Adam Partridge Auctioneers Cheshire
Auctioneer in Cheshire

02/12/2014 : The Roger Haynes Collection

Rarely do single owner collections appear at auction these days, but when they do appear on the open market fierce excitement ensues from all in the industry.

We were fortunate enough to have recently dealt with such a collection, that of the late Roger Alfred Haynes formerly of Leek, Staffordshire. He had been dealing in antiques for over 25 years, and collecting them for even longer. His broad and eclectic taste enticed buyers from all over the world to descend on our Macclesfield saleroom via the internet and in person. No less than 413 lots were assembled from his entire collection housed in his two properties, one in Leek, the other being the converted ‘Salem Chapel’ in Wales and as is very rare in the auction world, every single lot sold, making it a ‘white-glove’ sale.

The range of antiques amassed by Roger was simply astounding; a collection of fine bronze figures, silver, papier mâché snuff boxes, rare 18th century English pottery & porcelain, glassware, Victorian paintings, a gothic mantle clock and fine and unusual furniture, all with a story to tell. He had a great eye for the unusual and harboured a particular penchant for ecclesiastical antiques. It is perhaps surprising how many (legitimately acquired!) church objects one man can possess, but these were a real joy to handle and Gothic themed objects arguably formed the backbone of the collection. Victorian offertory bowls and boxes were in abundance, one with slots inscribed ‘Expenses’, ‘Ministry’, ‘Poor’, ‘Missions’ and ‘Building Fund’, gives us a tangible insight into the priorities of a Victorian church. This sold for a very respectable £340 to Spencer Swaffer, a specialist dealer located in Arundel. Others made similar figures, a Gothic oak mantle clock sold for £720, an undertaker’s advertising board shaped as a coffin made £230 and a rather macabre yet rare 19th century child’s coffin stand (bier) found a new home for £190. Though extremely popular with those who knew Roger and were familiar with the collection, these did not make the highest prices of the day.

Spencer Swaffer bought many items from the collection, as he is familiar with many of the items. He said of Roger’s collection and demeanour, "Roger was a good friend and I learned a great deal from his keen eye and inventiveness. Some of the things he chose to live with, which appeared in Adam's sale, could never be found again. So full of wit and humour, just like Roger," said Spencer. "When we displayed them in the shop at Arundel they made the showrooms sing."

The top price came for a Victorian leather button upholstered settee which sold for £2,700 to a determined bidder in the room. Roger’s taste in bronze figures was also delectable as we saw a 19th century figure group sell for £2,200 and an Art Deco bronze and ivory figure of a jester sell for £840. It did not come as a surprise that these fine figures made top money, but there was certainly at least one surprising result! Lot 104 was a lid of a snuff box made from papier mâché, early 19th century, and decorated with a fairly innocuous scene on the top, cherubs playing instruments, yet the underside told a completely different story, one of depraved debauchery. Taking snuff was generally speaking a gentleman’s past time and racy scenes like this were rather popular during the Georgian period. This piece really fired up the (anonymous!) bidders online and the bidding raced away to a staggering £1,250.

It was a great privilege to handle the dispersal of this unique collection, the like of which will probably never be seen again. Many of those who knew Roger well remarked that his collection mirrored his humorous and intelligent demeanour and the sale served as a great tribute to a great man.

Our last sale of the year will take place on the 11th & 12th December. For more info, click here.