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Fellows Auctioneers invites watch enthusiasts to 140th anniversary celebrations

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Fellows Auctioneers is celebrating 140 years of continuous operations this month.

Watch enthusiasts can join in the celebrations of the anniversary at the next Watch Sale, which takes place on November 28 at Augusta House in Birmingham.

The Fellows family can trace its business success even further back than 140 years. In 1876 they were already well established as pawnbrokers, with shops across the West Midlands.

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They used auctions to sell uncollected pledges (a service still offered by Fellows to pawnbrokers today), but when William Henry Fellows was left with an unwanted order of bicycles he decided to sell them by auction and Fellows & Sons was established.

Francis Henry Fellows.
Francis Henry Fellows was the son of founder William Fellows, and was instrumental in growing the jewellery side of the business.

As the auction business grew, William Fellows was followed into the business by his son Francis Henry Fellows who grew the jewellery auctions, selling items belonging to refugees escaping the Russian revolution.

The next generation, William and Albert Fellows (pictured above) followed in their father Francis’s footsteps and the business continued to flourish.

The brothers handled a wide variety of goods from refugees fleeing Nazi persecution who were able to smuggle out some of their wealth.

In the 1970s, Antony Fellows joined the business and ran the company with his wife Muriel.

Antony Fellows and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham at one of their auctions.
Antony Fellows and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham at one of their auctions.

In 1986, they were joined by their daughter Jayne Fellows and later, her husband Stephen Whittaker.

Jayne and Stephen Whittaker now run Fellows with their daughters Alexandra and Nicola working in the newly opened London office in Hill St, Mayfair.

The past 140 years has seen six generations of the Fellows family manage the business from strength to strength, moving to larger premises and expanding into London.

Today Fellows holds around 100 specialist auctions a year including sales for jewellery, watches, silver, antiques and handbags.

Fellows today: Nicola, Stephen, Alexandra and Jayne Whittaker, Muriel Fellows with Maddie the Fellows dog.
Fellows today: Nicola, Stephen, Alexandra and Jayne Whittaker, Muriel Fellows with Maddie the Fellows dog.

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder

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