ON visiting a bungalow just south of Knutsford for a probate valuation, Patrick Cheyne had been dismayed to find nothing of any value in the home itself – but rather better things emerged when he was shown the garage.
The pride and joy of the property's late owner had been an
Austin 7 sports (a model commonly known as the Nippy) registered in
Bought in 1958 for £15 minus the engine, it was lovingly
restored, complete with British racing green paintwork, and paraded
at various fairs. Despite its now rather tired cosmetic condition
it caused enormous interest when offered for sale at St Peter's
Assembly Rooms, Hale, near Altrincham, on February 26.
With numerous potential buyers vying on the telephone, it fell
eventually to a "must have it" buyer from London at £7600.
Not only did the garage contain the Nippy car but also three
velocipedes and a late Victorian/Edwardian bath chair.
These all sold well too. The English-made 'boneshaker' c.1870
with its wooden wheels, made £2400, courtesy of a local enthusiast
who organises the Knutsford vintage bicycle races, while two
'ordinary' or penny farthings sold at £950 and £2000, the latter
for a bicycle marked with its year of manufacture, 1884. The bath
chair, with a typical wicker seat, took £380.
Two other lots are worthy of note. An underrated lot in the sale
catalogue was a Moorcroft tobacco jar decorated with wisteria on a
cream ground. It is an early pattern c.1912-14, and, despite a few
nibbles on the screw thread of the jar, it was in good
Standing nonchalantly on the sideboard of a modern flat in
Altrincham, its owners, one of whom was anxious to return home to
the Philippines, had been only too pleased to learn it might fetch
a few hundred pounds. It sold to a telephone bidder after some
determined bidding for £5400.
The sale, which Patrick Cheyne considered one of his best in
recent memory, also included what he called "without a doubt one of
the finest Edwardian inlaid mahogany breakfront wardrobes I have
With a pierced and broken swan neck pediment and profuse inlay
to the cupboard doors and drawers, it soared to £4000, selling to a
local dealer. At a time when many examples will struggle to bring
more than £200-300, this was indeed a heavyweight price.
The buyer's premium was 15%