The Summer Antique and Collectors Auction in Plymouth hosts a fabulous array of works of art, silver, coins, furniture, models and curios. With so many lots to talk about auctioneer Paul Keen has selected just a handful as part of the Plymouth Auction Rooms regular ‘Focus on Five’ feature where specialists select some of the more interesting lots to highlight.
“With over 350 interesting lots to choose from it was difficult to select just five however I have selected some of the more unusual and interesting lots.”
A client from the South Hams brought along a collection of provincial antique silver, coins and objects. However, in one box which he described as old metalware, I discovered a simple-looking cylindrical box. On closer inspection I could see that it was hinged and opened to reveal a grater. It was in fact a rare Georgian silver nutmeg grater, dating around 1820. The makers’ marks JW indicated that it was made by Joseph Willmore of Birmingham. A neat collector’s items which I have estimated at £100 to £150 much to the delight of the owner.
A mahogany side table appears quite nondescript in the Saleroom, with carved and shaped legs and a lower tier it certainly doesn’t stand out. However, by lifting the lid a remarkable writing desk is revealed. This is in fact a rare campaign desk made by ‘Chapman Son & Co, of London’, circa 1900. It has been well kept with green leather writing surface and is fitted with drawers, stationary compartments, photograph frames, inkwell and even a pocket watch holder complete with the watch, I am sure this will be a popular lot and expect it will sell for a few hundred pounds.
Toys and models are always in demand at auction and this 1950/60’s tinplate pedal fire truck has caught my eye due it its great condition. The paintwork is bright and the chrome work is in excellent order, the bell functions and although it’s missing a couple of ladders I am sure that collectors, or perhaps a grandparent, may be in the running to buy it with an attractive guide price of just £100.
Although not antique a real eye-catcher is a Chinese bottle vase, made in a heavy hardwood possibly padouk; it is richly decorated with mother of pearl inlay and stands 60cm tall. It’s very tactile and could be a real statement piece in a home, with a top estimate of £100 it should fly out. The vase came from a house I visited in Crownhill which was packed with Chinese ornaments and objects that had been collected over the last few decades. Many pieces can now be seen at the auction.
My final focus lot is Lot 299A a rare 19th-century mahogany apothecary’s cabinet. In the last thirty years, I have seen very few others and this one is in excellent condition. It has two lockable doors enclosing a fitted interior complete with various bottles and glasses with six drawers, also a lockable side drawer slides out to reveal further glass bottles and chemist items. This would have been used in the early 19th century and as a portable cabinet, it only stands 48cm high. I consider that it could sell for £500.
The auction will be on Wednesday 11th August at our saleroom, these lots and all the others can be found online now. I do hope you will join us for what could be a most exciting day of auctioneering.