This post looks back at James & Sons’ February auction, which took place on Wednesday. It was a general sale, albeit with posters predominating.
When lot seven attracted a bidding battle that pushed the price up to £180 it looked like a promising sign. There were a few other good signs among the early lots, and lot 114, a set of bakelite Draughts pieces, fetched £70, remarkable given that it had held no great promise of success – £10 would have been an acceptable selling price as far as we were concerned.
Lot 114, a remarkable overachiever at auction.
CAMERAS HIT THE HEIGHTS
We had some cameras and photographic equipment in the auction, and these lots really got the bidders going. Four lots fetched over £150 a piece, lot 352 reaching the dizzy heights of £330. Two other lots in this category, nos 364 and 368, went for bigger than expected prices, £65 and £45 respectively.
Lots 351, 352 and 354 – selling prices £160, ££330 and £250.
My general opinion of trying to sell books for anything approaching significant money in these days of internet searches is that 99% of the time it won’t happen. I was therefore modestly satisfied that an 1898 hardback edition of Oscar Wilde’s “Ballad of Reading Gaol” sold for £800, minimum estimate. This particular edition is fairly rare, though not the rarest (the latter would have fetched several thousand), and the copy we were selling was in good condition. I had helped to value it, conducting an internet search and establishing that was indeed a rare and special edition and worth decent money. It was also on my advice that we ‘lowballed’ our own estimate in the hope of attracting attention. Lot 427, a selection of Dickens books in nice, though not special, bindings went over estimate as well.
The Tail End
Lot 460, a collection of antique and collectable plates found some eager bidders, and went well beyond our expectations…
Lot 498, some German anthropological slides, got the bidders going in a major way – the bidding finally ended at £290, about ten times as much as we had expected it to go for.
Lot 498 – the full collection (left), and a sample slide (right).
There was one final flourish – lot 510, a minor piece of Sherlockiana, did better than expected.
THREE OPPORTUNIST BIDS
I secured three lots at bargain prices (£5 a piece to be exact). First lot 338:
Lot 492 was also bird themed – figurines of birds, some ceramic and some wood – and at 83.33p per bird definitely a bargain…
Lot 492 in its new location, my bedroom window ledge.
Lot 501, “A Little Book About London” was my third lucky strike…
James and Sons next auction takes place on the 21st (stamps) and 22nd (militaria) of March, and a full catelogue can be viewed here or here.
My usual sign off…