Salisbury auction house, Woolley and Wallis, has once again maintained its position as the UK’s regional leading saleroom, following a year of successful sales and record-breaking results.
A total turnover of £24.75m showed a 26% increase from 2017 and came close to matching the result of 2010 - a record year due largely to the sale of a collection of Chinese jades from Crichel House in Dorset.
Asian Art played a big part in the success of 2018, with the department splitting and launching new independent areas in Japanese Works of Art and Chinese Paintings. The latter saw the year’s top lot - a portrait of The Northern Girl by Yang Fei Yun, which sold for £1.9m. Only thirteen lots have ever sold for over £1m outside of London, and Woolley and Wallis have been responsible for ten of those – the first being achieved in 2005 with the sale of the Alexander vase, and the highest The Pelham Water Buffalo that sold for £4.2m in 2009.
Other highlights for 2018 included a much-publicised American porcelain teapot that had been bought by the vendor for £15 and was sold to the Metropolitan Museum in New York for £575,000; a single owner sale of Arts and Crafts jewellery that totalled £740,000 and saw a 100% selling rate; and another single owner sale of modern British art from the collection of the late Geoffrey Harley, which totalled £782,000.
Chairman, Paul Viney, is delighted with his firm’s continued success: “We are fortunate to have some of the best specialists and valuers in the country but a vote of thanks is also due to our clients who entrust us with marketing their objects and collections, which are often the result of a lifetime’s work. 2018 was a cracking year for us and I hope very much that we can continue this success over the next 12 months and beyond”.