Shropshire’s leading fine art auction house began the new year in style as a collection of antique aboriginal items sold for £4,000 on Wednesday.
The collection, entered in the interiors auction at Halls in Shrewsbury by a local man, attracted huge pre-sale interest and quickly raced to £2,000 following a flurry of bids online and in the saleroom. A Midlands bidder eventually secured the lot, which included a Leangle club, parrying shield and boomerang.
Due to the growing interest in antique tribal art amongst collectors in the UK, Halls is planning to establish a dedicated section in forthcoming sales this year.
“The main interest was in the Leangle club – a carved wooden club – and the parrying shield,” said Rebecca Moss, a valuer at Halls. “The boomerang wasn’t decorated but it appealed to collectors who could see that it had been used and was not one of the common reproductions for the tourist market that we see from time to time.
“The antique tribal art market is massive in France but it is now growing in popularity in the UK and we are keen to develop a dedicated section to meet this demand. We are keen to hear from anyone who has antique tribal art items, which they are thinking of selling.”
The well attended auction also saw a revival of the brown furniture market. A George III oak crossbanded enclosed high Shropshire dresser sold for £1,150, an early 20th century mahogany serving table of classical 18th century design made £650 and an 18th century oval wall mirror in a moulded gesso frame sold for £550 despite requiring restoration work.
A 19th century brass serpentine Adams style fire grate, or particular appeal to interior decorators, also sold for £500. The Aboriginal Leangle club, parrying shield and boomerang that sold for £4,000 at Halls in Shrewsbury.