Looting matters' Blog

Bonhams catalogue webpage
Bonhams press release

Re-Use-It Sale starts in Skipton

Skipton, UK - Aimed at the Green Agenda, the UK’s first ever RE-USE-IT Sale is to be held at the Skipton Auction Mart, North Yorkshire on the first Sunday of each month opening on Sunday 3rd August 2008.

Members of the public are being invited to beat the credit crunch by clearing out their families clutter and saving secondhand goods from landfill at the same time!

Organisers estimate the average UK household stores between 100 and 150 kilos of good reusable secondhand goods such as toys, kitchenware, electrical goods, furniture, clothing, jewellery and ornaments worth on average between £200 to £400 per household.

The monthly RE-USE-IT Sales will give members of the public the opportunity to boost their monthly household income, buy sell and swap their unwanted secondhand items, saving goods from landfill and giving them a second use. With excellent indoor and outdoor facilities and family friendly opening times of between 10.00am to 4.00pm. Reusers should have ample time on a Sunday morning to organise themselves to do their bit for the environment and participate in the RE-USE-IT Sale at Skipton Auction Mart.

This event is an example of the diversification of Skiptons traditional Livestock Auction Mart which already hosts The Mart Theatre and annual Art in the Pen exhibitions. With ample indoor or outdoor spaces from just £10 for the day organisers feel that the price should appeal to everyone interested in turning their trash into cash!

For further details please contact the organisers Hoyles on 01253 782828 or email

Hoyles Promotions website
Re-Use-It-Sale on SalvoWEB

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rylands dickie bow theft mystery

Ebay UK - DASTARDLY Dick the Dickie Dipper has struck at Billingshurst and stolen James Rylands famous bow tie, placing it for sale on eBay with a starting price of 99p. Rylands was not available for comment, believed to be in the Bahamas where he spends most of his life in hedonous pursuits which include snorkelling and diving.

An auctioneer who wished to remain anonymous said today, "There is some concern in auctioneering circles that this dickie theft could result in copycat crimes and stealing to order which may have a knock-on effect of reducing the number of operating auctioneers, resulting in auctoneer shortages and forcing up buyers and sellers premiums."

All proceeds from the eBay sale of Rylands dickie are to be given to the Cancer Research charity.

Bid for the bow tie on eBay

Historical notes:
1. The bow tie originated among Croatian mercenaries during the Prussian wars of the 17th century: the Croats used a scarf around the neck to hold together the opening of their shirts. This was soon adopted (under the name cravat, derived from the French for "Croat") by the upper classes in France, then a leader in fashion, and flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries.
2. The Rylands legal ruling of 1886 (Rylands v Fletcher) concerned escape of water onto neighbouring land. Later cases in which the Rylands test was applied involved the escape of all manner of wastes and materials, extending outwards to a broad range of inherently dangerous activities considered essential to modern life - such as auctions.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

French bricks at Salvo Fair

Thornton Kay interviews David Ackers of BCA France at Salvo Fair 2008

David Ackers takes Thornton Kay for a trip around his stand at Salvo Fair 2008 and discusses the French trade, reclaiming bricks, flagstones and curbs, on one of his very few trips to England.

The Insitu Team

Colleen Gowlett interviews the Insitu team at Salvo Fair 2008

Colleen Gowlett talks to the Insitu team about the Salvo Fair, build your own pews and what exciting things can be found on their stand.

Peter Watson on redesign and door furnishings

Colleen Gowlett interviews Peter Watson at Salvo Fair 2008

Peter Watson of Cox's Architectural Salvage Yard discusses his wears at the Salvo Fair and current redesign projects.

Derek Davies and the metamorphic shelves

Thornton Kay interviews Derek Davies at Salvo Fair 2008

Derek Davies talks to Thornton Kay of Salvo Llp about his rare metamorphic shelving system on the stand of Architectural Forum at this years Salvo Fair.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wootton's Lament

SalvoFAIR 2008, Knebworth House

Ronnie Wootton's Lament penned at SalvoFAIR 2008;

Tick tock goes the old Austrian Clock
Time passes into oblivion.
Memories remain and linger like an autumn mist.
Twilight falls and the flickering shadows steals across the western sky.
Rooks are back in the high trees with their raucous ways.
Pale shafts of sunlight where midges dance the ceildh.
I hear the distant bleep of the calling ram.
The old dog pricks and ear
Yes dear boy!!
It's time to go home,
It's time to go home,

Friday, July 04, 2008

SalvoFAIR 2008 a HUGE success

Salvo Fair, Knebworth Hertfordshire

The Salvo team would like to say a massive thank you to all our exhibitors this year, especially to those who have stuck with us year on year. Without our core pack, Salvo Fair wouldn't have made it to 8 years, and we can safely say it was a success all round this year. Roll on 2009.

This years fair was announced a huge success by both exhibitors and visitors. With 255 visitors on the trade day and 4500 visitors over the weekend. John Morfoot of Morways said "One of the refreshing things about Knebworth it the friendly and relaxed atmosphere particularly the fact that the stands didn't display items that had being doing the rounds at the usual fairs, - Newark, Swinderby & Ardingly for example, hence the wealth of unusual, interesting and "fresh" items."

It seemed that the general consensus was that all exhibitors had strong sales on the Saturday which died down a little on the Sunday although there were still many punters milling around. Peter Watson of Cox's said "We certainly had a good Saturday with steady sales all day.Seemed to be a lot of folks about. We sold everything from a sink plug to a GWR bench.Strangely ,compared to other years when interest has been minimal,we received enquiry after enquiry for the GWR benches. Sunday also seemed busy but they were a different crowd.An element of family day out, which is no bad thing but sales were not as good. Friday, trade day was disappointing for us but I know other dealers did well.In particular, one chap who annoyed the hell out of me by continually coming over to borrow SOLD stickers!"

James Morgan from Hive Antiques said "This is the third year that we have had a stand at The Salvo Fair and this year was the best one for us for us so far. This applied not only to the amount of business generated but also to the general interest shown in our antique Victorian and Dutch Delft Tiles which are a speciality of Hive Antiques.
I would also have to say that not all the bargains were snapped up on the Saturday because I was approached on Sunday afternoon by a couple who had just bought three blue and white Dutch tiles and asked me if there was any age to them. My wife and I were able to confirm that two were made around 1700 and the third around 1670 and worth (when cleaned up) over £100 - this brought a broad smile to their faces as they confirmed that they only paid £2 each for them! That is what I call a bargain!"

"What a wonderful fair, good business, weather held up and a big thank you to the Salvo team who really pulled the stops out and bought a good amount of quality customers to the fair, thank you all for a couple of special days. My sporting memorabilia lighting went down very well along with my reclaimed window mirrors with good sales. People were so surprised to see what i could turn into a lamp. The Elephant I think had more pictures taken of it than David Beckham on a good hair day. Thank you once again we will be back next year," said guy Trench from Antiques by Design.

Peter Weldon appears to have made the biggest sale at this years Salvo Fair with an order worth around £60,000 for seven replica shepherd's huts to be sited around a fishing lake for disabled fisher persons. A delighted Mr Weldon also completed last years big fair order by delivering a fabulous and huge pair of new gates to Lady Cobbold at Knebworth House, made in his Vietnamese workshops to a design matching Knebworth's existing ones across another entrance.