Kyrle Probus Club
   of Ross-on-Wye

 

Cash in the Attic

July 7th Talk

KYRLE Probus Club held its own ‘Cash in the Attic’ at its recent meeting when Rita Kearsey, MRICS, of Smiths of Newent, held a valuation of objets d’art brought along by members and their wives.  Rita kept her audience enthralled as she described each item, explored its history and gave her estimate of its value.

Objects ranging from a Victorian Polyphon musical box with discs, valued at over £1,000, a Chinese silver box made of melted down Hong Kong dollars, worth £500 to £600, an unsigned oil painting dating from the early 19th century, worth £200 to £300, a Merrythought soft toy monkey, worth £100 to £150, to a Victorian moustache cup, worth just £10, were among the large number of items up for valuation.

Before the valuation, Rita talked of how she had become involved in antiques. It had all started with a Saturday job in an antiques shop in Dorking, Surrey, where she was brought up. She then took a three year course to be a valuer and auvtioneer followed by a two year professional assessment period.

She eventually became manager of an auction room in Kingston, Surrey, before setting up her own business. Five years ago, her husband’s job meant a move to Herefordshire and after a bit of a search, she was offered a job by Smiths in Newent.

She said they were very busy in part because they joined the ‘internet revolution’ She explained that on-line bidding involved a lot of work for the auctioneers. They have to take pictures of every item and have to be very careful with the description of each item. They also have a great many e-mail enquiries, which have to be answered. Online bidding can slow down an auction, depending on how good the broadband reception is, she said.

People bid from as far away as Australia, Japan, America, the Middle East. “So there we are a little auction room in Newent, getting bids and calls from all over the world,” she said. After the online bidding, they have to take payment and then package up the items and post them off, a bit of a logistical nightmare for the staff, she added.

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