Blog - Grand Auctions

Putney Valuation Weekend In Review


All our staff descended on St. Mary’s Church in Putney to hold our first valuation weekend in London. We went with a little trepidation, what if no one turned up at all? We were made very welcome by the helpful staff, who settled us into a rather interesting room, the Cromwell Room. Attached to the church was a large and extremely good café offering a wide range of food and drink. We needn’t have worried, soon a large number of people appeared wanting valuations and items to be sold at auction.

The highlight in general items was a very large, beautiful, silver tray, which will be sold in our 20th February 2017 auction. As far as pictures were concerned, a client turned up with a family heirloom, a portrait of Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, as a young woman by James Sant. It was a fabulously beautiful image of an attractive and interesting subject. In many ways Beatrice is the forgotten child of Victoria, who rather dominated her life by keeping her unmarried as a comfort and secretary for many years. In the jewellery section an 18 ct gold Rolex Cellini and an old cut three stone diamond ring of good quality were the highlights.

Old cut three stone diamond ring

For me the weekend was made when I realised that St. Mary’s church was the venue for the remarkable Putney Debates in 1647. For my sins, I had read the typescript of the debates a few years ago and was astonished by the extraordinarily democratic way it was organised, when even the humblest soldier was allowed to play his part. Universal suffrage and such ideas were openly discussed, a debate centuries ahead of its time. The church had built an annex with excellent extracts from the debate and portraits of the main participants.

Our managing director had an amusing meeting with one of the members of the church. Alison was talking to a lady and asked her what her role was at the church. ‘I am the vicar.’, came the reply. All was well - she kindly offered all of us a cup of coffee.

Our 20th February 2017 sale will be online from Thursday 9th February. Click here for the catalogue. We will be returning to St Mary's Church in Putney on Saturday 18th March from 10 am - 2 pm. Please see our Valuations page for more details. If you need further information or have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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