Novelty silver and enamel ‘dog in kennel’ vesta case, estimate £1000-1500 at Kew Auctions.

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1. Dog kennel vesta case

The sale at Kew Auctions in London on May 15 includes this novelty silver and enamel ‘dog in kennel’ vesta case estimated at £1000-1500.

Hallmarked for Thomas Johnson, London 1881, it was retailed by William Thornhill & Co of 144 Bond Street. The drawer with striker is engraved MD from RPC, Dublin 1882.

2. Skull shaped watch case


A 17th century memento mori watch-case modelled as a human skull, estimate £3000-5000 at Tennants.

A 17th century watch-case modelled as a human skull and inscribed with reminders that death is nigh is estimated at £3000-5000 at Tennants of Leyburn, North Yorkshire, on May 18.

Made of solid silver, it is one of several known examples made in the era as memento mori. Inscribed on the skull are an hourglass and a scythe was well as Latin inscriptions including Incerta Mortis Hora or ‘the hour of death is uncertain’ and Vita Fugit Ut Hora or ‘life flies, like an hour’.

Tennants says a very similar example, possibly made by the same hand, is held in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and another is in the collection of the British Museum. While the exact origins of these skulls are unknown, testing of the silver suggests the present skull is Dutch or German in origin and the watch mechanisms present in other examples narrow down the likely area of production to Augsburg in Germany.

3. Sir Jacob Epstein bust


Bust of The Honourable Wynne Godley by Sir Jacob Epstein, estimate £3000-5000 at Dawsons.

Dawsons of Maidenhead is offering several works by Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) in the Design, Art & Interiors auction on May 16.

Shown here is Bust of The Honourable Wynne Godley, green patinated bronze, 20½in (52cm) high including the base.

It was conceived in 1956 and reputed to have been exhibited at Fairmount, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1962.

The Honourable Wynne Godley was the younger son of the Third Lord Kilbracken, and the model for the head of St Michael and Devil, Coventry Cathedral.

This bust has a provenance to Christie’s 20th Century British Art auction in December 2010. At Dawsons it is estimated at £3000-5000.

4. Charles de Gaulle memoir and photo


A photo of the later President of the French Republic (offered with a copy of the memoirs of Charles de Gaulle) and both dedicated to a British colonel. Both are estimated together at £300-500 at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

A copy of the memoirs of Charles de Gaulle and a photo of the later President of the French Republic (1959-69) both dedicated to a British colonel are on offer at Exeter saleroom Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

Memoires de Guerre: L’Appel 1940-1942, Paris: Plon 1954, first edition, limited edition A1475 of 1500, is signed and inscribed by de Gaulle to Col RR Hoare, dated October 14, 1955, as is a black and white portrait photograph of the French wartime leader standing in a library (but dated to June 7, 1963).

They are estimated together at £300-500 in the Antiquarian Book Sale on May 14.

Col Robert Rawdon Hoare, DSO, MC (1897- 1977) was the commanding officer of 5th Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, part of the Eighth Army (Desert Rats). He was a major in command of K company which held up the German encirclement of British and allied troops at Dunkirk, at the village of Hondeghein on 1940. He was awarded the DSO later that year.

Post war he was chairman of the Economic League, a cover organisation liaising between the secret services of NATO powers.

5. Victorian doll


Musical automaton featuring a Victorian doll lying in a brass bedstead and holding a baby, estimate £3000-5000 at Thomson Roddick.

A collection of 19th century automata comes for sale at Thomson Roddick in Ayr on May 16. This 14in (35cm) musical model features a Victorian doll lying in a brass bedstead and holding a baby. When the mechanism is activated, the lady sits up in bed and rocks the baby and her eyes open.

It has an estimate of £3000-5000.