Buying trends and the star performers of 2011

As this year draws to a close, I thought it would be interesting to look back at some of the highlights of 2011. What sold well, how were people making their bids and what were the show-stoppers?

Thankfully, it has been a good year for us at Addisons and, despite the general economic downturn, antique sales have been particularly buoyant. This could partly be due to the fact that many people are choosing to invest in antiques at a time when other more traditional investments are not so strong. We all know that gold and silver are rising rapidly in value but other areas such as English oak and fine art are also doing very well.

The Internet has undoubtedly changed the way we buy items, which can now be searched for and bought easily from all over the world. We have seen a 32 per cent rise in the number of lots sold online over the past 12 months and we expect this figure to keep increasing. It is the norm now at our sales to have bids coming in from the floor, telephone and, increasingly, the computer.

So what were the star items of 2011? There is always a lot of interest in jewellery and in the March catalogue sale a fabulous diamond dress ring went under the hammer for £2,500. Another diamond ring, this time by Cartier, sold at the top of its price estimate range for £3,100 in the June catalogue sale and in September a vintage Rolex gentleman’s wristwatch went way above its guide price of £250-350 selling for £1,100.

We also had some great results with the paintings. An oil on canvas by Frederick Goodall sold for £3,200 in March; and September’s catalogue sale saw a 16 th/17th century Italian oil painting of the Holy family go for £2,100 and a work by the industrial painter Tom McGuinness reach £3,200. It was in this sale that we probably had the most amazing result of the year, when an unframed oil on board by a follower of Frederik Marinus Kruseman sold for an eye-watering £13,500.

Follower of Kruseman – Sold for £13,500

Quality furniture is still an area of rising value and I am always pleased to see my own personal favourite – Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson – bring in good results. Two such examples were a set of four oak dining chairs in the June catalogue sale, which went under the hammer for £2,000 and in December’s sale a rare oak bookcase sold for £4,800.

There were many other lots that I could mention but unfortunately there’s not really room for them here. However, I do want to say how much we appreciate the support and enthusiasm of our customers and I would like to wish you all a happy and successful 2012.