TOP OF THE LOTS
Oliver from Bishop & Miller auctioneers shares his top five favourite and unusual lots from the past year
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.