'Bookshelves, vinyl and Pokemon cards' - what we've bought in lockdown

Elizabeth Talbot of TW Glaze Auction Rooms in Diss

Elizabeth Talbot, director, of TW Gaze Auction Rooms in Diss, said there have been trends in purchases bought at auction during lockdown. - Credit: TW Glaze Auction Rooms

The draw of online shopping has increased significantly over the last 12 months and it has been far reaching with one auction house picking up on buyer's habits during lockdown.

Elizabeth Talbot, director of TW Gaze Auction Rooms, in Diss, said trends have become noticeable in the last 12 months as buyers seek to improve their space or take on new interests while spending more time at home.

With the rise of Zoom calls, many have looked to improve their backgrounds with new bookshelves and reading material while on work calls or chatting to friends and family.

Mrs Talbot said: "Books were strong before lockdown. I think people's appreciation of books seems to be uplifted with having more time to read. People like a favourite artist or think they are a nice thing to collect, they are looking for good research material, areas such as ornithology or local history. Books with specific academic themes are doing really well."

In recent weeks a set of ornithology and natural history books sold for £1,200, as well as books on sport, travel, topography and local history proving popular with bidders.

A picture showing furniture, books, small collectables

From furniture to books, toys to small collectables, a Diss auctioneer has picked out the most noticeable buying trends at the auction house during lockdown. - Credit: TW Gaze Auction Rooms

The auctioneer said: "Travel and historical travel, perhaps representing virtual travel during lockdown. Theatre and the arts, perhaps because it's the next best thing to the real thing, that we are sadly deprived of at the moment."

It is not just bookshelves, but furniture in general, an area which Mrs Talbot thought would suffer due to customers being unable to physically view the item.

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Mrs Talbot said: "People have been buying from auction houses without being able to see it or touch it, it has been a real surprise.  

"Furniture has been extremely popular in the last 10 to 12 months, with people looking to redecorate, or take up a restoration project while staying at home.

"Even Georgian and Victorian pieces that have been considered old fashioned or too big for modern living. 

“People have spent a year in four walls and looking at how they could spruce or change.  There is time to peruse the auction catalogues that they did not when they were full out at work.

"People are making more conscious choices of where they are putting their money. Signs that investment is being made in homely surroundings are seen in the enthusiastic purchase of furniture, furnishings and finishing flourishes, made all the better if the artist or maker is local."

Buyers have also been tempted by "bizarre and unique" items as well as small collectables which are easy to be delivered and stored. 

Precious metals continue to spike in value as people look to make an investment and the textile market of ornate garments throughout the centuries have not been impacted by the pandemic.

Alongside books, toys continue to be a popular collectors item, with bids flying in for trains, Lego and Pokemon cards over the last 12 months. One lot of 13 unopened Lego sets sold for an average of £160 each at auction

Mrs Talbot said: "People have time to build that train layout they have always wanted and they haven't had the time and patience. People also know of the Matchbox or Hornby names, which is why the condition is important.

Music fans have also been looking at auction houses, which Mrs Talbot said provides a great source for records as well as the equipment.

The LP of Pink Floyd was bought for £400 at auction.

The LP of Pink Floyd was bought for £400 at auction. - Credit: TW Gaze Auction Rooms

The record player was bought for £750 at the auction house.

The record player was bought for £750 at the auction house. - Credit: TW Gaze Auction Rooms

At an auction last September, a vinyl LP of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon fetched £400.

Mrs Talbot said: "We have seen some strong sales of people collecting vinyl. They can listen to their favourite artists on their players. 

"For some people this will be a pass time during a time they cannot live life to the full. Some have discovered auction houses even if they never set foot in an auction house."

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