Special Auction Services

Founded in Newbury, Berkshire in 1991, Special Auction Services host a wide range of specialist collectors’ sales throughout the year.

As well as regular antiques and collectables sales, they hold tailored auctions focusing on categories such as toys, music and entertainment, cameras, sporting memorabilia, cigarette cards, postcards, jewellery, coins and watches. Their annual Trains Galore sale takes place in December.

Since 2006, the firm had been run by auctioneers Thomas Plant and Neil Shuttleworth.


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Great lookers eyed on the same day by Newbury auctioneer

05 November 2018

“The chances of finding one that had been bought in a £90 box lot was probably one in a million; the chances of finding two more on the same day are incalculable.” Scientific instruments expert Hugo Marsh was talking about specialist camera lenses he was shown in September, first by a south-coast vendor, then by a West Country enthusiast, which sold at Special Auction Services (17.5% buyer’s premium) at Newbury on October 23.

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Transit instruments measure up in Newbury sale

22 October 2018

Probably a puzzle to all but experts in the field, the item shown below is a transit instrument – one of three which all went well above estimates at a cameras and scientific instruments sale held by Special Auctions Services (17.5% buyer’s premium).

Whitefriars glass

Saleroom selection: Six pieces of Baxter Whitefriars glass on offer at auctions around the UK

01 October 2018

Whitefriars glass can be traced back to the 18th century but it really came into its own after James Powell purchased the business for his three sons in 1834.

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Pick of the Week The Byne Ladies will stay together

25 June 2018

Three 18th century English carved and painted wooden dolls, in the same family for over two centuries, were sold at Specialist Auction Services of Newbury on June 19.

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A welcome breeze for fans of fans

18 June 2018

Two notable single-owner collections, augmented by items from the round of Oriental art sales, made spring a bumper crop in the specialist world of fans.

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How £100 can go a long way in the fans collecting field

18 June 2018

Advertising and souvenir fans from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries received a mixed reception at the April 10 Special Auction Services sale at Newbury devoted to works collected by the late Martin Willcocks.

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Very rare 17th century English doll turns heads to sell for £9500 at North Yorkshire auction

08 June 2018

Despite having lost a hand and suffering minor wear and chips to her chin, not to mention being just 5.5in (14cm) high, a doll caused a considerable stir at auction with six phone lines and internet bidders all desperate to succeed.

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Why Bing is the toy train in-thing

21 May 2018

Called to look at some toy trains in the home of a lady who had recently died at a great age, Special Auction Services (17.5% buyer’s premium) specialist Hugo Marsh was surprised to be shown two early and rare Bing items. They had been collected by the lady’s first husband and stored away since he was killed in the Second World War.

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Second World War Leitz lens clearly a £70 bargain

16 April 2018

Bought recently for just £70 in a job lot, this German military-issue Leitz lens below sold for £5500 in Special Auction Services (17.5 buyer’s premium) Photographica sale on March 13. The Hektor 13.5cm f/4.5 lens, offered with an estimate of £4000-6000, sold to the European trade.

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Huge group of photos at auction reflects 19th century collecting craze of the carte de visite

12 April 2018

Parents will now be shelling out hundreds of pounds as kids fill up football World Cup sticker albums and negotiate playground swaps in a now time-honoured fashion. Back in the mid-19th century the photo collecting craze was all about the carte de visite, as a May 3 auction underlines.

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Tri-ang sell-out auction strikes a blow for the traditional toy market beyond Star Wars and Lego

30 March 2018

Despite Lego and Star Wars hogging the headlines when it comes to high prices paid out recently by toy collectors, the ‘old school’ has struck back to land a blow for more venerable brands.

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Terrific line-up of Tri-ang and Brit toys

05 March 2018

A single-owner collection of Tri-ang and other British toys will go under the hammer in what has been described as the largest of its type to come to auction.

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Sizeable bids for steam loco toys in Trains Galore sale

15 January 2018

Whatever chaos faces hundreds of thousands of commuters on the railways as we enter the New Year, the better-ordered world of model trains steams on to continued success.

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Previews: £501 - £2000

02 January 2018

Our weekly selection from salerooms and dealerships.

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Mr Copper and Wibbly-Wobbly

03 July 2017

Like many who deal in antiques, the late dealer Andrew Cottrell zeroed in on his chosen niche with an all-consuming passion, accumulating vast knowledge (and stock) in the process.

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Unusual Royal Flying Corps relics take off at auction

24 May 2017

If Royal Flying Corps medals are out of your price range, or you want to collect something a bit different, two recent lots show that honours are not the only option for auction purchases.

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Beatles auction lots get better all the time

22 May 2017

It has been 50 years since the Beatles released their eighth studio album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to universal acclaim.

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Early Dinky vans in demand and delivering high prices

17 April 2017

Dinky is one of the most popular names in the toys collecting field, but with a vast array of types made in the firm’s 45-year history, where do you decide to start?

Chinese imperial doucai jar

UK regional salerooms share spoils in strong series of Asian art auctions

17 November 2016

The UK’s regional salerooms turned up a series of six-figure objects during the first of two weeks of designated Asian art sales.

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Indian bronze estimated at £100-200 brings record £114,000 at Special Auction Services

11 November 2016

A small Indian bronze brought to Special Auction Services (SAS) in a woman’s handbag set a new house record when it was knocked down for £114,000 yesterday.

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