An appraisal by a reputable auction house can provide guidance and practical options when considering the sale of household items, furniture or significant collections.  We talk with Andrew Grigg from Cordy’s.

Cordy’s premises at 180 Great South Road has long been a destination for collectors of antiques, art, silver, jewellery, rare books, Pacific artefacts, gold coins, medals and all manner of collectables.

Director Andrew Grigg says estate sales or helping people to reduce their possessions before moving into a smaller home are a core part of Cordy’s business.

Typically, the owners or a family member approach Andrew and his team for an initial appraisal.

“If someone calls up and says we have a house full of precious things, we will be there – and we will always be honest about what is likely to sell, and what might be better to donate to a good cause.  We are in tune with the market.

“We have a formal protocol for valuing and consigning items to auction.  If someone has an extensive collection with many sought-after items, we will recommend their estimated value is listed and that they are offered for sale in our monthly Antique and Art auction.  In the case of very valuable items of jewellery, for example, we can arrange for an independent gemmologist to provide a valuation from which we can then more accurately give an auction price indication.

“We also conduct weekly Estate and Collectibles auctions each Monday, where we place items likely to command prices that do not warrant them being showcased in the monthly event.  Our team has a lot of experience and know where things will sell best.”

Although people might attach a lot of personal value to an item, Andrew said most are realistic about  how much others will pay.

“Most of our clients know someone else who has downsized or needs to move because of a change of circumstances.  Quality mid-20th century furniture or ceramics by people like Len Castle can attract active bidding.  Antique furniture, on the other hand, can be harder to move because fewer people live in large homes that can accommodate a huge Victorian dining table and chairs.

“Cordy’s is well aware that many of our clients have lived with their treasures for a good part of their lives and this time of letting go can be quite upsetting – we only want to help.”

He advises that if someone is acting on behalf of an estate or a family member, it is wise to have an experienced auction house representative visit the home before any cupboards are cleaned out.  You never know what might be found.

“We can recognise those hidden gems that might otherwise be discarded as worthless.”

Auction houses operate on a commission basis.  Cordy’s charges 17.25% for items that go for more than $100, and 23% on items sold for less than $100.  The cost of a carrier and removal team is also on-charged, although Cordy’s can make all the necessary arrangements.