Colchester: Discarded candle holders sell for �74,000

A PAIR of old wall lights have fetched tens of thousands of pounds at a Colchester auction after almost being left behind during a house clearance.

The candle sconces were discovered at a country house in Stratford St Mary by James Grinter of Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Wyncolls Road, where they were going to remain for the new tenants.

Fortunately Mr Grinter spotted them and advised the owners they were made of silver and very rare.

After being valued between �6,000 - �8,000 they went for auction on Tuesday and attracted a lot of interest from buyers.

Six telephone bidders battled it out for the antiques which cost the eventual winner, thought to be from London, �89,540 in total including commission.


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The previous record sale of �61,000 was for a Chinese punch bowl, sold in 1996 while more recently an Alfred Munnings painting sold for �41,000 in November last year.

Jonathan Benson who conducted the auction said: “As the bids kept going up, the room became quieter and quieter with everyone waiting to see what was going to happen and then by the end everyone was applauding.

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“The owner was listening to the sale live online and as you can imagine she was absolutely thrilled.”

James Grinter, Senior Partner of Reeman Dansie, said they often find valuable items in house clearances but this was the find of a lifetime.

“It was quite unusual in this case because the house was being let and they would have remained where they were for the incoming tenants to use.

“We hoped to get around �15,000 but as the bidding kept going up it started to feel like it would just keep going on and on.

“At one point you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife it was so intense but when it did finally end I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. The owner was dancing for joy at the other end of the phone.”

The candle sconces which are wall mounted candle holders, were identified as being made in the reign of Charles II from around 1680, engraved with the original owners coat of arms - Henry Francis North - who is believed to have been the Attorney General in 1673.

The antique candle holders joined a number of other items from the home which were being auctioned off, including paintings, furniture, porcelain and silver.

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