15-10-05-2211NE01A Felix Dennis ascot cup auction.jpg
The 1864 Ascot Cup which sold at the three-day auction of the Felix Dennis collection for £67,000.

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Two regional auctioneers - Halls of Shrewsbury and  Bigwoods of Stratford-upon-Avon - joined forces to conduct an 'on-the-premises' sale of art and antiques displayed by the colourful publisher at homes in New York, London and Mustique as well as his estate in Dorsington, Warwickshire.

A 20,000 sq ft marquee was erected in Dorsington to disperse the eclectic contents ranging from period oak and walnut via tribal art, marine antiques and Modern British sculpture.

The three-day sale on September 29-30 and October 1 numbered 2300 lots. Jeremy Lamond at Halls told ATG the final total was 'well in excess of £1m with after-sales ongoing'.

Dennis, a former editor of counterculture magazine Oz, later pioneered computer and hobbyist magazine publishing in the UK.

The major beneficiary of the sale was Dennis' Heart of England Forest charity.

This 3ft 1in (94cm) trophy was mentioned thus in The Illustrated London News dated June 24, 1864: The Ascot Gold Cup, value £300, was won by Mr W. S. Cartwright's four-year-old horse Ely. This piece of plate though styled as a cup, is neither more nor less than an equestrian statuette of Joan of Arc, designed by Mr Harrison Weir, modelled by Mr W. F. Spencer and manufactured by Messrs R and S Garrard, goldsmiths of the Haymarket.

'The truth, grace and spirit of its design and the beauty of its workmanship are apparent at a glance.'

The buyer's premium was 19.5%