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Luxury, Quality and Rarity all in Demand in 650-Lot Collectors' Sale...

14th September 2020

Lawrences’ three-day sale of Books, Militaria and Collectors’ Items drew to a close on September 11th with a 650-lot selection of lots for every sort of Collector. It comprised such a variety of items that a poster for the James Bond film `Moonraker` (£135) was just a couple of hundred lots from a glass-domed case containing a taxidermied two-head duckling (£90).

The highlights were rather more dependably mainstream: a good Victorian dolls house with dolls within made £1625; a selection of accessories for a dolls’ house included miniature food, fireplaces and even a step ladder (£2375); and some miniature dolls suitable for such a house sold above expectations at £1750.

Two rather dissimilar musical instruments performed well: an antique cello with a specious label for 1658 found buyers who tuned in at £2375 whilst a modern Fender Telecaster guitar struck a chord with collectors to make £1620. Continuing the musical theme, a musical box made £1375.

Two maritime items sold well: two 19th Century sailor’s Valentines shells, decorated with heart motifs and floral designs, made £2750; and a Primitive naval painting on wood panel – a piece of `Folk Art` and probably painted on the lid of a seaman’s chest  - sailed to £2370.

Other strong prices included a £1250 for signed photographs of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth; £1500 for a Japanese silk embroidered  coat; a surprising surge of interest for three watercolours of Taunton by Harry Frier that made £1370; and £2250 for a rare war time hardback 55th edition of the 1918 Wisden’s Cricketers Almanack.

Luxury always seems to command a premium: four bottles of 1959 Chateau Margaux raised bids – and may yet raise glasses – at £1370; a bottle of `The Macallan, Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky`,18 years old, distilled in 1972 and bottled in 1990, was knocked down – and may yet be knocked back – at £2000 and  a fine quality vintage Louis Vuitton trunk went just over its estimate to make £1000. For a small piece of shameless luxury, set aside the computer keyboard and pick up a rare Namiki fountain pen, with a 14-carat nib and a silver cover. The lucky buyer will saviour every word he writes with this 10.5cm pen: this lot cost £6250. The total for the three days exceeded £540,000 with barely 7% unsold.

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