Tennants’ auction of Scientific and Musical Instruments, Cameras and Tools on 17 February achieved remarkable prices in a sale that attracted an unusually high number of new bidders both in the room and on the internet.
First up were musical instruments, and the bidding opened to a buzzing saleroom. The tone of the sale was set with the first lot, a 1923 Antonio Lechi Violin, which fetched £3,200 against an estimate of £500-700. Further strong prices included two cellos reaching £4,000 and £1600 respectively, and a Selmer Reference 36 Tenor Saxophone which doubled its estimate to reach £2,500. Consultant Specialist Chris Hirst commented “We had an unusually high number of serious bidders for musical instruments in this sale, attracted by good instruments in ‘ready-to-play’ condition. With a great atmosphere in the saleroom, and with buyers as far away as Hong Kong joining in online, competition was fierce and top prices were made”.
Moving on to Scientific Instruments and Tools, good prices continued to be achieved, and the catalogue cover lot, a collection of Rare Deep Cell Microscope Sample Mounts reached a respectable £3,200. As expected, Part II of the Rangeley Collection of Scales Weights and Measures drew much interest from specialist collectors from the UK, America and the Continent, and good prices were made throughout. The top lot of the collection was a set of Bronze Cylindrical Liquid Measures For the County Palatine of Lancaster from 1819, which reached £2,400 against an estimate of £180-220. A pretty set of Domestic Postal Scales with a Sèvres Style painted porcelain panel, together with a matching box performed well too, selling high above their £250-350 estimate to make £900.
However, the star of the sale was undoubtedly the Heath & Wing Brass Theodolite/Mining Dial, which fetched an astounding £10,000 against a presale estimate of £300-400. Specialist Kegan Harrison said of the instrument: “This early Theolodite or Mining dial is very rare, and Heath & Wing of London were one of the top manufacturers of such instruments. A good price was expected, but competitive bidding online and over the telephone lead to a great result for the vendor and really boosted the air of excitement in the saleroom”.
The sale resulted in a total Hammer Price of £91,550, with 87% of the 325 lots sold.
A set of Bronze Cylindrical Liquid Measures For County Palatine of Lancaster from 1819 – Sold for £2,400
A Heath & Wing (London) Brass Theodolite/Mining Dial – Sold for £10,000
We are currently accepting lots for the next sale of Scientific & Musical Instruments, Cameras & Tools on 7th June, please contact us on 01969 623780 or firstname.lastname@example.org