Monday, December 15, 2008

Passerby auction story

Mallam's Oxford saleroom, September 24th 2008
Article by a passerby

On September 24th Mallam's Oxford saleroom included 13 lots of interest to the architectural salvage trade pitched intriguingly in the middle of a sale of jewelry, porcelain and period furniture. These pieces were originally from Shoppenhanger Manor near Maidenhead, removed after a fire and stored for some time in containers. Whilst fresh to the market, two dealers who were attended the sale had previously been invited to tender privately for the items. Their bids were obviously not high enough because here the lots were ,up for auction. Estimates had been set at prices below those offered by the dealers. Tempters perhaps and if so they worked as prices soared away.

The first lot up set the scene [see pict 1] a pair of very early English Gothic carved oak front doors with a lovely patina.Very nice indeed.Bidding started in the rooms and on the phones.The winning bid of £4,461 including premium came on the phone (estimate £1500-2000). Following was a stone entrance arch possibly for these doors and selling to the same buyer for £780 (est £200-300).A collection of Victorian oak pillasters, a cartouche and 3 lions head plaques sold for £1,100 (est £300-500).

Three nice early oak columns with a nasty varnish finish fetched £1320 (est £600-800). Other highlights included 2 pairs of wrought iron gates with frames and pediment over, one set antique and the other a modern copy fetched £2,900 against an estimate of £400-600. A thickly painted limestone fireplace [see pict 2] 17th century, nicely carved with rosettes had an estimate of £200-300 but sailed away to a premium inclusive £5,550.- with one of the trade present being the under bidder. Stunned though the trade present were, it was the last 3 lots of stained glass [see pict 3] which
really took the breath away. Basically sets of panels being montages of broken coloured Victorian glass interspersed with small fragments of medieval painted glass, these fetched a combined total of £8500 after a fierce telephone battle. (est £2400-£3700). One member of the trade was heard to mutter ,as he stumbled away slightly bemused ,that he thought his earlier offer of £500 was more than enough!

A good result for the vendor and the auctioneer but there didn't seem to be much profit in it for the trade at these prices.

. . . Passerby


Pict 1: A PAIR OF EARLY ENGLISH GOTHIC CARVED OAK DOORS, each with four panels and arched design, quatrefoil, trailing foliate and flower head design with later iron work, alteration and restoration, maximum measurement of each door 7ft high x 2ft 4" wide. Sold for £3,700



Pict 2: AN ANTIQUE PAINTED STONE FIREPLACE SURROUND with Gothic carved quatrefoil and arched fenestration moulded sections constructed in seven pieces. Sold for £4,600



Pict 3: AN ANTIQUE STAINED GLASS WINDOW also, by repute from Selby Abbey constructed in twelve leaded panels inset glass fragments including a hinged opening window, each panel approximately 16" x 26". Sold for £3,600

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