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Collectors produce auction price shocks

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The value of collectables is often only determined once bidding starts.

Sometimes predicted prices are not achieved, sometimes the selling price ends up way above expectations.

Take the case of the elephant figurine offered at Ashbey’s Galleries of Cape Town’s decorative fine arts, collectables and antiques auction in December last year. The Chinese copper alloy elephant figurine (pictured), adorned with trappings and tassels with saddle blanket on its back, had a relatively modest pre-sale opening bid of R4000, but the item proved so popular among specialist collectors that bidding propelled the fetching price to R13000.

In another example, on offer at Cannon & Cannon’s recent sale in Hilton, was what seemed a relatively ordinary group of soldiers’ medals. But among the six medals in one lot there was the highly sought-after “Air Crew Europe Star” and clasp – and it sent the bidding for the lot to R47000, instead of the expected R2500.

Offerings at Ashbey’s auction on March 12 at 43 Church Street will include quality silver, jewellery, objects d’art, ceramics, clocks, bronze sculptures, handbags, antique and contemporary furniture, and South African and international works of art.

Consignments for this auction have already closed. For more details about the March 12 sale and viewing dates, email inge@ashbeysgalleries.co.za or call 0214238060.

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