When Gloucestershire auctioneers Chorley’s were asked to sell this early Victorian dolls’ house, the consignment came with a caveat.
The client, who had owned it for more than
40 years, was anxious that the house and its contents should stay
together and agreed that 'sale by informal tender' was the best way
to proceed. This flexible form of sale is more common when dealing
with land and property than it is when selling antiques.
In short, the vendor has the right to choose
an offer that may not necessarily be the highest but the one they
feel happiest with. Potential buyers are informed as to the
position of their bid and if they are minded to, they can adjust
Parties from across the country expressed
interest and many submitted tenders at the end of last month. After
much consultation, Chorley's client was pleased to accept an offer
of £42,450 (nearly three times the original estimate) from a dolls'
The 4ft (1.22m) high dolls' house was made
in 1850 by Mr and Mrs Newton of Liverpool for their daughter Emma
when she was six. Mr Newton, a lawyer, was a keen amateur carpenter
and it was he who designed and made the house and most of the
furniture that adorns its nine rooms.
Mrs Newton made all the furnishings and
bedclothes while, during family holidays abroad, dolls, china,
glass and utensils made in Switzerland and Germany were added to
Moving to Yorkshire when Emma married the Rev Usher Miles (they
had five daughters), the doll's house journeyed with later
generations of the family through Worcestershire to Cheltenham,
where it was purchased by the vendor in 1972.