Hidden jewellery sells for £10,000 at auction in Louth

Included in the secret drawers were a pair of cufflinks that sold for three times more than the estimate.
Included in the secret drawers were a pair of cufflinks that sold for three times more than the estimate.

A collection of hidden jewellery sold for a whopping £10,000 at an auction held in Louth last week - but the chest of drawers they were found in sold for only £45!

As reported in The Leader last week, auctioneers at John Taylors discovered the secret drawer in an item of furniture delivered to their saleroom after the clearance of an estate house in the Wolds.

Inset: A Victorian Narwhale tusk walking stick also sold better than expected in the saleroom.

Inset: A Victorian Narwhale tusk walking stick also sold better than expected in the saleroom.

The auction, held last Tuesday, (January 30), saw 15 lots of jewellery from the hidden compartment go under the hammer.

James Laverack, director at John Taylors said he was ‘very impressed’ with how well the jewellery sold but admitted he was disappointed that the drawers didn’t get a higher price.

He explained: “All of the uncovered jewellery items sold extremely well, some beyond all expectation.

“I did mention in the saleroom when the chest of drawers came up that it was the item where the jewellery was found,but it only sold for £45.”

Mr Laverack admitted he nearly put in a bid for the chest himself.

He also confirmed that if the auctioneers had never found the secret compartment, someone could have bought the drawers for £45 - and then discovered the jewellery hidden inside.

He added: “Someone could have walked away with £10,000 worth of jewellery for £45.”

There was, of course, a chance any new owner might not have found the secret drawer.

Of the 15 lots of jewellery, the big surprise was the sale of a pair of 18 carat gold reverse intaglio cufflinks featuring lions and rhinos.

They sold for £2,000 - three times the pre-sale estimate.

There was also a pair of 18 carat gold reverse intaglio cufflinks featuring dogs heads which went for £1,100 - double the amount expected

In all, the auction featured 800 items.

Another lot that created a lot of interest was a Victorian walking stick, made from a ‘Narwhale’ tusk.

The pre-sale estimate was £700 but the item actually sold for £2,700.

Mr Laverack said the auction was one of the best John Taylors had held had for some time.

He added: “Auctions and discovering secret items are always very exciting for us.

“You never know what you’re going to find.

“All of the jewellery lots sold for more than we expected so we were really pleased.

“Every auction we hold is different, but this one had a really good feel to it.

“We are hoping we get more like it in the future.”

Due to the number of items on sale, a further 15 items of jewellery found in the drawers will now appear in the saleroom on March 6.

Mr Laverack said once all of the jewellery items are sold, he expects an aggregate total of around £20,000.