Antique ceiling light sells for thousands of pounds at a Banbury auction house

An antique ceiling light sold for thousands of pounds at a Banbury auction house from a humble £30-£50 guide price.

By Matt Elofson
Monday, 13th September 2021, 12:26 am
Updated Monday, 13th September 2021, 12:28 am
This antique ceiling light sold for a hammer price of £5,800. (Photo credit: Hansons)
This antique ceiling light sold for a hammer price of £5,800. (Photo credit: Hansons)

The shining result was sparked by an early 20th century painted metal, and frosted glass ceiling fitment with disc shade. It sold for £5,800 – 193 times its guide price. The total paid with buyer’s premium was £7,540.

Jasper Marsh, auctioneer at Hanson Hollway’s Ross in Banbury, where the item sold on September 4, said: “Initially six bidders battled for it in a fierce contest. They gradually fell away and it was a two-horse race until the end.

“The buyer told us that, years ago, he had a similar light fitment and just really liked its design. He admires good, stylish antique lighting and found the glass hugely appealing. The hammer price took us by surprise but we’re delighted, both for the seller and buyer. It just goes to show that items that may have been gathering dust for decades, thought to be of little value by their owner, can be extremely desirable."

Jasper Marsh with Grace Pailthorpe surreal oil painting sold for £4,400 - Photo credit Hansons

The antique ceiling light wasn't the only item to sell above its guide price at the Banbury auction house. Several other items recently had success at an auction.

Mr Marsh added: “Another item to soar to success from a modest estimate was lot 291, an Edwardian brass fireman’s helmet. Though not in pristine condition, it set alarm bells ringing when it sold for £460 against a guide price of £40-£60.

“It was sought after, despite its sorry state, because it belonged to a serving fireman from the Reading Brigade as denoted by an ‘R’ below the comb of the helmet. There are several keen collectors for regional British Brigade memorabilia, especially the more obscure as this helmet proved to be.”

“Other items to excel included lot 208, an oil painting by Grace Pailthorpe (1883-1973). Her surreal depiction of an abstract crouching figure in woodland made £4,400. The sale included a dozen works by the artist, a psychiatrist whose works reflected the journeys that she had made into the minds of the people she had encountered.

Edwardian brass fireman’s helmet which sold for £460. (Image from Hansons)

“Another artwork which exceeded expectations was lot 203, a late 19th/early 20th century depiction of The Embankment by night. The success of this small oil painting is a mystery and one of the reasons why auctions are so compelling. Measuring only 15cms x 24cms, and without a frame, it still made £1,600 pounds. Indistinctly signed but of undoubtable quality, it is proof that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. All it takes is two buyers to fall in love with something and no-one knows when the hammer will fall.

“An impressive price was also gained for lot 225, a sword stick. It was consigned to auction at one of our Banbury saleroom’s weekly walk-in valuation days by a couple in their early 20s who were in the process of buying their first flat together.

“The young lady had inherited the weapon and thought if it made a few hundred pounds they might use the proceeds to help furnish the property. When the hammer fell at £1,300, they must have been over the moon. It was bought by a gentleman as a gift for his elderly father who had always wanted one.

“Auctions are eclectic and lot 216 brought an Oriental treasure to the fore, a Meiji Period brown patinated bronze figure of a Samurai warrior. Meiji Period decorative art is often of exceptional quality and this bold casting of a Samurai standing proudly beneath a parasol with his katana safely secured by his belt proved to be just this. The piece, part of a South Coast estate, bore the seal signature of Yoshimitsu, well regarded for his representation of noble warriors. It sold to a trade buyer for £1,400 pounds.

The Embankment by night with Cleopatra's Needle. Oil on board, signed lower heft - sold for £1,600 (Credit Hansons)

“As always, jewellery excelled too. Lot 10, a GRAFF emerald and diamond 18ct gold cluster ring made £1,900 and lot 58, a collection of 18ct gold jewellery including an unmarked Chinese medallion pendant with embossed Chinese script reached £1,590.

“If you are considering selling jewellery or silver at auction, TV personality Kate Bliss, a familiar face from Bargain Hunt, will be with us at our Banbury saleroom offering free valuations of those items at in September.”

Kate Bliss will be at Hanson Holloway's Ross, Parsons Street, Banbury, Oxfordshire, on September 16, 10am-3.30pm. To book a free jewellery/silver valuation with Kate, a valuation of any type of item, or a home visit, email [email protected] or call 01295 817777. Entries are invited for the firm’s next monthly auction on October 2.