Dress to Impress

Clevedon Salerooms held their latest Interiors sale on January 26th at the Kenn Road Auction Centre. Spirited bidding throughout the sale saw high prices and several pleasant surprises amongst the 500 lots on offer.



Lot 164 Believed Victorian pale green silk dress and underskirt, sold for £1,300


Antique textiles have traditionally occupied a niche area of the market, albeit one where buyers are prepared to bid strongly for authentic pieces that have survived the passage of time. So it was that a pale green silk dress was the source of much pre-sale excitement. Catalogued as ‘Believed Victorian’, it had evidently belonged to a 19th century lady of fashion and would not have looked out of place on the set of ‘Bridgerton’. It’s performance on the day certainly lived up to expectations and it quickly swept past its estimate to take the day’s highest price, selling for a remarkable £1,300.

Another of the sales big surprises came in the form of three very small dolls, which included an unusual – and rather macabre - ‘coffin’ baby doll. In a world where death – and infant mortality – were ever present such dolls played a part in preparing a child for the realities of adult life.  Arriving on one of Clevedon’s popular weekly valuation days, the tiny dolls, which had been in the vendor’s family for generations, quickly dwarfed their estimate to sell for £880.

Elsewhere in the sale, it was a good day for gold which accounted for no fewer than seven of the sale’s top ten performing lots. A Victorian 18ct gold sovereign case, assayed for London 1878, sold for £880, whilst a 9ct gold graduated fringed necklace also did well, selling for £820.

The day’s most unexpected result came in the form of a mahogany and oak four poster bed. A hybrid of 19th century and later elements, it was actually its fourth appearance at Clevedon Salerooms having originally been offered in the Autumn Quarterly Fine Art sale and two subsequent Interiors sales where each time it had failed to attract any bidders. To quote another well-worn saying, if at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again and on this occasion it surpassed all expectations to sell for a very respectable £520.

Clevedon Salerooms next Specialist sale (for which further entries are invited) will be held on 9th March, and the next Interiors sale will be held on Thursday 16th February, commencing at 10.30am.