Successful New Bidding Initiative from Dreweatts & Bloomsbury and The Auction Room

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, together with The Auction Room, sold a selection of works from The Royal Agricultural Society of England in a ground-breaking bidding initiative that saw the auctioneering duo offer pre-auction timed bidding via www.theauctionroom.com, followed by a live auction held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ busy saleroom in London’s Mayfair on Friday 11th July where there was standing room only.

Total Lots: 328

Estimate total: £153,200-218,150

Hammer total: £400,400

Total including buyer’s premium: £496,496

Stephan Ludwig, Executive Chairman at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, said: “The diversity of treasures in the RASE collection delivered just what collectors are always hungry for; ‘fresh to the market’ unique items with strong provenance.  This sale saw our first collaboration with the UK’s newest online auction platform, The Auction Room, and I have no doubt that the high volume of pre-auction bidding over the internet contributed to many of the exceptional realised prices.”

George Bailey, Co-founder of The Auction Room, said: We were hugely encouraged by the success of our first partnership working with Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions.  A great deal of pre-sale interest and bidding was expressed through www.theauctionroom.com, demonstrating just how effectively ‘online’ and ‘terrestrial’ can complement each other.  We plan to develop this theme alongside our Autumn ‘online-only’ calendar of sales.”

The sale was a celebration of Agricultural history and featured antiques across a number of disciplines, including books, old master paintings, prints, ceramics and works of art. The collaboration was a bold and innovative move that received an exceptional reception from bidders with prices rising far beyond high-estimate.

Exceptional Prices

An oil on canvas portrait of HRH Princess Elizabeth by Sir Oswald Birley (1880-1952) stole the attention of bidders, selling for £49,600 [Lot 121]. Another painting by Birley of King George VI also saw competitive bidding and sold for £9,920 [Lot 120] whilst Royal Show, 1951: Festival of Britain Year by Terence Cuneo (1907-1996), oil on canvas, sold for an impressive £26,040 [Lot 122]

Bloomsbury Auctions’ reputation for achieving exceptional prices for antiquarian books did not waver. Auctioneer Rupert Powell, Head of Book department and Deputy Chairman of Bloomsbury Auctions, sold to a room full of hungry bidders eager to compete with collectors on the phone and internet.

Of particular note was a superb selection of London and provincially printed pamphlets, The Sir Walter Gilbey collection of 18th and 19th century pamphlets on agricultural, economic and social matters, which sold for £47,120 against a pre-sale estimate of £15,000-20,000. [Lot 252]

Another highlight from the Book collection in the sale was Richard Eburne’s A plaine path-vvay to plantations, 1624Not in the British Library or any other British institution, this extremely rare first edition sold for £29,760 [Lot 249]

Robert Bakewell’s chair, a George III provincial mixed woods open armchair from the late 18th century sold for £11,160.  The inscription caved on the back read: “This chair was made under the direction of the Celebrated Robert Bakewell of Dishley out of a Willow Tree that grew on his farm- It was his favourite seat and the Back which thus records his Memory, served as a Screen when seated by his Fireside, calculating on the Profits, or devising some Improvements on his Farm. Thousands of Pounds have been known to exchange Hands in the same… Mr. Bakewell Died in 1795. PLEASE DO NOT SIT UPON IT.” [Lot 110]

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