James and Sons’ November auction took place yesterday at the Long Bar, Fakenham Racecourse. This post covers both yesterday and the aftermath today.
The setup was accopmplished on Tuesday, with more than a few hints of trouble ahead (see here for more details). There was a heavy frost in evidence when I set forth to catch the 6:28 bus to Fakenham (now that they have reduced the number of morning bus services I cannot get in early enough on an auction day on any other bus). The bus left on time, but only made it as far as Littleport Street (its first outward bound stop if anyone is there) before breaking down. The replacement bus took longer to arrive than it should have, given that the depot is only couple of miles away. This bus did make it to Fakenham, arriving at approximately 7:30, although it had no heating. The Long Bar is, for all its grand title, a wooden hut, and the heater would not work at first. When we did get it to work it pumped out smoke.
The IT setup did work however, and the auction started promptly.
THE AUCTION ITSELF
The auction started with coins, which fared very well. The coins were followed by banknotes, which sold phenomenally well. Then came the militaria, which was good in parts. After that came some aviation postcards. Lots 350-377 were toys, first toy cars, starting with the ‘Goldfinger’ Aston Martin DB5 in mint condition, and progressing through more toy cars, Hornby, Triang and a few dolls. After that we were into collector’s models – a few boxes of lead soldiers and a large quantity of model aeroplanes, which appropriately enough went sky high.
The stamp lots were patchy, and apart from a few bits of jewellery very little after lot 550 did anything of note, partly because the auctioneer was hurrying through things by that stage. A box of interesting beer mats went to me for £9.
Once the auction was concluded I was able to consume my sandwiches before helping with the clear up. I managed to get the 16:37 bus back, and this time I arrived in King’s Lynn in the same bus I had left Fakenham in! The only problem was the early evening traffic in Lynn (basically from Gaywood to King’s Lynn town centre was gridlocked).
My only involvement with the aftermath of the auction was helping to unload to van – while three of my colleagues attended to the invoicing I was imaging some bulky stamp and cigarette card lots for our next auction on December 14, and in the process rendering the kitchen area navigable.