Carpets Fly at Mallams’ House and Garden Sale


Mallams’ Abingdon House & Garden Sale included more than 75 lots of rugs and carpets, and a 17th century Spanish woollen rug (lot 643) proved highly popular. With a yellow and blue design, and measuring just under 3 metres long, it really caught the eye of several bidders, in spite of signs of extensive wear, achieving a final hammer price of £3000.

Another rug – this time a stunning Persian silk rug (lot 663) - also performed well selling to an online bidder for £1200, more than 30% above top estimate. An antique Persian carpet (lot 633) also outperformed, with the hammer falling at £1700.

Lot 1 in the sale, a Georgian green tortoiseshell tea caddy, proved very popular amongst bidders. Tortoiseshell needs backing paper behind it in order to best show its colour and pattern. Originally, tea caddies with green or red backing paper were less desirable and deemed inferior to those that had a brown backing so the best tortoiseshell pieces were used for the brown backed caddies. This meant that not so many green or red backed ones were made, making these coloured examples much rarer and more desirable today. This was certainly true with lot 1 in Mallams’ sale with competitive bidding pushing the price ever upwards, eventually selling to an online bidder for £1900.

Mallams was pleased to see great interest in a George III oak eight day longcase clock of diminutive dimensions (lot 5).  Made by George Lupton of Altringham (listed in Britten as working circa 1780) and featuring blue backed glazed panels with painted floral ornament, this clock was unusually small (just 196cm tall) which possibly helped to attract bidders and push the hammer price to £1800, just below top estimate.

A really interesting item included in the sale was a Curta Calculator Type 1 (lot 35) dating from circa 1959. This hand held mechanical calculator was designed by Curt Herzstark, and was compact enough to fit in the palm of the hand, its cylindrical shape earning it the nicknames of the ‘pepper grinder’ and ‘math grenade’.  Curtas were considered the best portable calculators available until electronic calculators were introduced in the 1970s. This fascinating lot saw some competitive bidding and sold for £450, just above top estimate.

Fine wine enthusiasts were spoilt for choice in the House and Garden Sale with two separate lots of Chateau Latour 1986 (lots 491 and 492), still in original paper, selling to the same online bidder for £450 and £480 respectively and a magnum of Chateau Margaux Premier Grand Cru Classe 2001 (lot 484) going to a USA based buyer for the top estimate of £400. A Jeroboam of Bollinger (lot 485) sold for £190 (estimate £150- £250) and a case of six bottles of Chateau Gruaud Larose 2003 (lot 494) saw a winning bid of £350, just above its £300 top estimate.

Mallams is now accepting entries for its Home Sale in November and its Collectors’ Sale in December. If you have any interesting items you are considering selling at auction, please email Henry Cooke on or Duncan Lloyd on  for a free, informal valuation.

All prices are subject to a 30% buyers' premium (VAT inclusive). 



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