Michael Paint, who was proprietor of N St J Paint and Sons, had collected for over 50 years at a level above many enthusiasts. His A-Z of Channel Islands silver was, for example, more than twice the size of the collection of Jersey-based advocate Michael Voisin dispersed by Bonhams Langlois in 2008.
The auctioneers may have taken a slower route to market – offering the collection across a series of sales – but the desire, after the sounding out of a few potential purchasers, was for a single sale. Viewings of the collection had been held in both Jersey and Guernsey leading up to the sale, at the National Trust of Jersey property, 16 New Street, St Helier, and at the Priaulx Library, St Peter Port.
The aisles rarely thronged but those who came through the door – including a handful of London dealers and serious collectors from both islands – were potential buyers rather than the casually interested.
Before the sale the auctioneers knew they had most lots ‘covered’ by one collector or another but were pleased to see competition against more than the reserve on a majority of pieces. With aftersales, the auction total was £310,000.