Britain's 10 Most Remarkable Auction Houses Each week across Britain, strange and wonderful objects are changing hands in the country's auction houses. Let's delve into this little known world, as we explore the UK's most remarkable auctioneers
News-Antique.com - Oct 12,2016 - Let's delve into this little known world, as we explore the UK's most remarkable auctioneers.
HENRY ALDRIDGE & SON: TITANIC MEMORABILIA
"You never get surprises livin' in Devizes," sang the Wurzels. Yet they clearly weren't aware of the Wiltshire market town's auction house.
Because there, just a stone's throw from the Kennet and Avon canal, lies Henry Aldridge & Son – which devotes itself to water borne craft on a much larger scale: namely the Titanic.
Titanic collectors from all over the world bid in the company's auctions. And they bid big. £1.1 million for an archive containing the Titanic bandleader's violin. The ship's deckchairs have sold for £85,000, while poignant letters home from passengers and crew who died in the tragedy make regular appearances.
"People's interest in Titanic stems from the human element, every man, woman and child had a story to tell so in essence you have over 2,200 sub plots to the main event, " explains the company's Andrew Aldridge.
And what does the average Titanic collector look like?
"There isn’t such a thing really," says Andrew. "They come from all ages and walks of life."
MULLOCK'S: VINTAGE FISHING TACKLE
Nestled in the hills of Shropshire you'll find Mullock's – an auction house as quaintly British as its surroundings. Tennis, golf and cricketing memorabilia feature prominently, as do British militaria, toys and historical documents. Yet it's the company's vintage fishing tackle department that sets Mullock's out from the crowd.
Collectors from around the world descend on the auction house three times a year for Mullock's vintage fishing tackle sales. And they're prepared to spend. £3,000 for a rare reel was a recent highlight. With vintage rods, lures, nets, and even the odd cased fish or two, on offer – there is something for all vintage fish enthusiasts.
REEMAN DANSIE: ROYAL MEMORABILIA
Forget commemorative tea towels.
If you want a truly special piece of royal memorabilia, check out Reeman Dansie. The Essex-based auctioneer offers only "grade A" royal memorabilia - things touched, used, worn or signed by royalty. From letters written by Queen Victoria to a school rubber used by Princess Diana, these are pieces to fascinate. Reeman Dansie sold a Princess Diana signed photo for £5,000 in 2015.
It is the only auctioneer in the world to host two dedicated auctions of royal memorabilia a year.
LIVERPOOL BEATLES AUCTION: THE FAB FOUR
There's only one auction a year. But by jingo, that auction is an absolute Fab Four bonanza. Organised by the city's Beatles Shop, the Liverpool Beatles Auction takes place at the end of August, offering around 300 lots of Beatles collectibles.
2016's sale was as eclectic as ever, ranging from a pair of Apple matchbooks (£45) to a lost Beatles demo (£18,000), via a soup tureen once owned by John Lennon (£210).
PAUL FRASER COLLECTIBLES: THE UNUSUAL
The Bristol-based collectibles dealer holds auctions but seldom. Yet when it does, they set the world's media agog.
The company's September 2016 sale featured an astonishing selection of