Smiths Auctions in Newent encountered some surprising outcomes at their June Antiques and Collectables sale. Perhaps if they had tried out the Victorian crystal ball, which sold for £310 against a £100/£150 estimate, it might have given the auctioneers more insight into the sale results to expect. The fortune tellers ball came complete with a turned mahogany stand, an instruction booklet and a small fringed cloth to keep the ball covered when not in use!

The top result of the sale was predictably found in the coin section with a commemorative gold sovereign set which made £3,100. Other results from the highly successful section included a Roman Valentinian I AV Solidus 364-375AD gold coin which made £720 against a £400/£600 estimate and George III 1790 Spade guinea which made £460 despite it’s less than perfect condition.

Roman Gold Coin
Roman Gold Coin (Smiths)

A large ceramics section saw rather more mixed results with the better quality lots performing well, whilst some of the lesser quality mixed lots failed to find buyers. A Victorian stoneware baby’s bottle featuring a commemorative portrait of Queen Victorian made £270 against a £100/£150 estimate whilst an 18th century Delft flower brick in extremely poor condition still managed to reach £130. 

Victorian Stoneware Feeding Bottle
Victorian Stoneware Feeding Bottle (Smiths)

The silver and jewellery sections performed well, as usual, with a rare Georgian silver Argyle selling for £500 and a silver fox form novelty bottle opener and corkscrew set selling for £300. An unusual large and ornate Victorian electroplated serving dish made a surprising £240 against a modest £20/£40 estimate. It was sold to a buyer in India after a prolonged internet battle with a buyer from Singapore. The top price in the jewellery section was made by a gold asymmetrical bangle which made £800.

Silver Fox CorkScrew & Bottle Opener
Silver Fox CorkScrew & Bottle Opener (Smiths)

The collectables section also provided some interesting results - with a Winchester College handwritten cricket score book dating from the 1830’s making £210 against a £20/£30 estimate and an 18th century Masonic pendant making £270 against similar expectations. 

A wide selection of paintings in the sale sold successfully with an oil of Anglesey by Charles Wyatt Warren making £980 against a £300/£500 and a watercolour of Farm Buildings by Ethelbert White making £400 against a £150/£200 estimate. An attractive Pre-Raphaelite watercolour and embroidered picture of ‘Emelye’ with text from the Canterbury Tales came with a distinguished provenance which helped it to reach £540 against an £80/£120 estimate. 

Charles Wyatt Warren - oil Anglesey
Charles Wyatt Warren - oil Anglesey (Smiths)

Smiths Auctions are now inviting good quality items of ceramics, glass, silver, jewellery and collectables for their forthcoming August sale. The sale also includes sections for antique and collectable toys, furniture and paintings but space is now very limited for these areas due to the considerable number of early entries for this sale. Please telephone 01531 821776 for an appointment or visit