Seeger collection breaks auction house records

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A Sandsend man’s eclectic collection, which included a cocktail shaker belonging to American gangster Al Capone, has prompted a record breaking sale at London auction house Sotheby’s.

Two days worth of bidding over the late Stanley Seeger’s collection raised £7.3 million - around £4 million more than expected.

In total 2000 bids were made by collectors, dealers and art institutions from all around the world. 600 were in the auction room, 1600 people made phone bids and some made online bids.

The famous auction house said it was a record number of participants for one of their auctions.

On Friday, two of the main sales of the day were a working copy of Orson Welles’ script for Citizen Kane and the cocktail shaker.

The script dates back to 1940 and sold for £98, 500 despite only being expected to reach £20, 000.

The cocktail shaker went for 50 times more than anticipated with the hammer coming down at £50, 000. It was given to the American gangster as a Christmas present by his ‘associates’.

Legend also had it that American born Seeger, who lived a quiet life in Sandsend with his partner Christopher Cone, would use the shaker to serve guests at his home with Bloody Marys.

During Thursday’s first day of sale over £3 million was raised with items such as a Lord Nelson’s teapot and a jug from the Titanic.

David Macdonald, explored and researched the objects put forward. He said: “Stanley Seeger’s extraordinary eye and keen sense of fun pervades this collection, and so it has been a joy to see so many people come to our rooms to engage in, enjoy - and in many instances take home with them - part of the magical world that was Stanley’s and Christopher’s.”