The prospect of visiting an auction can provoke anxiety in a first-time bidder but, thankfully, the reality of buying from a reputable auction house such as Fellows – one of the oldest and most respected firms in the UK (established 1876) – comes complete with all the reassurances of certified expertise and detailed condition reports.
In fact, Fellows benefits from an exceptional diversity of specialisms. They have 15 full-time jewellery experts, boasting a host of qualifications in gemology and diamond grading between them. Not to mention experienced horologists, watch connoisseurs and several highly regarded antique and fine art pundits. Formalities aside, if you were to peep behind the scenes of this fascinating establishment, you couldn’t help but be suitably inspired.
The sheer enthusiasm for all things antique and individual is palpable. The team consider themselves to be a small part of the ever-evolving story of artifacts that have existed far longer than they have, and it’s quite clear that they’re honoured to be a part of that special journey.
The company holds upwards of 100 sales per year, more than half of which are of jewellery, ranging from fortnightly events to glittering monthly antique and modern jewellery auctions. The others specialise in niche markets, from vintage and modern wrist watches to antiques and collectibles, such as designer handbags.
A specialist watch sale is held monthly and never fails to be a tremendous success for all involved. Not least because significant savings are possible when you buy a ‘new’ watch at auction, with rare and limited-edition pieces appearing, alongside a roll call of famous makers. Known for its range of highly collectible, vintage watches offered for sale each month, Fellows made headlines in November 2016 when they sold a Rolex for a staggering £96,000. Lots range from £100 to over £100,000, meaning that Fellows entertains a diverse audience, from casual buyers to serious collectors.
The head office is based in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, with a further office in Mayfair, London, providing free no-obligation valuations, plus Antiques Roadshow-style days at various locations across England.
Thanks to the high quality of online images, customers can view 360-degree pictures from the comfort of their sitting rooms. In fact, the quality of Fellows’ jewellery attracts an increasingly global online clientele, from Germany and the USA to China and Singapore. A quick search of their comprehensive site brings several beguiling treasures to light. What better way to immerse yourself in the romance of a bygone era than to collect treasures endowed with their own distinct heritage? All in all, Fellows offers the opportunity to bid on (and hopefully win) a large number of these one of a kind rarities, a refreshing departure from the mass consumerism of today. In the end, what you’re actually purchasing is a little piece of history and the chance to become a part of the storytelling yourself.
FELLOWS AUGUSTA HOUSE 19 AUGUSTA STREET BIRMINGHAM B18 6J1 +44 (0)121 212 2131