An account of James and Sons’ July auction – 1,500 lots over three days.
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week James and Sons had its July auction. 500 lots went under the hammer on each day.
This first day of the sale featured coins, banknotes, cheques, P&N covers and militaria. There were quiet moments in most categories, but also plenty of stuff sold, some of it doing very well. Here are some pictures from this first day:
Along the way, lot 377, one of the P&N covers, was knocked down to me:
With stamps, postal history, a few postcards and first-day covers going under the hammer this was always likely to be the quietest of the three days and it was, although there were a few good sales. Here are some pictures from day 2:
With postcards, cigarette & trade cards, ephemera, books, records and some interesting railwayana this was the day that we expected to go best, and it did. After a quietish start with the postcards, the cigarette and Liebig cards attracted in plenty of online bidders, some of the ephemera did very well, and both the large boxes of railway books found a buyer (someone who I had been in email contact with following a query about the contents of one of the boxes – I take the fact that she bought both boxes full as a definitive judgement as to the adequacy of my response!). I was also relieved because of its weight to see lot 1451 find a buyer. Lot 1379 went to me.
After a few minutes spent making the shop look more like a shop and less like an auction venue and a few more minutes spent consuming my sandwiches I finished up by adding details of those who had actually madce bids to the client database and printing out a complete list of those who had registered to bid online (196 of them on this occasion).
Here are some pictures relating to this third day:
Overall across the three days the total hammer price for sold items was just over £10,000, and while some of these were owned by external vendors, meaning that our gains are limited to the lotting fees, vendors commission and buyers premium, many were from our own stock. At the end of August we will be having auctions at our shop and also at Fakenham Racecourse.
An account of the PR work I have done for James and Sons upcoming auction.
In amongst polishing off the last of the imaging (I only actually got some lots needing imaging this morning!) for next week’s auction (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, all three days at our shop), resolving queries and such like I have also put out a number of ‘Auction Alert’ emails and a couple of press releases (I did a general one on Tuesday, and then my boss wanted something specifically about some Norfolk postcards today, hence two). I am going to produce screenshots of all the emails and press releases, accompanied by links to original documents, and all images therein.
THE PRESS RELEASES
On Tuesday I put out a general press release to local and regional media as follows:
James and Sons July auction catalogue is now ready…
Yesterday the catalogue for James and Sons July auction (24th – 26th, all three days at our premises on Fakenham town centre) was uploaded to the-saleroom and despatched to the printer. Before moving on I ask readers to note that some of the images in this post have been presented in ’tiled mosaic’ form – a left click on your mouse/ single finger push on your control pad on one of the images will open a gallery showing you the images at full size.
Between locating images of stuff that had already been imaged and imaging other stuff I made significant progress, although the amount that had not been done was still greater than the amount that had been done. Among the new images I created were those of some Confederacy bank notes, including the item selected to be on the front cover of the catalogue:
Images of this and the other banknotes of ithe same type are created using the scanner (200dpi only for these). Here are some more of these banknotes:
Having shown the scanner at work, here are some photos to finish this section, the full gallery of lot 1479:
Most of the images on this day were transferred, but there were a few new ones, including lot 405 and some lots in the low 1,000s:
This little lot intrigued me.
A few lots of cat themed covers, including some with coins.
I started this day by imaging some lots for the cover:
Of the rest of the stuff I imaged yesterday the most interesting lots were some police helmets:
While there remains some imaging to do for this auction, and stuff for August will sloon be ready for imaging I will also have to put out various auction alerts and press releases next week. I will definitely be contacting buyers of banknotes, cigarette cards, railwayana, stamps and postcards. The railwayana email will feature lot 1451:
If I have scope (i.e. have not reached an email sending limit) I will also send out an email to militaria buyers. Our best item in this category this month is a camera used by the Luftwaffe:
Having completed my series of posts about Scotland, I am now returning to the present with an account of James and Sons’ June Auction, which happened earlier this week.
THE AUCTION SCHEDULE
To set the scene for the rest of this post, the auction was arranged to run in two parts. Lots 1-600 went under the hammer at our own premises in central Fakenham on Monday June 26th, while lots 701-1300 were auctioned at Fakenham Racecourse on Wednesday June 28th. The Tuesday was set aside for getting things set up down at the racecourse, since experience had taught us that combining this with a day of auctioning at the shop was not a goer.
MONDAY 26TH – NORWICH STREET
The set up was accomplished fairly straightforwardly, and the sound and video checks went swiftly and easily. The auction got under way with 100 cigarette card lots, then 100 postcard lots, then some general ephemera, some numismatic and philatelic covers and ending with the stamps. The day started quietly, with the cigarette cards attracting very little interest and the postcards not much. It was the numismatic and philatelic covers that provided the only consistent sales of the day.
TUESDAY 27TH – SETUP DAY
We had loaded the first van load of stuff for the racecourse at the end of the previous week, so I headed straight from the bus to the racecourse to help unload that. This done and some stuff unloaded from the boss’s car it was back to the shop to load up the van for the second time. This van load then went to the racecourse without me, as I would be of more use working at the shop than down there. Then one of my colleagues was left alone at the racecourse and so I walked back down there to minimise the period for which this situation continued (the person who could drive the van was going to be at the shop for half an hour at least, and I could walk it in much less time than that). Finally, after a few final things had been brought down to the racecourse I got a lift back to the shop. At the end of the day I locked the shop, handed my key to a colleague who would need it on the morrow and headed home. Here are some pictures from the setup.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 28TH –
This was a very tiring day. It was raining heavily most of the time, including for the entire duration of the walk from Fakenham town centre to the racecourse in the morning.
We had been assured by the racecourse that they now had working wifi, but this proved to be an optimistic assessment and we had to use a wired connection, which dropped out four times in the course of the day (fortunately never for very long).
The early lots passed quietly, but then with lot 633 the first tranch of toy lots went under the hammer, and the internet bidders got busy, with three figure prices the rule rather than the exception. The ‘Manod’ steam toys later on also sold spectacularly well. After a few books and related stuff went under the hammer it was time for a few jewellery lots, which also sold well. Then it was into the coins, which started with some proof sets which fetched remarkable prices.
LOT 933: THE BEST LAID PLANS OF
MICE AND MEN GANG AFT AGLEY
When you see the image gallery for this lot you will realise why I had had my sights on it to the exclusion of all else in this auction:
Unfortunately from a personal point of view I had competition, and although I bid up to £40, when that final bid of mine was topped I conceded defeat.
LOT 935: ROMAN STYLE COINS
Although these were not the genuine article I decided that at next to nothing they were worth securing as a tiny consolation for the disappointment of a few moments earlier.
The coins continued to sell well. After the coins it was time for some militaria. Lot 1051 fetched a good price, and then came lot 1052 fetching the only four figure price of the auction.
The auction finished with 100 miscellaneous lots, which went fairly quietly, although even these attracted some interest. After Monday we had needed Wednesday to be a successful day, and it was.
For us there was still the clearing up to be done, but even that was accomplished sufficiently swiftly that I was able to get the 16:37 bus home. This departed late, but for an acceptable reason – the driver was resolving a situation created by another driver who was guilty of dereliction of duty – he had arrived from Wells, let off passengers, switched his destination to “Sorry Not In Service” and had then dashed off without picking up passengers. Stagecoach track their buses, and identified that this one had been parked up just outside Fakenham, and the rogue driver who by his selfishness had let down about 10 passengers was ordered back into service. This same thing had happened the previous day according to the waiting passengers except that he had got away with it, the passengers getting the later bus.
This auction was a three-day affair, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. All three days were at our premises, 5 Norwich Street, Fakenham. Our next auction will also be over a three-day period, but there will be no selling on the second day, as the third day will be at Fakenham Racecourse and we will be setting things up down there.
The setup was accomplished with no problem and the first item went under the hammer at 10AM as intended. The auction started with coins which fared reasonably well, cheques which did not, some interesting ephemera which attracted some attention, and some joint numismatic/ philatelic items which fared well. The militaria which concluded day 1’s action started very quietly but picked up again later. Here are some pictures from this day…
Lot 359, one of those joint numismatic/ philatelic items, came my way for £8. I will be going into more detail about it in a future post, but here is the shot that appeared on our slideshow…
In between moving stuff for day 2 down into the shop ready for the morrow, consuming my sandwiches and other little bits I also did some work on our next auction. Here are some pictures of items that will be going under the hammer at the end of June…
This was the quietest of the three days. It featured stamps, postal history and first-day covers. There were no room bidders, and the internet bidders did not bestir themselves and the second half of the day. However, eventually some items did sell, although it was a hugely unsuccessful day. Here are some shots taken before proceedings got underway…
There was an addition to the routine today – three large items that feature in our next auction needed to be offloaded into the shop, photographed and given lot numbers. They are now lots 791, 792 and 793 in our June auction – two dolls houses and a rocking horse:
After attending to this and to bringing down the lots for the morrow I had time for some more work on the June auction…
This final day of our sale featured postcards, cigarette & trade cards, Liebig picture cards and books to end the auction. We needed a good day, and we got one. All else was overshadowed by three postcards, lots 1038, 1039 and 1040. These were early 20th century Real Photographic (RP) cards featuring football matches. 1038 and 1039 went for £495 and £450 respectively, while lot 1040 sold for no less than £900. Most of the rest of the postcards found buyers (one postcard, an RP featuring the 1910 visit of Halley’s Comet sold to none other than science writer Ben Goldacre), the cigarette cards had some successes, and the Liebig cards fared pretty well. The books did what ordinary books usually do at auction. Here are some pictures I took early that morning:
Lot 1107 (about which much more later) went to me. Going into this auction I had a couple of other items besides the two I actually bought (for £8 each) mentally filed as possibles, but found myself obliged to ignore them since my old camera (after somewhat in excess of 80,000 pictures) had conked out, necessitating a replacement which in turn meant that I could not entertain mere ‘possibles’ at this stage. Here is the image that appeared in our slideshow:
The auction concluded, wiring tidied up and internet bidders list printed out I finished my working week by doing some more work on the June auction. Here are some of the items I imaged…
Giving an account of James and Sons’ April auction and (in the introduction) setting the scene for the rest of the day’s blogging activity.
This is the first of several full length posts that I am intending to put up today (I have already produced a little squib relating to today’s special Google Doodle) and so before getting into the meat of it I take this opportunity to indicate what you can expect over the course of the rest of today: Science and Nature including an introduction to a fabulous series of memes about evolution, Autism and some political stuff.
THE ARRANGEMENT OF THE AUCTION
This auction was a three-day, 1,500 lot sale, taking place on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. All three days took place at our shop in Fakenham. The first day stuff had to be brought down into the body of the shop on the Friday.
DAY 1: LOTS 1-500
These lots consisted of coins, banknotes, bank related ephemera, coin first-day covers and militaria. This was a successful day, with the coins and the militaria doing particularly well. After consuming my sandwiches I then had to bring the stuff for Day 2 down into the shop ready for viewing in the morning.
DAY 2: LOTS 501-1000
These lots consisted of stamps, postal history and first-day covers. This second day was always likely to be quiet, and indeed it was. However, here are some pictures of lot 856, which I acquired for £4…
The auction stage of the day was followed by the most exhausting heavy lifting of the period – day two stuff back upstairs, day three stuff downstairs.
DAY 3: LOTS 1001-1500
The items under the hammer on day three were postcards, toys, Liebig picture cards, cigarette cards, ephemera, books, vinyls and various miscellaneous items. There was enough of interest going under the hammer to ensure a successful day, and indeed to ensure that the auction overall can be considered a success. This was followed by one last heavy lifting exercise – getting the stuff back upstairs so that the shop looked more like a shop once again. Our next auction, again taking place at our shop will be on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of May. Here are some pictures I took yesterday morning to show what went under the hammer later that day:
An account of James and Sons’ March auction with lots of photographs. Also a brief mention of the theme of my next blog post.
James and Sons’ March auction took place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, with the first two days taking place at our premises on Norwich Street, while the third took place at Fakenham Racecourse.
DAY 1: LOTS 1-500
I arrived at the shop at 8:30AM, the setup was accomplished with no serious hitches, and the sale got underway at 10AM as planned. The first lots to go under the hammer were coins, and a few of them sold well, with a large internet presence making up for the fact that we had very few people bidding live. After coins came banknotes and related epehmera, including the first Traveller’s Cheques to feature in a James and Sons auction. Here are some pictures of lots in this part of the sale…
The remaining lots to go under the hammer on day 1 were cigarette cards, Liebig cards and match attack cards. None of these fared especially well. I therefore end this section with a picture of one lot that did sell and will feature in much more detail in my next post…
Lot 369 went to me. My next post on this blog will be about what I shall be referring as Autism Acceptance Month in preference to the older, less expressive and misappropriated (I won’t name the culprits, but if you want a clue think blue jigsaw pieces) Autism Awareness Month, and I shall display these pictures in the context of talking about special interests.
DAY 2: LOTS 501-950
This was in many ways the most stressful of the three days, because in addition to the middle part of the auction it featured the setup at the racecourse to enable people to preview the third day lots in advance. The auction part of the day was very quiet, although there was one brief moment of excitement around lot 696, a Chinese stamp for which I do not have an image (I rarely do stamps these days because they are easy to scan and my time is better spent doing the more difficult imaging).
After the auction part of the day finished I helped with the unloading of items of the racecourse to be set up for the morrow, took some close up photographs of a couple of items that were needed to enable me to answer last minute queries and walked back to the shop (it takes about 15 minutes from the Prince of Wales Suite, the part of the racecourse where we hold our auctions) to edit the images and answer the queries. I also got a small amount of April imaging done before closing time (having arrived early to ensure that I had time to do the IT setup, and given the day that I knew to lie in store for me on the morrow I was not going to burning midnight oil, and when the last of my shop based colleagues finished his day at 3PM and I had seen him out I called it a day myself. Here are some pictures of the lots I was answering 11th hour queries about…
DAY THREE: LOTS 951-1560
In view of the fact that the catalogue advertised viewing at the racecourse from 8AM I decided to get the first bus of the morning to Fakenham, which leaves King’s Lynn at 6:28AM. I was therefore outside the Prince of Wales Suite at about 7:30AM, and had to wait for someone else to arrive with a key to open it up. Still, while waiting I did get this picture:
With the setup accomplished, and knowing that all was working properly I could get some pictures from the venue (the first had actually been taken the day before):
The books at the near end of this shot did exactly as expected (those familiar with my opinions ion the subject of books at auction will have no difficulty working that one out).
Sadly this sledge failed to sell, largely because at the last moment the vendor put a reserve of £55 on it.
After a fairly quiet start to the day the militaria sold well and the toys/ collectors models also fared well. As on the first two days it was the online bidders (who by the end of the auction numbered some 350) who were responsible for most of the action. The auction finished, it remained to dismantle the sale, load the goods up and transport them back to the shop. This was accomplished just quick enough for me to get the 3:35 bus home. The third day more than made up for the comparative quietness of the first two. James and Sons next auction is on April 24, 25 and 26, with all three days happening at our shop on Norwich Street. Here are a few final pictures to conclude.