Sale Report - The Fine Sale & Specialist Collectors - December 2019
Posted On: 28 Jan 2020 by Greg Bateman
A report on the various items sold in this pre-Christmas sale, written by Managing Director & Valuer Greg Bateman
Wine, Whisky and Song (Dynasty...)
Batemans' final auction of the year, The Fine Sale & Specialist Collectors held in December, has for many years included a seasonal specialist section of Vintage Wine, Champagne & Whisky, it also included an interesting Toys & Models section as well as the regular variety of items across the more traditional areas of antique and collecting.
The specialist pre-Christmas section was elevated by an impressive private collection of whiskies that had been consigned to Batemans specifically for this sale, the vendor having seen the fantastic results achieved in previous years. Their trust was well rewarded with the collection offered across twenty-six lots and all but two selling on a busy day for David Palmer - our brilliant auctioneer.
Top (or bottom!?) of the barrel was an Isle of Islay bottle distilled by Bunnahabhain, of Rare Old single malt Scotch whisky, it made £390 (including 20% BP), and the collection as a whole sold for more than £2000!
In the Vintage Wines, Ports & Champagne sections there were some solid results for mixed parcels of wine, and encouraging prices for the rarer bottles: two bottles of Grand Vin de Chateau Latour, 1984 and 1986, sold for £414 (including 20% BP), and three bottles of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, 1961, sold for £660 (including 20% BP). A bottle of the spectacular 1990 vintage produced by Bollinger made a very reasonable £120 (including 20% BP), and another classic vintage champagne, the Moet & Chandon Cuvee Dom Perignon, 1996 sold for £168 (including 20% BP). I regularly see these bottles offered in fine restaurants at four figure sums! Although it must be said that provenance and cellaring history is very often unknown when buying wines, champagnes, ports and whiskies at auction, there must be a certain amount of gambling and excitement for the buyer - if it's good then there a real bargains to be had.
There were also several bottles of port with a fantastic history to tell, as already shared on our Twitter and Facebook pages; they had been discovered in a secret room behind a hinged bookcase in a house built for a local businessman. These bottles of 70 year old port must have a story to tell... produced at the end of WWI they've been sitting quietly through the NASA moon landings, the invention of the internet, and the end of apartheid..... let's hope they've absorbed all that history. The lucky bidder, securing five bottles in total for nearly £130 each, will get to find out.
Throughout the rest of the sale there was a very large collection of Chinese and other South East Asian ceramics, of varying age, which were offered in groups allowing the bidders to decide on the choice pieces, theses two lots in particular did very well which including some very early Song Dynasty pieces, against estimates of up to £150 they soared after frantic bidding to sell for £900 and £696 (including 20% BP).
At either end of the ages of English ceramic production were these two vases, both important designs in their own right - this beautiful and rare Chelsea-Derby porcelain reticulated eel-trap vase, circa 1760, emblematic of 'Water' sold for £660 (including 20% BP), which juxtaposed nicely with a modern Constance Spry designed vase which made a splendid £660 (including 20% BP).
The Toys & Models section held a particularly impressive surprise, a very rare bisque headed doll with head marked 'S and C' was part of a group lot but nonetheless was spotted by a few very eagle eyed specialist collectors of early dolls. Their knowledge and appetite pushed a rather standard lot to a heady selling price of £1104 (including 20% BP)!
Always popular at this time of year, with examples often popping up pre-Christmas, was a very good quality Edwardian 'extra carved' rocking horse by the famed makers G & J Lines, which sold at a gallop for £732 (including 20% BP). The V&A website has a fascinating history on Lines Bros. Ltd. that is certainly worth a read...
Finally a huge thank you to all our vendors and bidders throughout the year, we are so pleased to have been able to help you; it has again been a great privilege to have handled and sold more than 10,000 lots this year. We look forward to working hard, discovering the interesting, unusual and spectacular again during 2020 in Stamford, and across Rutland, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Huntingdonshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk and beyond.