Gareth Wasp, an auctioneer and valuer, was our speaker, and members also had the opportunity to bring in items for him to value. Gareth began his involvement with auctioneering at the age of 14, helping out in a saleroom in Surrey, and realised this was the career he wanted.
He later worked for Sotheby’s, where he came into contact with very valuable items, including a Rubens painting which sold for over £55 million. Frome, where he now works, hasn’t yet yielded any items of similar value, but he has come across items whose worth was much greater than its owners realised, including two very striking rings.
Gareth had brought a selection of items along as a competition. We were asked to guess what the link was between several silver items, and to assess the value of three random things – a small marquetry cabinet, a boxed Skeletor toy from the 1980s and a pair of boots Jimi Hendrix had left behind after a concert.
No one guessed the silverware link – they were all items that had been altered in some way. The Jimi Hendrix boots were the most expensive item, being valued at £2500, with Skeletor at £250 and the cabinet at £150. There were no completely correct entries, but a prize was given for the nearest.
A wide range of family heirlooms was provided for Gareth to scrutinise during the coffee break. Clocks and watches, knives, china, cigarette cards, paintings and jewellery and other individual items were considered, but unfortunately, no one had been cherishing anything of major value, although one watch was worth considerably more than its lucky owner had anticipated.
We will have a stall selling jam and chutney at the Flower Show on 25 August, and one selling preserves and cakes at the World Wellington Boot Throwing Championship on 8 September, so members had brought in jars to have WI labels put on in readiness. Proceeds will go to charity, as will the income from the sale of Pimm’s at the meeting, including a non-alcoholic version.
Our next meeting is on 20 September at the Beambridge Inn, 7.00 for 7.30 pm. Guests and new members will be very welcome. There will be a talk about the SS Great Britain.
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