It is with somewhat mixed emotions that we can announce that Ottery Auction Rooms is opening a secondary office in Sidmouth. We are going to fill the void that is left behind as Potburys Auction House closes its doors. It is sad because this is where I cut my teeth over 25 years ago as a youngster, starting as a lowly porter and becoming a fully fledged auctioneer under the careful guidance of Mike Willey, the wise old auctioneer. So as a little piece of Sidmouth history is lost a phoenix arises from the ashes of the past to take its place. We are going to take on an office space for one day a week, on a Thursday between 10.00 until 1.00 for appraisals and consultations at the Methodist Church, High Street, Sidmouth, Devon from October 14th. This will be a temporary measure until a more permanent office can be found.
As a child I would get Smash Hits magazine, cut out the pictures of Debbie Harry from Blondie, Clare Grogan from Altered Images and other artists of the day and stick them to my bedroom walls, eventually graduating to NME as an angst ridden teenager. I picked up a guitar and learnt and few chords and have been a dedicated three chord strummer ever since. I continued to buy vinyl records in the 1980s when my friends had moved to CDs mainly because I could not afford a CD player. I used to buy their redundant collections for the price of their favourite chart topping CD. I even sold my record collection years later to partially fund the setting up of the auction. A move which when I tell record collectors they raise their eyebrows as they would rather sell their souls to the devil, Robert Johnson style than sell their prized collections. So we have always prided ourselves on our records and musical instruments. We have had some interesting collections come in over the years. One small collection of four boxes saved from certain death at the tip made well over £4000. Then a dealer friend contacted me and said he had been asked to sell some guitars. He sent some blurry images and I had a look but from a photograph it was difficult to tell if they were authentic or not or what they would play like. He then sent me some provenance which is where the story gets more interesting, They had belonged to a session musician who had played with Pink Floyd, The Kinks, The Who and other legendary artists of the 1970’s. I realized these were not going to be low grade entry levels copies and I waited in anticipation for them to arrive. When they did I plugged in his Marshall stack and blew the cobwebs away. The two that did not look much were modified to his specifications and these were like Ferraris dressed as Morris Minors. There was also a Les Paul Standard, an Eddie Van Halen Wolfgang and an Eric Clapton signature series Fender Stratocaster as well as a brand new Telecaster. I was in heaven for the days prior to the sale strumming my three chords in my little office, crooning out John Prine and Oasis covers sipping a single malt.
Then came the sale day, a virtual sale with no viewing, same as ever in our Covid time. But that did not stop the buyers, the six guitars hammered out at £7770 with one buyer buying four out of the six available instruments, all going to collectors to be played. It was a shame it could not have been a sale with viewing as it would have nice to hear some musicians doing their stuff with them but this obviously did not effect the final outcome.
On the back of this I have decided to do an annual higher end collectable record and musical instrument sale, so dig out the old records you never play or that old Ibanez guitar gathering dust in the corner and give me a call.
This is a quick update about our forthcoming move. Things are progressing well and I am lotting in for the next sale on Saturday January 9th which will be held at Escot village Hall, however due to being in Tier 3 with government restrictions it will be an online viewing sale only. The current website is now mobile friendly and I am assured the telephone number will be the same. Pick ups will be on a strict appointment basis as before and will be at:
Ottery St Mary
Some of the larger furniture items will be available to pick up at the auction house old address until the lease runs out in mid-January. So, think of me over your christmas dinner I will be wielding a paint brush getting the rooms ship shape and Bristol fashion.
So have a very merry christmas and thank you for your continued support in the future.
In a facetime conversation with a fellow auctioneer the other day we talked about the trials and tribulations of our strange auction world in the current climate. His work revolves around bankrupt stock and matters of insolvency whereas my world is that of solicitors and deceased estates. He moaned that with the internet over the last few years as a buying platform he did not recognize most of his clients and now as all his sales are timed auctions he has very little to do with the buyers at all. He remarked that he did not miss the cut and thrust of a busy saleroom, sitting on the rostrum for hours selling to people he did not know. For me it was slightly different prior to COVID-19, the room would be packed with fifty to a hundred customers, most of them regulars, waving homemade paddles and filling up on bacon sandwiches. We have always had the internet as a strong buying presence, but the room commanded the sale. I miss the people and the buzz of the auction, being in my lofty pulpit, looking down on the congregation. I miss the nerves prior to the sale, wearing the suit and wielding the gavel, the master of ceremonies, taking abuse from porters and customers alike. I was surprised when he said that he did not miss any of that, he enjoyed the time sales with no audience participation, he had not picked up a gavel since March. However, he had never been busier because of the nature of the financial impact of Covid 19 bankruptcies had gone through the roof and were set to get busier when we hit the end of the furlough system. In our auction not a lot has changed except the lack of audience and having no viewing days. The clearances keep coming in as the estates get cleared and items are catalogued and sold albeit only via the internet. What the future holds for all of our differing auction houses who knows, except businesses will keep going to the wall and people will keep on dying. Luckily, we have not seen a sharp rise in deceased estates due to Covid, however our workload has gone up because furloughed people are busy at home clearing out lofts and garages. Also, people have been using auctions to buy from to create secondary businesses on Ebay and Facebook selling pages to bolster their incomes while stuck at home. I am looking forward to getting back in my pulpit along with the majority of auctioneers who miss the theatre or pantomime of the sales.
Ottery Auction Rooms is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
Ottery Auction Rooms may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 26th March 2013
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Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
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You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:
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You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. A small fee will be payable. If you would like a copy of the information held on you please write to: Ottery Auction Rooms, 30/32 Finnimore Industrial Estate, Ottery St Mary, Devon. EX11 1NR.
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Our clients have been seeing some great sale prices for their items recently and below are some examples of the items and final sale prices:
Rare Maori Hei Tiki
Lalique car mascot (with damage)
Unusual Grover & Baker Sewing machine
Vintage Massey Ferguson tractor
Shelley Phlox pattern tea set
An unusual Patented self righting chess set
French Majolica Cockerel by Hautin & Boulanger (with damages)
BBC Back at Ottery Auction Rooms
Ottery Auction Rooms on the Finnimore Industrial Estate in the heart of Ottery St Mary will once again roll out the red carpet for the BBC as Bargain Hunt will be filming at the auction house on the viewing day on Wednesday March 2nd and on the sale day itself on Thursday March 3rd .Auctioneer David Sumner was very excited to have them back again albeit with a different show. “I think it was the cream cakes, copious cups of tea and the warm welcome is what drew them back rather than my face” he joked, “ I never got the call from Hollywood after the last time!”.
It is shaping up to be an interesting auction with three famous familiar BBC experts bringing their charm and wit to the local auction room. David has not been told yet who they are so you will all have to wait and see, better still come down to the sale on the view day or sale day and you may even get on the television. The auction rooms will accepting vintage and antique items up until mid-February so it could be possible to have you items in shot on the television and if they are exceptional they may even do a piece just on your item so bring your weird and wonderful collectables and antiques down to the saleroom to have them valued and potentially filmed.
Please note that the sale is on a Thursday not the usual Saturday so make a date in your diary.
Ottery Auction Rooms will be on BBC 1 on Monday January 12th at 4.30 p.m. on Antiques Road Trip
Auction Buyers premium
The rate of buyer’s premium is 19.5% on the first £1000. Then 15 % up to £10,000. Vat applies to the premium charges
Items purchased have to be collected within 5 working days or charges will be made at £5 per day.
Please note: Lots purchased online with www.the-saleroom.com will attract an additional charge for this service in the sum of 3% of the hammer price plus VAT at the rate imposed.
Value Added Tax on the hammer price is imposed by law on all items affixed with a double ‘asterisk’. Value Added Tax is charged at the appropriate rate prevailing by law at the date of sale and is payable by buyers of relevant Lots. (Please refer to the Information for Buyers for a brief explanation of the VAT position).
(1) Immediately a Lot is sold you will: (a) give to us, if requested proof of identity, and (b) pay to us the total amount due in cash or in such other way as is agreed by us.
(2) Any payments by you to us may be applied by us towards any sums owing from you to us on any account whatever without regard to any directions of you or your agent, whether express or implied.