Antiques Column: Collector’s reputation drives auction success

Lot 756 which made �64,000 on the hammer - MANNER OF GIOVANNI FRANCESCO CASTIGLIONE (1641-1716) Vision of the Shepherd, oil on canvas, 84 x 123cm.
Lot 756 which made �64,000 on the hammer - MANNER OF GIOVANNI FRANCESCO CASTIGLIONE (1641-1716) Vision of the Shepherd, oil on canvas, 84 x 123cm.
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As a boy in primary school rushing home to help my father in his saleroom I always knew I would spend my life engrossed in the decaying dust and extreme excitement of the antique saleroom and that give or take one or two unpredictable moments, I would love and cherish every second.

As a man, some would wrongly label mature, I have to say all the above is true and never truer than when I met the lovely family of a dear deceased gentleman Harry Francis Constantine.

Known as Frank, Harry Francis Constantine was the son of the famous Sheffield artist George Hamilton Constantine and accomplished in his own right.

Also a trained conservator Frank was, at various stages of his life, director of both Sheffield’s Graves and Mappin Galleries.

From 1991 to 2005 he was director of the Guild of St George, a charity for arts, crafts and the rural economy founded by John Ruskin.

Dying at the age of 95 Frank had amassed an eclectic collection of paintings.

Our saleroom, the Sheffield Auction Gallery, were entrusted by the family with the sale of that wonderful collection and the greater part was included in our Quarterly Fine Art and Antiques auction.

Prices realised ranged from hundreds of pounds through thousands, up to the highest price fetched of £64,000.

The results were amazing, the interest was incredible and the hard work we did worthwhile, but someone as well loved and respected as Harry Francis Constantine is always going to be easy to market.

The remaining part of the collection will be offered for sale in our Antiques and Collectables auction on May 22.