Smiths Auctions in Newent held one of their largest sales ever on May 16-17with over fifteen hundred lots going under the hammer. A large selection of fine antique ceramics and glass was headed up by a good selection of Royal Doulton, Worcester and Oriental Ceramics. A rare Chinese 18th century teapot and stand made for export sold for £880 to a buyer in Spain whilst an unusual Chinese leaf form platter sold for £620. Two Royal Worcester plates painted fruit sold for £400 and £350 whilst a small two handled vase and cover painted in a similar style made £310.

In the silver and jewellery section high gold prices meant that bidders had to work harder to buy collectables over and above their scrap values. A fine 18ct gold pocket watch made £1,250 whilst a 9ct gold lorgnette with the unusual feature of having a watch to the handle made £600.

18ct Gold Pocket Watch
18ct Gold Pocket Watch (Smiths)

Unusually in the current market the highest price of the sale was paid for an item of furniture when a local private buyer fought off several trade buyers to secure a very fine Sheraton Revival satinwood display cabinet with painted decoration for £1,550. A slightly more surprising result was an early 19th century Italian red marble miniature replica of a Roman column which was damaged and yet still managed to make £1,100. Probably bought by a wealthy British gentleman whilst doing his ‘Grand Tour’ – it would have been a very expensive souvenir even at the time!

Another upper class trinket from a slightly earlier period which performed well was a beautiful South Staffordshire Etui which sold to a buyer in New York for £820. This useful little item included a small selection of requisites which might be used by a lady such scissors, pencil, tweezers, toothpick, snuff spoon, needle etc. Of tapered form with gilt metal mounts and beautifully painted reserves of flowers and fruit it would probably have been given as a very precious gift.

A rather idealized oil painting by Henry John Yeend King depicting two young women picking flowers in a riverside meadow obviously found favour, despite having several large tears to the canvas, and sold for £820. Another item in poor condition which attracted interest was a small Newton’s globe made in 1838 which made £330 despite a number of tears and repairs to the surface and damage to the turned wood stand.

A collection of cap badges from a military veteran in the Forest of Dean sold well with an overall total just a touch under £3,000. Hopefully there will another consignment yet to come since his collection was so large it was felt it would be best to split it over more than one sale.

Selection of Special Forces Cap Badges
Selection of Special Forces Cap Badges (Smiths)

Some interesting results were to be found in the Books & Ephemera Section with a collection of photographs of aircraft trials from the 1930’s which made £440. One of the images shows King Edward VIII inspecting the first Spitfire whilst other photographs showed Flying Boats, Autogryros, Zeppelins and some of the first torpedo experiments.

Edward VII Inspects First Spritfire
Edward VII Inspects First Spitfire (Smiths)

An interesting accounts book from the 19th century Gloucester Fire Brigade sold for £180 – it gave a fascinating list of invoices for each fire from 1860 to 1878 – giving details of the location and costs for each fire.

Smith’s next auction on May 27-28 includes a wide range of good quality antiques and collectables as well as specialist sections for coins, stamps and postcards. Due to the number of entries already consigned Smiths are now only able to accept gold and silver coin entries and the stamp section is now closed completely. Entries of postcards, silver, gold, jewellery, ceramics, paintings, furniture and collectables are still invited. Please telephone for an appointment on 01531 821776 or visit for further information.