Saturday 13th May was our first Home & Interiors auction and it included a house-record hammer price for a lot in a non-specialist auction. These sales are a rebranded version of the General Antiques & Collectables auctions, and fill the same three-weekly calendar slot. As well as the usual eclectic mix of household effects, furniture, and collectables, they also include a dedicated affordable jewellery & watches section alongside items of interest and decorative pieces.
The star lot on Saturday was a circa 1864 Adolphe Bertsch Chambre Automatique / Chambre Microscopique sub-miniature 37x37mm wet plate fixed-focus camera. This was one of the first 'automatic' cameras, and an incredibly desirable piece for photography enthusiasts and camera collectors. Adding to the allure was the fact that camera came in its original case along with reagent bottles and accessories. Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of pre-sale interest and by the day of the auction we had 5 telephone lines booked and over 20 online watchers from both Europe and America. Frenzied bidding ended with a hammer price of £20,000 - a record for one of our non-specialist sales.
Full catalogue listing: A 19th century Adolphe Bertsch Chambre Automatique / Chambre Microscopique sub-miniature 37x37mm wet plate fixed-focus camera, serial number 229, the lacquered brass camera with wooden mounts, in original mahogany box with reagent bottles, having brass inset plaque to the lid reading CHAMBRE AUTOMATIQUE DE BERTSCH BTE S.G.S. NO. 229, dimensions w.15.5cm, d.11.5cm, h.11cm
Elsewhere in the auction, a 17th oak coffer sold for £1,850, a pair of dressing stools made £1,000, a Beswick model of a goose sold for £320, and a collection of Marvel & DC comics made £300. BBCs Antiques Road Trip were also filming at this auction - which added to the overall excitement in the room!
Our next Home & Interiors auction will be held on 3rd June, with entries invited until Friday 26th May.