Saleroom Life

by Sheffield Auction Gallery

Month: April 2017


The medieval bedroom was a very different room to the modern 21st century bedroom. There were no beds with slide out drawers and there were no fitted wardrobes. Where did medieval woman store all her medieval possessions?

The earliest form of moveable storage furniture was the hollowed out log and these primitive beginnings are still evoked by the name “trunk” for a travelling container. During the medieval
period simple chests and coffers were used as containers for a wide variety of objects and items.

However these chests were not exactly convenient forms of storage and during the 17th century more sophisticated methods of storage designed for storing specific items such as books, clothing and linen were developed.

The medieval period though saw the chest as the main storage method and it was made in huge numbers. Generally they were containers with flat, hinged lids usually with feet to keep the carcass away from the damp floor and usually with handles. Coffers were travelling trunks without feet but with handles. Chests were made by joiners and coffers were made by cofferers.

A simple chest consisted of six planks nailed or dovetailed together, with the vertical slab ends shaped at the bottom to form feet. Later, in the 15th century, the chest developed a framed and panelled construction and this style was immediately more popular with the everyday chest buyer. The chest in a similar form has remained popular right up to the present day and throughout the centuries the framed and panelled construction developed in the 15th century has essentially stayed the same.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

Popping the question?

Sheffield Auction Gallery’s Spring Fine Jewellery, Silver & Watches Auction On Thursday 4th May Includes Over 50 Single Lots Of Diamond & Gem Set Rings.

Something For Every Budget, Whether Antique, Vintage, Modern Or New – At A Fraction Of The High Street Cost.

Although The Current Trend For Antique & Vintage Pieces (Enhanced By Their Character & Romantic History) Are Highly Sought After, When Buying At Auction You Get More For Your Money With A Larger, More Attractive Choice That Will Hold Their Value Better, Without Breaking The Bank.

A small selection of Diamond Rings going under the hammer at Sheffield Auction Gallery

A small selection of Diamond Rings going under the hammer at Sheffield Auction Gallery

Diamonds Have Always Been The Stone Of Choice For Many Brides-To-Be, However The Auction Also Includes Coloured Gemstones, Together With Earrings, Brooches, Bracelets & Necklaces – All Perfect For That Special Gift.

All Items Are Available To View In Person The Day Before The Sale, With Staff On Hand To Advise On Any Lot & Talk You Through The Buying Process.

For All Enquiries Please Contact Specialist Valuer Sarah Clark On 0114 281 6161
Or Email:

Viewing Times:
Wednesday 3rd May, 10am-4.45pm & Thursday 4th May, 8.30am-10am (Sale Starts at 10am)
Sheffield Auction Gallery, Windsor Road, Heeley, Sheffield S8 8UB.


Fans are delicate and intriguing accessories that appeal to collectors both for the insight into the fashion and etiquette of a period, as well as their value as artistic and well crafted items in their own right.

The fan’s decorated fabric or paper is known as the leaf. The framework to which the leaf is mounted is made from “sticks” and the two outside sticks are known as guards and these are often
decorated. Brise fans are made entirely from sticks.

Fans had many uses besides the ability to keep their owners cool. Ladies were courted with gifts of fans, opera goers used them to hide behind while spying on others and lovers used them to flirt. In fact the language of the fan soon developed so that people could communicate without speaking.

The intricate paintings and decorations on fans was prized by the Chinese centuries ago, but it took the Western enthusiasts until the second half of the nineteenth century to realise their beauty and begin to collect them. Collectors today can store their collections in acid-free paper which will protect them from deterioration and insect damage.

Fans painted by famous artists such as Degas and Toulouse Lautrec are extremely sought after as are fans covering specialist subjects such as travel and particularly ballooning. As well as design,
other fans that are popular include ones from the 1920’s and 1930’s made from exotic materials such as feathers and celluloid fans of the same period which opened to reveal lipstick, powder and
a mirror. In general however and taking into account condition, the earlier the fan the higher the price.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

Sweetmeat Glasses

Within the field of glass collecting, drinking glasses have always commanded the greatest interest from enthusiasts, but there is a whole sphere of glass production which is equally as exciting and readily available to the collector.

The Georgians loved their desserts and the taking of dessert was an important occasion in it’s own right. The late 18th century was a time when the wealthiest members of society entertained with
parties incorporating a large and varied amount of food, as well as generous amounts of wine and desserts.

Desserts may be taken with the meal or served away from the table in a kind of buffet form which could be directly after the dinner or later in the evening. The kind of treats on offer included
candied fruit, marshmallows, crystallised citrus peels and almonds.

These desserts would be served in glasses on tall stems known as suckets that resemble drinking glasses. They would also be served on footed and stemmed plates and saucers known as tazzas
and comports. Shorter thicker glasses with practically no stem were also used for holding jelly and ice creams. Custard cups, another variant on the jelly glass, were used for syllabub ( a creamy
alcoholic sweetmeat ), egg custard and egg trifles. Sometimes all of these vessels would be presented on large stemmed salvers placed in the form of a pyramid.

These wonderful Georgian occasions and marvellous Georgian sweetmeats have provided the modern collector with an enormous wealth of collecting opportunity.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

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