THEY nodded their heads or flashed number cards and another little piece of history was sold.
Busy bidders walked away with historic silverware, antique bookcases and limited edition china.
Every chair, bench and even table had an antique collector or supporter slumped over it during the marathon four-hour auction at Mirfield’s Community of the Resurrection.
And at the end of it all, the appeal to help build a new church at the historic site was tens of thousands of pounds better off.
The packed hall was filled with visitors from across the country who furiously competed to take home items such as a table by ‘Mouseman’ Robert Thompson or Leon Underwood’s African Madonna.
Other items included masonic swords, brass candlesticks, carvings and First and Second World War memorabilia.
Brother Oswin, Prior of the Community of the Resurrection, said: “We are delighted that the auction provoked such interest.
“Father John Gribben has given an enormous amount of time as the organiser and people have been really generous in donating items, each of which has some history.
“People have donated as they want to see our house of God, our church restored.
“The auction is part of our appeal in which we are hoping to raise money – nearly £2m.”
The monks want to carry out the revamp to improve disabled access into their Romanesque church and convert the monastery into housing.
Twenty-one brothers live at the Anglican monastery and have made life vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Poverty was not on the cards on Saturday as white number cards popped up time and again from buyers at the auction.
Nobody left the room as they didn’t want to lose their chance of taking home the star items. At 5.30pm the bidding started to get very interesting as a table and chairs set made in the 1920s by Robert Thompson came up for auction.
The furniture, which belonged to the community, is believed to have been part of a commission for Brigadier Hargreaves, of Castlegarth, Wetherby.
Other favourable items included a battlefield communion set, a framed and autographed picture of Princess Margaret, 1920 altar books, an original sketch by Dandy and Beano cartoonist Ken Harrison and a bottle of House of Commons Whisky, signed by David Cameron.
Several items up for sale had belonged to the late Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, who had been at the Community of the Resurrection and was one of the earlier instigators in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.
Chris Herbert, who had been to Mirfield as part of his training in to the priesthood, came from Doncaster to bid on a chalice and support the cause close to his heart.
He said: “I would really like to get one of the chalice sets to ensure that it is not bought to be melted down and is continued to be used.
“I also want to support the cause as this is a wonderful place.
Gary Iredale and Graham Shakespeare heard about the auction and came all the way from Tamworth in Staffordshire.
Graham, who is an antique collector, bid on many items and managed to walk away with a Victorian chair, a 1930s stationery cabinet and a Victorian scrapbook.
He said: “It has been a great auction, many of the items reached price and therefore I had to stop bidding.
“We drove 100 miles to be here and I am glad we did. We also wanted to support a friend Jacob Pallett who is at the theological college here.”
The final total raised by the auction is still being counted.