Romance Is In The Air

Love tokens have been making national headlines of late, with the recent sale of three ‘leaden hearts’ at an Ipswich saleroom for some ten times their estimate demonstrating that, for some buyers, it really is a case of heart over head.

This Valentines Day, love is in the air at Bellmans, as lot 1255, which includes a love token dating from 1783, is captivating potential purchasers. Dedicated to an Alice Barns from her sweetheart, this sentimental example is being sold as part of the ‘Objets de Vertu’ section of Bellmans’ monthly Antiques and Interiors sale, and will be going under the hammer on Thursday 20th February. Created by rubbing and polishing a low grade metal coin until the surface runs smooth, the front has been hand-engraved with the recipient’s name and the date it was created, and the reverse features a motif of a heart pierced by an arrow. The current auction estimate stands at a mere £50-£80, but similar examples as recently as January have been realising hammer prices upwards of £800.

Alice Barns 

Bellmans will be sharing the love this month with the BBC Bargain Hunt team, who will be filming at the Wisborough Green saleroom on the last day of this month’s three day sale; Friday 21st February. All are invited to come along and experience the sale day buzz!

This month’s collection will be fully illustrated on our website from Thursday 13th February, and is open to view in person from noon on Friday 14th February until the morning of the sale. Online bidding is available via For more information and to register your interest, please visit, or alternatively contact Bellmans Auctioneers directly on 01403 700858.