Two rare telephones from the 1950’s have just totalled a record £6,500 at a Staffordshire auction.
The dial telephones, originally rented out by the GPO in the mid 1950’s attracted substantially increased subscription cost at the time over the standard black issue due to the colour – red and green. By the 1960’s more people could afford to have a telephone and new models were mass-produced making the earlier models look dated and thus most were put in the skip when they were replaced by newer models.
There was a great deal of national pre-sale press coverage and the story of their discovery and sale was featured on BBC Radio WM. Fine Arts Manager at Richard Winterton Auctioneers of Lichfield Adrian Rathbone comments:
‘I am delighted with the sale result which exceeded our £3,000 expectations. The purchaser has had a great buy as these are rare items that are an important part of this country’s communication history. I hope it inspires other people to venture into their attics to see if they have any old telephones as they may be unaware that these items made of plastic could be worth so much..’.
The purchaser is an anonymous UK private buyer who travelled to the saleroom in Lichfield to view the phones in person.
Elsewhere in the same two-day Antiques, Home & Interiors Sale, Lot 326, a nineteenth century marine themed ormolu desk clock and barometer thought to have been made by Betjemann of London sold in the room for £1,200. Lot 367, an antique ivory chess set discovered amongst the contents of a house clearance in Sutton Coldfield sailed past the estimate to bring £2,100 from a Netherlands buyer bidding on the telephone.
In the toy section, Lot 468, a rare boxed Dinky Toys Trojan Van sold for £320 to an internet buyer. Lot 555, an oil painting by Hilder Rowland (1905-1993) sold to a telephone bidder for £1,300. In the ceramics section a Sutton Coldfield private collection of Moorcroft Collectors Club wares totalled £2,400
In the furniture section a series of good quality modern ‘Arabesque’ oak furniture of traditional design totalled £1,500.
The next two-day Antique, Home & Interiors Auction is 28th/29th May and will include a special section for fine wines and spirits. Entries close Monday 12th May. Please phone Richard Winterton Auctioneers on 01543 251081 for further details. www.richardwinterton.co.uk