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The plaque of properly quartered oak, measuring almost 2ft 8in (82cm) square, had been expertly mounted with various products of the metal foundry, including copper handles, lockplates and strap hinges, and it became the subject of
competitive bidding among collectors, eventually selling at £2600.

As well as reminders of his father’s
business, Hugh Birkett had kept some of the trinkets fashioned by his mother, including a leather-studded casket that Annie had made around 1905, while a student at the Birmingham School and an oval ivory panel carved with St Christopher and the Christ child.

The inked insignia of her name, class number and age (25) more than doubled the value of the 10in (25cm) box, which sold at £1700, while the 5 by 4in (12.5 x 11cm) ivory panel, although split into two halves, managed £780.