Diamonds are Forever! James Bond and Jewellery steal the show in our August Auction

Traditionally August is one of the quieter months in the auction calendar, but if 2020 has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected! Trevanion and Dean’s August auction proved to be their second most successful sale since they were established in 2014. ‘It was quite astonishing,’ said Managing Director and Auctioneer Christina Trevanion. ‘We had over 1,500 bidders registered for auction from across the globe and phenomenal amounts of pre-sale interest which translated into healthy bids on the day. The auction market has proved to be incredibly resilient in these turbulent times and has produced some outstanding results throughout the summer period, which we are predicting to continue into the autumn.’

An antique diamond cluster ring sold for £11,000

Of the 914 lots on offer at the firms monthly Fine Art and Antiques auction, the star of the day was a stunning antique diamond cluster ring. Centred by a 3-carat diamond within a surround of fourteen further diamonds, the ring was consigned by an Oswestry vendor and carried pre-sale hopes of between £8000-£10,000.  The ring was hotly contested by an American online bidder and a London based telephone bidder, eventually selling to the latter for £11,000 plus buyers’ premium.

‘Following the lockdown period, jewellery and watches have provided some of the most spectacular results for the saleroom, and this auction was no exception,’ said jewellery specialist Helena Waudby. ‘This is partly due to gold prices being so high, which is to be expected in times of economic uncertainty. However we’re finding that big brand names are ever popular with our bidders, and are achieving consistently strong results – some of our most sought after lots were a pair of 18ct gold Rolexes, which sold for £4800 and £8000 respectively.’

A pair of Worcester plaques sold £7600

Elsewhere in the sale, a pair of exquisitely painted Royal Worcester plaques, consigned to the auction by a private seller in Cheshire, exceeded a pre-sale estimate of £600 – £1000 selling for an incredible £7,500. The two plaques were painted by the esteemed Worcester artist Frank Roberts. Born in 1857, Roberts started working at the Royal Worcester factory in 1872 and remained with the company until his death in 1920. He was an exceptional painter of fruit, and many of his pieces were used as examples when training new apprentices. It is thought that the plaques sold in Saturday’s auction are some of the last pieces that Frank painted for the Royal Worcester factory. The plaques prompted a ferocious online bidding battle, eventually selling to a UK collector.

Also consigned to the auction was a collection of over 150 lots from a private collector based in the Czech Republic. The extensive collection, which comprised a broad range of antiques and collectables, included a selection of Japanese Katanas, which caught the attention of weapon collectors from all over the UK, Hong Kong, Belgium and USA. The grand total for the extensive collection came to over £30,000.

Pictured: Valuer Simon Grover with ‘Live and Let Die’ sold for £3800 and ‘Moonraker’ sold for £1150

This month’s auction also included a special collection of art, furnishings, and pop culture artefacts of the 20th century, curated by valuer Simon Grover. Included in the collection was a selection of first edition James Bond books, which generated a substantial amount of pre-sale buzz amongst bidders. ‘Bond is one of the most recognisable characters in pop culture, and 007 memorabilia always sells well’ says valuer Simon Grover. ‘However, the reboot of the franchise with Daniel Craig has led a whole new generation of collectors into the market, which is reflected in the prices being achieved at auction.’

The top hammer price was taken by a first edition copy of ‘Live & Let Die’ which sold for £3800. ‘What makes this copy so special to collectors is it’s ‘first state’ dust jacket. This is one of a few hundred copies that were printed with an error, in that they forgot to credit the cover artist on this inside tab. This was noticed fairly early in the printing process and rectified, meaning a very limited quantity of these copies were ever printed. Finding a surviving copy in such exceptional condition is extremely rare.’ Also consigned to this auction was a first edition copy of ‘Moonraker’ which sold for £1150 and a first edition copy of Dr. No which took £850.

British Quad film poster for ‘Grand Prix’ (1966) sold for £750

The sale also boasted a collection of film posters from iconic 20th century blockbusters including Grand Prix (1966), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Enter the Dragon (1973) and more. The posters were consigned by a Market Drayton seller, who had kept the posters from her previous job as a cinema manager, and had no idea of the value of her collection, which she rediscovered in the bottom of a wardrobe as part of a clear-out. Valuer Ashley jones said, ‘as we were leaving the property, the seller handed us a carrier bag full of posters. Our instructions were to sell what we could and give the rest to charity. She was understandably delighted when we explained how valuable her collection was!’ Sold in 14 lots, the collection realised just under £4,000 and the posters sold to bidders across the globe including Switzerland, France and the USA. ‘It is often the things which you don’t think have any value which turn out to be the most desirable’ explained Ashley. ‘The market is incredibly buoyant at the moment and I would urge anyone with items they are thinking of selling to get in touch with us and take advantage of our free valuation service’.

Trevanion and Dean’s next Fine Art & Antiques Auction will be held on Saturday 19th September. Deadline for consignments into this sale Wednesday 2nd September. If you have items that you’re considering consigning, call 01948800202 or email info@trevanionanddean.co.uk.