Under the hammer: A hard and exciting year of incredible auctions

As Morphets' 2017 auction calendar draws to an end for this year with the quarterly Fine Art and Antique Catalogue sale today (Thursday) there is just one more @home sale to be held on Thursday, December 14 before the Christmas break.

It is amazing how quickly we forget the sales with impossible deadlines, the late nights and the weekends worked in order to open the doors to the public and go live on the internet on time.

A pair of Inuit-type wooden snow goggles used by Thomas Soulsby Williamson drew a lot of interest with the top bid coming from a UK collector at 9,500 (s).

A pair of Inuit-type wooden snow goggles used by Thomas Soulsby Williamson drew a lot of interest with the top bid coming from a UK collector at 9,500 (s).

There’s an awful lot of paddling like crazy whilst appearing to be calm and in control in any auction
house, and Morphets is no different.

It’s hard work but a lot of fun working at auction and one of the highlights of the year was selling the contents of the attics and cellars of Worksop Manor.

The work started in mid-July, on one of the hottest days of the year, in the sweltering heat and dust of the attics.

On day two we gave in to the heat and moved to the cellars and across the courtyard to the game larders where we found a large set of pine steps with an iron handrail and gallery among other things.

We weren’t entirely sure what they were used for and neither was the client, it being lost in the mists of time.

One thing we were sure of was that they would sell. They had just the right sort of one-off, arty, “great thing but what are you going to do with it?” feel to them and we were right. The steps went to a London buyer at £2,300 plus buyer’s premium.

Sometimes the most unlikely items arrive unheralded such as the pair of Inuit-type of wooden snow goggles consigned by a local vendor.

Used by Thomas Soulsby Williamson on the British Antarctic Expedition on Discovery 1901-1904 and again on the Terra Nova Expedition of 1910-1913, Williamson wore them during the search for Scott in 1912. The goggles drew interest from as far away as New Zealand but the top bid came from a UK collector at
£9,500.

A Tannoy corner speaker c. 1957, discovered in a semi-detached house in Harrogate, realised £4,700 in the March Collectors’ Sale.

Rather ungainly to look at in its boxy walnut case, the Tannoy was, and still is, regarded as the Rolls Royce of speakers.

It was purchased second hand in the 1960s for the princely sum of £50 together with a Garrard Acoustical Quad II radiogram which sold in the same sale for £1,800.

Taxidermy and pale pink are on every interior designer’s hit list this year and the 25lb pike illustrated here was snapped up for a hammer of £2,000 at our June Fine Art and Antiques sale.

These are just a few of the more unusual items offered over the last year amongst hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of fine art, antiques, collectors’ items, fine wine, silver, jewellery, textiles and vintage costume, post-war design and everyday furniture and effects that come under the hammer at Morphets, the Harrogate saleroom.

First sale of 2018 will be the D is for Design sale on Saturday, January 6.

So don’t forget to check our website www.morphets.co.uk for more details of our forthcoming auction programme and news from the saleroom or to sign up for our email alerts.

We also hold free valuation afternoons every Wednesday between 2pm and 5pm at the Saleroom, 6 Albert Street, Harrogate, HG1 1JL. Call 01423 530030.

You never know, you might be the owner of one of 2018’s star lots!