Home is where the pair of 19th century rosewood and cane-back armchairs is 

Chiswick Auctions busy as people focus on their homes

Being at home for the past few months has focused the mind on improving our living quarters. We may not have herd immunity but there is, it seems, a herd mentality. Whether it’s digging over the garden and planting vegetables, having a clear out or getting a cat, we are apparently following the same psychological trajectory. The DIY stores, interior design and home furnishings places are seeing an uptake in interest as collectively we have made an unspoken pact to make our homes nicer.

Chiswick Auctions, on Colville Rd off Bollo Lane, has just held a huge Interiors, Homes & Antiques sale, with 829 lots offered, making it their biggest Interiors sale of the year. A high percentage of stuff in the auction was sold – 72%. These two 19th century rosewood and cane-back armchairs pictured above were a couple of the stars of the show. The chairs, with scroll carved back and arms, drop-in leather seat pads and carved legs, sold for £8,750 – 14 times the high auction estimate.

They were not alone in fetching a higher price than expected. All the items featured here reached considerably more than their guide price.

Images above: Hermès ashtray; slate plaque; pair of swords

The Hermès porcelain ashtray, estimated at £80-120, sold for £275. A collection of 20th century Welsh slate framed plaques, depicting the 12 months of the year, estimated at £80-120, sold for £600. The pair of early 20th century Scottish military ceremonial swords, expected to fetch £80-120, sold for £1,025.

The auction house has benefited from both the collective urge to have a good clear out and the desire to reward yourself with something new once you’ve got rid of all the old tat. Their expertise comes in recognising when once person’s piece of junk might become another person’s prized new possession.

“Like most businesses, the uncertainty of the UK lockdown posed its challenges” Executive Director Matt Caddick told The Chiswick Calendar, “but our team was able to adapt quickly, moving our sales to an online only format and implementing virtual valuations at a time when home clear-outs have never been more popular”.

If you’re having a clear-out, get your stuff valued

Chiswick Auctions offers a ‘virtual valuation’ service via Zoom and Whatsapp, for those who prefer to show their items to a valuer without leaving home. They also offer valuations in person at the showroom in Bollo Lane, by appointment. If you would like to get your possessions valued, contact the Valuation Team at valuations@chiswickauctions.co.uk or T: +44 (0)20 8992 4442.

Images above: Pair of garden sculptures of poodles; oil painting ‘Le Boudoir’, signed by L de Joncieres; modern sofa

The pair of garden sculptures of poodles, made of weathered reconstituted stone, guide price £200-400, went for £1062. ‘Le Boudoir’, oil on board, by French painter Léonce Joseph V de Joncieres (1871 – 1947), £400-600 sold for £2000 and the modern sofa, ‘Ramon Esteve for Gandiablasco, Na Xemena Sofa, of rectangular futurist form, allumnium and white vinyl’, guide price £400-600, was bought for £750.

Online buying and selling ten times greater than ususal

Usually July and August are quiet months for auction houses, with people away on holiday. This year they are expecting more people to stay at home, so they are planning more auctions than usual.

Over the past three months they’ve been been able to offer over 7,000 lots for sale online, says Matt, and they’ve seen the popularity of buying and selling online at auction increase tenfold.

‘Our recent Interiors, Homes & Antiques auction, reinforces the current growth of the antiques and interiors market which was reflected in lots from all collecting categories; including paintings, sculpture and furniture, selling well above the auction estimates’.

Images above: Pair of Gothic style cast bronze candlesticks; an embroidery made by a sailor of a 19th century ship; George III simulated rosewood sofa table

The pair of Gothic style bronze candlesticks, estimated at £60-100, sold for £1,875; the embroidery of a 19th century ‘ship of the line’ (naval warship so-called for the ‘line of battle’ which described the way two columns of opposing warships lined up against each other) had a guide price of £80-120 and sold for £688. The George III simulated rosewood sofa table, which has a border of different types of woods inlaid, was expected to fetch £400-600 and sold for £1,675.

Images above: Sri Lankan sapphire ring; Victorian turquoise and diamond necklace

The recent Jewellery sale had an even more enthusiastic reception. Of the pieces on offer, 90% were sold. This sapphire ring – an 8.58 carat Sri Lankan ‘unheated sapphire’, guide price £600 – 800, sold for £7,250, almost ten times its pre-auction estimate.

The turquoise and diamond snake necklace, circa 1865, guide price £4000-6000, sold for £11,250. The necklace is in the form of an ouroboros – an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. Snakes were a popular design in Victorian jewellery. Queen Victoria wore a snake bracelet to her first Council meeting as queen in 1837 and Prince Albert presented a serpent ring to her on the occasion of their engagement. The ouroboros symbol denotes continuity, representative of unending devotion.

This one is ‘set throughout with circular cabochon turquoise, the serpent’s head pavé-set with circular and oval cabochon turquoise, with circular cabochon garnet eyes, the mouth and eyes highlighted by rose-cut diamonds’.

A busy summer coming up

The auction house has seven sales coming up in July: Islamic Art, Islamic & Indian, Fine Oriental Carpets, Watches, Modern & Post war British Art, Books & Works on Paper, Autographs & Memorabilia throughout the month; the next Interiors, Homes & Antiques sale on Wednesday 29 July. August promises a Wine & Spirits sale, a British & European Fine Art sale and one for Silver Objects of Vertu, as well as the general Interiors, Homes & Antiques sale on 25 August.

Chiswick Auctions,

1 Colville Rd, off Bollo Lane
London W3 8BL


This page is paid for by Chiswick Auctions

Read More Stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Profile of Leigh Osborne – Owner of Chiswick Auctions

See also: Constable drawing fetches £87,500 at Chiswick Auctions