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If you like auctions you'll love Government Auction News! – Discover how to find thousands of Luxury items at bargain prices

New iPhones, tablets, cameras, clothing, fashion and beauty products, vehicles, wines, beers and spirits - it might surprise you what turns up at auction, it'll astound you how little you'll have to pay!

Whatever your interest in auctions might be, from earning an extra income to establishing a successful business, or from seeking out collectibles to picking up incredible bargains, discover how Government Auction News can help you find what you're looking for.

What are "Government Auctions"?

Established 25 years ago, Government Auction News is the UK's premier auction information service

From our offices in Fleet Street, central London, we publish a whole range of newsletters, specialist courses, books and insider reports. Since 1990 our regular readers have been cashing in on some incredible bargains, and you can do the same.

You'll get all the latest news, clear and concise advice, special features, and investment advice on what to buy and what to pay. Learn how maximize value, turn a profit, avoid common auction mistakes and much more besides.

With over 250,000 satisfied customers over the years, Government Auction News has been recommended by BBC and ITV, national and local radio, The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, FHM Magazine among others,. Our publications are also referred to by official bodies such as the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, the Department of Environment and Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

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For pleasure and for profit

Providing details of over 1,200 auctions taking place each month throughout the whole of the UK, Government Auction News shows you where the bargains are to be found in your region and online.

You really can buy goods at prices that will make you think you are dreaming - up to 95% off the normal price week in, week out..

Celebrating 25 years - 1990-2015

"By far and away the best publication of its kind. Very impressive"
- Simon Davies, Chester

"I've gone into the property rental business thanks to Government Auction News"
- Steve Brown, Kent

"I paid £32 for this chair and sold it two weeks later for £270."
- Jay Singh, Leicestershire

"A brand new bathroom for just £120."
- Joanne Lee, Wales

GAN Editor Stuart Maclaren explains how Government Auction News will lead you to bargain after bargain after bargain:

Imagine if every month you were alerted to thousands of unbelievable bargains that not only could save you hundreds of pounds but also had the potential to make you profits in the region of 500%. What would you do with that information?

Would you use it to improve your lifestyle buying luxury items you've long wanted for yourself, or would you be tempted to turn your knowledge into a quick profit with little or no effort?

Our regular readers are already cashing in on some fabulous bargains, and you can do the same. It's hassle free and fun, and I'd like to show you the easiest way you can get in on this simple strategy.

Why are the prices of these luxury items so low? Well, each month thousands of organisations sell goods at auction and they want to get rid of them fast. It doesn't take a genius to work out that the speediest way to sell something is to accept a very low price.

That's why most of these auctions are NO-RESERVE PRICE sales, that is to say the goods must be sold there and then with no lower price limit. The 'best bid' wins irrespective of realistic values or market prices - you could literally pay just a few pounds for something that's worth hundreds!

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Take the police, for example. They use these auctions to unload vast quantities of lost and unclaimed property, everything from computers and mobile phones to video cameras and iPods, cars, boats and even caravans!

Company receivers and insolvency practitioners dispose of bankruptcy stock by the same means, while HM Customs & Excise are interested in selling off confiscated and impounded items. In every case, the vendor is interested in a quick and easy sale - so there are always thousands of bargains to be had.

So, if you're willing to attend a few of these auctions each month it will be possible for you to pick up bargain after bargain after bargain. You can buy goods at prices that will make you think you are dreaming - up to 95% off the normal price week in, week out.

But if you look in the mainstream press for these sales, you'll be lucky to find them. Often these sales aren't publicised and that can make it difficult for beginners. But don't worry, that's where Government Auction News comes in.

Government Auction News provides details of over 1,200 auctions taking place each month throughout the whole of the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and shows you where the bargains are to be found in your region, the type of auction and when it will take place.

Whether you are interested in bankrupts stocks, police lost and found, airport lost property, ex-catalogue stocks, trade stocks, Government surplus, antiques and collectibles, property, plant and machinery, cars, boats or bicycles... Government Auction News will steer you to the very best bargains.

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From this month's issue:


Doomed, I tell you: doomed!

Auctioneer Jeremy Lamond's campaign to make the world appreciate and value brown furniture once again (as reported in the April issue of GAN) has made some progress and won quite a lot of media coverage, but evidently there is a long way to go. Proof of this was to be found in the episode of BBC TV's Bargain Hunt aired on 8th April, during which time Thomas Plant convinced his team to buy a reproduction shield-back Carolean-style chair for £85. It sold for £20, to the surprise of no one (apart from Thomas) but that wasn't the truly distressing part. Of more concern was the breezy explanation that it was called Carolean "because of Queen Caroline". Quite a worrying opinion when voiced by an antiques valuer and TV expert. If Jeremy can't get his fellow auctioneers to get something as simple as that right, what hope is there for the rest of us?
In reality, it's called Carolean because Carolus is the Latin version of 'Charles', in the same way that 'Jacobean' comes from Jacobus, the Latin for 'James'. The Carolean period refers to the period c.1660 (when Charles II returned from exile and was restored to the throne) to 1685. The woman generally referred to as Queen Caroline, or Caroline of Brunswick, doesn't enter Our Island Story until 1795, when she married the then Prince of Wales, later George IV. She became Princess of Wales and was later, briefly, queen, from the day of George's coronation in January 1820 (from which she was turned away by her hating, hated and hateful husband) to her death in August 1821. They had never really got on. Famously, on first seeing his betrothed (they were contracted to marry but had never before met), he cried out to his servants, "Brandy!" Infamously, according to Queen Caroline, George spent most of his wedding night lying dead drunk in the fireplace. Marital bliss, eh?

And on that subject...

Bad to the last drop

A few years ago, I read Lethal Witness, Andrew Rose's biography of the Home Office pathologist Sir Bernard Spilsbury (1877-1947). What makes the book fascinating and terrible in equal measure is that unlike earlier biographies (that tend to resemble hagiographies) Rose's book highlights the numerous instances where Spilsbury's evidence resulted in convictions when there was more than a little reasonable doubt concerning the prisoner's guilt. More gruesome still, Rose re-examines and dissects one or two cases when Spilsbury was wrong but refused to admit it and, through his pugnacious testimony, force of personality and fearsome reputation (which more or less guaranteed a conviction) all but hanged innocent people - which is ironic, to say the least of it.

One of Spilsbury's/English justice's possible victims was the notorious Dr Crippen, executed in 1910 for killing his wife. The main evidence against Crippen had been the dismembered and headless body found in the cellar that the police claimed belonged to his missing wife, Cora. That and the fact that he tried to flee to the US by ship, having first disguised himself as a boy (but let's not judge too hastily - we've all done it), with his girlfriend, Ethel Le Neve. Famously, he was captured thanks to the early use of wireless, the ship's captain contacting Scotland Yard with his belief that Crippen was on board, allowing a faster ship with a detective to overtake and intercept him.

Spilsbury's evidence was that a portion of flesh found in the cellar showed an appendectomy scar which proved that it belonged to Cora Crippen, since she had had just such an operation, uncommon in that era. Nobody else could see this supposed scar - Crippen himself and his defence team maintained that it was simply a fold in the skin - but such was Spilsbury's conviction that the jury believed him. Crippen's conviction followed soon after.

There is a healthy - or unhealthy, depending on how you look at it - market in items related to notorious murderers, so when some of the letters that Crippen had written from the condemned cell came up for sale at Henry Aldridge and Son in Wiltshire in early April, they made headlines around the world.

"There was a lot of interest from clients both here and in America, because Crippen was American," said auctioneer Andrew Aldridge. "We had a collector from Australia that showed interest too. There was frantic bidding."

The letters, written to friends and supporters, touched on the trial of Crippen's lover and supposed accomplice, Ethel Le Neve, as well as his own situation:

"You may perhaps be able to imagine the state of my mind yesterday, waiting, waiting in suspense the whole day until the great news was so very kindly told me in the evening by the Governor, when he came and said he had a telegram saying 'acquitted' - thank God for such a relief ... Mr Newton will assist me in making a strong appeal, so hope it is not entirely gone yet. I am allowed to have my glasses and all the books I want to read and everyone tries to be kind to me so I try to rest content for the present ... I am still hopeful and all may yet come right."

On the day the letters raced past their £3,000-£5,000 estimate to sell for £11,000.

For decades after his execution, the name of Crippen had retained ghoulish connotations, being used both as an oath and a maternal threat to unruly children - "If you don't stop that right now, Dr Crippen will get you!" I wonder if in years to come the saleroom's name will be used in much the same way: "If you're not careful you'll end up in Aldridge's!" After all, it has long been recognised as one of the leading purveyors of Titanic memorabilia and adding letters from the condemned cell to its list of important sales won't do much to promote a feeling of fun and jollity. Still, if you own an artefact with a direct connection to infamy, disaster and death then they may be the people to contact. Take a quick look around the house and if you find you have Lizzy Borden's axe, the R101's mooring cable or Christie's spectacles, you will know what to do.

There is an interesting postscript to the Crippen case. Almost 100 years after his trial, DNA testing proved with reasonable certainty that the remains in the cellar were those of a male. Some people have claimed that this proves Crippen's innocence, but here's an idea: what if Cora - a music hall performer and vaudeville star, let's not forget - had really been a man and a female impersonator, … la the famed Vesta Tilley? It's a fascinating conjecture, an interesting motive for murder and surely a potential Man Booker novel...? (No, it isn't - move on. The Publishers.)

Antique humour of the antiques trade

While we are still in the Edwardian era, and to lighten the gloom a little, here is a postcard from around 1910. It's a theme and treatment that had built up a fine patina of age (appropriately enough) even then.
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