John Pye Auctions Weekly Story – ‘Passion Wagon’

A four-poster bed featured heavily in the love life of one of my major business contacts, a Nottingham fabric dealer. He paid £250 for the lovely brass bed which I had bought originally for £45.

Two years later, the man met up with me and took me to a flat he owned in the city’s Mapperley Plains area. Once there, I could hardly believe my eyes. He showed me the four- poster draped with around £3000-worth of red and gold damask.

I knew he dealt in fabrics, but this was exceptional. It looked magnificent. I offered him £3000 for it immediately. But he said he wouldn’t even take £10,000. The bed was his passion wagon. He was taking girlfriends back to the flat and they were being absolutely wowed by the sight of this magnificent bed.

That might have been the end of the tale. But the following Saturday, the dealer came to see me at one of my Cattle Market sales and told me the whole house – including his flat – had been gutted in a fire. He asked me if I would visit the wrecked building and see what I could salvage from the ruins.

I turned up and started picking pieces up, then I came across a big shiny pool of metal. It was solid brass. The blaze had melted the four-poster bed into a big molten blob that had solidified.

I took the heavy brass blob to a scrap yard, where it made £308. When I went back to the fabric dealer, he told me I could keep the money – clearly the passion had gone out of his four-poster fun.

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