Oliver from Bishop & Miller auc­tion­eers shares his top five favourite and un­usual lots from the past year

EADT Suffolk - - Artist -

The an­tiques and col­lectibles in­dus­try is in a con­stant state of flux and each day brings some­thing dif­fer­ent into the auc­tion house. On a daily ba­sis I deal with a huge va­ri­ety of items and our clients and col­lec­tors are pas­sion­ate about what­ever they’re buy­ing. I’ve man­aged to whit­tle the huge num­ber of items we’ve sold down to a list of my top five favourite and un­usual lots from the past year; which high­lights the breadth of items we have had through our auc­tion house doors.

1) Mortimer per­cus­sion pis­tols sold for £15,000 on 7th Oc­to­ber 2017 in the Bishop & Miller Arms and Ar­mour Auc­tion

Th­ese ex­ceed­ingly fine cased pair of Mortimer per­cus­sion pis­tols from Thomas Jack­son Mortimer dat­ing from around 1790 (St James Street Lon­don) were in great con­di­tion and were com­plete with full orig­i­nal fea­tures such as wal­nut grips and housed within the ma­hogany case with sunken han­dle. The arms and ar­mour mar­ket is very strong at the mo­ment and the con­di­tion of items is key in this area as this is what can re­ally push the price on at auc­tion.

2) Ethno­graph­i­cal Carte de Visite al­bum sold for £12,000 at the Bishop & Miller Sci­en­tific and Ex­plo­ration Auc­tion on 22nd April 2017

This ex­cep­tional Vic­to­rian ethno­graph­i­cal Carte de Visite al­bum gave a real glimpse into his­tory con­tain­ing im­ages of peo­ple from around the World, which in­cluded Abo­rig­i­nal men and women, an Abo­rig­i­nal na­tive po­lice­man hold­ing a pis­tol as well as Zu­lus, Maori men and women with clubs and tat­toos; and in­clud­ing Eastern Si­amese twins. All the pho­tographs were housed within a leather bound al­bum. This al­bum, which was in good con­di­tion gained a lot of at­ten­tion on auc­tion day as it was such rare piece of Vic­to­rian his­tory, show­ing a glimpse into cul­tures of the world and the cross over to Euro­pean styles; a truly fine piece of pho­to­graphic his­tory.

3) An­tique Nut Cracker sold for £8,000 at the Bishop & Miller Fine Art and An­tiques Auc­tion on 22nd April 2017

The 18th Cen­tury box­wood lever ac­tion nut cracker carved to look like a jester with the lever and a beast’s head was very rare and in­ter­est­ing as de­signs of this time typ­i­cally de­picted hu­mans and an­i­mals. The nut­crack­ers have ended up in a Nut Cracker mu­seum in Eastern Europe and were an ex­cit­ing and un­usual ex­am­ple of nut crack­ers. This lit­tle trea­sure had been sit­ting on the desk of the un­aware ven­dor for over 40 years; a re­ally won­der­ful find, and shows you never know what is right un­der your nose!!

4) Di­a­mond soli­taire ring sold for £10,000 at the Bishop & Miller Jewellery Auc­tion on July 29th 2017

The 18 carat white gold di­a­mond soli­taire ring had a sin­gle round cut di­a­mond at ap­prox­i­mately 3.2 carats; a stun­ning piece, and a wor­thy ad­di­tion to any­one’s personal col­lec­tion. Jewellery is our largest spe­cial­ist area and beau­ti­ful stones never go out of fash­ion. There’s al­ways a strong de­mand for di­a­monds but this piece was par­tic­u­larly at­trac­tive and gained a lot of at­ten­tion on the day of the auc­tion as with di­a­monds, size re­ally does mat­ter! A large di­a­mond will al­ways make a good price at auc­tion.

5) Rolex wrist­watch sold for £13,000 at the Bishop & Miller Wrist­watch Auc­tion on 1st April 2017

This Rolex Oys­ter per­pet­ual Sea-Dweller gen­tle­man’s stain­less steel wrist­watch, from 1979, was the epit­ome of cool and a very ex­cit­ing lot to have in our auc­tion. The world-renowned Rolex brand car­ries with it a real fash­ion legacy and so it’s not hard to see why this lot was so pop­u­lar with our bid­ders. With a num­ber of auc­tions cov­er­ing var­i­ous themes planned for the year ahead I ex­pect we will en­counter even more fas­ci­nat­ing items over the com­ing 12 months.

Our next auc­tion is the Jewellery and Watch Sale on Satur­day 7th April 2018 so please come and join us to see what trea­sures sell un­der the ham­mer.

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