A couple of years ago I was the successful bidder on this large and very colourful, abstract painting from Cheffins auction house in Cambridge. It was painted by an Austrian, female artist, Jolan Williams, in 1961 and exhibited at The Women's International Art Club in 1985. As a statement piece, it brings a lot of fun and energy to the area in my house that it dominates.

Jolan Williams, Abstract in green and orange, 1961

There's so many alluring colours in this piece that it has been easy to accent it with soft furnishings, including these playful dip-dyed curtain tiebacks by the talented Jessica Light. I love choosing seasonal flowers for the dining table, which complement the painting beautifully throughout the year too. 

Image: © Jessica Light

Buying artworks, furniture & antique objects at auction can be a hugely fun and savvy way to inject individuality and style into your home.  Cheffins in Cambridge is a great local auctioneer, their Fine Art and Interiors sales never disappoint.

The major auction houses in London and other big cities are a great way to acquire pieces by the more acclaimed artists throughout history, but delve a little deeper into the smaller, local auction houses and you'll be sure to find pieces that are more accessible.  Below is a selection of local auctioneers that you might like to look into online and sign up to their auction alerts for future sales. The Saleroom, a website through which many fine art auction houses host their online sales live, is a great resource for finding other regional auctioneers.

For anyone who hasn't experienced an auction before, I can assure you that they are not intimidating environments at all. In fact, most local auction houses are very laid back and it is easy to view the entire sale collection in the days leading up to the sale if you can get there in advance.

You can bid online or over the phone if you can't make it to the auction in person. If you do attend, fear not that a scratch of the nose will land you with an unintended bid! A firm and clear action is always required. Just bear in mind that all bids will incur an buyer's premium, an additional percentage charge on the hammer price, which is paid to cover the auctioneer's administrative costs. This is usually around 25%, but check with each individual auction house and whether that percentage includes VAT. Also consider that delivery is not usually an option provided by the auction house, so you will need to make arrangements to have the item collected.

2 Top Picks from the forthcoming Cheffins Interiors Sale:
18 October 2018, 10am


Local Auction Houses

Cheffins Cambridge
Lots Road Auctions
Chelsea, London
Chiswick Auctions Chiswick, London
Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, London
Aldridges of Bath Bath
Barnes Thomas Penzanze, Cornwall
Tennants Harrogate, Yorkshire
JS Fine Art Oxfordshire




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