Ely framing shop earns one last hurrah as celebrity auctioneer David Palmer helps pocket over £10,000

PUBLISHED: 14:37 01 October 2020

Celebrity freelance auctioneer David Palmer and wife Mary helped lead an online shop sale at the city’s Gallery Frames shop. Picture: BATEMANS AUCTIONEERS & VALUERS LTD/GOOGLE MAPS

Celebrity freelance auctioneer David Palmer and wife Mary helped lead an online shop sale at the city’s Gallery Frames shop. Picture: BATEMANS AUCTIONEERS & VALUERS LTD/GOOGLE MAPS

Archant

Over £10,000 worth of contents is believed to have been sold from an Ely framing shop, which closed its doors after more than three decades in business.

Celebrity freelance auctioneer David Palmer and wife Mary helped lead an online shop sale at the city�s Gallery Frames shop. Picture: BATEMANS AUCTIONEERS & VALUERS LTDCelebrity freelance auctioneer David Palmer and wife Mary helped lead an online shop sale at the city�s Gallery Frames shop. Picture: BATEMANS AUCTIONEERS & VALUERS LTD

From framing machines and radiators to cutting boards, a range of items were flogged during an online shop sale at Gallery Frames on Fore Hill on Thursday, September 24, which was run by John James who died earlier this year.

Celebrity freelance auctioneer David Palmer alongside wife Mary led the sale, who were asked to help sell the remaining items by Ely entrepreneur Barry Lonsdale, who knew John and his partner.

“Barry got in touch with me because I knew John James and his partner,” Mr Palmer said.

“She didn’t know what to do, so Barry then spoke to me and I thought we could have a sale, but it needs to be online.

Celebrity freelance auctioneer David Palmer and wife Mary helped lead an online shop sale at the city’s Gallery Frames shop. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSCelebrity freelance auctioneer David Palmer and wife Mary helped lead an online shop sale at the city’s Gallery Frames shop. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

“I got in contact with Batemans and that is how it came about.”

The sale at Gallery Frames, run by Mr James for 16 years, took place using three internet platforms operated by Mr Palmer, his wife and Batemans Auctioneers & Valuers Ltd., where picture frame shoppers and local residents could place their bids online and in person.

Around 95 per cent of items were sold on the day, with the most expensive item, a Morso mitre machine, fetching £2,700.

“We set up several computers and we had bidders for the sale that would come from anywhere with an internet connection,” Greg Bateman, managing director of Batemans Auctioneers & Valuers Ltd., said.

The most expensive item sold was the Morso mitre machine, whichw as sold for £2,700. Picture: BATEMANS AUCTIONEERS & VALUERS LTD.The most expensive item sold was the Morso mitre machine, whichw as sold for £2,700. Picture: BATEMANS AUCTIONEERS & VALUERS LTD.

“The picture frame shop auction was unusual, but I was pretty impressed with how many lots managed to sell.”

MORE: Hundreds of photographs depicting British army officer’s career during 20th century go under the hammer in Ely

Mr Palmer, from Ely, has overseen many deals from his near 40-year career in auctioneering, including on BBC shows such as Flog It and Cash in the Attic.

But although he admits change on the high street is sometimes needed, he hopes Gallery Frames’ replacement can still attract residents to his hometown.

“People always ask me ‘now the shop is closed, are you sad about it?’ I think some things have to change. We have a vacant shop ready and waiting for the next adventure,” Mr Palmer added.

“I hope it’s something more interesting than a coffee shop to keep the people coming into the city, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

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