Original Trap Door figurine sells for £1.6m at Glencoe
All eyes on St Lawrence after record-breaking auction drama
A global spotlight passes brightly over La Grande Route de St Laurent, after yesterday’s sales event bore witness to a once-in-a-lifetime bidding war.
There had been significant hype going into the auction, after collectors from the UK, France and Slovenia had made no secret of their enthusiasm to acquire the figurine of ‘Berk’ from the iconic British children’s programme first aired in 1984.
Lot number 22 finally kicked off after the selling of a Paul Walker emblazoned ‘Fast and Furious’ turbocharged Datsun Cherry for six hundred and eighty quid had electrified attendees, who soon recognised they were potentially watching history in the making, when just the third bid for the four-inch figurine was catapulted in at a staggering £35,000.
Willie Rushton, the narrator of the original programme, was in attendance at the event, and was said to have been ‘visibly distressed’ by the nature of the sale.
‘He was there to buy it for himself’ explained onlooker Dane Schlep, whom we caught up with as he left. ‘Make no mistake. When that massive bid came in, he just started flailing his arms about, shouting erratically, and gesticulating at the auctioneer. He threw a plastic bottle down to the lectern, then went barging out past everyone and just disappeared through the front gates, swearing to himself’
‘And I don’t blame him’ interrupted car-booter, Irene Meadows, hurrying her children past crowd controls. ‘I couldn’t believe it. It was the most vulgar thing I have ever seen. And I used to work in school admissions. The whistling. The cheers. The back-slapping and the screaming. We are losing all sense of our appreciation of the art itself’ she said. ‘The auction scene for works such as Berk is just a ‘‘let’s whip them out and see whose is biggest’’ peacock pageant now.’ ‘Pathetic.’
It is believed that the winning bid came in by telephone from an anonymous buyer from Beijing, where the market for eighties UK Plasticine stop-motion memorabilia has sky-rocketed in recent weeks.
‘It was amazing’ explained handler Ned Graham. ‘I couldn’t have imagined I would see anything like this again in my lifetime– not since we sold Ed the Duck’s beak for three hundred quid back in 2010’