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Weird and Wonderful Items Sold at Auction

Hannah Widdop

Undoubtedly quirky, yet consistently popular, pottery by Simon Carroll often performs well at auction. This earthenware jug sold in our November 2021 Fine Art auction for £520!

Many weird and wonderful items pass through our doors at Potteries Auctions and you may be surprised at the variety and breadth of items that can gain interest. If you have something that’s a little different that you’re looking to part with, why not consider consigning it to one of our auctions? From taxidermy to novelty clocks, a huge diversity of items have been consigned with us. Here are just a few examples of unusual subjects and quirky pieces that have performed well in our auctions.

A fabulous example of something truly different yet highly desirable is this experimental pottery figure that was created by Colin Melbourne for Wade, on the occasion of the 1951 Festival of Britain. ‘Ivy’ featured in our July Fine Art auction and fetched a hammer price of £4,200!

Encompassing a diverse range of subjects, collectibles can be a great source of unusual items, with an array of pieces having potential at auction. This can include militaria, nautical objects, band memorabilia, as well as items relating to Concorde and vintage aviation – to name just a few.

A great piece of vintage aviation history is this large wooden propeller blade. It’s a unique and unusual piece, appealing to both lovers of curiosities and aviation enthusiasts. This lot featured in our July Fine Art auction and sold for a hammer price of £100.

Another aspect of collectibles is the subject of railwayana – that is, objects relating to the golden age of railway. It can cover a broad range of items too, such as vintage station signs, signal box equipment, instruments and disused signals. These objects of a bygone age are fantastic curiosities and can attract good attention from collectors.

A great example of railwayana is this pair of Midland Railway mahogany cased block instruments, dated 1900 & 1906. They achieved a hammer price of £380 in our November 2022 Fine Art auction. One more subject of unusual items is taxidermy. A relatively niche interest, it has enjoyed something of a resurgence in recent years, with some artists utilising the macabre art as a medium for their work. Such pieces prove popular with those of eccentric taste and they make fascinating decorative objects. No two pieces are alike, and a well-prepared specimen is the result of a skilled hand and a keen eye, so a good example can succeed in animating bidders.

This domed antique taxidermy kestrel featured in our July Fine Art auction and sold for a hammer price of £110.

House clearances can also be a good source of unusual items, particularly from the estates of people who accrued interesting collections – the contents can become a treasure trove to other collectors. A sizeable collection of vintage model kits from one such clearance was featured in our April 30th Cobridge auction, comprising a large number of unmade aircraft kits by a variety of brands such as Airfix, Frog, Revell, Hawk, Aurora, Heller and others.

This lot of 4 unmade vintage model kits sold in our April 30th Cobridge auction for a hammer price of £120.

Weird and wonderful objects can possess surprising potential, so no matter how strange you think your item might be, you should always consider consigning to auction. You never know what you might be sitting on!

A quirky and amusing piece sold in our November 2022 Fine Art auction was this German-made rolling eye clock (the eyes point to the hours and minutes). It fetched a hammer price of £280.

How to Buy and Sell at Auction 

If you’d like to consign something a little different to one of our auctions, our expert valuers can advise you as to the value and saleability of your items and which auction would be best to consign to. Click here to book an appointment to attend one of our valuation days. Alternatively, call 01782 638100 or email We also provide valuations via WhatsApp: simply send some clear photographs of your items via the app to 07864 667940.

For buyers, our Antique & Collectors auctions are held on the Friday leading up to the second weekend of each month. We also hold three Fine Art auctions per year in March, July and November. Finally, we hold twice-monthly auctions at our Cobridge saleroom, on the second and last Sundays.

Our website is regularly updated with the latest catalogues and each auction is searchable once published to our website, so if you’re looking for something specific, be sure not to miss out on the opportunity to find the perfect quirky item! To stay informed, sign up to our mailing list for our email newsletters, or join our Catalogues & Updates WhatsApp group from your mobile.