Rare Dennis Wheatley first editions were sought-after auction highlight

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A collection of nine First Edition hardbacks by the master of occult fiction Dennis Wheatley were hotly contested in the room, on the phone and on the internet at Silverwoods’ latest sale of antiques and fine arts.

They books, all of them signed by the author, were eventually knocked down to an internet bidder for £3,800 – the price reflecting the fact that the author very rarely signed his books, amking these a scarce commodity for avid collectors of his works.

Books sold at auction

Books sold at auction

Two other collections went under the hammer at the sale, both exceeding their estimates. First to go were seven fine diecast models of Grand Prix and sports cars, boxed and featuring fine detailing from noted makers CMC,Pauls, Exota and Tamiya which raised £1,110 for the vendor.

A specialist militaria section featured a large collection of military cap badges which also sold well – going for nearly £1,000.

Elsewhere in the catalogue, a Royal Doulton series ware large jug in the Pied Piper design by Charles Noke and Harry Fenton went to a bidder in the room for £350, while an internet bidder was successful in gaining a pair of beautifully decorated Victorian opaque glass handpainted table lustres for £450.

The combination of silver and Art Deco design is still in vogue and drove the price of a silver two handled tea tray, dating from 1933, up to £580.

Some of the best prices were achieved in the paintings and furniture sections. Two albums of watercolour sketches by early 19th century British artist Harriet Stowe, one featuring images of the Swiss Alps, French Riviera and Italy and the second having 35 well-executed botanical studies of plants and wild flowers, sold for £730.

An oil on canvas of Cattle Grazing by a Track, by William Sidney Cooper, went for £800 and a watercolour of the Bay of Naples, attributed to Giovanni Giordano Lanza, achieved £1,300.

But the best price achieved for a painting lot on the day – £2,600 – was for a pair of signed oil on canvas images of Brume Sur L’Etang and Matinee de Mai by the noted artist Maurice Levis (1860 - 1940) in ornate gilt pine and gesso frames.

Starting the furniture section was a 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation chair, given to the vendor’s father in appreciation for helping out at Westminster Abbey on the day and sold for £400 – twice its estimate.

Really good quality furniture is still holding its value and an 18th century-style oak dresser base went for £420 while two small side tables – one a George III oak and the other a Chinese-style rosewood small cachepot table – each achieved £160.

An oak refectory table went to a local furniture dealer for £750 and a 17th century joined oak Wainscott chair sold for £750. The star of this part of the show, though, proved to be a George III mahogany three-legged snap top supper table, with acanthus decoration and ball and claw feet, which sold in the room for £980.

Entries are invited for the next Antiques and Fine Art sale at Silverwoods, which will take place on Thursday April 24th. Viewing for the extremely popular weekly “Rediscovery” antique and collectables sales starts every Wednesday at 9 am with the sale itself getting under way at 1 pm.

For more information on buying and selling at auction visit www.silverwoods.co.uk and you can also email images of any items you are considering selling to info@silverwoods.co.uk for an initial assessment, or call 01200 423322.