Tuesday 27th March 2012
MITCHELLS CELEBRATES BEST ANTIQUES SALE FOR A DECADE!
Mitchells of Cockermouth are celebrating their best Antiques &
Fine Art Sale for more than ten years after achieving a record £410,658 total during their two day sale last week.
Even before the sale had started, Mitchells suspected they were
heading for a record sale when high numbers of emails requesting condition
reports started pouring in as well as hundreds of advance bookings for
telephone bids. A record total of 530 people also pre-registered to bid online from as far afield as the US, Australia, Brazil, China, India and Israel as well as Europe, a figure described as “amazing” by the UK’s leading online auction website The-Saleroom.com. During the sale, over two thousand internet bids were received and more than 200 lots were sold online.
Delighted Auctioneer Mark Wise said of the sale “In the 25 years I’ve been here at Mitchells it’s never been busier. It was the exceptionally high quality of lots on sale combined with our global internet marketing and the easy access of internet bidding which made it so successful.”
The two day sale featured approximately 1,400 lots and included a magnificent collection of over 100 antique clocks from a private collector based near Carlisle which alone
accounted for £75,000 of the record total. The most valuable clocks were a fine Victorian clock maker’s regulator by Russells Limited of Liverpool (see attached) which
sold for £10,000 and a fine tortoiseshell and ormolu bracket clock by J.J. Elliott & Co. of Clerkenwell (see attached) sold for £7,000. A rare 19th Century French elephant clock and a 19th Century musical clock of a church and turret also both sold for £5,400 each.
Other highlights included paintings by local artists and the highest value lots in the sale were two paintings by Sheila Fell (1931-1979) sold for £18,000 and £13,000 to a buyer out of the area. A pair of William Mitchell (1823-1900) oil paintings featuring views of Maryport harbour (see attached) also made £5,600. Two Percy Kelly watercolours fetched £3,700 each.
A fully illustrated catalogue with all prices realised in the sale is available for viewing online at www.mitchellsantiques.co.uk.
Tuesday 13th December 2011
MITCHELLS ON-LINE BIDDING SUCCESS…
in spite of thieves internet blackout!
A Chinese bronze incense burner sold for £2,900
In spite of thieves cutting off live internet bidding during their auction last Friday, Mitchells of Cockermouth are still celebrating one of their best Antiques & Fine Art Sales to date.
A total of 363 buyers from all over the world had pre-registered to bid on line during Mitchells sale last Thursday and Friday. But when thieves cut through a fibre optic cable near Workington on Friday afternoon severing telephone and internet connections throughout West Cumbria, internet bidders were literally cut off for the last 90 minutes of the sale.
Thanks to the quick thinking of Mitchells staff, a mobile ‘phone number was posted on line and after a brief pause the sale resumed with internet buyers bidding over the telephone instead.
In spite of the internet blackout in the final stages, 174 of the 1,232 lots in the sale were sold on line (17%) with 98 other lots underbid on the internet. The impressive overall total of £320,000 means the sale ranks within Mitchell’s top 10 ever and confirms the company’s commitment to future live internet bidding which opens up the saleroom to a global market and makes it easier for buyers to bid from anywhere in the world. Absentee buyers can also leave confidential bids with the auctioneer in advance of the sale or bid live by telephone during the sale if preferred.
UK market leaders in on-line antiques auctions ATG Media commented on the very high number of bidders pre-registered for the Sale last week compared to other UK salerooms. This is believed to be due in part to the high quality of photographic illustration on Mitchells on-line website catalogue which gives potential buyers confidence to bid even when they haven’t been able to view the lot in person.
Auction highlights of local interest included a 19th Century Whitehaven Pottery carpet bowl sold for £850 (see attached) and two paintings by Aspatria artist Sheila Fell (1931-1979) “Ploughed Field” and “Man in Field, Evening 1964” sold to a private buyer for £14,000 and £10,000 respectively.
Other expensive lots reflecting the current vogue for Chinese artefacts included a Chinese bronze incense burner (see attached) sold for £2,900 to a London buyer and a Chinese Ruyi sceptre sold for £2,750 to an overseas buyer.
Rare lots attracting considerable interest were a bound, handwritten copy of The Koran, probably late 19th Century, sold to an antique dealer for £2,150, a silver mounted Fabergé inkwell (see attached) sold for £7,200 and a Russian Imperial gold cigarette case sold for £4,600, both to private buyers.
Mitchells are now inviting entries for their next Antiques & Fine Art Sale to be held on Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd March 2012 with a closing date for entries of Friday 24th February. This sale will include the second consignment of contents from Marston Meysey Manor in the Cotswolds, once lived in by Henry VIII’s sixth wife Katherine Parr and his daughter Elizabeth who later became Queen Elizabeth I.
Those wishing to register to bid on line for future sales should visit www.the-saleroom.com where they will be able to listen and watch the sale live, view images of the lots as they are being sold and bid live if they wish. A fully illustrated on-line catalogue with estimates will be available at www.mitchellsantiques.co.uk approximately two weeks before the Sale. An archive of previous sale catalogues with prices realised is also available on the website.
Tuesday 20th September 2011
NEW WORLD RECORD FOR MARYPORT ARTIST
Mitchells of Cockermouth have achieved a new world record for celebrated Maryport artist William Mitchell (1806-1900) during their Antiques & Fine Art Sale last week which also featured live internet bidding for the first time.
After a tense bidding war between two bidders in the saleroom, the gilt-framed oil on canvas painting of Maryport harbour titled “The launch of the Collingwood from Kelsick Woods Yard” (above) finally sold for £12,000 making it the top selling lot in the Sale and creating a new world record for a William Mitchell painting.
Another hush descended in the saleroom as a 19th century Chinese plaque eventually sold for a breathtaking £7,000, considerably higher than estimate, to a buyer on the telephone from Atlanta in the US. Mitchells believe the unexpected price is due to the current vogue for Chinese artefacts which are highly sought-after making their market value more difficult to predict currently.
Other notable lots included a George III gold coloured and enamelled pocket watch sold for £7,000, of local interest a particularly fine George III inlaid mahogany longcase clock by E. Foster of Carlisle which sold for £2,800 and a late 19th century/early 20thcentury Penny Farthing bicycle sold for £1,900.
During the two day sale Mitchells trialled live internet bidding for the first time attracting nearly twice as many online bidders as usual for a first online sale according to ATG Media, the UK market leaders in online antiques auctions. This success is believed to be partly due to the high quality of Mitchells photographic illustration of lots which can be viewed online in advance of the sale and gives potential buyers confidence to bid even if they haven’t been able to view in person.
A total of 274 bidders, more than a third of all bidders who registered for the sale, registered online from the UK and overseas. Of the 1,120 lots sold, 124 (approximately 11%) were sold via the internet with enthusiastic online underbidding also buoying prices. The success of the trial and the impressive sale total of £281,622 mean that Mitchells will continue to offer live online bidding in the future, making it easy for bidders to take part in their antiques auctions even if they can’t be there in person. The saleroom already offers confidential advance bidding and live telephone bidding for absentee bidders.
To register online, bidders can visit www.the-saleroom.com where they will be able to listen and watch the sale live, view images of the lots as they are being sold and bid live if they wish. A fully illustrated online catalogue with estimates and prices realised is also available at www.mitchellsantiques.co.uk.
Monday 20th June 2011
New world record for Thompson watercolour at Mitchells
Mitchells of Cockermouth have set a new world auction record for a watercolour painting by local artist Edward H. Thompson which went under the hammer for £10,800 last Friday.
“Winter Sunset, Vale of Keswick”, described by Mitchells auctioneer Mark Wise as the “the finest Thompson painting we’ve ever been asked to sell”, is a particularly fine snow scene and a far larger than normal painting by the artist measuring some 19 inches x 27.5 inches.
Although regarded a “phenomenal talent”, Thompson (1879-1949) was nevertheless a noted drinker and probable alcoholic who would swap paintings for drinks in local public houses, most notably The Pheasant Inn at Bassenthwaite near his home.
Also of particular note in the same sale were two good paintings by the much sought-after artist Sheila Fell “Winter Landscape, Cumberland” sold for £22,500 and “Farmyard, Winter” sold to the same private buyer for £13,000.
Salegoers were surprised when a Queen Anne period slipware posset pot dated 1712 and measuring just 4.75 ins high sold for £5,600, considerably more than estimated, in spite of substantial damage to the rim. The surprise pot came from a local owner who lived just a few miles from the saleroom. Other ceramics of note included an important Liverpool porcelain coffee pot circa 1765 painted on both sides, which sold for £2,000.
28th March 2011
Mitchells set new world record for Sheila Fell in their best sale for 10 years
Mitchells of Cockermouth have set a new world auction record for the celebrated Cumbrian artist Sheila Fell during their best Antiques & Fine Art sale for 10 years.
Described by Mitchells as “the finest work by Sheila Fell that we have ever been asked to sell”, Houses in Winter, Cumberland (28” x 36”) sold for a record hammer price of £38,000 to a local collector after a tense bidding war between four telephone bidders and others in the saleroom. The price exceeds by £6,500 the previous record set by Mitchells last year which was described by the Antiques Trade Gazette as “no small achievement for a provincial auctioneer against competition from the London rooms in this market.”
Speaking after the Antiques & Fine Art sale last Friday which totalled £380,000 making it their best in 10 years, Mitchells Auctioneer Mark Wise said of the painting “The price justifies the billing we gave it as the best Fell we’ve ever been asked to sell. It is a particularly fine painting with substantial appeal for collectors and hadn’t been exposed to the market since it was first bought from the 1970 Royal Academy Exhibition.”
Sheila Fell (1931-1979), a miner’s daughter from Aspatria, was famously regarded by L.S. Lowry to be the best landscape painter of her generation. Other paintings by Fell in the same sale included Brayton Road, Aspatria 1969, sold to a bidder in the saleroom for £12,000 and Potato Heaps, a small unsigned painting from 1962 which surprised the audience by selling for £10,200, considerably more than the top auction estimate of £3,500.
Artworks by other local artists also fetched good prices such as Vale of Lorton, Winter by Len Roope (1917-2005) sold for £800 and a lithograph by Percy Kelly (1916–1983) sold for £540.
Other items of local interest included a painting by Victorian Artist William Mitchell of Maryport (1806-1900) “Fishing Vessels” (16” x 23”) which was sold for £1,300 and his walking cane, incorporating a telescope and compass, was sold for £980.
Unusual items in the sale included two model steam locomotives sold to a private collector for £14,000 and £6,000, a stamp collection sold for a total of £7,450 and a large collection of watches including Rolex, Jaeger le Coultre, Patek Phillipe and Omega which sold for a total of £27,500.
6th December 2010
Top prices for painting and jewellery – bidders flock to Mitchells in spite of the snow
Mitchells are heaving a sigh of relief following an excellent Antiques & Fine Art Sale last Thursday and Friday in spite of the snow which threatened to keep bidders away. The two day sale of over 1,250 lots made an overall total of £303,000 cementing an excellent year for the Cockermouth Saleroom. Mitchells Director and Auctioneer Mark Wise explained “The market for paintings, collectibles, jewellery and good furniture is strong at the moment. People consider them a sound investment in the current climate which is why we’ve had one of our best year’s yet in spite of the general economic downturn, not to mention the snow.”
The sale included a fine selection of landscapes by local artists including two paintings by Sheila Fell (1931-1979) ”Deserted cottage on the Yorkshire Moors II” and “Farms on the Solway Cumberland” . The landscapes sold for £25,000 and £23,000 respectively to a couple from the Gretna area who had seen an article about the paintings in the Cumberland News and travelled to Cockermouth especially for the Sale in spite of the snowy conditions. They told Mitchells they had been wanting to buy a Sheila Fell painting for some time since they used to live just down the street from her in Aspatria many years ago.
The picture section also contained 30 paintings by Edward Horace Thompson (1879 – 1949), including a fine and very topical snow scene “Winter in The Vale of Keswick” which sold for £7,100. Another work by Thompson under his pseudonym Donald A. Paton “Bassenthwaite from Ouse Bridge with bluebells” achieved a world record price for a Paton of £7,600.
The sale also included a substantial collection of fine Georgian, Victorian and later jewellery including a fine 19th century shell cameo brooch which sold for £1,550.