Do you have money in the attic?


Stephen farthing

“For any business this has been a tough year,” says Stephen Farthing, auctioneer at H&H Auction Rooms Carlisle.

“Government restrictions meant that we were closed for the first three months of the year and could not reopen until April 12.

“Despite all the obstacles in our way, I was amazed at how well our staff and clients have adapted and as a result the business is getting better and better.

“During the first half of the year, virtual sales and commission offers became the order of the day and in September, business was back as usual. “

The vibrant housing market has seen an increase in the number of home sales, which has resulted in many more items being listed.

This led to logistical issues as the shops were already stocked with additional bundles, but it did mean that there was an even wider range of items on offer.

There are over 700 lots in each bi-monthly sale.

“An encouraging trend for me is that brown is making a comeback, after many years of the doldrums – there has been a resurgence of interest in brown furniture.

“This type of furniture has long gone out of fashion, selling incredibly inexpensively.

“However, with more and more environmentally conscious people, the demand has especially increased for well-made Victorian furniture.

“Constructed of solid wood, such as mahogany and oak, and handcrafted by artisans, antique furniture is very good value for money, especially compared to mass-produced flat-packed products.

“The signs are that this market will continue to gain popularity over the next several years.”

Another sector, which has also been buoyant throughout the lockdown, is the market for classic men’s watches and the appreciation for these pieces continues to grow, he added.

Toys for children continue to be popular, and a childhood dream came true for a collector when he purchased an early 20th century train from the American firm Lionel.

Originally purchased just before WWII, it consisted of an engine, three cars, a searchlight truck and was the sought after O gauge.

This lot exceeded all expectations and sold for £ 1,500.

It’s not just old toys that make you money, you might be surprised at how valuable Lego is.

If you have a 2007 Star Wars Ultimate Collector’s original Millennium Falcon box set, then you might be enjoying a bargain.

Initially the price was £ 350, if it came with instructions, numbers and a box you could get around £ 2,000 and prices are increasing on average around 10% per year so certainly one to watch.

However, for Stephen his favorite lot this year is the recently sold Louis Vuitton vintage trunk.

Louis Vuitton

Iconic piece, steeped in history, it has been in the same family throughout its life and has traveled all over the Congo to Cumbria. After fierce competition it finally sold for £ 4,600.

So what will 2022 bring for H&H Auctions?

“Judging from what we already have for sale at the start of next year and the strong demand we’ve seen this year, despite COVID, I think we’re in a record year,” Stephen said.

“Programs like The Repair Shop make people appreciate more the craftsmanship, craftsmanship and aesthetics of antiques and this is reflected in the higher prices being realized.

“So go into your attic, dig deep in the closet and dig up all the hidden treasures and enjoy the things you own for the joy they can bring and sometimes the return they can offer.”

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