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Sandwich Auction Room sells dolls house for £22,000

A record lot at an auction saw a collector splash out £22,000 for a dolls house.

Auctioneer Kevin Hall thought the 1820s item was likely to fetch around £5,000 but was amazed to bang the hammer at more than four times that amount at Sandwich Auction Room.

He had two collectors bidding on the Regency three-storey item as he went up in increments of £500, with the winner being an unnamed woman from Dorset.

The dolls house thought to have been made nearly 200 years ago
The dolls house thought to have been made nearly 200 years ago

He described the mood as “electric” with the room of 150 people celebrating the sale with a round of applause.

While it’s not a new world record for an antique dolls house, it is a record for Sandwich and a “career highlight” for Mr Hall.

He said: “I felt mildly shocked. I wanted to make sure I wrote it down with the right amount of noughts to make sure we weren’t undercharging.

“I had 420 items in the auction and this was in the middle - lot 205.

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall

“I had another two hours of work to do so I couldn’t really savour the moment.

“The next lot was a copper hot water bottle which sold for £10, which made everyone laugh.

“Afterwards people were saying ‘wow’. The chat around the room was really electric.”

Auctions have been taking place in Sandwich for more than 150 years, with Mr Hall explaining that trends have evolved from cattle to antiques, with Scandinavian and Danish furniture now in high demand.

The 58-year-old from Ash has been the auctioneer at Sandwich Auction Room for 25 years.

“This wasn’t a world record but a record for Sandwich...” Kevin Hall

He said: “This dolls house was from the 1820s and all of its contents was still from then. Nothing had been taken away or added. The carpets, the copper sauce pans, wicker and the family - mum, dad, children and servants were still from the 1820s.”

Its features also included a built in dresser and open range, four poster beds, china tableware and a birdcage.

He continued: “It came from Kingsdown and it’s been in a family for over 150 years.

“The lady had just passed away. She was a Miss and with nobody to inherit, the money is going to charity.”

It is not known which charity will benefit.

He continued: “We sold it with a photograph album of her family in the 1920s playing with the house which I think helped add to it’s value.”

Auctioneer Kevin Hall with the dolls house which sold for £22,000 (8490790)
Auctioneer Kevin Hall with the dolls house which sold for £22,000 (8490790)

The monthly Wednesday events used to take place inside The Drill Hall on the Quay but moved to St Mary’s Centre in Strand Street around five years ago.

He added: “It’s been collected and it’s gone. The collector is very pleased.

“I’ve received many congratulations and had people coming up to me to check [it’s genuine]. Some people have seen it on the website and called in to say, ‘Is that right?’.

“Our range is generally anything from £100 to £5,000. Anything that’s worth more we would normally send to a London auctioneer to sell on our behalf.

“The last world record we had was for a Bear Grease pot which sold for £6,000 in 2009.

“This wasn’t a world record but a record for Sandwich.”

Some people have seen it on the website and called in to say, ‘Is that right?’..." Kevin Hall

The record for a doll’s house achieved at auction is thought to be held by Titania’s Palace, built by cabinet makers James Hicks & Sons (1907-1922), and sold in 1978, for £135,000.

In the same auction held on Wednesday, April 10, a pair of Liberty 1900 jade and diamond earrings from the same house clearance sold for £1,200.

The auctions are free to attend. The next one will be held on Wednesday, May 15 with viewing taking place the day before between 9am and 4pm.

For more information, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich

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