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Going, going gone! Check out this fab auction

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Well that was fun! I went to The Swan at Tetsworth earlier this week for its fine art auction – only the third held at this fantastic antique centre on the Bucks/Oxon borders – I came out hooked.

No doubt seeing David Dickinson filming Real Deal during the proceedings added a little tangerine frisson, but also I hadn’t realised what great bargains you can pick up at a fine art auction – I suppose the ‘fine art’ bit made me assume that all the stuff on sale would be way out of my price bracket, or specialist collector’s pieces.

david dickinson & tom keaneActually, the range of items on sale was massive – yes, there were some expensive pieces (the chauffeurs out the front of the antiques centre attesting to that), but actually there was loads I loved too, from an Edwardian jug and bowl set, to chandeliers and vintage fashion accessories.

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If, like me, your closest experience to an auction has been watching daytime telly shows, I can tell you that the reality is much more entertaining (no offence Mr Dickinson).

Basically you go and browse all the lots up in the three days before the auction, right up to the point when the auction is called. Then you sit or stand in the room where all the lots are on display, while Tom Keane – new(ish) owner of The Swan, who is an expert antiques auctioneer himself – runs the bidding. Each lot comes up on a flat screen TV so you can keep track of which item is being auctioned. It’s kind of like antique horse-racing.

for sale at auction
I’m on the  hunt for some special one-offs for my house – some art mainly but also just a couple of pieces that don’t look like they’ve come from John Lewis – and I’d hoped to have a good look around in the days running up to the auction. Unfortunately it’s been a bit of a crazy week on Muddy, so I didn’t get the chance, but I’m kind of kicking myself now though, because there were some cool pieces of furniture and objet d’art that I just hadn’t looked at closely enough to bid on.

It’s definitely given me the impulse to go back for the next auction though. No date set as yet but it will be sometime in early 2015, and as soon as word reaches my shell-like, I’ll pass it on to yours!

The Swan at Tetsworth, High Street Tetsworth, Oxon OX9 7AB. 10am to 6pm every day. Tel: 01844 281777.


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1 comment on “Going, going gone! Check out this fab auction”

  • Emma November 16, 2014

    Have ventured to the Swan many times and got dizzy walking round looking at all the antiques in every nook and cranny. Have also eaten there with friends, bumped into Mel Smith in the restaurant.


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