Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Article in this week's Antiques Trade Gazette.

London’s Green Party candidate has recycled antiques for years

HAVING conducted over 2000 sales, freelance auctioneer Noel Lynch is used to standing on a platform. But on May 1, he will be looking for votes rather than bids as he aims to win a seat in the London Assembly for the Green Party.

A swing of just 1.5 per cent would see Mr Lynch returned as the party's third candidate. He sat in the assembly for 13 months before losing out in the 2004 election where the Greens took 8.5 per cent of the vote.

But with environmental issues now taking greater prominence and with the Green Party averaging 13.5 per cent across the London borough elections in 2006, he is confident of returning to the chamber.

Mr Lynch told ATG that as a member of the London Assembly he would do all he could to support small shops including art and antiques traders. He described the threats to the London's antiques areas from chains and high-street fashion outlets as a scandal.

"Every bit of individuality in our city is being hammered away," he said. "If we don't do something now London will become a clone town."

He also pointed out that the antiques trade could make more of its green credentials as it has been a cornerstone of the recycling industry for centuries.

When not on the campaign trail, Noel Lynch conducts sales for Hornsey Auctions and other salerooms on a freelance basis. He also runs a collectors' charity shop in Archway Road called The Green Room, which he opened in 2005. Although primarily offering books and records, the curiosities currently on offer include a Victorian haemorrhoid removal device. Time Out described it as the "most unusual shop in London".

Having originally trained as an auctioneer in his native Ireland, Mr Lynch has lived in Britain for 21 years and been a member of the Green Party for 19 years.

He spent 12 years running The Bargain Centre in East Finchley, where he was a founder member of the East Finchley Traders Association.

"Small businesses are essential to a thriving local community," he said. "They are the glue of a community. It has even been shown that where there are many small businesses, there is less crime

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Camels bought at auction - for weed control

There was one definite conclusion from the first-ever camel auction held in Charters Towers, North Queensland, on the weekend - they weren’t as dear as chemical weed killers.

With camels having proven their ability to assist in weed control, several graziers took the opportunity on Saturday to invest in something other than chemicals to reduce woody weed numbers.

A total of 73 camels were sold under the hammer at the Dalrymple Stadium, while others sold after the auction.

Top price for a single camel was for a cow, at $650.

Cows averaged $350 and a cow with calf sold for $800.

Top price bull camel went for $500, with bull camels averaging $246.

The top priced bullock also sold for $500, with an average of $420, and the top yearling bull made $200, with an average of $200.

In all, the total sale grossed $26,500 for the 81 camels sold, with an average of $328.

Vendors for the sale were WH Carter and Co, and J and M Wharton.

The sale was conducted by Geaney's, Charters Towers.

Auctioneer Jim Geaney said he was pleased with the result from the auction and that the prices had met the market.

SOURCE: North Queensland Register, April 10

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Auction opportunity: a worm to be named after you!

Here’s a new way to have your named something named a species named after you without you having discovered it. You pay for it. You could get a new species of nudibranch, which is a pleasantly plump hermaphrodite mollusk with bright orange speckles named after you for $15,000. Doesn’t take your fancy? Oh come on! Be adventurous! And how is all of this coming to be? Well, UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla is offering the chance to name about a dozen newly discovered species for a tax-deductible donation. Bids start at $5,000.

The money will benefit the Scripps Oceanographic Collections, a massive repository of ocean life and rock samples collected over the past 100 years. Curators have been scrambling to keep the collections afloat since losing state funding six years ago. The collections are used by students and researchers here and around the world.

And these guys aren’t the only ones in this “naming” business. Last year, Monaco's Oceanographic Museum sold the naming rights to a new shark species at a Christie's auction. Two years earlier, the online Golden Gate Casino gambling site paid the Wildlife Conservation Society to name a new species of Bolivian monkey. So what you waiting for? Get your own mollusk named after you. Or even better, your own hydrothermal vent worm for $50,000. I’m sure after you’ve paid up and named the worm after you, you’ll start seeing the resemblance!