Wrexham farmer’s cherished items to go under the hammer

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

CHERISHED treasures belonging to a Wrexham farmer are set to go under the hammer.

Over the years canny collector William Donald Evans, known locally as Don, acquired an impressive collection of Georgian and Victorian silverware.

Now, eight years after his death, the collection is going up for auction and is expected to fetch in the region of £10,000.

Mr Evans was a highly respected farmer in the Coedpoeth area where he was born and was known as The Squire by friends.

He was an avid collector and kept a detailed diary of his purchases and every receipt, outlining every investment made during his lifetime.

Among the items for sale is a tea caddy made in 1760 by the London silversmith Pierre Gillois. Mr Evans bought it in 1965 for £115 and it is expected to fetch between £1,500 and £2,000.

Also going under the hammer is a silver kettle, which alone weighs 36 ounces, and was made in 1824 by renowned silversmith William Bateman.

Mr Evans paid £150 and it could sell for up to £1,200 at auction.

A spokesman for Rogers Jones Co auctioneers described Mr Evans as a “inveterate collector”.

He said: “Instead of putting all his money in the bank after selling livestock at market, Mr Evans frequented auctions in the area as well as Lowe’s and Boodle and Dunthorne jewellers’ shops in Chester, treating himself to additions to his collection, which he recorded meticulously in his daily diary.

“His notes were so detailed that he even recorded the day on which the swallows left his farm to migrate south for the winter.”

The 50 lots that make up the collection weigh a total of 500 ounces and comprise of sugar castors, coffee pot, sauce boats, goblets, nutmeg grater, sugar tongs, egg cups, berry spoons, candlesticks, toddy ladle, rose bowls and vases.

Mr Evans attended Wrexham Grammar School before working on his father's farm – a former country inn called The Gegin – before setting up on his own on the council-owned farm called Red House.

The farmhouse was later requisitioned by the National Coal Board in 1960 for open cast mining, so he returned to work with his father.

Red House was eventually handed back to Mr Evans in 1965, after which it flourished as a dairy farm and piggery.

Mr Evans was a familiar sight collecting leftover food from the canteen at Brymbo steelworks and stale bread from Stant bakery, which he used to feed his pigs.

He retired in the late 1980s, by which time he had developed the respiratory complaint farmers' lung. He died in 2002 aged 77.

His collection will be sold at Roger Jones Co auctioneers in Colwyn Bay next Tuesday.

Antique collectors can view the items on Sunday from 2-4pm, on Monday from
1-7pm and on the morning of the sale up to 10.15am.

For more details call the auctioneer on 01492 532176 or info@rogersjones.co.uk

See full story in the Leader

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