MASCo Walcot Salvage & Statuary

Closing Down Architectural Auction


On Saturday 24th September 2011, we were instructed by Steve Tomlin and Debbie Kedge to conduct a clearance auction, of which resulted in our biggest sale total of the past decade and our biggest sale total to date!

MASCo was a quintessentialy English salvage yard which showcased an amazing blend of base reclaimed building materials with some of the most spectacular architectural pieces to be seen anywhere in the one location. The closure of the yard was a big loss to the local area but as you can imagine the hype generated during pre-auction reached feverpitch as we were very quickly involved in what turned out to be an auction of epic proportions!

As was to be expected with such amazing items included in the auction, the widely advertised event interested both trade and developers as well as end users. The  trade were all heavily represented with dealers from Wales, Northern Ireland, Cumbria, East Anglia and the Midlands as well as interested buyers from the local and surrounding areas.

The two auctions that boasted 1,590 lots between them consited of building materials in the main showroom and architectural pieces in a marquee. The sense of occasion was intensified with a champagne reception and rousing words of introduction spoken from the heart by Steve himself. The moment Glen Snelgar, one of our most experienced auctioneers, sold the first lot the race was on. Stone troughs were immediately selling for well above top estimate, a 32″ dia. granite round trough fetching £600 against a top estimate of £120 . This was repeated throughout the sale much to the dismay of the trade, who were hoping to pick up some bargains along the way, looked on in dismay, slightly shell shocked at the prices that were being realised. The battle for internal Cotswold stone flags fetched £280 per sq yard , plus vat and buyers premium that equates to £440 per sq metre. Forest of Dean flagstones weren’t far behind. The Lloyds of London marble cladding was fetching up to £1,000 pallet against the top estimate of £120. and there were 50 pallets of the stuff! In the other sale room pallets of Ashlar limestone were fetching £220 which were estimated to fetch around the £120 mark.

Of the “big ticket” items the Dorchester Hotel staircase sold for £12,500 (top est £8000) after fierce bidding in the room which seemed to just keep on going! The Ollerton Foundry gazebo went for £5,500 (est. £1500), the Charterhouse Entrance fetched a mid estimate £12,500 . One of the few failures was the Portland Stone Rotunda which was bought in at £25,000. Low to mid estimate prices were to be seen on a lot of the doors and fireplaces. Other attention grabbers: a cast iron statue of Mercury £2100 (est £600), Monet style bridge £5,000 (est £2500), carved statue of a shepherd boy £1,600 (est £500) and on and on with just too many fantastic prices to mention.

Our auctioneers worked the room well and created a fever pitch atmosphere, the like that gets even the stedfast bidders in the room competing for almost every lot being sold. Commission bids, the phones and the internet were all in frequent use throughout the day and there was amazing banter with the audience, for that is what it was. Pure theatre. Just after 6.00pm as darkness descended on the marquee, the sale was moved into main showroom. With a typical MASCo flourish, the wine was broken out to keep the still substantial crowd happy. The catering facilities supplied customers with venison and wild boar hot dogs as well as pheasant and partridge burgers!

It had been a long but exciting day for all involved, with an auction total not far short of £1m. The trade went away happy with the items they had managed to prize from the auctioneers. Speaking after the sale, Steve Tomlin commented stating “I was overwhelmed by the way it went and delighted and surprised to see so many familiar faces turning out. I intend to devote myself to campaigning for better recognition of the reclamation trade both from local and national bodies and to lecturing on environmental sustainability with the aim of re-using more reclaimed building materials and sending less to the crusher and land fill.”

So, a mammoth task completed and an era ended in a blaze of glory and it was a brilliant auction for all involved.

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