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A Private Collection of Brass Shipping Plaques and Bells Sails Away at Auction

15th December 2021.

A Private Collection of Brass Shipping Plaques and Bells sailed away in Tennants Auctioneers’ Toys, Models & Collectables Sale on 15th December, when they sold for a combined total of £23,700 plus buyer’s premium for the 38 lots. The collection largely comprised plaques from ships and shipbuilders with a particular focus on those from the North of England and Scotland, and many of the plaques sold for more than ten times their bottom estimates.

Highlights of the collection included a Wm Denny & Bros Ltd Shipbuilders and Engineers Plate from the TSS Hibernia from 1920 that sold along with four door/wall plaques for the Hibernia for £1,500 plus buyer’s premium). A Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co. Shipbuilders Plate from 1930 sold for £1,400, and a Jos. T. Eltringham & Co. Shipbuilders Plate from South Shields also sold for £1,400.

The top lot of the sale, however, was a bench with Leeds United Football Club interest that sold for £4,800. The bench was painted with ‘Don Revie’ – the legendary manager of Leeds United and was one of eight lots of benches in the sale.  The vendor of the benches reported: “While relocating my barber shop, I was looking to replace my waiting chairs with old style folding ones. Browsing online for cinema chairs I came across a local antiques shop selling some rusty and tatty chairs with a laminate plastic cover. I went to view them and was told that they were found in an old storage unit in a service pit used for servicing automobiles. They looked like they would clean up well, so I took up the challenge and bought a few. Stripping the plastic off uncovered lovely wooden seats and backs, on these backs were names. Until this point, I had not noticed the LUFC engravings on the cast iron bases due to the rust. Some of the chairs had names and one said Visiting Director. I protected these with masking tape. Manager Don Revies name was revealed to me while removing tape from a chair, accidentally pulling off another name. Since being restored by myself they have featured in an Antiques Roadshow episode, radio and newspaper articles.”

Elsewhere in the sale, strong prices were seen for a Marklin Gauge 1 4-6-2 model of The Great Bear, Great Western 111 that sold for £1,700, an Autograph Book containing a photograph and autograph of Harry Houdini from his time performing in Huddersfield that sold for £1,300, and a group of Fantastic Four Marvel Comics that sold for £1,000.

The sale achieved a total hammer price of £93,540 with a 90% sold rate for 482 lots.


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