Fakes, Fortunes and a Fiendish Quiz

On October 4th, the monthly edition of ‘In the Ballroom’ – the afternoon social gathering at the Court House with a talk, tea, quiz, and time to chat – heard all about the business of auctioning antiques.

The engaging speaker was Stephen B Bruce, the auctioneer and valuer based at Kineton and known for his TV appearances. He explained how even the most prestigious auction houses can make mistakes in valuing items, and had many fascinating anecdotes about items discovered in house-clearances that were worth a fortune. Other items presented to him for valuation turned out to be clever fakes. 

He also brought along some small items for the guests to handle, including some 18th century grape-scissors worth £600 and some valuable paperweights. (Click on the pictures to see them full size) 

After the tea and cake had been served, there was a fiendish quiz about art, antiques and auctions. If you want to try it, here are the 20 questions. In the Ballroom Quiz – Fake or Fortune

The next ‘In the Ballroom’ social gathering will be on November 1st, when guests will hear about the creation of the display of handmade poppies in St. Mary’s Church, and the stories behind some of those from the Royal Warwickshire Regiment who are being commemorated in this centenary year of the WWI Armistice. 

There is no need to book for ‘In the Ballroom’.  Just turn up at the Jury Street Court House in time for a 2pm start. It costs just £2 – to cover the cost of the tea and cakes.