Gift buying: at auction every day is Black Friday

One of the joys of buying at auction is that you can find good deals all year round.


This cultured pearl set brooch by Tiffany & Co has an estimate of £80-100 at Mallams’ Jewellery, Watches & Silver sale of December 8-9.

The run-up to Christmas is no different and many auction houses include additional sales and lots at this time of year featuring items that would make good gifts or treats for yourself.

During this week, of course, Black Friday prompts retailers to publicise seemingly attractive discounts but even these offers struggle to compete with the value and choice you can get at auction.

Remember that items at auction are second-hand. This gives many of them a unique character - whether it's vintage/retro or antique – and helps to make their price more attractive. Second-hand items are also better for the environment as they have a far lower carbon footprint than items that are newly made (and which typically require new raw materials for their manufacture).

Below we show a range of objects that would make special one-of-a-kind gifts and that you can bid online for in auctions coming up soon. We have also checked what it might cost to buy a similar item brand new.


Brooches are very much on trend right now. This example (shown in the photo above) in the shape of a maple leaf is by Tiffany. On the firm's website brand new brooches start from £250 and go up to five-figure sums. This one on offer at Mallams in Oxford on December 8-9 has an estimate of just £80-£100.


A pair of Tiffany & Col Gold earrings at Lyon & Turnbull’s Jewellery, Watches and Silver sale of December 8-9. It has an estimate of £250-400.

On offer at Lyon Turnbull in Edinburgh is this pair of 18-carat gold Tiffany hoop ear-rings with an estimate of £250-£400. On the Tiffany website a new set would cost a minimum of £1300.

You can also search for more jewellery lots coming up for sale on to uncover more good deals.



These Hermes silk ties, offered in Chiswick’s Designer Gift Edit auction on December 2, have an estimate of £80-120.

These Hermes silk ties are stylish and with an estimate of £80 to £120 for all four of them in one lot at Chiswick Auctions on December 2 they could be a steal compared with the retail price of £170 per tie.

With designer goods, auction houses often state a grade of condition which helps you to assess whether the item comes with significant wear and tear.


Offered with an estimate of £60-100, this Fendi monogram pouch goes under the hammer at Chiswick’s Designer Gift Edit auction on December 2.

This Fendi beige pouch is classed as condition grade A which makes its estimate of £60-£100 all the more alluring. On the Fendi website, canvas pouches start from £430 for men or £320 for women.


Some new makes of watches are so in-demand that there can be a waiting list. There are no such frustrations at auction: when the time comes, the highest bid wins.


Estimated at £600-1000 this Ladies’ Must de Cartier silver gilt Tank Vermeil wristwatch goes under the hammer at Trevanion & Dean’s Fine Art & Antique Auction of December 5-7.

The Cartier Tank celebrated its centenary last year with a host of new models boosting its prominence in the watch market. Today, the new models on the Cartier website cost between £2270 and £50,000 but this second-hand ladies example at Trevanion & Dean in Whitchurch, Shropshire, has an estimate of £600-£1000 in a sale taking place from December 5-7.

We also have a handy buying guide to Cartier Tank watches to help you learn more about these smart timepieces.


This lady's steel Oyster Perpetual datejust wrist watch by Rolex has an estimate of £800-1200 at Woolley & Wallis’ Christmas Gifts Online Sale on December 2.

Few watch names are as desirable as Rolex and this ladies steel Oyster Perpetual datejust wrist watch comes with its box and papers. It is estimated at £800-£1200 in the auction at Woolley & Wallis of Salisbury on December 2. A reasonably similar new ladies Rolex could cost more than £5000.

Collectables and more


Estimated at £120-150, this Mont Blanc Meisterstuck fountain pen is offered at Mallams on December 8-9.

When it comes to pens, Mont Blanc is the name to go for. Brand new Mont Blanc fountain pens start from £380; this second-hand one is estimated at £120-£150 at Mallams in Oxford on December 8-9.


These three DC Heroes Lego sets go under the hammer C&T’s Vintage & General Collectable Toys sale on December 1 with an estimate of £30-50.

A new Lego set is an exciting gift but it can become a rather expensive hobby. Online you will find a brand new Batman Movie Killer Croc Tail-Gator set for just under £130. At auction the same set - second-hand, yes, but with the bricks still sealed inside the box - is estimated at £30-£50 at C&T Auctioneers in Kent. And it gets even better: two more sets are included in the same lot at no extra cost.

Your auction awaits…

With so much on offer you will be certain to find that something special at auction in time for Christmas.

Remember that the auction house charges a buyer’s premium fee on top of the hammer price and if you can’t pick up the items you purchase in person then delivery will be extra. If you are new to bidding do check out our guide to buying at auction – it’s easy once you know how.

Tags: Collectables
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