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Crowds Flock to "Old Style" House Auction

April 2022

Auctioneers Greenslade Taylor Hunt are celebrating the success of an “old fashioned” sale where the contents of an Edwardian era hotel went under the hammer at the property on Maundy Thursday.

The unusual nature of the sale drew an enthusiastic crowd of collectors and the curious to the Marston Lodge Hotel, on the edge of Exmoor National Park, overlooking Minehead.

Approaching 300 bidders registered for the sale, which featured over 400 lots ranging from crockery to collectables.

Hotelier Alex de Mendoza had amassed a vast array of treasures collected over many decades at farm sales and junk shops.

It was fitting that his finds should find new homes via a traditional on site sale.

Auctioneer Simon Rayner said: “There were lots of people in attendance and there was a real buzz in the room.”

The weather helped as the daylong auction included a selection of outdoor furniture and plants which potential buyers could view in the sunshine.

There had been a good deal of pre-sale interest across the lots and this translated into pleasing figures with virtually all items sold.

“I can’t imagine how it could have gone any better,” said Simon.

Whilst Simon conducted the auction in situ from the hotel in Minehead, saleroom co-ordinator Mike Hooper managed the live internet bidding from the firm’s Octagon salerooms in Taunton, with bids relayed back to Minehead via laptop. It was the first time the auction house had run a sale from two centres, and it proved a great success.

Highlights included an Elisabeth Frink signed etching, which was bought for £1,170. A Japanese Katana – curved sword in a scabbard with an iron Tsuba or sword guard went for £1,035.

An oil on canvas of figures in a woodland park was bought for £400 and a silver desk stand with inkwells went for £380.

Alex and his wife, Naomi, are downsizing having sold the hotel via GTH’s residential department.

They were delighted with the sale’s success.

Alex said: “It was a slick and smooth operation. Everyone who attended said it was a very professional set up.

“I was very pleased with how it went. I think it is something more people should investigate if they are in a similar position.”


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