The Under The Hammer column with Tennants Auctioneers

This Macallan Royal Marriage 1948 and 1961 was a star lot, selling for �2,700.
This Macallan Royal Marriage 1948 and 1961 was a star lot, selling for �2,700.

The end of 2017 reached a crescendo with a busy and vibrant auction schedule.

Our Fine Wine and Whisky sale on 16 December saw over 400 lots go under the hammer, with fierce bidding for the rarer delights.

12 bottles of Chateau Latour 1990, Pauillac, owc sold for �6,600.

12 bottles of Chateau Latour 1990, Pauillac, owc sold for �6,600.

The highlights of the wine on offer included 12 bottles of Château Latour 1990, which achieved a toast worthy £6,600 (plus buyer’s premium), together with cases of Château Cos d’Estournel 1990, Château Leoville Barton 1990, Château Lynch-Bages 1998, and Château Palmer 1970 all making into four figures, to name just a few.

Whisky was again dominated by the mighty Macallan, the star lot appearing in the form of a special vatting of 1948 and 1961, produced for the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, which sold for £2,700 (plus buyer’s premium).

Port was also very strong, as you would imagine just before Christmas, with well-kept contents of several cellars finding good homes just in time for the festivities to begin.

The Militaria and Ethnographica sale on 13 December also supplied some international attractions and rarities. World War II memorabilia was in particular demand, with a star lot surprisingly not a medal group, early flintlock or sabre, but an RAF Observer Corps Electric Sector clock and Synchronome Master clock.

A Second World War Royal Air Force Observer Corps Electric Sector Clock and a Synchronome Electric Master Clock sold for �5,500.

A Second World War Royal Air Force Observer Corps Electric Sector Clock and a Synchronome Electric Master Clock sold for �5,500.

Dating from 1943 and 1940 respectively, they were eventually sold for £5,500 (plus buyer’s premium) after attracting interest from collectors far and wide.

First introduced in 1917, sector clocks have a colour-coded design and were used to track the movement of enemy aircraft.

The face has alternating blue, yellow and red triangles marking out five-minute intervals; enemy aircraft positions were recorded alongside the corresponding time and colour, and then relayed to a central command to be plotted on a map.

This simple and ingenious system was highly effective, helping those in command make quick decisions and proving vital during the Battle of Britain.

But that is all in the past now, tempus fugit! We now find ourselves at the beginning of 2018 with a brand new calendar of exciting and unmissable sales stretching out before us.

As one of the foremost auctioneers in Europe, Tennants boast a huge array of specialist and fine art sales that have something to interest everyone’s tastes.

Of imminent note is the Country House Sale on the 19 and 20 January, which I really recommend you attend, you will not be disappointed.

Comprising over 1400 lots, this well-loved auction include interesting, decorative and quirky selection of paintings, furniture, ceramics, glass, works of art, books and maps, silver, jewellery, rugs and carpets and much more.

Although traditional in essence, the variance and quality of the carefully picked lots in the Country House themed sales have led to some great successes.

The antiques market as a whole may not be what it was, but these charming auctions could be said to turn back the clock and are certainly worth taking the time to experience.

Please see the website www.tennants.co.uk for a full listing of all forthcoming sales. Alternatively contact 01423 531661.