23 Aug 2019
May 14, 2012 - Filed under: Antiques on TV — Harriet

Flog It! fans in Cumbria may have heard that an antique desk stand sold for £5,000 at the auction house run by one of the show’s valuation experts.

Kate Bateman is no stranger to BBC TV antiques programmes, making regular appearances on Bargain Hunt and Flog It! where she specialises in pottery and silverware, amongst other items. Her ability to identify the value of items gathering dust in antique cabinets is no surprise, as she is also a co-partner at her family’s auction house in Lincolnshire.

On 3rd May, Kate’s firm took charge of ten items made by master silversmith William Robb of Ballater, including a silver inkstand commissioned by the Ballater curling club in 1910. Such stands would still have been commonplace on antique oak partners desks of the period. In this case, the stand was made as a wedding gift for the owner of the land on which the club played. With eight sculpted curling players and two inkwells in the form of curling stones, the piece would today be ideal as a trophy, as curling is still widely played both in and outside Scotland. However, despite its cast iron provenance the inkstand just managed to realise its lower estimate of £5,000. A William Robb prototype “Balmoral” box fared better, selling for £4,100 against an estimate of £3,000 – £5,000. It is believed the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee may have helped.

Whether it’s an antique inkstand or an antique desk, Lancashire owners should remember they have to pay commission on anything they buy or sell at auction. It is often better to go to an antique dealer.

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