Swans of Wells Charity Auction

All 60 of the fabulous Swans of Wells flock were sold at an exciting charity auction at the Bishop's Palace in Wells in September 2012.  Bids to the value of over £100,000 came in for the individually decorated 5ft swan sculptures, decorated by a wide range of talented artists from all over the West Country and beyond.

The highest bid was £9,000, paid for 'Guinevere - She Built a Nest of Silver Leaves', created by sculptor Ian Marlow, which has been floating on the Bishop's Palace moat on a nest of silver leaves for over three months this summer.

Guinevere became such a familiar sight in Wells that the residents of England's smallest city were determined not to let her fly the nest.  Appeals had been made in the Wells Journal and local and regional radio stations for residents to club together to keep Guinevere in the city.  Emotions were high as bids switched from internet bids to the room where the 'Save Guinevere' bid team were still collecting further funds as the total mounted.

When the 'Save Guinevere' bid was eventually successful, there was uproar in the room, with a standing ovation and a few tears of joy!  Guievere will now remain in her stunning location on the moat of the 800 year old Bishop's Palace, were she will welcome residents and visitors for many years to come. 

Other highlights of the evening included the sale of Hot Fuzz, named after the iconic black comedy film shot in Wells, which was sponsored by the film's producers and director Edgar Wright, who grew up in Wells.  Hot Fuzz swan was bought by Working Title Pictures and Edgar Wright and has been very generously donated back to Wells Police Station, where he has been so much admired whilst on display there over the course of the summer.

Guest Auctioneer Martin Roberts
BBC TV presenter Martin Roberts did a fantastic job extracting every last bid out of the room and online, with Wells Auctioneers McCubbing & Redfern.  Thanks to Sarah and Allen Mechen, Peter Wicks and Martin for so kindly donating their time and helping raise vital funds for local projects and charities.

To start the evening off, and to get everyone in the bidding mood, Martin had everyone waving  their paddle numbers and then successfully raised several hundred pounds by auctioning a Swans of Wells book, signed by the Swan artists, along with his own 'Making Money From Property' .

Please see the Swan Sculptures page of the website for photos of the fabulous flock and their lot numbers.

For a souvenir of the Swans of Wells event and photographs of all of the flock, as well as behind the scenes photos and information about the event, you can buy the Swans of Wells book from Waterstones in Wells for £8.

Thanks again to all swan artists and sponsors, without whom this event would not have been possible.  Artists donate weeks if not months of their time to the project and receive 25% of the sale price of their swans at auction.  The streets of Wells have acted as a giant gallery for artists, whose work has been seen by thousands of residents and visitors to the city over the course of the summer.  The auction price of the swans may not reflect the talent and time that some artists have spent creating these masterpieces, however the event is an excellent promotion for individual artists and contemporary art as a whole, and the flock has helped showcase the talents of some of our best West Country artists. 

As all 60 swans started as blank white sculptures, it's incredible to see how artists have quite independently decorated their swans in such very different styles, colours and designs - genius!

For more information about artists, with links to their websites, please see the Swan Sculpture and Artist pages of this website.

Narcissa, A Feathered Nest and Majesty grace the stunning 12th century Wells Cathedral green.
The trio are part of a fabulous flock of 60 individually decorated sculptures to be auctioned in September.

The Swans
The beautifully designed fibreglass resin sculptures were handmade in the UK and have been transformed into individually designed, limited edition works of art by talented artists from across the West Country and beyond. 

The swans look stunning in gardens of all sizes, from patios to stately homes, parks and grounds, public spaces, business foyers, on roofs, by ponds and lakes and even indoors, where they will make unique statement sculptures for art and swan fans everywhere! 

All profits from the Swans of Wells event will be donated to local Wells charities and good causes.

Young swan fan admires the delights of The Queen of Hearts, sponsored by Stoberry Lettings and painted by Helena Howcroft, with finishing touches by Stoberry Park School pupils