The front doors of Abbey Road Studios are the stars of our pick of five auction highlights


Entrance gates to Abbey Road Recording Studios – £ 14,000 at Ewbank’s.

1. Entrance gates to Abbey Road Studios – £ 14,000

Ewbank’s in Send, Surrey donated the doors to the original Abbey Road Recording Studios foyer in an auction of entertainment, memorabilia and movie props on February 25.

The doors, which the Beatles would have passed through to record about 90% of their material between 1962 and 1970, were a staple from 1931 to 1988. Removed as part of a renovation, they were acquired by an EMI executive and have remained in private property ever since.

Sound engineer and studio manager Ken Townsend, who worked at Abbey Road from 1950 to 1995, provided a letter of authenticity. The doors were priced between £ 2,000 and £ 4,000 but did better, selling for £ 14,000.

2. Rare Rolex 1974 watch – £ 123,000

rolex watch

1974 Rolex Milisub Edition – £ 123,000 at Sterling Vault.

Dials, bezels, hands and crowns were often replaced during Rolex maintenance. Thus, there is a premium to pay for watches that have escaped regular episodes of restoration and replacement. The watch in good original condition is rarity.

The sale at Sterling Vault in Farnham, Surrey on February 25 included a version of the Rolex Submariner or Milisub military edition. Rolex supplied 5,513 benchmark watches for British Special Forces throughout the 1970s, although during the decade they only numbered 1,200 units.

Of these, only a third are thought to have survived in their original condition retaining “sword” hands and what was a new style bezel calibrated to 0-60. The letter T in a circle on the dial indicates the presence of titanium.

The example here, made circa 1974 with the MOD number, a wide military arrow and an issue date of 1974 on the case back, was rated “exceptionally good” with all items considered original. It was sold with a Rolex service guarantee dated June 2008 and comes with a purchase receipt dated 2008 from a reputable London showroom.

Estimated at £ 80,000, it took £ 123,000 – a house record. Auctioneer Elliot Franks said the watch gave the seller a 100% return on investment over 12 years.

3. Marcel Breuer short chair – £ 7600

  Marcel Breuer chair

Isokon plywood short chair designed by Marcel Breuer – £ 7,600 at Dawson.

This short plywood chair was designed by Marcel Breuer for the pioneer London company Isokon where the Hungarian worked alongside former Bauhaus colleague Walter Gropius after fleeing Germany.

Production of the chair began in 1936 and continued until 1939 when the UK’s plywood stock was requisitioned for the war effort and the Isokon factory closed.

Production resumed in 1963 and continues today, making the chair offered at Dawson’s in Maidenhead on February 25 difficult to date. After selling it to a private bidder for £ 7,600, several times the estimate of £ 400 to £ 600, auctioneer Harrison Goldman concluded that the chair was pre-war.

The chair got its name because it was a 1.02 m (3’4 ”) adaptation of Breuer’s more numerous solid birch and laminate lounge chair, including an example from the same house of Hampstead was also offered to Maidenhead. The 4ft 9in (1.46m) lounge chair, again pre-war, sold in the UK for £ 3,600.

4. Age of Empire Correspondence – £ 16,000

Letters from Robert Scott

18th and 19th century correspondence relating to Robert Scott, Fairlie and Company – £ 16,000 at Lyon & Turnbull.

The sale of Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps and Photographs at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on February 24 and 25 included a deed box containing a large quantity of 18th and 19th century correspondence sent to Robert Scott (1777-1884) and his company Robert Scott, Fairlie and company.

The company was an intermediary between the East India Company and the people of India and had connections with plantation owners in other parts of the empire. Estimated between £ 3,000 and £ 4,000, it took £ 16,000.

In his job, The Scottish Connection with India 1725-1833, George McGilvary succinctly describes the role of these organizations:, The East India Company would not have fulfilled its main commercial function or been able to send money to London. “

The correspondence in the collection, which ranged from business and politics to family affairs, offers valuable insight into British colonial attitudes and opinions at the time.

A letter dated April 10, 1836 states: “We have of course no way of forming an opinion as to the present value of the Belvédère plantation, but we have always considered that it would be extremely desirable that the parties involved have of all of their property. in the island if an eligible opportunity arises… ”

An earlier letter from General Archibald Watson to Robert Scott, discussing life in India, talks about the Indian Mutiny at Barrackpore in 1824 and his views on the future of the British Empire in India: rather grim across the country. … … I don’t think we’ll ever lose our Eastern Empire – but I have no doubt that it will fall apart … “

5. Lithograph by Simon Patterson – £ 1950

The lithography of the Big Dipper

‘The Great Bear’, a lithograph signed by Simon Patterson – £ 1950 at Moore Allen & Innocent.

The Great Bear the lithograph is the personal view of conceptual artist Simon Patterson (b.1967) on the 1991 London Underground map. Each tube line represents a category of “celebrity” while Patterson replaced station names with names of engineers, philosophers, explorers, planets, journalists, footballers, musicians, film actors, saints, Italian artists, sinologists (Chinese scholars), actors and ‘Louis’ (kings of France). Names on the map range from obscure figures to well-known figures from popular culture

Patterson produced 50 limited edition prints in anodized aluminum frames, regularly used by London Transport. This copy is inscribed on the lower right in black marker For Sue and dated 2002.

Offered by Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester on February 24 with a guide just £ 40-60, it sold for £ 1,950.


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