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September 08, 2011, 10:43 AM

Buyer's market at Gaze, but riveted water tanks not what they seem

By Thornton Kay

Top lot was a pair of reconstituted marble lions on plinths 74ins by 26ins by 66ins high 2020 plus 12.5% buyer's premium [photo Gaze

Norfolk, UK - "It was a disappointing architectural sale last Saturday," Carl Willows of T W Gaze said, "with a sold rate of 71 per cent against our normal 80 per cent or more, and some of the sales we did make were a little below par. For example, a very nice oak plank door made 600 which on a good day would have been nearer 1,000, and we had some super York flags which sold for middling prices. It was a bright sunny day but Gaze's buyers seem more buoyant in wet weather, and things might have been affected by a 'back to school' as some regulars stayed away."

Unsurprisingly in these gritty economic times it was a buyer's market at Gaze. The trade was selling more than buying, and holding out for reasonable to high reserves, while lots bought by private customers were at no or low reserves.

Two arctic loads of lots were bought by two of the UK trade in the run up to Battersea and other London fairs, but only partly because prices were depressed. More than one dealer told Mr. Willows after the sale that if they had known prices were going to be that low they would have come to buy rather than sell.

Galvanised rivetted water tanks struggled, which Carl Willows thought may have been because the steampunkers had accumulated too much stock and their sales had slowed. But Guy Trench of Antiques By Design, an inventive market leader in this field, said that far from being in the doldrums his sales and order books were relatively solid. He had bought three of Gaze's galvanised tanks to put into stock. He said that there seems to have been a shift towards more industrial tables (yes, it is possible to get more industrial than a cutaway water tank table), and at the recent Burghley horse trials, shotgun lighting - wall lights, standard lamps, table lamps - proved a big hit.

Gaze's rural and domestic bygones sale on 5 October will have part of a gentleman's collection of shepherding effects including some rarer pieces such as a sheep fair enamelled sign, a shepherd's umbrella, early sheep bells, horn lanterns and crooks. Modern design will be on 15 October and the next architectural will be on 5 November, when fireworks are expected, but Mr. Willows will be hoping for a damp squib!

T W Gaze Llp

T W Gaze: Results: Architectural sale 3 September 2011

Story Type:  Auction Report

ID: 61605

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