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Byrne's Auctioneers & Valuers

The Sidings

Chester Street

Saltney , Cheshire

United Kingdom   CH4 8RD

Telephone : +44 (0)1244 681311

Fax : +44 (0)1244 681650

Website :

Email :

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    Chester 's city centre auction room, in the historic Booth Mansion in Watergate Street , has opened its doors in 2003 under new ownership.


    Adrian Byrne has bought the auction room from his former employer, Shrewsbury-based Halls Fine Art, and holds his first sale under the new banner Byrne's Auction eers and Valuers on Wednesday, January 22.


    Joining Adrian in the new venture is his partner Jo Boucher and the established team of valuers and administration staff already familiar to regulars at the city centre saleroom .


    "We are delighted to take on the business following Halls' decision to consolidate their Shropshire operations and we are very much looking forward to providing a comprehensive, professional and friendly service of valuation and sale to clients throughout North Wales and the North West ," said Adrian .


    Adrian and Jo hit the national headlines back in 1998 when they discovered and sold a rare pair of Sevres vases for a world record £560,000. "That really was a once in a lifetime discovery and a unique experience for us both, but who knows what the future holds here in Chester ," said Adrian .


    "We have already had some interesting discoveries since our arrival in Chester and we are confident that the region will yield more.


    "A calendar of sales has been programmed for the New Year, which will attract buyers from all walks of life, be they international investors or local collectors."


    The new company's first sale on January 22 includes a good selection of Georgian and later furniture, decorative arts and collectables.


    In addition to the scheduled monthly antiques auction, Byrne's will also offer themed sales, with the first in March set to feature regional paintings by renowned artists, antique maps, quality silver included the coveted Chester hallmark and a good selection of jewellery.


    The company will also offer a comprehensive range of complimentary services, including restoration and insurance advice and complete house clearance, in addition to the regular auction service.


    A native of Cheshire , Adrian , 38, is a qualified fine arts surveyor of 16 years' experience. His fine art valuation career began at the Chester College of Art before gaining a degree in History of Design and Visual Arts at Staffordshire University .


    He worked at a managerial level in Leicester, Suffolk and London before returning to Chester in 1999 to manage the Booth Mansion saleroom . He can be contacted by telephone on 01244 312300 or by e-mail at


    Jo Boucher graduated from Harper Adams College in Shropshire with a degree in Land Management before joining Adrian in Suffolk in 1995. She has gained a reputation for her knowledge within the industry in bespoke IT systems and communication.


    Joining them at Byrne's are Fine Art Valuation graduate Jessica Brassington, History of Art graduate Katy Griffiths, financial controller Sally Williams and former Chester fire safety officer Ian Shaw, who heads the saleroom staff.


    Picture caption: Adrian Byrne, managing director of Byrne's Auction eers and Valuers (front) with his team (from left) Ian Shaw, Katy Griffiths and Jessica Brassington.


    For more information please contact Adrian Byrne, of Byrne's, on 01244 312300 or Duncan Foulkes, public relations adviser, on 01686 650818.



    Immediate: October 24, 2003


    A new British record price for a George III silver vinaigrette made to celebrate Admiral Horatio Nelson's triumph at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 has been set by a Chester city centre auction house.


    Fittingly selling on October 22, the day after the 197th anniversary of the famous battle, the tiny rectangular vinaigrette entered the record books at £2,750, including buyer's premium, at Byrne's Auctioneers and Valuers' successful £140,000 two-day sale at Booth Mansion saleroom in Watergate Street.


    Keenly contested by six telephone bidders, the 2.5cms vinaigrette was made by Matthew Linwood in Birmingham in 1805 and had a gilt grille worked with the Victory flanked by the words 'Trafalgar' and 'OCR 21.1805'.


    Auctioneer Adrian Byrne attributed the record price to the rareness of the item and the interest generated by a similar vinaigrette in a recent sale in Nottingham, which sold for £1,700.


    "There were obviously many disappointed collectors after the Nottingham sale and they were all determined to get their hands on this one," he said. "It's a very rare item and, to put its value into perspective, the next lot in the sale was a George IV silver vinaigrette of exactly the same size, which sold for £90."


    The vendor, who lives in Tarporley, was understandably delighted with the record-breaking sale price, which eclipsed the pre-sale estimate.


    Another lot to attract great interest was an oak longcase clock made by Chester clockmaker Joseph Smith in 1740, which sold for £4,500. Smith, a member of a prolific clock making family in the city in the 18th century, is reputed to have made the Chester Cathedral clock in 1727.


    Maintaining Byrne's growing reputation in the North West for selling quality jewellery, a late Victorian diamond cluster ring from a city vendor sold for £5,200.


    Other notable prices included £3,500 for a Caernarfonshire oak high dresser from a farmhouse in the Caernarfon area, £2,750 for an Edwardian mahogany inlaid bureau bookcase, £2,600 for a set of six William IV rosewood dining chairs and £2,500 for a William IV rosewood tip top pedestal breakfast table.


    In the paintings section, two signed watercolours by noted North Wales artist Warren Williams (1863-1941) sold well. His work showing Afon Llugwy with Moel Siabod in the background made £3,300 for a Conwy vendor and his view of Snowdon from Afon Glaslyn fetched £1,600, while a pair of watercolours by G.Hamilton Constantine (1875-1967) sold for £2,750.


    Elsewhere in the busy, 1,273-lot sale, a rare George III silver nutmeg grater made £1,250 and a cold painted bronze figure of a blackamoor by Franz Bergman made £1,150 to the surprise of a Chester vendor, who purchased it for just £5 at an auction many years ago.


    "The market was very selective but there is still plenty of interest for top quality pieces and paintings," said Mr Byrne. "This is obviously the best place to sell Chester made clocks and we appear to have cornered the market in the North West for quality jewellery, as we are constantly selling diamond rings of high value."

    Record-breaking George III silver Trafalgar vinaigrette 

    The record-breaking George III silver Trafalgar vinaigrette.


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