Film: 3835

Art + Architecture | 1970 | Sound | Colour

Synopsis:

Antiques at auction. Phillip's Auctioneers. Billinghurst.

Woman has been asked to clear a house by aunt. Woman looks at house and goes inside, she looks at the things in house then an auctioneer arrives and spots a first edition of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and says its worth £60.
Estate agents board outside house - Billinghurst of Hinchley Wood, Surrey London. Woman gets out of Mini estate car. Woman opens door with latch key. From inside she enters. Hallway contains furniture ready for departure - a rolled up carpet. She takes an envelope off the banister. She walks into a cluttered room and starts to open the envelope. The table in the room is covered in porcelain. Close up of hands holding single sheet of notepaper which has handwriting on it. Woman reads letter. She picks up figurine of a soldier. Woman looks around room rather despairingly. Woman walks into hall and enters her Uncle Frank's study. She remembers her uncle by the things in the room and stands behind his leather armchair. She fingers the old wooden bureau. She opens a musical box - a polyphon (?) She opens a violin case. She runs out of the room. Leaning on the door in the hall a shadowy figure appears through the glass of the front door, introduces himself as coming from Phillips Son & Neal the Auctioneers. Man and woman talk in cluttered room. They stand in front of fireplace. Man holds briefcase, woman a handbag. Woman dials telephone as man examines figurine on mantelpiece. Woman talks on telephone. She is told by solicitor she speaks to that auctioneers will sell the aunt's possessions. Auctioneer picks up first edition of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, worth £50 or £60. He indicates a couple of bronzes in a cardboard box worth perhaps £300. Man prepares to write in small notebook. Woman shows man into the study. Man and woman talk. Man produces his business card which we see in close up.
Cut to New Bond Street address of Phillips. Cars outside Phillips are unloaded and items are carried inside. Man and woman are introduced to another man. Man asks receptionist for furniture catalogue for a sale dated 18.8.1970.
The building is Blenstock House. Portrait of founder Harry Phillips. Picture of a catalogue from 1798. Small office with eight people working at individual desks. Pan out from typist. Man examining large book. Woman customer wears fur hat. Office staff talk on telephone about forthcoming sales. Auctioneer shows secretary photos of some continental furniture. He gives instructions. A list of forthcoming sales. Close up of hands feeding envelopes through an automatic postal franking machine. Close up of hands feeding automatic addressing machine - an Addressograph.
Specialist in furniture looks at Queen Anne bureau bookcase which porters have brought in. He finds a secret drawer, takes out a sovereign case and finds four half-sovereigns. Man examines a bronze. The signature under the base. Expert examines German copies of Capo di Monte porcelain. Military figures. Woman examines a Georgian loving cup. She wears a magnifying glass to examine hallmarks.
Man examines stamp album and checks stamp catalogue. He checks watermark and is pleased with verdict of £1900. Lots of paintings. Man cleans part of picture hoping to find signature.
Man examines porcelain. Compares a portrait painted piece with a picture in a book.
Two men look at a lute guitar. Woman brings in her violin and asks for a valuation. Is pleased to hear a valuation of £1500 to which she replies "I'm going to buy that leopard skin coat."
Auction of furniture. Bidders. Man shakes head. Close up of hand writing cost of £1350 next to catalogue entry. The pair of jockeys on horse bronzes are held up by a porter. They have auction tickets on. Auctioneer starts bidding and different bidders bid.
Woman walks down corridor in her leopard skin coat.


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