Greek Temple valued at £600 sells for £25,000 at Stansted auction

The cork model of the Temple of Poseidon The cork model of the Temple of Poseidon

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
10:14 AM

A cork model of the Temple of Poseidon has exceeded all expectations by being sold by Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers for £25,000 – around 50 times its guide price of £400 to £600.

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The item dates back to the 19th century, and is thought to have been made to enable architecture students to examine building design without having to travel abroad.

Measuring 63.5cms long, 28cms deep and 18cms high, it was sold at Sworders’ Spring Country House sale on March 4.

Sworders’ director, John Black, said: “The sale price went way beyond our expectations. Previous cork models like this have sold elsewhere for figures into the low thousands – although it has to be said, this was a particularly large example.

“A similar model can still be seen at The Sir John Soane Musuem in London.

“There was interest in the room, as well as nine telephone bids from both Italy and England, eventually selling to a UK dealer. It’s a phenomenal result!”

The sale also included a collection of tiles dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, which form part of the contents of Moor Place in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire. One set, forming an armorial design were guided at £200 to £300, but actually sold for £1,300. The entire collection made £15,000.

Other lots in the auction included parts of the Bernard Gulley collection of furniture and works of art. As a renowned antiques dealer and collector, the lots included a Norwegian burr birch tankard which had a guide price of £4,000 to £6,000 and sold for £9,800.

Sworders’ next specialist sales are of Fine Wine and Port on Tuesday, March 25, and of Asian Art on Tuesday, April 29.

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