Strong sales post Covid

Clarks’ continued their storming return to action since the Covid lockdown with a scintillating fine art sale in July. Despite the lowest number of entries ever for a sale because of the unexpected recent events, East Cornwall’s leading saleroom sold lot average reached record levels of nearly £1000 per lot. Auctioneer Paul Clark said, “It was an incredible sale with many lots again exceeding guide prices, sometimes by many thousands”, adding “We hope this gives people confidence to visit our saleroom to submit entries in what is looking like a golden era for sellers”.

The sale itself kicked off with a couple of small originals by Steven Townsend making £300 a piece. However, this was barely the starter as the sale started to hit top gear. A small Robert Lenkiewicz oil depicting one of his children Reuben, saw its guide price of £200-300 demolished at £1150 whilst painting titled “Sun” eclipsed its £1000 reserve at £1750. On then to the Harland Miller prints. A signed limited edition print of “Five Ring Circus” by Harland Miller (£8600) followed by an open edition of “York, So Good They Named It Once” (£2600), despite faults, led the sale into a large edition of “This Is Where Its F***in At, Or At Least It Used To Be” which saw an epic internet vs phone battle which resulted in an incredible hammer price of £19500, far exceeding its guide.

The sale then saw the introduction of a very large heavy weight Robert Lenkiewicz St. Anthony Theme oil depicting the “artist with woman”. After a slow start, the painting picked up made an excellent £18500 at the hammer. Auctioneer Paul Clark said “Lenkiewicz hammer prices seem to be in decline though. He was so prolific & some of the subject matters are no longer politically correct which is starting to affect prices. Whilst there is no doubting his talent, as suggested to me by a fellow businessman, it may take a Hollywood producer to make a film of his life to revive this market which was of a different time”. Auctioneer Paul Clark added “Buyers are now looking for more to their art than the aesthetic pleasures of attractive, half-naked women or glorious landscapes. Thought provoking works such as those offered by Banksy & Harland Miller are now in vogue & it is understandable why”.

The jewellery section, as usual, also delivered at the sale. An 18ct diamond & sapphire cluster ring saw bids of £660 whilst a 0.85ct diamond solitaire on an unfashionable mount made £800. A gents Carl Bucherer wristwatch saw a post-sale bid of £1500 but a phone bid won a rare Lemania military wristwatch (£5000).

The August sale continued in a similar vein with another fine & successful sale at the recently refurbished Heathlands Road saleroom. There were some fine prices among the collectables & jewellery.

The vendor of a small but very pretty diamond & sapphire ring reaped the dividend when allowing it to go into the sale with a come & get me guide. Auctioneer Paul Clark added “It’s very important that vendors trust my judgement when marketing certain items & those who do often benefit greatly”. The ring itself far exceeded its £100-200 guide when making £860 at the hammer.

There were numerous entries that far exceeded what was asked of them including an early model of a combustion engine bearing a Wexford engineers plaque powered home at £1350, easily surpassing its guide of £200-300. A Georgian fire grate saw its guide of £100-200 easily eclipsed (£1250) while a pair of Asian yellow metal earrings weighing just 9g made four times the lower end of its guide (£880).

Other collectables had solid interest at the sale. A Japanese WW2 samurai sword may not have been the finest example of its type but made still made strong money (£480) with a common 19thC. French bayonet getting home at £70. A signed limited edition of Dame Elisabeth Frink Aesop’s Fables (£1500) & a gents oversized Breitling watch (£2500), a late entry of a 20thC. Chinese blue bottle vase (£500) & a Rolleiflex DBP 3.5F DBGM Franke & Heidecke syncro-compur twin lens camera (£460) all found new homes. A Tigress car mascot appealed to collectors of auto memorabilia at £400 & a bottle of screw top 12 year-old Dalmore Scotch whisky proved tempting for investors at a handsome £390. A Lyon’s Tea enamel sign (£140) & a Marples plane (£110) also caught the eye.

A machinist lamp showed the continued change in direction as to what decorators are looking for when making £360. Auctioneer Paul Clark added “As with the iron fire grate, a few years ago certain items may have made the scrap metal pile, but these well-designed pieces are now regarded as art”. That’s not to say there is no longer a market for more traditional decorative arts. A good watercolour of Polperro by John McDougal made £1000 while another by John C. Wallis secured interest at £260.

As always jewellery at Clarks’ secured some great prices. A Victorian Albert chain & locket saw bids of £1100 while a 31g 10ct gold long guard chain made top end of its estimate (£700). A platinum ring set with a 0.75ct diamond saw the room defeat internet interest at £780. An 18ct gold diamond & sapphire ring (£360) & a 14ct gold emerald ring (£600) also saw good interest. A 9ct gold choker (£540) along with a Cairngorm quartz necklace a/f (£800) saw bids.

Entries are now invited for our September 24th Antiques, Collectables, Art, Silver & Jewellery sale. www.clarksauctionrooms.com 2a2b Heathlands Road Ind. Est. Liskeard PL14 4DH. 01579-349960 / 07756070198