Posts made in September, 2023

‘There’s nothing quite like it. The gavel falls and everybody knows’

There are few people more passionate and enthusiastic about the world of valuing and auctioneering than Richard Worrall. It is people like him who keep the industry going.  Richard is the president of NAVA (National Association of Valuers and Auctioneers), which is just one of the organisations under the umbrella of Propertymark, who also oversee the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) and ALA (Association of Rental Letting Agents). NAVA is a professional self-regulating body for valuers and auctioneers across all different types of auctions. Typically, when one thinks of an auction, they would picture antiques and unusual pieces that might appear to have little use outside of being collectors’ items. But, as Richard explains on the Gavel and Gabble podcast, in fact, auctions are far more involved in your everyday life than you might know. Did you have any fish for dinner this week? Chances are it has been auctioned and traded through one of the UK’s fish auctions. Or did you fancy steak instead? It’s likely that steak went through a livestock auction. Auctions date back to around 500 BC, although the first auctions were not particularly forward thinking, as they were predominantly used to find or auction off wives. The Romans then got involved, which is where the word auction comes from, deriving from the Latin word augeo meaning I increase. Nowadays, the world of auctions is diverse and varied from agricultural auctions, lifestyle, cars, distressed goods, fine instruments, fine art and the list goes on. And ultimately, auctions now represent the greatest recycling business in the world. If you were to go to somewhere like IKEA and buy a chair, not only will it be a far-cry from the quality of the kind of Victorian chair that might be found at auction, but when it inevitably goes wrong or breaks, it will end up at the tip. Whereas at auction houses, like our one here at Windsor Auctions, we can offer beautiful pieces of furniture with wonderful craftsmanship that have been passed down generations and won’t go to waste. Richard first found himself hooked on auctions around six or seven years old when he was taken along by his grandfather and his zeal for the...

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THE GAVEL AND THE GAVEL EPISODE 54   Unearthing gems to sell at auction, might seem like a game of chance, but there are certain locations you can look in to increase your luck.   According to Matt Ball of the Antiques Trade Gazette, after surveying 100 great finds over the past five years, 75% of these items are found in people’s homes and to narrow it down further than that, 50% are found in four locations.   The first of these are attics or lofts.   Stashed in a loft for almost 50 years, one lucky seller found a very important piece of entertainment memorabilia, which was the first ever demo tape of David Bowie’s ‘Starman’, and it sold for £41,000.   Found in a French home’s attic, a tunic, which was still in very good condition, made for the Chanel 1922 Spring collection was sold in Paris last year for a staggering €100,000, equivalent to £86,000.   Next up is boxes and tins.   A sapphire and diamond ring was discovered in a box with a load of costume jewellery, and it could be quite difficult for the average person to determine the difference between something bog-standard and something special, and so you need an experts eye, but in this case it was certainly special as it sold for £15,000.   One of the more unusual places an item of value was found was a bread bin and the item in question was the first ever demo tape of David Bowie singing lead vocals, unearthed by the drummer of the band, and it sold for £39,600.   The third spot Is Garages and out-buildings.   A Louis Vuitton trunk was found in a garage and it was earmarked to be thrown out until it was noticed by us here at Windsor Auctions and after getting it cleaned up, it sold for £8000.   Another peculiar find was a children’s push car, it was hardly recognisable and looked like an old rust bucket, but it was a rare model and so sold for £8500.   It’s important to remember that just because something might not hold worth for you, it could be the final piece of another person’s...

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