Bervie Auctions sales have come to an end after more than 30 years of intriguing items coming under the hammer.
The poignant final sale took place on Thursday night – with hundreds of Toby jugs, some vintage violins and countless curios being snapped up by collectors.
To mark the occasion, we are delving into our archives for this look at some of the most intriguing lots which have passed through the Aberdeenshire auction house over the years.
Vintage toys one of the best Bervie Auctions sales
Bargain hunters got the chance to relive their childhood when thousands of rare toys went under the hammer in June.
Auctioneer Dave Smith came across the unique selection when clearing an estate in Edinburgh. Some of the toys date back to 1910.
A Bing locomotive, Shackleton trucks and Corgi boxed vehicles were all on offer.
Speaking at the time, Dave told us:”I’ve been doing this for 34 years and I haven’t seen anything quite like it.”
Who Dares Wins…
Ladies compacts emblazoned with the Special Air Service (SAS) logo became an unlikely style trend during the early 1950s.
The trinkets were handed out to military wives after the Second World War and one of about 20 thought to still exist went on sale at Bervie in May.
It was discovered by a local family while clearing out a loft.
Theatre group’s old military uniforms
When the Ury Players theatre group decided to sell off costumes and props in 2006, Dave was on hand to make sure they went to a good home.
Among the costumes were an array of old military uniforms dating from Victorian times up to the 1940s.
Famous forger’s letter nearly duped Dave
Dave couldn’t believe his luck when he thought he came across a letter from Robert Burns while clearing a house in 2008.
But it turned out to be the work of the infamous 1880s forger “Antique” Smith.
A house clearance at Montrose unearthed the letter purporting to have been written by Burns.
It was only after some research it was discovered it was a forgery by Alexander Howland Smith.
Smith was known for forging manuscripts from historical figures, including Mary Queen of Scots, Oliver Cromwell and Sir Walter Scott.
William Wilberforce’s letter
However, around the same time, Dave came into possession of a letter written by anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce.
Dated June 7, 1830, it was written three weeks before the politician’s last public appearance.
It was found during the clearance of a house in the Arbroath area, which was owned by a descendant of a high-ranking official in the East India Company.
Former prime minister’s cabinet
In 2010, a Victorian cabinet formerly owned by early 20th century prime minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman passed through the doors of Bervie Auctions.
Sir Henry, who was a member of the Liberal Party, was born at Kelvinside House in Glasgow in 1836. He was the second son born to Sir James Campbell of Stracathro.
Dave pushed the boat out for this nautical auction
Hundreds of never-before-seen maritime and nautical artefacts from across the north-east went under the hammer in 2016.
The huge collection included plans, old photographs, glass negatives and books about the north-east.
Dave told us: “There are many plans included in the lot, one of which is the plans to move the original lighthouse in 1896. It really is amazing.
“There are pictures of ships being built in the 1930s, pictures of the turn of the century from the 1890s in Fraserburgh.”
Book was one of the most sought after Bervie Auctions sales
This ancient picture book gave Victorians an insight into an exotic world far beyond Britain’s shores.
Henry Salt’s book, Twenty-Four Views Taken in St Helena, the Cape, India, Ceylon, the Red Sea, Abyssinia and Egypt dates from 1809 and measured 2ft by 2ft.
Prior to the invention of photography, this type of book would have been the only way ordinary people would have been able to understand what the tropical and alien landscapes of the colonial world looked like.
Auctioneer David Smith said the celebrated artist, traveller, diplomat and Egyptologist’s book could potentially be the highest value item that had ever come through the firm’s doors.
Vintage clothes dug out from basement of Aberdeen shop
Last February, Bervie Auctions sold off the last items from McKay’s.
Aberdeen’s Queen Street institution began trading in 1905 and its store room was described as an “Aladdin’s cave” of rare and obscure fashion finds.
During the 1970s and 80s it was popular in music circles, with pop stars dropping in while they were in town.
Dave ended up with hundreds of pairs of vintage cords, bright glam rock flares other garments thought to have been in storage for 50 years.
Guitar sale was music to the ears of enthusiasts
A unique collection of 45 rare guitars were sold off last year.
It included brands such as Hofner, Gretsch and Fenders, as well as a vintage Italian guitar from the 1960s.
Dave said the sale was the “first of its kind” in the area.
Music legends made for one of the most fab Bervie Auctions sales
A rare picture signed by all four Beatles was sold by the Inverbervie business in 2018.
The black and white framed photograph came with a collectible silver coin adorned with The Fab Four’s faces.
It was only made available for sale once through a flyer inserted in copies of The Beatles Monthly magazine.
Laura’s bargain buy!
Laurencekirk woman Laura Mitchell told us about her best buy during the final auction at Bervie on Thursday night.
Laura, a regular at the Mearns saleroom over the years, was quick to show off her 9ct gold amethyst and diamond ring.
She paid just £35 for it… And was floored when a jeweller later told her it is worth £750!
Read our report on the final ever auction here: