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“Marsh & Baxter butchers were an integral part of the Brierley Hill high street throughout the 20th century and it was no surprise to see the helmet sell for a good price.”

A bit of socio-historical interest can often help a lot’s performance. Kevin Jackson, auctioneer at Fellows, reflects on the sale of a Victorian fireman’s helmet.

“He was unaware he had purchased an important historic artefact. It was stored away in his home and then when my grandfather died my mother inherited the chess piece… For many years it resided in a drawer in her home where it had been carefully wrapped in a small bag.”

A spokesperson for the family that consigned the rediscovered 'Lewis Chessmen' piece, coming to auction at Sotheby’s.

“We expected it to sell for a little over estimate, but not five times the estimate! We are sharing the money with the farmer, who is also thrilled!” 

A statement from an anonymous metal detectorist, unable to contain his excitement when the Roman coin he found in a Kent field made a record at Dix Noonan Webb.

“John Sandon…a legend in the industry…will be a hard act to follow, but I am relishing the challenge of maintaining Bonhams’ position as market leader in British ceramics and glass.” 

Fergus Gambon, recently promoted to head of the British ceramics and glass department in Knightsbridge.