Salerooms Gross a Million in a Week

6th May 2010

Three strong sales in three days have taken over a million pounds for happy vendors at Woolley and Wallis this week.

Wednesday’s Silver sale was the highest grossing ever for the Salisbury salerooms at £570,000 – including £95,000 for a massive silver-gilt vase and stand. The impressive piece was lacking its cover but the huge hammer price put it in the top five of silver lots sold at auction outside of London. A set of four silver entrée dishes and covers by the same make, Philip Rundell of London, sold for £44,000, while a set of four Paul Storr tureens made £85,000. The pieces were all part of the collection of Sir Henry Russell and their strong provenance certainly helped to equal strong prices.

The following day’s Jewellery sale contained a diamond and enamel pansy collar by Rene Lalique; the fifth piece of significant jewellery by the French maker to be sold at Woolley and Wallis in under two years. Interest on the telephones chased this to its top estimate of £40,000. Pieces of early 20th century jewellery seemed popular with buyers on the day – an Art Deco diamond necklace sold for £23,000, while an Arts and Crafts silver pendant by Omar Ramsden and Alwyn Carr made £3,000.

The Clocks, Watches and Barometers sale on Friday tipped the total hammer price for the week over £1,000,000 with an 82% sell rate. Sale highlights included an unusual verge watch movement by Thomas Tompion and George Graham – two of the major makers of the early 18th century. Despite being just the movement this sold for £4,200. The top lot was a very rare Charles I verge watch by a previously unknown maker from West Sussex - William Browne of Lewes – which sold for £14,000. A late 17th century bracket clock was helped by its provenance to Fonthill Old Abbey to a hammer price of £7,600, while a William Speakman walnut and marquetry longcase was the highlight of the tall clocks, selling at £9,600.

All three sales benefitted from a private view on the previous Tuesday evening, held as part of a charity lecture evening for local spinal charity, InSpire. Around 90 private clients attended the short talk on carriage clocks by Woolley and Wallis consultant, Richard Price, which raised £820 to help patients recovering from spinal injuries.

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