An early section of the sale included sixty five lots of whisky, ranging from job lots of commemorative Bells pottery decanters to rare and sought after Highland Malt. The joint best price of £2800 appeared in this area for a bottle of Bowmore 30th Anniversary Islay Single Malt distilled in 1963 in a limited edition of only 600 bottles. Other Highland Malt included a bottle of 1981 21 year old Brora at £420, and a 17 year old Bunnahabhain Connoisseurs Choice dated 1965 selling for £440.
Champagne was another area which produced some intense bidding. The two best prices here were £850 for a numbered bottle of 1962 Krug, and £1550 for a magnum of 1971 Dom Perignon Rose.
Port was mainly available in single bottles or small quantities rather than boxed dozens, and the best price was the most speculative. This was for five very old unlabelled bottles believed to contain port which reached an astonishing final price of £1650. Otherwise the best single bottle price was £280 for a 1940 Niepoort.
The Burgundy and Rhone section was where much of the pre-sale interest was aimed particularly for older bottles of red wine. Amongst the white, £1250 was paid for six mixed bottles of 2006 and 2007 Batard, Chevalier and Puligny Montrachet,
This price however was eclipsed by two bottles of 1996 Romanee-St-Vincent Marey-Mouge which sold for £2800, while a single 2001 bottle of the same wine achieved £1100. Also in this section was a single bottle of 1997 La Tache, Romanee-Conti which sold for £1900, while a group of six bottles of Chambolle-Musigny dated 2002, 2005 and 2006 found £850.
For once the Bordeaux offering could not compete with the previous section but it nevertheless had its moments. Three bottles of 1985 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild reached £1100, three bottles of 1983 Chateau Latour found £700, while a bottle of 1948 Chateau d’Yquem and a bottle of 1946 Chateau Latour each achieved a price of £540.
At Hartleys sale on March 26th, the hammer fell at £56,000 for a view of a racecourse (possibly Doncaster) entitled “Does the mean there’s no dinner now?”
Another sporting picture entered by the same owner, this time with a cricket match in progress, and called “I bloody hate cricket” went to the same buyer for £42,000. Three other “Braaqs” all his more usual semi-industrial and townscape views achieved between £12,000 and £14,000 each.
Since the start of 2012 when these paintings have really taken off in price, Hartleys have sold a total of thirty six Braaq oils, all from throughout the United Kingdom except for one from Sweden. The database of sellers many of whom still hold several examples and buyers who often specialise in particular subjects, is now growing into a significant marketing tool for future sales.
Amongst the other categories in this fine arts sale such as jewellery, ceramics, silver and furniture was a special section of 110 lots devoted to militaria and sporting items including a wide variety of items. A rare 19th century Saxon heavy cavalry sword reached £1,550, a late 18th century cavalry officers sword £1350, a pair of German U-boat binoculars £700, a 19thcentury full suit of armour £950, and a Beretta shotgun £640. The section was rounded off with a selection of taxidermy and trophies including a preserved perch in case by J. Cooper London 1873 selling for £1000, and a preserved barbel in case “caught at Harwood 1921” at £980. It is hoped a further section of this kind will be added to a regular fine sale in the next few months.
A very polarised set of results for Hartleys Spring Fine Sale in Ilkley on March 26th produced a total of £350,000, some excellent prices, a buy-in rate overall of 25% and a World Record auction price for a painting.
A modest offering of just 400 lots was proffered at Hartleys twice yearly sale of toys and collectors items in Ilkley on September 28th but with the help of all that the internet arsenal could provide produced nearly £40,000.
The Autumn sale
at Hartleys in Ilkley,
Hartleys June 19th summer fine sale in Ilkley produced a useful total of nearly £310,000 with the two areas of greatest interest to the auctioneers being the picture section and their first experience of live internet bidding
At Hartleys sale in Ilkley on December 12th, items either sold, often very well, or there was virtually no interest at all. The resultant total of £276,000 included 25% by lot bought in, but also produced some notable results.
A mixed set of results produced a total of £72,000 for Hartleys Toys and Collectors Sale in Ilkley on October 6th. The 680 lots were selected from over 150 different owners and while only 15% by lot was bought in, some areas showed much greater buying strength than others. Demand for dolls was somewhat muted and enthusiasm for model railways could have been better, but in other areas, there was nothing to complain about.
A collection of attractive items in every category at Hartleys sale in Ilkley, West Yorkshire on September 19th produced a relatively modest total of £234,000 perhaps because of the 22% of lots bought in as supply is still outweighed somewhat by demand. Nevertheless, it was those items that sold well which formed the main impression of the sale.
The Summer Sale at Hartleys on June 27th produced several surprise prices, two best auction prices for pictures, and a total of over £270,000. The underlying impression was of success within a difficult market; 734 lots were offered and 25% were bought in below reserve. Some bullish furniture estimates meant a much greater failure rate than normally expected in this area rising to exactly one third by lot.
In spite of overnight snow Hartleys Spring Sale in Ilkley on April 4th was definitely like the Curates egg, (very good in parts). Although the unsold rate of 24 % by lot was higher than is usually expected at these rooms, some excellent prices in most areas ensured a total of £308,000 for eight hundred lots which was comfortably above expectations.
The twice annual toys and collectors sale at Hartleys in Ilkley was a hard working affair with all but 40 (or 6 ½ %) of the 624 lots on offer finding a buyer. The star lot of the day, a superb cart mounted street organ failed to sell, but the auction still realised a total of £60,000.
The sales pitch before the December fine sale always comes around to “all those desperate men our there looking for Christmas presents”. This particularly aims at jewellery, bijouterie and the like and Hartleys December 7th fine sale in Ilkley proved the point, with enthusiasm continuing beyond the end of the sale with more than twenty five post sale bargains also struck.
There is never a shortage of buyers in August, except perhaps in the jewellery sections, where buyers desperation does really come to a head until later in the year. Sellers frequently worry that there will not be anyone there to buy their goods at this time of the year. On the contrary the usual scene is of a full saleroom impatient for enough stock to buy and so often punters leave empty handed.