Press Release: Christie’s Announces Sharpe Family Collection

The Sharpe Family Collection
Thursday, 30th June and Friday, 1st July 2005

Christie’s International Motor Car Department is pleased to announce the largest ever sale of a single motor car collection in the United Kingdom. The Sharpe Family Collection, which includes over 200 cars as well as motorcycles and automobilia, will be held over two days at Rayleigh in Essex. A number of examples in the collection have been exhibited at the Ramsgate Motor Museum.

This unique sale represents more than 40 years of collecting, which began in the late 1950s, when three brothers began to purchase cars alongside their daily garage business. In this heyday for collecting, the first period of interest in this field, the brothers quickly amassed cars of all ages. By the mid-1960s the burgeoning collection diversified into collation of motorcycles and then associated car automobilia such as petrol pump globes and signs. The sale comprises a collection of vehicles from a pre-1900s ‘hobby horse’ bicycle right through to cars of the 1970s. The business still remains in the ownership of the Sharpe family, who have decided to sell the majority of the Collection in order to pursue other opportunities.

The diversity of this Collection presents examples of motor car from almost every possible age, type, style and condition. A 1900 Benz 4½ HP Vis-à-vis Ideal is expected to realise £30,000-50,000, while a Bond ‘Bug’ from the 1970s carries an estimate of £800-1,200. The sale will offer a 1915 Napier Double Decker Bus (estimate: £30,000-50,000), and an Austin A35 that was sold by the owner after he failed his driving test, and has covered just 3,278 miles (estimate: £2,000-5,000). Also on offer is a 1960 Austin 7 Mini that, having been used only once a week by its elderly owner to collect a pension, has covered just 2,455 miles from new (estimate: £4,000-6,000). Some cars are ready to use, while a hoard of ‘barn discovery’ cars which have not seen the light of day for more than three decades includes two unique survivors of their marques; a 1922 Carrow 11.9hp Tourer and a 1908 Bobrie Frères (both carry estimates of £2,000-5,000).

One of the highlights of this predominantly British collection is a 1903 Wolseley 10hp Four Seater (Estimate: £70,000-100,000), one of 9 cars in the collection that are eligible for the annual London to Brighton run.

The sale will be divided into Veteran and Vintage (to 1930) cars on the 30th June, and post-1930 cars on the 1st July, and comprises examples from all of the following marques; AC, Albert Gwynne, Alfa Romeo, Arrol-Johnston, Aster, Aston Martin, Austin, Belsize-Bradshaw, Bentley, Benz, Berkeley, BMW, Bobrie Frères, Bond, British Duryea, Briton, BSA, Buick, Cadillac, Calcott, Calthorpe, Carrow, Chevrolet, Citroen, Corre, Cubitt, Daimler, Darracq, Day-Leeds, De Dion Bouton, Delaunay-Belleville, Dennis, Elliot Healey, Empolini, Enfield, Essex, Fiat, Ford, Hillman, Humber, Humberette, Jaguar, Jowett, L’Elegante, Mercedes-Benz, Merlin, Messerschmitt, MG, Morris, Napier, New Carden, Overland, Packard, Panhard-Levassor, Peugeot, Phoenix, Pope-Tribune, Renault, Riley, Rochet-Schneider, Rolls-Royce, Rover, Singer, Standard, Stanley, Studebaker, Sunbeam, Swift, Thames, Trojan, Vauxhall, Volvo, VW and Wolseley. Estimates range from £100-100,000.


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