Hammer comes down on Bridgnorth auction house after 170 years
The hammer has come down for the very last time at an auction house in Bridgnorth after 170 years of trading.
Antique enthusiasts from across the region gathered for Perry & Phillips' last ever auction yesterday.
The business, which is situated in Low Town, will now remain closed but its sister company, The Old Mill Antiques Centre, will continue trading as usual.
Enthusiasts and staff said it was an emotional occasion for all and looked back with happiness.
"It's sad to be ending the sales after more than 30 years," said John Ridgway, business owner and auctioneer.
He added: "This will be the end of an era for the Perry & Phillips sales rooms and the team and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for their support over many enjoyable years.
"It is time to move on and for myself and our team to concentrate fully on the antiques centre.
“It’s very exciting and we wouldn’t have been able to do this without closing the auction house.
“We will be moving into the extra rooms with more antiques stands and cabinets so the centre - already on four floors - will be considerably bigger.
“The centre will continue to grow and flourish and we look forward to seeing existing and new customers for many years to come.”
Yesterday's sale, which featured about 500 lots, commenced at 10.30am and lasted several hours.
Items ranged from a collection of vintage silver cigarette cases to a pair of unusual pistols and a piece of lava rock inlaid with bronze statues.
The pair of percussion cap pistols were estimated to sell for between £500 and £800 and the carved piece of lava rock inlaid with five statues of individual Buddha's was estimated to make between £1,000 and £1,500.
Lindsey Westwood, auction administrator, has been working at Perry and Phillips for six years.
She said: "I've got mixed feelings. It's very sad, it's a great auction and a lot of people like coming here.
"But we're now moving onto other things, and putting our energies into the other parts of the business such as the Old Mill Antiques Centre.
"There are several popular items in the auction such as some lovely silverware and contemporary furniture."
Buyers had travelled from various locations across the Midlands including Broseley, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Oswestry.
Pip Prosser, from Stourbridge, regularly attends the monthly sale.
He said: "I've been attending the auctions here for many years and I'm feeling a bit choked today.
"I've been coming here for donkey's years, and when I found out it was the last action I knew I had to come down."