1. A Doulton bear
This 2ft 6in (76cm) high Doulton Lambeth salt glazed stoneware brown bear was found in overgrown grass in the garden of a house in Kent. Canterbury auctioneer Tony Pratt was valuing the contents of the house which has reaped around 100 lots for its next three-day sale this week. Pratt said: “The grass hadn’t been cut for years and some of the weeds were up to my shoulders, but I spotted a shape in the undergrowth and thought it was worth trying to get closer… I was amazed when it turned out to be a pottery statue of a brown bear… It was an unexpected but highly amusing discovery.”
Marks inside the upturned hive identified it as late 19th century Doulton potentially by artist Mark Marshall.
It carries an estimate of £2000-3000 at The Canterbury Auction Galleries August 6-8 sale. The lot can be viewed on thesaleroom.com.
2. A 17th century oak chest
This late-17th century oak two-part chest of eight short drawers will feature in a three-day sale of Wine, Asian Works of Art, Silver & Jewellery at Bellmans in Sussex on August 6-8.
The 4ft x 3ft 7in (1.23 x 1.1m) piece stands on bun feet and is decorated to each drawer with chequer banding and rolled paper marblewood veneered fronts. It is estimated at £500-800 and can be viewed on thesaleroom.com.
3. A stuffed and cased antelope
As part of its Natural History & Taxidermy auction on August 9, North Yorkshire saleroom Tennants will offer the second part of the Bruce Housden collection of taxidermy. A bricklayer by trade, the late Bruce Housden of Cambridgeshire amassed more than 500 specimens of cased taxidermy and natural history curiosities.
This Victorian cased taxidermy by Henry Ward of London c.1899-1902 of a dik-dik, the small antelope native to eastern Africa. This particular dik-dik was adopted as a company mascot during the Boer War and belonged to a Major Johnson-Smith. When the animal died of natural causes, Johnson-Smith had the body returned to London where his family had it mounted. According to the accompanying provenance, it remained with the family until the sale of their estate.
It is being offered with an estimate of £350-550 and can be viewed on thesaleroom.com.
4. A Greek bronze helmet
Pax Romana, the London firm located close to the British Museum, will hold an auction of antiquities, coins and jewellery on August 10.
The 601-lot catalogue is divided into five sections: ancient jewellery, ancient coins, Classical antiquities, Asian antiquities and ancient weaponry, with many items estimated at under £500.
Potentially the sale’s financial highlight is a Greek Corinthian bronze helmet. Dating to c.600 BC, it has curvilinear eyeholes that taper to a point, a wide nose guard and broad cheek pieces that leave a vertical opening for the mouth.
The property of a London art expert and formerly in a British collection assembled in the 1970s, it is estimated at £30,000-£50,000. The lot can be viewed on thesaleroom.com.
5. A Tom Thumb sampler
This unusual Victorian needlework sampler depicts the circus performer general Tom Thumb from Barnum's Circus with alphabet, numbers and text surrounded by a floral border. The 12.5 x 16in (32 x 40cm) sampler is by an E Cottrell and dated April 18, 1853. It will be offered at Special Auction Services’ fine art and antiques sale on August 6 in Newbury, Berkshire with an estimate of £150-250. The lot can be viewed on thesaleroom.com.