After busy viewing events in London, Derbyshire and Birmingham, Fellows Auctioneers held their much anticipated Blue John Sale earlier this month in the Jewellery Quarter. Those attending the busy saleroom were not left disappointed, with lots reaching high hammer prices along with an exceptional over 95% sold rate.
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 & Fine Art Specialist at Fellows who led the sale, commented that “Blue John is big news at the moment following the discovery of a major new seam at Treak Cliff in Derbyshire.”
With private and trade buyers filling the seats, along with international customers on the telephones and online, hammer highlights were easy to come by. Examples included Lot 1, a fine Blue John pedestal dish or tazza, sold with a hammer price of £4,400, double the £1,500-£2,000 estimate, as well as the star piece that ended the sale, a ormolu-mounted Blue John urn attributed to Matthew Boulton selling for £21,000.
Lot 1, A Fine Blue John pedestal dish or tazza. Estimate £1,500-2,000 hammer price £4,400
Lot 24a, A rare Blue John and bronze table. Estimate £1,500-2,000 hammer price £4,800
Lot 33, A good pair of Blue John Urns. Estimate £2,000-£3,000 hammer price £5,100
Lot 36, A rare Georgian Blue John paperweight. Estimate £200-300, hammer price £780
Lot 135, A Blue John pedestal dish or tazza. Estimate £600 – £800, hammer price £3,500
Lot 160, A large and fine Blue John pedestal urn. Estimate £5,000 – £7,000, hammer price £7,600
Lot 246, A pair of Blue John urns. Estimate £400 – £600, hammer price £2,400
Lot 253, A magnificent ormolu-mounted Blue John urn attributed to Matthew Boulton. Estimate £20,000 – £30,000, hammer price £21,000