‘Westminster Abbey’ skeleton clock, c.1880, by Swinden & Son of Birmingham – estimated £3000-5000 at McTear’s.

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1. Victorian skeleton clock

The Clocks & Instruments auction at McTear’s in Glasgow on April 28 includes, estimated at £3000-5000, this ‘Westminster Abbey’ skeleton clock, c.1880, by Swinden & Son of Birmingham (pictured above).

Standing 2ft 1in (62cm) high, it has a three-train, triple-fusee driven movement with a quarter-striking repeater mechanism sounding on eight bells.

Many were given as presentation pieces with this one set with a silver plaque inscribed Presented to George Clark Esquire by his Employees Home Department in recognition of his untiring energy and as a mark of their esteem and regard for him as their Employer, along with a Gold Albert for Mrs. Clark, 83 Titchfield Street, Kilmarnock, 31 Dec 1880.

2. Christopher Dresser jug


Claret or water jug designed by Christopher Dresser with hallmarks for Elkington & Co – estimate £2000-3000 at Roseberys.

Roseberys London holds a sale titled Design: Decorative Arts 1860 to The Present Day on April 26 where this silver and ivory claret or water jug is estimated at £2000-3000.

Designed by Christopher Dresser, it has hallmarks for Elkington & Co (Birmingham 1885) and the registration number 22870.

Michael Whiteway’s collecting monograph Christopher Dresser 1834-1904 illustrates a similar jug to the inside back cover (in silverplate with variations to the finial and the handle) and a page from Elkington’s silver pattern book, 1885, which shows the original drawing.

3. Guillotine commemorative mug


Pearlware mug c.1793 with a scene of Louis XVI being guillotined – estimate £600-1000 at Woolley & Wallis.

The Terror in France was greeted with a mixture of fascination and horror in Britain. This rare pearlware mug c.1793 is printed in blue with a scene titled View of La Guillotine or the modern Beheading Machine at Paris, By which Louis XVI late King of France was Beheaded Jan. 21 1793.

Two figures watch on as the king lies prone beneath the blade.

At the European Ceramics & Glass sale held by Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury on April 26-27, it is expected to bring £600-1000.

4. Farming book collection


Reynolde Scot’s Perfite Platforme of a Hoppe Garden published in 1578 – estimate £3000-5000 at Reeman Dansie on April 26-27.

The Robert ‘Bobby’ Boutflour (1891-1960) collection of historic agricultural books comes for sale as part of Reeman Dansie’s Spring Fine Art Sale in Colchester on April 26-27.

Boutflour was a notable figure in agricultural circles. From 1931-58 he was principal of the Royal Agricultural University at Cirencester, published significant works relating to dairy farming and played an important role in the growth of international farming yields in the austere post-war period.

The collection of books, which is by direct family descent, comprises more than a dozen rare volumes, including a 1731 first edition copy of Jethro Tull’s Horse-hoing husbandry estimated at £3000-5000 and Reynolde Scot’s Perfite Platforme of a Hoppe Garden published in 1578, estimated at £3000-5000.

5. Patek Philippe gold watch


An 18ct gold Patek Philippe Gondola gold wristwatch expected to sell for more than £5000 at Plymouth Auction Rooms.

In the 1920s, James Isaac Stealey owned a chain of photographic studios across England. With his wealth he and his wife Leah spent most of their time cruising the oceans on luxurious ships where they shared their love of gambling.

Plymouth Auction Rooms says: “He was a notorious poker player and his family have several fascinating stories about him and photographs including one showing him on the deck of a cruise ship in late 1940s wearing his prized Patek Philippe Gondola gold wristwatch [shown above], which more than likely was won in a card game along with some fine jewellery.

“Following his death in the 1950s his watch was stored in the family safe and some 65 years later it was bequeathed to Stealey’s great-grandson in Devon who sent it off to Patek Philippe’s workshops for a complete restoration completed in 2017.”

The 18ct gold watch will be offered at the Plymouth specialist watch sale on April 27 where it is expected to sell for more than £5000.