Works of Art Boost Snow-bound Sale
13 Jan, 2010
trudged through the snow to
on Tuesday for Woolley and Wallis's first auction of 2010. The
Furniture and Works of Art sale drew a surprisingly large
attendance considering the recent weather conditions, but the bank
of phone bidders at the back of the room also bore tribute to those
keen buyers who were unable to attend.
18th century wood and cut paper maritime diorama was a
key highlight, proving the current strength of demand for unusual
and collectable works of art. The 2ft wide framed model depicted a
ship full of figures (including a drowning sailor) and was precise
in its detail of life aboard a large ship nearly 300 years ago.
What increased its interest for collectors was the fact that it was
unusually signed and dated - 'A. Walker Invt et Fecit 1763'. Eleven
telephone lines had been booked by eager bidders for the lot, and
it sold on the phone to theLondon trade for £7,500.
The Works of Art
section was further strengthened by items from the collection of
the late Ernest Ohly of Berkeley Galleries, London. This included
Italian and French bronzes as well as other carvings - the chief of
which was an 18th century ivory panel of a lady in an
interior which sold for £4,400 against a very modest estimate of
well in the sale was a selection of over 30 antique rugs, all of
which managed to find buyers, with several going well over
estimate. Most had been privately consigned, and specialist Will
Hobbs attributed this, along with their market freshness and age,
to the section's success.
While good quality items of traditional furniture are still
finding buyers, the continued depression in the market for more
run-of-the-mill items has highlighted the contrast with the growing
Works of Art market - an area that Woolley and Wallis are
continuing to expand. "We do not want to turn our back on the
traditional furniture market," said specialist Will Hobbs, "but we
do have to recognise the demands of our buyers and this is a very
strong area at the moment. We've also been very fortunate to get in
several good private collections and they have undoubtedly raised
interest in this section of the market".