Tennants Auctioneers report record January

Agate Cameo ring by Nathaniel Marchant, which sold for £39,000

Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn have got off to a flying start in 2019 beating its record total hammer price for a January – traditionally a quiet time of the year for auctioneers.

Having auctioned over 3,500 lots over five sales, the auctioneers notched up a total hammer of £961,348.

Director and auctioneer Jane Tennant said: “Good private collections featured prominently in our January Sales, which are always appealing to buyers; and with 26 specialist departments covering all major areas of collecting, Tennants has something to suit every taste.”

The year kicked off with antiques and interiors and Beswick & Border Fine Arts on January 5, which included the contents of Helperby Manor, North Yorkshire.

Comprising the lifelong acquisitions of the late Mr Chris Martins (1947-2018), this eclectic array of antiques, collectables, quirky curios and bygone paraphernalia opened a window into the past and attracted a crowd looking for something a little different.

Top lots of the collection included a Victorian oak cased public clock by W Potts & Sons of Leeds, which sold for £1,500 plus buyer’s premium.

Following on the January 10 was The Roger Casson Collection, a private library of polar exploration, travel and local history books. Attracting both book collectors and Polar enthusiasts alike, bidders joined the sale from North America, Canada, Australia, India and Europe, and the library achieved a total hammer price of £220,000.

Including many rare and important volumes, the collection was put together over many years by the late Roger Casson, an architect from the North East.

One of the most valuable lots in the sale, selling for £14,000 (plus buyer’s premium), was a limited-edition copy of The Heart of the Antarctic, Being the Story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 by Ernest H. Shackleton.

Published by Heinemann in 1909, the two-volume set, which included two panoramas and three folding maps, is one of only three hundred sets that were produced bound in vellum.

Standing out among the 1200 lots in Tennants’ Country House Sale on January 12 was an agate cameo ring, carved with a classical female bust by Nathaniel Marchant (1739-1816), which sold for £39,000 plus buyer’s premium.

Marchant was one of the England’s most important gemstone engravers, who spent many years in Rome studying and copying antiquities.

Of North-East interest was a rare Staffordshire Pearlware meat platter from circa 1820.

Selling for £3,400 plus buyer’s premium, the platter depicted the Durham Ox, a legendary and gigantic bull that toured the country with showman John Day, who is pictured on the platter standing next to the beast.