Fellows hits pay dirt with successful Blue John mineral auction

LONDON – Fellows Auctioneers held their highly anticipated Blue John mineral sale Oct. 5. With high hammer prices being the norm for the day, Fellows recorded an exceptional 95 percent sold rate. Ngeearts.com provided absentee and Internet live bidding.

All prices quoted are hammer prices, exclusive of the buyer’s premium.

Everything from delicate small bowls and goblets, to urns and large ornate items made up this collection of over 250 pieces, which is thought to be the largest ever sold at auction. There were also successful buyers bidding on raw Blue John material, such as Lot 161, a Blue John boulder which sold for 10 times its conservative estimate (£50-£80) with a hammer price of £560. As well as beautifully crafted bowls and goblets that fetched from as little as £500 to well over £1,000.

Mark Huddleston, antique and fine art specialist at Fellows led the sale. “Blue John is big news at the moment following the discovery of a major new seam at Treak Cliff in Derbyshire,” he said, noting its popularity was evident in Fellows’ auction.

With private and trade buyers filling the seats, along with international customers on the telephones and online, hammer highlights were easy to come by. Lot 1, a fine Blue John pedestal dish or tazza (above), sold with a hammer price of £4,400, double the £1,500-£2,000 estimate. Ending the sale with the star piece attributed to Matthew Boulton (below) selling for £21,000.

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