Reflections on 2018

1st February 2019

This is always the moment when I reflect on the highs and lows in the salerooms in 2018.

Once again many of the recent highlights include the unusual and quirky items but, as on trend with recent years, jewellery and silver are in strong demand, a fine sapphire and diamond ring sold for £3,400.  With low bank interest rates people seem to be investing their hard-earned cash in objects. There has been very strong demand for good gentleman’s watches with a Patek Philippe rose gold watch with diamond-encrusted bezel realising £6,400 and a Rolex Datejust Oyster Perpetual watch made £2,000. The coin market also continues to be buoyant with a Charles I gold crown fetching £400 and a 2002 gold proof set making £1,760.

The most unusual item to go under the hammer in 2018 was a 18th century four pounder naval gun believed to be from the HMS Bounty, which sold to an oversea buyer for £17,000.  Also a Beatles record, “Please, Please Me”  sold for £1,300.

Brown furniture continues to appear very good value with quality pieces still attracting lots of bidders. Recently a pair of Chippendale style chinoiserie mirrors fetched £2,300. There is strong demand for contemporary furniture with a pair of chairs with leather backs and seats made in the 1970s by Poul Kjaerholm fetching £900.

Good quality contemporary paintings continue to attract bidders with a work by Charles Waller Simpson 1885-1971 of a Stream in Midsummer fetched £7,000. The book department in Carlisle run by John Thomson has had an exciting year with a first edition Casino Royale found in a box of mixed books sold for £22,500 and a copy of Charles Darwin’s Origins of the Species 1st edition, despite wormholes in the bindings, and nearly going to a charity shop made £42,000.

The whisky wine and spirits sale continue to draw a lot of attention with a Rosebank single malt lowland whisky fetching £1,200 and a case of Chateau Leoville Poyferre, St Julian Medoc, making £1,000.

Demand for good quality and unusual pieces at auction continues to be strong but we are also seeing a return of demand for certain pieces of brown furniture.

Happy auction hunting for 2019.