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The auctioneers explain: “Certain modern items now fall into specialist collectors’ fields and they need to be marketed widely. Certain antiques are out of favour in specialist markets, but can still appeal to generalised buyers.” Thus in 2004 Golding Young will continue holding two wider ranging types of sale – regular collective events and four catalogue sales a year. Meanwhile, the old auction magic continues…

The unexpected highlight of the sale conducted by on February 4 was this anonymous early 19th century musical clock movement, right. It arrived for sale from a local clearance of general sale material – it had to make £250 – and created lots of interest among the clock trade for its complexity. Not only did the double fusee movement play tunes on nine bells but to the arch above the painted dial was an automated theatre group driven to dance on the strike of the hour. Many of those who viewed thought the £800-1200 estimate was eminently
reasonable but two dealers, confident that a suitable case would not be too difficult to find, slugged it out up to £5800 (plus 15 per cent buyer’s premium).