Our founders, estate agents Peter Martel, Clive Maides and Simon Le Pelley started auctioning the contents of houses on the island of Guernsey in 1975, from a small building in the Gibauderie, St Peter Port. Within just one year the business was so successful that a move to Berthelot Street was required in 1976 and then again to a much more suitable auction room in Allez Street.
Responding to demand, the business rapidly expanded to include such oddities as World War II fortifications, Napoleonic towers and “Fiefs” which are medieval titles. Auctioneer Simon Le Pelley became well known for auctioning herds of local Guernsey cattle and agricultural fields which are valued by the vergee, an ancient land measurement system.
In 2000 the business relocated again to its current location in far larger accommodation in Cornet Street, St Peter Port.
Following many years of informal mutual cooperation with Bonhams of London in the 1990s the two companies decided to formalise our relationship and Bonhams acquired a 50% interest in the Guernsey company and the name changed to Bonhams Martel Maides. Unfortunately this arrangement was not as successful as expected and in 2001 we bought back Bonhams’ shares and changed the name back to Martel Maides Auctions Ltd, since when we have been proudly independent.
Since 2016 we have employed full-time staff in Jersey with particular expertise in furniture, paintings and prints. As there is no resident firm of fine art auctioneers in Jersey, we are pleased to be able to offer a full range of services to local residents, including valuations. Goods sourced in Jersey are usually sold from our Guernsey auction room, although single vendor sales can and have been held in Jersey.
Special single vendor sales are conducted either in the auction room or in vendor’s houses in both Jersey and Guernsey. Examples of single-vendor sales have been the stunningly successful sales at “Priors”, “Les Arches” and “Claremont Court” in Jersey and “Dolphins”, “Beaucamp de Haut” and “La Bigoterie” in Guernsey, as well as the renowned collection of fine Channel Islands silver of the late Michael Paint and the entire collection of property owned by the late Advocate Roger Perrot.
Other notable successes over the years have included the sale of a pair of extremely rare 18th century Chinese Yongzheng bowls for £1.02 million together with a third bowl for £280,000 on behalf of a local family who thought they might be “quite valuable” but had used them for serving snacks at Christmas. They were identified by James Bridges and needless to say, when Clive Maides dropped the gavel on this sale there was spontaneous and prolonged applause.
In 2006 a record was set for Stuart silver when we sold a pair of 1645 Charles I silver communion chalices by Patrick Borthwick and Deacon Lamb of Edinburgh. Estimated at £30,000 – £35,000 they achieved £69,000.
We now hold regular sales of fine wines and vintage spirits as well as vehicles and Guernsey number plates. The truly unique plate 007 was offered for sale in 2017 and achieved a record £240,000 at an auction overseen by Nick Renny.
Martel Maides Auctions Ltd is independently owned and staffed by experts in paintings, furniture, ceramics, silver, asian and middle eastern art, clocks, barometers and other collectibles, militaria, rugs & carpets, and jewellery & fine watches, as well as vintage wines and spirits, vehicles and Guernsey number plates.
Our trusted specialists have a wealth of professional and academic experience, which combined with their local knowledge and extensive national and international network, provides a comprehensive first-class valuation and consultancy service designed to suit our clients whether they be individuals, corporate bodies or legal advisors.