Over the past year Anthemion Auctions in Cardiff have successfully sold some wildly wonderful lots for quite remarkable prices. The items have originated from a wide variety of sources, but the vast majority are family items brought in through curiosity on weekly valuation days. Members of the public have been quite astounded by the values of apparently unassuming heirlooms which may have been quietly gathering dust for many years.
As well as from family homes, goods being consigned to the auction house have come from stately homes, commercial properties, castles, airplanes, ocean liners, discoveries underground, and on one occasion, a large collection of porcelain discovered on the sea bed.
In November 2016, the auctioneers sold a 19th century Black Forest carved treen figure group in the form of a standing fox and hare, which had come in via a house clearance of a deceased estate. The item was contained amongst a wide variety of household goods, ornamental items and furniture, and was included in the items coming in to auction at the last minute, being otherwise scheduled to be taken to the tip amongst other items the following day. The unusual piece, which would at one time have been used to hold spices or tobacco, went on to sell in the internationally marketed auction for £14,000.
Other recent stars of the auction include; a striking bronze entitled “Satan, L’ange Dechu” by Jean-Jacques Feuchère, dated 1833, which sold in February of last year for £8000, a painting by renowned Welsh artist Jack Jones, depicting a street scene with figures and a dog, which realised £9,800 in May 2016, and a matched pair of gilt and enamel decorated Chinese Buddhistic altarpieces with carved jade panels which went under the hammer for £11,500 in February of this year.
Members of the public often imagine that Fine Art Auctioneers handle only jewellery, paintings, fine porcelain and silverware, but the reality is that the huge variety of goods is what makes the auction world so exciting. Anthemion value and auction a diverse range of artefacts including toys, ephemera, stamps and postcards, sporting memorabilia, musical instruments, militaria and collectables. Over past years, the auction house has sold items including a twelve bolt copper divers helmet for £3,000, a palm leaf club from the Tonga Islands, which made £5,800 , a four string banjo for £2,200, a New Zealand Rugby Jersey from the Wales All Blacks game of 1905 which realised £10,000 and a seven foot tall bronze model of a stag, which sold for £7,800.
Valuation days for future auctions take place every Friday between 10am and 4pm, and every week brings something weird or wonderful for the auctioneers to view. Currently awaiting assessment and research for example, is a ships biscuit, purportedly from the ocean liner Titanic…
Anthemion are currently accepting goods for all future auctions; for any enquiries they can be contacted on 02920 472444.