Published 1st November 2019
The diverse range of items included in the next Sporting and Collectors Auction of the 6th/7th November 2019, shows how the auction market has changed in the 21st Century and the wide spectrum covered by Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood's specialist auction departments.
There are of course a few obvious pieces in the militaria section like the War Department issue Omega wristwatch (SC29/240), which has timeless design and should easily reach the top end of its £500-£700 pre-sale estimate. There is also a wonderfully crisp example of the Sharps New Model Carbine (SC29/75), which should attract a lot of international attention due its excellent condition and the Georgian mahogany stone bow (SC29/236) should also bring antique arms and armour dealers to Exeter for the auction.
The highlight of the militaria section however must be the complete collection of a Victorian sword, dirk and belt plate belonging to Albert Jenner of the 72nd Regiment of Foot (SC292/06), which is estimated at £3,000-£4,000. Along with a photograph of Albert Jenner wearing the pieces in full uniform dress, the complete ensemble is a fantastic piece of regimental history.
Film and television memorabilia and collectables is a market that continues to grow year-on-year. Many collectors are eager to purchase props or items related to their favourite films or films that have been hugely popular. Included in the auction are a number of original costumes and props as Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood keep up-to-date with the changes in market demands. A number of original costumes and props from the Tom Cruise blockbuster 'The Last Samurai' are included in the sale, like the full Samurai Archer uniform (SC29/259), which is estimated at £1,500-£2,000 and the heroine silk Kimono (SC29/267), estimated at £300-£400.
Slightly closer to the West Country is a suit worn by the actor David Suchet in his role as the Belgian sleuth 'Poirot' in ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot (SC29/252), which is estimated at £800-£1,000. The suit was worn in several episodes and seems to have been one favoured for the summing up at the end of an episode. Screen matched and with a certificate of authenticity, it is another example of how Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood are adapting to the special requirements of collectors and buyers in the market today. Though not from a film or television series, the full Taisho period Samurai Armour (SC29/256) at £3,000-£4,000 is highly detailed and finely decorated, so it is easy to see the appeal for collectors and should attract a great deal on interest on the day.
Sometimes it is not the pieces that stand out that attract collectors to the auction. To many of us coins are something that either wear a hole in your pocket or fall down the back of the sofa. In the digital age, people are using more contactless systems and even fewer coins. However, looking at a just a few of the examples included in the auction like the Henry IV Gold noble (SC29/559) (estimate £2,000-£2,500; the Oliver Cromwell Crown (SC29/522) (estimated at £2,400-£2,800); and the Commonwealth Crown 1653 (SC29/520) (estimated at £1,500-£2,500), it is easy to understand the art and appeal of them.
It can be that the most mundane of items will be of value in the future. For example, just a simple collection of flyers from the Marquee Club from the late 1960s (SC29/871) with bands like The Who, Led Zeppelin and even Muddy Waters are now collectable and should attract interest with their £400-£600 estimate. It can even be something as simple as an old stuffed toys like the Bonzo Dog (SC29/649) or a Dunhill table lighter (SC29/812) or even and old Leica camera (SC29/768) that you may have hidden away in a cupboard or a box in the attic that may bring you a small fortune!