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Hammer Highlights | May 2024

May 28, 2024
The Flower of Yarrow Coach circa 1890 - 1910

Our May auction proved a diverse mix of old and modern, but the vast majority of lots have found new homes, again showing just what an ecologically sound business an auction room is. We at Brown’s unlike many other regional salerooms will try to ensure that anything that still has potential value to others is offered for sale when clearing a local estate or property.


I was delighted when Lot 161, a group of rather splendid local photographs, sold above estimate and proved to be a top lot in the sale yesterday. Many of the images showed well known local view, but several revealed the huge crowds that turned out in 1898 for the Coronation of King Charles. Charles Faa Blyth lived locally and was crowned King of the Romany Gypsies, amongst much pomp and general acclaim. A crowd of over 10,000 apparently witnessed the event and the large format photographs gave a wonderful overview of the parade that day. They were printed from glass negatives that are sadly now lost.


Lot 137 also proved a popular entry this month, a mixed bag of items, but the interest here were two charming ‘Samplers’. Both had been carefully and painstakingly made by Agnes Calder, Aged 11 and Ellen Murray, Aged 7. It was common in the 18th and 19th century for young girls to make such samplers, often to help learn their alphabet, and both had such upon them. Finer examples often have grand houses or attractive landscapes to add interest. Both the examples were well made and charming despite their simplicity and no doubt is the reason the lot was pursued above estimate to over £400 (including Buyers Premium).


Another pleasing result was the sale of a well drawn Lapwing by Donald Watson. A well regarded ornithological artist. His work has not normally performed that well at auction, however with attractive shoreline view demanded much interest and saw it quickly exceed our expectations to sell for over £330. It was a lovely watercolour and despite doing so well illustrates nicely that you too can buy some fine art for very reasonable prices in our regular monthly sales.


Next month is our quarterly Fine Art and Collectors’ Auction. You still have a little time to enter lots. We already have an interesting group of jewellery, whisky and fine art consigned. It also includes an enormously rare clock by local designer Tim Stead….If you don’t’ know who he is, go take a look at the extraordinary ‘Millenium Clock’ he built for the National Museum of Scotland.

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