Connoisseur's and Library Sale Results

Connoisseur's and Library sale grosses over £300,000 across a two day auction

Cheffins sold over £313,606-worth of coins, stamps, militaria, books, etchings and other collectables at the bi-annual Library and Connoisseur’s sales which were presented in a new two-day format. The Library Sale totalled £174,056 and the Connoisseur's Sale made £140,537.


Hosted over the 4th and 5th July, highlights of the sale included a selection of 52 etchings of views of Rome by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, dating from around 1774, which sold for four times their estimate at £30,000. Also within the Library Sale was a lady’s scrap album, dating from 1820 which included a selection of drawings, sketches and watercolours, attributed to Charles D’Oyly, the British public office painter from Dhaka from the late 18th century; a number of works by George Chinnery, another English painter who spent the majority of his life in India and Southern China, were offered, as well as a series of other prints. These achieved £20,000.  

The much-anticipated Connoisseur’s Sale included a part of the top sail of the famous battleship, HMS Victory, after the Battle of Trafalgar. It came with an authentication letter from the National Maritime Museum, and was sold for £4,750 following interest from around the world, eventually selling to an internet bidder. Also amongst the militaria section was a NEMA Cipher machine, dating from 1948. The NEMA was an electromechanical cipher machine which was manufactured in Switzerland after WWII to replace the German Enigma K which had fallen from grace when messages from the Swiss Army were found to have been read by both German and Allied forces. The NEMA was sold for £3,250.  

In addition, there was a healthy entry of good quality collector’s stamps offered for sale which generated a total of £49,143, ranging from individual specimens to complete albums. Stamps proved to still hold generous values with a single unused stamp selling for £8,125. Antique coins also sold well, generating a total of £29,787. The highest value lot amongst the coin selection was a cased selection of ten gold sovereigns, dating from George III to Elizabeth II which was sold for £3,250. 

Charles Ashton, Director, Cheffins comments:“The Library and Connoisseur’s Sales complemented each other perfectly and drew a series of private collectors and trade buyers over the two day period. The result for the Piranesi plates was a strong result for a library auction and we were pleased to be able to offer these important works on behalf of a national charity. Similarly, the part of HMS Victory’s topsail was unsurprisingly a popular lot. A difficult item to value due to the lack of precedents, but a hammer price of almost double our lower estimate was a pleasing result for this fragment of military history. Coins and stamps are still popular amongst collectors and this was illustrated by the strength of prices paid for the best examples on offer.” 

The Library and Connoisseur’s Sales took place on 4th & 5th July at Cheffins, Clifton House, 1-2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, UK, CB1 7EA.

For more information, contact the Fine Art team on 01223 213343.  Prices reported are inclusive of buyers’ premium at 25%.

For further media information, please contact Sophie Richardson, PR Manager, Cheffins, 01223 271990. 




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