January is seen as a bad month to sell, and dispelling myths in the world of antiques can be a difficult thing. We often hear ‘January isn’t a good month to sell’ or ‘no-one has any money after Christmas’.
The January sale at The Grantham Auction Rooms can finally put these notions to bed. We had a small, but compact sale – only a quarter of the size held in December – yet we had such a turnout, there was a call for more chairs at 9.55am!
Craig Bewick, resident auctioneer and valuer had this to say: “It has to be said items flew out of the door at prices not seen for years. We even had the unusual sign of hands up everywhere for good old fashioned ‘antiques’ which could be seen in the majority of the lots.”
Brown furniture has taken a pounding in the press over the last 15 years. A set of chairs fitted the traditional antique criteria better than most, and were rather good – 17th century oak in areas, deep seats, good turning and decoration but not suited to the light coloured décor we associate with 90% of the houses up and down the country today. With modest expectations they flew at £500.
A Doulton Lambeth Nelson Loving cup followed at £180, a gold serpent ring £380, around three times its scrap price and the collection of hunting books we previewed in December sold extremely well with 90% of lots going for multiples of their lower estimate. Such items all share the same positives - their rarity, quality and traditional appeal all remain unquestioned - but unlike previous sales they actually fetched something approaching their true value.
This is not to say modern items suffered. A good quality Art Deco dining suite sailed away at £320. A pair of Duresta sofas made £400, against a backdrop of multi million pounds advertising campaigns for new goods in the media over Christmas – if it is quality, second hand still achieves top money.
These prices especially for the modern items highlight the beauty of auction: the sellers are happy and the buyers are happy. Why spend £400 on a sub standard, all be it new, product such as a lounge suite when the same money could buy you an as new Duresta sofa from auction? – Original cost £4000!
Golding Young certainly comes up with the goods. The myths have been dispelled; January is as good a time to buy as it is to sell. With the advent of online and live internet sales, if the item is photographed and catalogued correctly – two guarantees at a RICs accredited firm like this one - they can be sold at anytime with three definite outcomes: good prices, happy buyers and happy sellers!
Happy New Year to you all.