Its Monday morning and my day starts early by processing a high number of virtual valuations. I work my way through collections of watches, silverware, model railway, antique jewellery and many paintings, all sent in from owners not only in Devon and Cornwall, but also across the UK.
This is now a major part of my job because of the lockdown. As we have been unable to open the Saleroom for our popular valuation events, we have had to develop an efficient way for clients to obtain quick and professional valuations without leaving home. Images and even videos of entire house contents are sent to us by email, WhatsApp and through our new website online valuation tool. Once appraised we then arrange safe and insured collections across the country from single items to entire collections.
Only last week we collected ten fine painting by Robert Lenkiewicz from East Devon, which will be coming up for auction next week. The same auction will also feature two valuable paintings by Fred Yates, sent to us by a seller in Leeds, and a rare Beryl Cook painting sent in from a South Hams owner following a virtual valuation.
We also had a fantastic auction last week. A Plymouth gentleman sorting out some family silver was thrilled to learn that the collection raised over £3,000, and the owner of a collection of Ian Fleming books was delighted to see they sold to collectors as far as the U.S, raising thousands of pounds.
Looking through hundreds of images, experience is key to quickly spot rare items. Most violins are worth a few pounds but recently one stood out, although in poor condition, we could see that there was some quality and its maker’s label confirmed it. However, we were as surprised as the family were when it sold last week to a buyer in Beijing, China for an impressive £1,000.
We are able to appraise the majority of subjects and our team are often researching rare artworks, coins and collections.
Thousands of bidders across the world now tune in to watch and bid at our live online sales, there are now many new bidders that have caught the auction bug!
We are pleased that we have been able to take some positives out of the lockdown, and look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Saleroom very soon.