Welcome to this post about James and Sons‘ November auction, which took place on Wednesday.
I managed to catch my intended bus, departing King’s Lynn at 6:50, and at that time of the morning it was no great surprise to enjoy a clear run to Fakenham, alighting at Oak Street at 7:30. Fifteen minutes later I arrived at the auction venue, the Prince of Wales Stand at Fakenham Racecourse. I was the first James and Sons employee to arrive at the venue. I took a few pictures of the auction lots out an display…
In spite of a few technical hitches we got underway at our scheduled start time of 10AM, and the last lot went under the hammer at approximately 2:30PM, a little behind schedule because some of the lots attracted very intense bidding (i.e for the right reason). I am going to cover a few of the truly outstanding highlights and a couple that were of personal interest…
This was a file of photographic negatives of 1940s vintage (approximately 800 pictures worth – I did a count in response to pre-auction query), estimated at a modest £10-20, it soared to an eye-popping £300, the result of an internet bidding war involving at least four people.
LOT 183 – CANADIAN TOKEN
This Prince Edward’s Island halfpenny token was valued at £15-25. We knew that it was a rare item, but obviously it was much rarer than even we had supposed. A frenzied internet battle pushed the price up to a barely believable £410. Appropriately enough the successful bidder proved to be a Canadian.
We had suffered a disappointment in the militaria section, with irrefutable proof that what should have been the star item of the whole auction was actually a clever fake rather than the real deal. However, a couple of items fared well. This item, a collection of Arabian/ Ottoman empire medals attractively displayed in a glass fronted box had been valued at £45-60, but internet interest pushed the hammer price up to £190
This German Luftwaffe Pattern officer’s Sword was valued at £90-100 and sold after some lively bidding for £240.
Our next auction, on December 9th, consists entirely of militaria, specifically badges and cloth patches collected over a lifetime by a Suffolk gentleman. Unusually for a James and Sons auction it will be taking place at our shop, 5 Norwich Street, Fakenham, NR21 9AF
This splendid Kelly’s Map of Bucks (actually Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire) dating from 1920 sold to yours truly for £18. More can be found in this post on my London transport themed website where it has been given a whole post to itself.
Whereas the bid I put in on lot 504 was made more in hope than expectation, this item given its nature really had to end up in my possession, and duly did so. Like lot 504 it has a post to itself on my website.
THE CLEAR UP
A two stage process, beginning with getting the stock that was still at the racecourse (either unsold or sold to bidders who were not present to collect) back to the shop and concluding with transferring the rostrum and a few other items to our storage unit in Syderstone. This done, my colleague Andrew dropped me off in central Fakenham on his way home, and I had time for a well earned pint at the Bull Inn before catching the bus home, arriving back at my flat almost precisely twelve hours after having left in the morning.