Valuation day in Ely “a phenomenal” success

THERE was a “phenomenal” response to an antique and collectibles valuation day held at the Babylon Gallery in Ely, with members of the public producing a huge range of artefacts for scrutiny by the experts on hand.

Senior valuers from Batemans auction house in Stamford spent the day looking at everything from paintings and silver, to dolls and jewellery.

Christine Pike, the gallery’s new exhibition co-ordinator said: “The event was phenomenally successful, I was amazed. There was a queue outside before the gallery opened, and at one time there was standing room only; with people having to wait nearly an hour to be seen.”

The event was part of the Fake or Forgeries exhibition at the ADeC gallery in Waterside, running until September 11, and displaying a private collection belonging to local auctioneer David Palmer. It was the second valuation session held during the exhibition, a two-hour evening event was staged last month.

Auctioneer and valuer Ron Bateman said: “We had a very good day in Ely; one of the most valuable items brought in was a silver presentation rose bowl from 1955, worth around �800; a bird cage from 1880 was also a very interesting item.”

Christine added: “The Babylon Gallery is looking to host a wider range of events in the future, including evening entertainment.

“We hope to get a premises licence so we can expand our range of activities, to such things as poetry readings and literary events. We also hope to hold more valuation days as part of our programme.”