The Beatles topped the charts again yesterday (Wednesday) as a set of the Fab Four’s autographs claimed the highest price at successful Christmas collective auction in Shropshire.
The signatures, which were contained in ‘The Beatles Book’ by Norman Parkinson, dating to around 1964, smashed their pre-sale estimate of £2,500 to sell for £3,400 to a Lancashire bidder at Halls’ £150,000 auction.
The autographs were obtained by the North Shropshire vendor’s father whilst he was working as chief make-up artist on the Fab Four’s film ‘A Hard Day’s Night’.
A set of autographs from the original line up of the Rolling Stones did not hit the same high note, however. The signatures, which were obtained in Willenhall, near Wolverhampton on February 4, 1964, sold for £550.
The auction was full of Christmas cheer as a small collection of vintage port and wine from a Shropshire country house sold for £4,000. Top priced lot comprised 11 bottles of Quinta do Noval and one large bottle of Fonseca vintage port from 1966, which sold for £950.
A cased magnum of 1975 Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill champagne also had the corks popping at £900.
One of the biggest surprises of the day was a gentleman’s stainless steel Longines Serbian military watch, retailed by Milan T. Stefanovich, Belgrade, which sold for £2,800. The watch was decorated on the back with double headed eagle, coat of arms of Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia and King Alexander I.
Showing signs that the brown furniture market might be bouncing back, an impressive Edwardian eight-piece satinwood Chinese Chippendale revival bedroom suite also sold well at £2,600.
Other furniture highlights were a mid-18th century North Wales joined oak cwpwrdd tridarn at £1,800, a George IV oak housekeeper’s cupboard at £1,700, a large Victorian oak servant’s hall table at £1,300, a Victorian Chesterfield settee at £1,250 and a large French fruitwood farmhouse kitchen table and a monumental pair of Victorian, Black Forest style carved oak hall chairs at £900 each.
The final lot of the 631-lot auction also captured the imagination. Reputed to have once graced Lilleshall Hall in Shropshire, a large and ornate carved oak chimney piece with 17th century elements, race away from its estimate to sell for £2,300.
Halls’ fine art director Jeremy Lamond was delighted with the auction result. “There was strength in all areas of sale and welcome signs that demand for some brown furniture is reviving,” he said.
“The pre-Christmas drinks market was very strong, as expected, with the collection of port selling particularly well.”
In the jewellery section, a late 19th century lady’s 18 carat white gold, diamond set Omega Constellation bracelet watch sold for £1,450 and a late 19th century diamond crescent brooch sold for £1,000.
The ceramics section produced several highlights, including an 18th century Sevres porcelain ewer and basin at £1,600 and a large 1885 Doulton Lambeth faience floor vase painted by Mary Butterton and a Royal Worcester two handled vase painted by Harry Davies at £1,050 each.
Works of art were prominent in the form of a bronze and ivory figure Lazzarone, the accordion playing boy with gilt hat band, by Demeter H Chiparus (1886-1947), which sold for £2,100 and a Lalique frosted and moulded glass Bacchantes vase at £2,000.
Pick of the paintings were a Venetian scene by William Meadows (1825-1901) at £1,250, a signed lithograph of resting horse by Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) at £420 and a pair of early 20th century hunting scenes by Charles E Stewart at £410.
Other notable results included £1,800 for a mid-18th century Dutch burr walnut eight-day longcase clock by William Redie, Inventeur, Amsterdam and £1,000 for a large collection of British, Commonwealth and Foreign silver.