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The 317 glass paperweights were amassed by a single collector over several decades. The rarest are expected to achieve between £100-150 each at the auction on August 7, while those produced in greater numbers will be sold in batches of five or six and estimated at around £100-150 per lot.

Among the rarest are The Glassmaker by Caithness, which was produced in a run limited to just 100, and Emerald Dancers by the same manufacturer, which was produced in a run of 50.

"They are all lovely, and very collectable - some incredibly so," said auctioneer Philip Allwood.

Also included in the sale are paperweights decorated with swirls of coloured glass, flowers, glass birds, fish, animals and a dandelion clock. There are also a couple of glass 'dumps' from the earliest days of the Victorian paperweight boom - in effect solid lumps of glass sold as paperweights or doorstops.