Marston Lodge Hotel Contents Auction, Minehead

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Auctioneers Greenslade Taylor Hunt celebrate the success of an ‘old fashioned’ sale of the contents of an Edwardian hotel.

The unusual nature of the Maundy Thursday auction drew enthusiastic crowds of collectors and onlookers to the Marston Lodge Hotel, on the edge of Exmoor National Park, overlooking Minehead.

Nearly 300 bidders registered for the sale, which included more than 400 lots ranging from tableware to collectibles.

Hotelier Alex de Mendoza had amassed a vast array of treasures collected over several decades from farm sales and flea markets.

His finds had to find new homes through a traditional on-site sale.

Auctioneer Simon Rayner said: “It was busy and there was a real buzz in the room.”

The weather helped as the day-long auction featured a selection of outdoor furniture and plants that potential buyers could view in the sunshine.

There had been a lot of pre-sale interest across the lots and that translated into pleasing numbers with virtually every item sold.

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

While Simon conducted the on-site auction from the hotel in Minehead, auction house co-ordinator Mike Hooper ran the auction live over the internet from the company’s Octagon auction rooms in Taunton, with bids relayed to Minehead via laptop.

It was the first time the auction house had held a sale from two centers, and it turned out to be a great success.

Highlights included an etching signed Elisabeth Frink, which was purchased for £1,170.

The top lot – the signed engraving by Elisabeth Frink.

A Japanese Katana, a curved sword in a scabbard with an iron Tsuba or sword hilt, cost £1,035.

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

Mr. de Mendoza and his wife, Naomi, are downsizing after selling the hotel through GTH’s residential department.

They were delighted with the success of the sale.

He said: “It was a smooth and fluid operation. Everyone who attended said it was a very professional installation.

“I was very happy with how it went.

“I think it’s something more people should investigate if they find themselves in a similar position.”

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