News-Antique.com - Feb 19,2013 - Duke’s Auctioneers of Dorchester successfully sold a rare totem pole on 14th February for more than three times its pre-sale estimate. The totem pole was spotted by keen-eyed Auctioneer Guy Schwinge during a routine house contents valuation. The totem pole was propped up in a dusty corner by the front door being using as a coat stand until the vendors were enlightened as to its value and it was swiftly delivered to Dorset for the auction on 14th February.
Amy Brenan, a spokesperson for Duke’s explains the significance of the totem pole: ‘This example had provenance that could date it back to the beginning of the 20th century when the vendors own Grandfather travelled extensively in Canada and the USA in the 1920’s where it is likely he acquired it. Not only this but the pole was probably made by the North West Pacific people, the Haida and artefacts dating from the same period as the totem pole from this region are scarce.’
The totem pole was in good condition with just the smallest of scuffs and paint chips and this together with the provenance, ensured that interest in the totem pole was always going to be strong. With bidding initially focussed on two telephone buyers, it soon became clear that a bidder in the room was determined to secure the totem. The hammer fell at £22,075 to UK-based dealer, Spencer Swaffer. ‘It was the brightness and cheerfulness of the totem pole that captured my imagination. The opportunity to buy something of this nature in the UK and even in America is so rare that I just had seize the chance to own something so magnificent. It is the first totem pole I have ever bought.’