Holts Auctioneers’ June auction achieves over £1 million in sales

Holts Auctioneers

Holts Auctioneers’ summer auction demonstrated a gratifying consistency to the market with the 768 Lots returning a total hammer price of £1,025,935 and 75% of the Lots sold on the day.

The viewing days were well attended, though the sweltering conditions in central London seemed to encourage a higher proportion of telephone and commission bids than normal and true to current form, internet participation was increased yet again, with a total of 2,914 registered live online bidders.

Confidence in online bidding is certainly growing both in terms of the numbers of participants and also the average value of successful bids via the Invaluable platform, with the average online purchase/winning value equating to £1,050 and almost 13% of auction Lots sold online. The initial reticence to spend money over the internet is being replaced with growing confidence, as proved with some larger figures of £3,000 and £7,600 being spent over the internet.

Mirroring the March auction, the lion’s share of buyers once more remained within the UK, accounting for just under 60% of purchased Lots, with Continental Europe still being responsible for the next largest level of participation but with the United States accounting for the second highest individual total in terms of outlay and number of Lots purchased.

The highlight of the auction was undoubtedly the small collection of rifles owned by the Windsor-Clive family, Lots 1150 – 1155. The quality of the rifles, combined with their extraordinary condition really caught the imagination of the crowd and each one exceeded its estimate by some proportion – the most dramatic being Lot 1155, a fine Rigby .450 nitro express sidelock non-ejector double rifle, soaring past a conservative £10,000-£15,000 estimate to achieve a staggering £56,000 (making it the top Lot of the auction). The other ‘top slots’ were filled by an even mix of best English and Italian guns and rifles, with Piotti, Holland & Holland, Boss and Fabbri taking the honours.

The market for antique weapons firearms proved as strong as ever, with the second part of the Harold Bull Collection repeating the success of the first. Arguably the most impressive Lot (575) offered in the Antique section was the pair of outsized John Dickson percussion horse pistols ordered by the eccentric collector Charles Gordon – and they fetched an equally impressive £20,000 hammer price against a robust estimate of £20,000-25,000.

A full list of the realised prices is now available to download here:

For those who missed the auction, the opportunity to purchase Lots remaining unsold can do so via the website, where the Sealed Bid sale is also available to view and bid on until its closing at 10:30am on Thursday 6th July 2017.

A list of the game fairs Holts will be attending and their forthcoming free valuations/ consignment days in advance of this auction can be found here:

The next auction will be held in London on Thursday 21st September 2017.