Two Clare businessmen have staged their first successful auction at Clare Town Hall seeing everything from a discarded Vespa to a £25,000 diamond ring go under the hammer.
Robin Stone who runs Market Hill Antiques and Frank Harris who runs Harris and Harris Books with his wife Kate got together to form Clare Auctions and their first event on Saturday saw 469 lots up for sale.
The duo wanted to return antique auctions to the town after the existing auction house site in Church Street was developed for housing.
Frank said: “We were aware as traders that most auction days saw a lot of people coming into the town which benefitted not only the auction but also the other businesses. We want to get that business back in the town as people come to visit Clare locally and from further afield.”
The new business also provides a good deal for sellers as there is a one off entry fee based on the auction estimate or reserve with the seller receiving 100 per cent of the hammer price regardless of how high the bidding goes.
The business also benefits from the support of several experts including Clive Beardall, furniture. Chris Papworth, horology, and Paul Bishop, glass. On Saturday the Vespa, which had been left in a barn for several years, attracted great interest and went for £1,300.
Frank added: “Clare has always been a working town and doesn’t attract the tourists maybe like Lavenham but it offers a great deal for people in the surrounding area. We haven’t fared badly in the recession but you’re always conscious of wanting to keep it thriving.”
There are a further three dates this year, July 26, September 20 and October 25 and there are 11 more planned for next year.
More is available on www.clareauction.com