Success Stories

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I sometimes refer to myself as a GP of antiques and fine art. I have a broad knowledge across a vast range of subjects but rather like a GP when I come across something out of my field of expertise I refer to one of my specialist consultants.

Just such an occasion arose recently when I was called to value a library of books in Surrey as the house and contents were due to be sold due to a bereavement.

A local firm of auctioneers had been in and listed anything they felt was of value and the rest was to be taken by a clearance company.

In one of the bookcases I spied a rare and interesting piece, an Australian silver mounted emu egg inkwell. It was black and probably hadn’t been cleaned in over a hundred years but I could make out some punch marks around the base. Upon further research it transpired that these were the hallmarks for Adelaide and the maker’s mark for Henry Steiner, a famous silversmith.

This piece had been overlooked by the auctioneers as being of too low a value so was presumably destined for landfill.

Unsure of the value for a piece like this I referred to my silver consultant who recommended it should be sold in a specialist silver auction with a guide price of £1000 – £1500. It was duly entered into such a sale where it recently sold for £2200 (including buyer’s premium).

The clients were so thrilled with my advice that they also let me handle a collection of toys from the attic that made about £8000 and a large collection of silver and jewellery.

In the world of medal collecting, the most coveted bravery award is the Victoria Cross and few ever come to market so imagine the surprise of Nicholas Muston when he was asked to value one.

Awarded to 2nd Lieutenant (later Major) Herbert James for his conspicuous bravery during operations in Gallipoli, the seven medal group also included a Military Cross.

The client had inherited the group from her late husband who was the son of Herbert James. Nicholas recommended that it be offered for sale in an international medal auction in London. It was sold for £180,000 to an Australian collector and is now on display in his own museum in Queensland.

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As valuers we are often asked to appraise vast collections of stamps and generally speaking they comprise of quantity rather than quality but just occasionally something exceptionally rare and valuable is discovered.

One such item was a Belgium letter sent via Marseille to Hong Kong. Our highly experienced stamp consultant spotted its rarity and potential and we advised our client to consign it into a specialist stamp auction in Hong Kong. It was guided at £5000 – £7000, but on the day sold for a staggering £46,000.

Without the right expertise this could easily have been missed.

Louis Vuitton luggage comprising wardrobe trunks, standard trunks, suitcases and bags have always commanded a premium value. It was expensive when it was made and still is today.

The trunk in the photograph was bought by my client at auction in 1980 for only £80, for use as a television stand. He had no idea of its value but was sensible enough to contact Nicholas Muston Antique Valuations, when he recently decided to sell it. He correctly identified that we are specialists in this field, as we have been instructed to sell many Vuitton pieces over the years.

We have built up an extensive database of private collectors and dealers that pay the top prices for these beautiful and desired pieces.

In spite of several condition issues we obtained several offers in excessive of £7000 the highest of these being £8000. Armed with this information we were instrumental in brokering a deal to a family member.

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I discovered this beautiful Pre Raphaelite, Dante Gabriel Rossetti watercolour last December and it sold recently for £48,180 (incl premium) in a London auction house.

It is a portrait of Maria Leathart and has a perfect provenance having been handed down through the family from George Rae, a patron of Rossetti, who at one time owned 19 paintings by the artist. His son married into the Leathart family and then via various family members it passed into the ownership of my client.

In a previous life I was a property auctioneer and alongside the antique valuation business I’m a consultant to a firm of property auctioneers and estate agents in Sussex. So occasionally I am able to help a client sell both the property they have inherited and the contents.

Just recently this was the case for a property in Brighton where I sold the house arranged as 2 flats with a sitting tenant, the contents and three classic cars. The house was in a terrible state so it was offered up for sale in a Nicholas James auction where off a guide price of £275,000 – £300,000 it sold for £347,500. The cars were entered into a specialist classic car auction with the pick of the bunch being the 1957 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II which sold for £27,500.

I am possibly one of the few RICS qualified valuers in the country that can value and sell both your antiques and property. So if you need help and advise on the sale of a property and contents I can deal with everything on your behalf, even down to the car in the garage.

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Telephone: 01273 838348
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    I always enjoy walking in London because you never know what architectural gems are just around the next corner. This is the Royal Arcade in Albermarle Street which was built in 1879 and is opposite Brown’s the oldest hotel in London.

    I always enjoy walking in London because you never know what architectural gems are just around the next corner. This is the Royal Arcade in Albermarle Street which was built in 1879 and is opposite Brown’s the oldest hotel in London. ...

    Just had a fabulous afternoon tea at the Savoy and this beauty was parked outside.
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#lamborghini #goodwood #goodwoodrevival #classiccar #rogermoore #simontemplar #thesaint #classiccars  #sportscar #sportcars #italianstyling #italianflair #earlscourt #genevamotorshow #sussex #iconic #iconiccars #motorracing #modernclassic #nicholasmuston  #antiquevaluation #supercar #supercars

    Just had a fabulous afternoon tea at the Savoy and this beauty was parked outside.
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    #lamborghini #goodwood #goodwoodrevival #classiccar #rogermoore #simontemplar #thesaint #classiccars #sportscar #sportcars #italianstyling #italianflair #earlscourt #genevamotorshow #sussex #iconic #iconiccars #motorracing #modernclassic #nicholasmuston #antiquevaluation #supercar #supercars
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    An attractive piece of dealership branding on the dashboard of this 1930 2 litre Lagonda. 
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#classiccar #classicmotoring #1930scars #goldenageofmotoring #vintagecar #vintagecars #nicholasmuston #antiquevaluations

    An attractive piece of dealership branding on the dashboard of this 1930 2 litre Lagonda.
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    #classiccar #classicmotoring #1930scars #goldenageofmotoring #vintagecar #vintagecars #nicholasmuston #antiquevaluations
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