Richard 'Dick' Ratcliffe dealt in antiques for over 50 years in and around Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire. Now the contents of his home, The Manor House at Waddington, near Lincoln, will go under the hammer at the Lincoln auction rooms of Golding Young & Thos. Mawer on Saturday, May 26.
Auctioneer Colin Young said: "Dick Ratcliffe was a highly respected dealer with whom our salerooms in Lincoln and Grantham had the great pleasure of working with for many decades. "Having known Dick as buyer for all of my career he was easy to quantify. Single-minded in his scrutiny, understanding and opinion of antiques. "He was not influenced by others, trusted his own knowledge and judgement. For these reasons he was a delight to serve and is sadly missed by this firm." Born in Derby in 1934, Mr Ratcliffe bought his first antique at the age of 14 and after completing National Service, he started his antiques business in 1954. Three years later he married Jean and the business became J and R Ratcliffe Antique Dealers. The couple's first shop together was on London Road in Derby and then at Old Hall Farm in Old Normanton, Derby.
By 1965 they moved to Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire and had a shop in Market Street and a stand at Woburn Abbey Antiques Centre for a time. They also became members of the British Antique Dealers' Association (B.A.D.A.). In 1971, Mr and Mrs Ratcliffe moved to Silk Willoughby, near Sleaford and opened a shop on the Derby Road in Nottingham and latterly had a shop in North Parade,Grantham. In 1986, they left Silk Willoughby andmoved to Waddington, near Lincoln, and sold antiques through one of the antique
centres at Newark. Their final shop was in the Norman House on Lincoln's Steep Hill.
Mr Ratcliffe stopped dealing full-time in 2001 but continued to keep an interest in antiques and was still buying and selling until November last year. He passed away in December last year. Auctioneer John Leatt, who has been responsible for the cataloguing of the contents of The Manor House, said: "Rarely does one see a home almost entirely furnished with 18th century decorative antiques, paintings and effects. It has been a great pleasure to assemble and run a sale of this quality." Among over 500 lots in the sale, there are 200 items of furniture including interesting pieces of early walnut and oak furniture. Highlights in this section include a pair of George III mahogany bergere armchairs which are estimated to sell for between £4,000 and £6,000, an 18th century Dutch mahogany commode with an estimate of £3,000 to £5,000 and a Queen Anne walnut chest on a stand with an estimate of between £2,000 and £3,000.
A section of over 20 pieces of Chelsea Derby bisque porcelain includes a group with an estimate of between £1,200 and £1,500. The clocks section features a George III longcase clock by Robert Skelton of Malton which is estimated to sell for between £1,500 and £2,000 and another longcase clock by James Green of London with an estimate of between £2,000 and £3,000.
Elsewhere in the sale are collections of silver, oriental porcelain, Georgian glass, pictures and works of art. Golding Young & Thos. Mawer will also be holding its Fine Art and Collective Sale at the Lincoln saleroom on Wednesday, May 16.