Young's Auctions



Youngs Auction of Farnham are to hold their first fine auction in their new premises.

The sale includes the collection of Margaret Bide long time Farnham resident and specialist in woven textiles. Margaret’s passion for her subject was ignited on her first day studying and never diminish She was at Farnham Art College, now UCA, for over thirty years, as student, lecturer and finally department head.

In 1965 after completing a survey of over eighty Welsh wool mills, Margaret purchased the derelict water powered Glanffrwd Mill Cellan Wales and later took on the enormous task of restoring it. The Margaret Bide collection of woven textiles was amassed over a period of over fifty years. Her particular passion for the early Welsh blankets is evident. Many of the blankets are undyed and appear in the cream and black of the sheep in the Welsh fields, others have the inclusion of indigo and other natural dyes. Most were produced by hand on narrow width looms in the 19th and early 20th C. In this period the Welsh blanket had a huge cultural significance, blankets were made for the farming families and rural communities often using wool from their own sheep, bought to the local mill. When people had to leave their communities to find work far away or even abroad, the Welsh blanket was a piece of home that could be taken with them.

Trips to Scandinavia in the late 1950’s and later other European Countries brought contact with other eminent weavers and important examples of woven textiles were added to her collection. A very rare early Finnish folk art Ryijy rug tapestry dated 1722 is certain to bring International Interest. The Ryijy was in the 18th C created by travelling weavers, often commissioned to celebrate a marriage. The bride and groom dancing on the rug during the ceremony and forming part of the bride’s dowry.

Margaret completed restoration of the mill for which she was awarded a commendation. Her wish to form a museum and study centre sadly never came to fruition, however her determination to preserve examples of traditional woven textiles has resulted in her very rare collection. She retained a house in Farnham, and the mill in Cellan with surrounding properties until her death in April 2019. The mill has recently been listed and so will be preserved for future generations.

Unusual items from the estate include, a Moonstone brooch with Royal provenance, made by Royal Jewellers Collingwood & Co, and given by Princess Victoria Mary of Teck who became Queen Mary it carries a guide of £800-1200 Among the furniture a fine Regency period country house sofa, with its japanned & gilt decoration fully restored. Other furniture in the collection including a late 17th C. Flemish oak armoire wardrobe with panelled doors, and a William & Mary chest were both originally part of the furnishings of the Old Vicarage one of Farnham’s oldest houses.

To learn more about Margaret Bide, listen to Crafts Lives on The British Sound Library Young’s Auctions of Farnham have established themselves as the towns’ favourite auction house for antiques and collectables.  

A good collection of silver has already been consigned and the auction house is keen to see more. Silver has been valued for centuries, its beauty, reflection of light and intrinsic value have meant that it graced the tables of the wealthy and the fashionable. Silver as a precious metal is at an eight-year high but antique silver is still admired for the craftsmanship that went into its making.

A silver basket made in the last decade of the 18th century, dated London 1793 is in a boat form, often referred to as sweetmeat baskets, in the year of George III it would have been piled high with candied fruits, quince jellies, and cakes, Youngs has put a price guide of £500-800 on this rare piece.

A pair of silver candlesticks were made by William Café of London in 1763, they are engraved with a mystery family crest, which features a hound and a cornet, Youngs are expecting them to make in the region of £1000-1500.

The sale will also feature an Irish silver tray produced by the Dublin maker William Cummins, Irish and Scottish silver is sought after, on the grounds of its relative rarity. Auctioneer Christopher Young predicts that International online bidding may well take this piece to beyond its £800-£1200 estimate.


LATEST NEWS - February 2021

While opportunities for buyers of antiques are limited at present, Young’s Auctions of Farnham reports brisk bidding in their ‘Attic and Cellar Sale’ on January 30th. It seems that lockdown has allowed many more people to evaluate the contents of their attics, with some interesting finds among the cobwebs.

A group of vintage recorders was one such lot, the instrument is normally associated with the early efforts of school children to produce music, but in this case a rare Kung base recorder drew plenty of interest, bringing a final price of £700.

Two lots of stamps in albums sold for £390 and £420, with other groups making between £50 and £100.

An attic find of tribal fish spears, drew interest from bidders overseas, selling for £260 and £220 was achieved for a pair of daggers of Eastern origin.

A carpenter’s old pine chest with vintage woodworking tools, that had been in storage for some years, went to £440 against an estimate of £150-£250, a pleasant surprise for the owner!

From the cellar a bottle Hennessey Cognac in a library case sold for £430, while groups of wines and spirits took between £100-200 each. 

Jewellery proved popular with a vintage ruby ring doubling top estimate at £330 and the same for a gold gem set bracelet.

Online bidding allows interested buyers to view the lots online; with plenty of clear resolution images it is easy to assess the Lots that catch your eye. If you are a successful bidder collection is by appointment only.  

Young's Auctions are now accepting items for the next auction date on March 20th and their ‘Spring Fine Sale’ on April 24th, when it is hoped that visitors can be welcomed to their new larger saleroom.  Collection from your home is possible but with auction premises situated in the centre of Farnham and adjacent parking, this allows clients to drop off items in a COVID secure manner .  



A Minton majolica dancing bear, sold for £2400 at Young’s last auction, with numerous bidders on the internet and telephone vying for ownership of the rare but ‘injured’ bear. The ceramics section also saw other excellent results, including a Daisy Makeig-Jones, Fairyland lustre vase with a hammer price of £900 and a small 19th C. Chinese crocus vase selling to an international bidder for £480.

The auction in Farnham town centre attracts a varied assortment of lots and the last sale was no exception. Silver and jewellery proved particularly popular with a 90% sale rate. Kings pattern silver cutlery sold for a very respectable £850 and an unusual Scottish silver coffee pot is heading home to Scotland after bidding took it to £480; also heading home a small Chinese silver ingot that made a surprising £220.

In jewellery, a fine platinum ruby and diamond ring, sold for £900 and two unusual Art Nouveau silver pieces took £430.

Christopher Young, who moved his auction business to Farnham two years ago, has specialist knowledge in books, which has served him well on a number of occasions; although he stresses that sadly most books have little re-sale value. Some including rare antique and 20th century first editions attract huge interest from collectors. ‘The Bell Jar’, written by Sylvia Plath under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas, sold at Youngs auction for £3000  a world record auction price for this edition. During the same house visit, Christopher spotted a ‘tired’ looking table lamp with an interesting ceramic vase base. In spite of the chipped condition this Persian copy of a Chinese vase, converted into a lamp stand, sold for £3200.