I loved watching the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow as a child. Probably, initially, because it was on my permitted list of TV shows (that extended – worryingly enough – to include Jim’ll Fix It and Rolf’s Cartoon Club). Yes, I have always loved a bargain and I have hesitated about writing today’s post in the meanspiritied notion that it might be just too good to share.
But share it, I shall. First of all, you simply have to get over its name. Hotlotz. It sounds like a car dealership selling boy racers to men in singlets … but nothing could be further from the truth. It is, in fact, a brand new and brilliant little auction house in Singapore, helmed by an ex-Christies chap. The scoop is – as they are so new – you can pick beautiful things up around the guide prices, often way below the estimates (i.e. what the auctioneers think they should make).
I also commend them for not having the ‘house clearance’ mentality that some auction houses here seem to employ, whereby they bung everything together for expediency and, as such, a morning’s auction might offer up all manner of items: lot 1 could be an antique planter’s chair, lot 10 a kettle and an assortment of frying pans and lot 55 an electric guitar. No thanks. At Hotloz’s sale this weekend they came up trumps with a carefully curated sale: Antiques & Interiors. Here’s my pick of their catalogue (including the item above), to try to illustrate just what sort of prices we are talking about.
For example, this Indian copper tray top table (which I love) went for a song in Saturday’s sale and was sold for $220 (estimate was $260-$320).
This colourful Middle Eastern wool runner was a great buy but sadly didn’t sell (guide: $400, estimate: $600 – call them if you want it, it’s likely that it is still available to buy post-auction). Just try buying something from Taylor B at that price (no real offence to Taylor B …. but you get my point).
I heart these three antique cut glass carafes (above) which sold for $100 (estimate was $120-$150)! Gorgeous as mis-matched water vessels on a groaning dining table or as water jugs in a guest bedroom.
Next up is this:
Not to my taste but shown here for its price alone (sold for $80). Compare that to what it would cost you from a shop.
I love this art deco style side table:
…which sold for $160 (estimate $150-$200)
The last thing I want to show you is, again not particularly to my taste, an oil painting from the Chinese School (late 20th century) of a doorway in the Hutongs, Beijing. It went for $280. Practically Ikea prices!
Hotlotz’s website is pretty comprehensive and I like that you can place bids from bed (as I did on Friday night) from your phone. You just have to register first, which takes all of 2 seconds and doesn’t involved registering any credit cards, in order to see all the guide and estimate prices and be able to place absentee bids if 10am on a Saturday morning is too early for you to make it down to the auction house to bid in person. The showroom is on Lower Delta Road.
If you are looking for anything beautiful, these guys are well worth checking out. And when you snap up that box of vintage crystal decanters for $100, just remember who to thank!
For more information and forthcoming sales, log on to hotlotz.com.