Auction Highlights 2018

8th January 2019




H&H Auction Rooms hold a weekly sale of both antiques and house furnishings, and are one of the longest established auction houses in the North of England. Here Stephen Farthing, Auctioneer and Valuer at H&H Auctions Rooms, looks back on what he describes as a year where there have been some “exciting items creating interest, with something very icy creating something for the festive fizz!!”

“Throughout the year, we sell thousands of items through our weekly sales and Specialist Architectural and Boat sales. As both Auctioneers and Valuers, we also see ‘What is on trend, what is worth its weight in gold and of course, those items which have fallen out of fashion’.

In one of our penultimate sales of the year, the festive spirit came to the fore as many purchasers were looking for Christmas gifts.

Jewellery, ceramics and small collectable items were in demand; however, the most highly sought-after piece was a Martin Brother’s beaker. This china beaker, with a swallow design, sold for £640, as part of our penultimate sale for 2018 – twice the estimate and higher than equivalent pieces from other sales in the UK.

Beautiful jewellery always has a following and as such is sought after, as is antique hall marked silver. But, in terms of collector pieces, at the top of the collecting tree and in terms of prices being achieved, the biggest hit in 2018 and sure to remain so going forward are classic gentleman’s watches, from renowned brands such as Rolex, Omega and Breitling.

Throughout this year, furniture prices especially brown furniture, have continued the decade long downward trend, however there are sectors of the furniture markets where pockets of interest remain buoyant. Blonde Ercol and any Danish style teak furniture is now very highly sought after. Over the past year, we have sold various items which have created interest from buyers from across the UK, one very recent example was a three-foot-high bear, based on long-established carvings from the Black Forest, which sold for £300.

With more and more people keen to personalise and design their outdoor living spaces, another area where we are seeing increasing demand is our Architectural and Salvage sales. During the Spring and Summer, we hold a number of these specialist sales which feature vintage gardenalia, stoneware, iron ware tools and unique and valuable items.

In one sale, we saw stone troughs selling up to £690 and in another, a Pair of Victorian Terracotta Eagles sold for £800. The real star of our year in these sales was without a doubt the vintage ice cream trailer, selling for £8,000 and being re-purposed as a Prosecco bar, Fizzy!!

These sales have become such a firm favorite with many regular attendees and followers, and since they have been so popular in 2018, we have planned five for 2019.

Looking ahead to what next year will bring, I believe that gold and silver will continue to be a firm and safe investment, with prices being held up by the uncertainty associated with Brexit and the wider economy. Whilst the power of the pound is in question, buying gold coins will always be a popular trend.

With a focus on recycling clothes, minimising our use of plastic, we will see these trends and fashions having a bigger impact on the antique trade than ever before. A shift in television programs away from the Flog It style and towards a more considered approach of evaluating and adding value to items will also impact on the market.

There is a demand for antique and vintage items, however, the market is looking for something that stands out, something unusual or quirky in any field whether it be Ceramics, Treen or furniture.”

H&H Auction Rooms hold a weekly sale of both antiques and house furnishings. Viewings are held on Thursdays, 5.00pm to 7.00pm, Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm and Saturday 9.00am to 12 noon. For auctions, these commence on the day at 10.30am, with lots being sold in numerical order.

If you would like any further information, please contact the saleroom on 01228 406320 or telephone Stephen on 07734043599.