Savoy auction makes over £1.8m

21 December 2007
Savoy auction makes over £1.8m

The Savoy auction, which finished last night, saw the public fork out more than £1.8m during the battle to secure one of the 3,000 items of memorabilia on sale.

Auctioneers Bonhams said the amount raised was almost double its pre-sale estimates with "the Savoy Effect" fuelling three-days of frenzied bidding.

The iconic London hotel has now closed it doors to undergo a £100m restoration and is due to relaunch in May 2009.

Highlights of the auction, held in the hotel's River Room overlooking the Thames, included the sale of a white grand piano played by Frank Sinatra on visits to the hotel for £11,400 (estimated price £3,000 to £4,000).

A pair of mid 20th century chandeliers sold for £19,200 (estimated at £10,000 to £15,000) also outperformed expectations.

Collectors were also equally keen on smaller keepsakes with a chrome wall-mounted ash tray (estimate £50 to £70) going for £650 and a pair of art deco birch and satinwood wall mirrors (estimate £600 to £800) making £10,800.

Harvey Cammell, Bonhams director of the Savoy sale, said: "The effect of the Savoy name was highlighted by the sale of a Rosewood serving counter from the hotel's fitness gallery, emblazoned with the name Savoy in chromium-plated letters.

"Bidding for this particular lot were as many as 12 people in the room chasing the £300 to £500 estimate to an incredible £9,000."

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By Chris Druce

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