The Swan Fine Art Auction








Even after 30 years in the auction business And prior to that 15 years in the boxing ring I still get the butterflies prior to a fine art sale .

The stakes are a higher and you have to get the estimates right, especially on the big ticket paintings, if they go unsold it sets a bench mark that there maybe something wrong with it (when there isn't) and can tarnish the work for many years for no other reason than that on the day it didn't make it.

Along with the personal stories behind some of the lots, to mention a few. One vendor was trying to raise money for her father's care after a stroke. Another had inherited the family Jewellery, so we needed to do our best to make sure that these items achieved good prices as the families like others had put their items in our trust. We don't just take lots/items in at the swan and hope to get lucky, we put many hours of work in behind the scenes to try and get the best results. So here are the highs and lows.


1. Lowry signed print

Est 300/500 made £950.


2. Indian paintings

Est. £200/300

Made £200 

I thought they would do much better


3. Self portrait oil on canvas

Two telephones made £2100


4. Pair paintings by Fred Barnard 

He did illustrations for Charles Dickens books And rare to get oil paintings 

Unsold at £1500


5. Helen Bradley watercolour wedding scene Three telephones ,sold in room Est. £10,000/15,000 made £20,000 Phew!!


6. Helen Bradley oil on board winters day Three bidders sold to the phone Est £15,000/£20,000 made £19,000 Confidence is growing


7. Helen Bradley oil on board , aunt charlotte Three phone bidders, sold to the room Est £20,000/30,000 made £29,000 Can I do four out of four, read on !!


8. Helen Bradley oil on board Queen Victoria

Est £20,000/£30,000 made £29,000

Only one phone bidder and commission bids 

Sold to the room

All four Bradley's sold ! So we are all going out tonight !


No more Bradley paintings to sell

Funny how the confidence changes eh!


Loose diamond

Est £600/800

Made £3550 after bidding battle in the room


we struggled with some of the Jewelry

Vendor wouldn't listen to our advise that it was too expensive. Hence it has been returned unsold .


the lady who inherited the family jewels

Est £5000/8000, made £15000

She's happy and so are we (so she is bringing in more)


the lady who was raising money for her father's care. We sold the items for


Happy people, God works in funny ways.


Oriental bronze statue

Est £600/800

Made £2800 internet bid

Happy owner

There are loads more good and bad luck stories, we had 700 lots in the sale but overall a fantastic auction, and a great relief that all the hard work carried out by my Swan family team was rewarded.

We hold auctions the first Thursday of every month and sell for people throughout all walks of life, up and down the country. If your interested in buying or selling just contact us.

It's a family business and nothing is to big or small.

Keep well

Tom Keane

Valuation Days:

Tuesdays and Wednesdays

10:30am – 5pm

All valuations are free of charge and without obligation. If you would like to arrange a home visit please contact us:

Tel: 01844 281 777              Email:

Specialist departments:


Tom Keane & Shane Higgs - Furniture & Paintings

 Paul Hayes - Silver, Watches & Object of Vertu 

Eric Knowles - Ceramics, Asian art, Glass & Arts and crafts

Matt Hull - Natural History & Taxidermy

e:    t: 07795085556

John Carroll - Coins and stamps

Andrea Swinton - Jewellery

Steven Foster - Books and manuscripts

Darren Sharpe - Classic & Vintage Cars

The Swan Fine Art Auctions, a venture affiliated with The Antiques Centre, is another exciting way of buying and selling antiques.
Our sales are headed up by Swan owner Tom Keane (above right) who has over 25 years' experience as an auctioneer in the antiques trade, most recently at Chiswick Auctions in London. Tom regularly shares the rostrum with fellow antiques expert and auctioneer Paul Hayes (above far right) whom many of you will have seen on a number of BBC and ITV antiques programmes.

Our auctions are on the first Thursday of every month at 12 noon. Lots typically include a wide range of fine art and objets de vertu, furniture, jewellery, paintings, engravings, porcelain, jade, textiles and silver. We also hold Country House sales and extra specialist sales.

Our free Valuation Service is available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10.30am and 5.30pm or by appointment at The Swan Antiques Centre. Home visits can also be arranged. If you cannot come to us, please send us an email or give us a call.

If you would like to be notified by email of forthcoming sales with a link to our illustrated online sale catalogue, please contact us by email on:

Next auction: Thursday 4th May

Sales start at 12pm.

Tues, 2nd May from 10:30am-5pm
Weds, 3rd May from 10:30am-5pm
Morning of Sale from 10am

For enquiries please contact: The Swan Antiques Centre: 01844 281777 or email: or