Why a giraffe, elephant and diamonds soared to success at Bishton Hall Auction

Posted on 11/10/2018 in Press Coverage

I’m sure you’ve all seen quite enough of me on telly but there’s more to come. BBC’s Bargain Hunt are filming their Christmas special at Hansons in November, writes Charles Hanson.

It must be something to do with our Derbyshire warmth. We certainly have no trouble rustling up a crowd. Some 300 guests are poised to pack out our Etwall saleroom with many travelling from London.

I’m proud of my Derbyshire roots and for me it’s an important opportunity to show off our Midlands warmth - and raise money for charity. I often auction VIP tickets for a Hansons Auction Experience to support good causes.

But away from the bright lights and TV cameras, I never forget the day job and that’s all about making great finds – and delivering windfalls to our vendors.

Right now, our Autumn Fine Art Auction is under way at Bishton Hall, Staffordshire, and we’ve witnessed great success. The big surprise at our silver and jewellery action was a giraffe. He stuck out his long neck to reach for the stars.

A Mappin and Webb ornamental dining table accessory set featuring a giraffe and palm trees soared from a humble estimate of £100 to make £1,800.

Why? Well, Mappin & Webb are heavyweights when it comes to quality and provenance. They can trace their roots back to 1775 when Jonathan Mappin opened a silver workshop in Sheffield.

Jonathan’s great grandson John Mappin started his own business in London, Mappin & Company, in 1860, which became Mappin, Webb & Co. The first Mappin & Webb store opened in 1860 in Oxford Street, London, and the company’s candelabras, fine silverware and vanity products swiftly gained popularity.

The firm has created jewellery for royalty in the UK and internationally. Queen Victoria was the first British monarch to commission Mappin & Webb.

Another animal-related item to do well was lot 172, a diamond set 18ct gold elephant brooch which sold for £1,900. Animals and diamonds are a formidable combination. Together, or apart, they soar to glory.

In the same auction, lot 183, a diamond, two stone cross-over ring sold for £5,800 and lot 184, a diamond solitaire 18ct gold ring, made £4,300. A favourite of mine was lot 153, a diamond flower cluster 18ct white gold ring which reached £2,500. Anything like that at home? You could be sitting on a windfall.

Other items to soar included lot 84, a magnificent Archibald Knox for Liberty and Co clock, made in 1904. It made £5,200

Designer watches are hot property, too. Lot 240, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust wristwatch, circa 1988, sold for £3,500.

And don’t forget the family silver gathering dust. Lot 12, a contemporary six-piece silver cutlery set by Robert Welch for Heal’s, Sheffield, 1977, made £2,300.

If you have any silver, diamonds or ornamental gems gathering dust, we’re inviting entries for our November auctions until November 2. Join us at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, for free silver and jewellery valuations on Tuesdays, 9.30am-4.30pm, and Fridays, 10am-4pm, and free general valuations on Wednesdays, 5-7pm, Fridays, 10am-4pm, and Saturdays, 9am-noon. Valuers are also at Fairways Garden Centre, Clifton, Ashbourne, DE6 2GN, every Monday, 2.30-4pm. To find out more, visit