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21st May, 2022

Bric-a-brac box owls prove a big hoot at auction

TWO owls plucked from a bric-a-brac box – and destined for a charity shop – have earned their owner an unexpected auction windfall.

They soared above their estimate to make £850 at auction and proved that being a wise owl can pay dividends.

The dusty birds were spotted by Charles Hanson, TV antiques expert and owner of Hansons Auctioneers, at a free valuation event at St Francis of Assisi Church Hall in Kenilworth – a regular venue for Hansons’ experts.

Charles said: “The vendor was going to throw them away – or give them away to a charity shop. They didn’t think they could be worth anything. But they turned out to be a pair of late Victorian silver novelty pepper pots.

“They were dated 1897 and hallmarked GF, probably standing for silversmith George Fox of London. The Fox family founded a silversmith company at 139 Old Street, Goswell Street, in 1801 and produced consistently high-quality pieces for several decades.

“Once the grime was removed from those 125-year-old owls, two realistically-cast figures with glass eyes emerged. They went to auction in April with a guide price of £300-£500 but smashed their estimate to reach £850. It was a fantastic result for our client and a reminder that being a wise owl pays off, especially when it comes to having items professionally assessed.”

Hansons valuers will host another free valuation day at St Francis of Assisi Church Hall on Thursday (May 12) from 10am to 4pm.

 

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