“All dealers keep the best pieces for their own collections” – a phrase that is almost universally acknowledged in the antiques trade and one that could certainly be said to apply to the collection of the late John F. Braund of Turpin’s Antiques in Thaxted, Essex.
After 46 years as a member of the British Antique Dealer’s Association (BADA), John certainly knew his stuff and he had an especially good eye for early oak, fruitwood caddies, burr wood and treen. He had started dealing in the 1950s from a 15th century building in Stony Lane, Thaxted. The building was reputed to have been a haunt of the highwayman, Dick Turpin, after whom John named his business. Shops in Saffron Walden, London and Hungerford soon followed, and Turpin’s Antiques also exhibited at most of the leading antique fairs over a period of 40 years.
Following John Braund’s death earlier this year, his collection was sold at auction in Salisbury by Woolley and Wallis. Attractively presented and sensibly priced, only four of the 133 lots failed to sell, with buyers chasing many of the objects well above their bottom estimates. The fruitwood caddies proved especially popular, with a Regency caddy in the shape of a pear fetching £4,000, and another shaped as an apple realising £2,100. A burr elm tripod table made £4,500 despite some condition issues (proving John’s excellent eye for quality burr wood), and a pair of satinwood card tables that were described as his “pride and joy” sold for £7,500. The whole collection totalled £131,000.
Elsewhere in the sale, objects from various English country houses provided several key highlights. An early George III silver chest on stand from the Hippisley family collection of Ston Easton Park in Somerset sold for £12,500, while a Persian ‘Harshang’ design carpet from the Broadlands estate of the Mountbatten family in Hampshire fetched £6,250.