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In the 18th century, excessive admiration of William Shakespeare’s life and work, coined ‘bardolatry’, was rife and an informal tourist industry in Stratford-on-Avon boomed.

The growing number of visitors to Shakespeare’s home New Place famously annoyed the house’s owner, Rev Francis Gastrell. In the 1750s, he felled a mulberry tree planted by the Bard and later demolished the house.

Objects carved from the tree first started to appear for sale in the 1760s. This 18th century carved treen medallion with a silver mount, is included in Woolley & Wallis’ sale in Salisbury on October 4. It is accompanied by a card, signed on the reverse by a Miss Sheppard of Burlington House, stating that the bust ‘was carved from the mulberry tree growing in the poet’s garden at Stratford-on-Avon, & found in the ruins of Lincoln’s Inn Theatre (burnt 1752), when excavating to make the new Square’. The inscription adds it is ‘supposed to be the identical medal worn by David Garrick when acting Shakespeare’s plays’.

Estimate £2000-3000.

woolleyandwallis.co.uk or see this item on thesaleroom.com

This volunteer ‘presentation grade’ three-band rifle is a highlight of David Duggleby’s dedicated sale of antique guns, firearms and militaria on October 7 in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

Made by the Newcastle gun maker Richard Burnand, the .577 calibre 39-inch barrel rifle dates to c.1860 and has engraved iron case hardened fittings with a Damascus twist browned barrel and hooked breech. It was built on a civilian or sporting configuration to war department specifications, so was possibly made as a prize rifle or for an officer. In its original condition, it is estimated at £3000-4000.


Coinciding with the opening of the British Museum’s exhibition on the Scythian warriors of ancient Siberia, Hatton Garden jeweller Berganza is selling this pair of wearable Graeco-Scythian gold earrings.

Priced at £3500, the matching pair are composed of a hoop and suspended hollow conical shaped drop. They date to c.2nd century BC-2nd century AD.


David Roberts (1796-1864) spent three weeks sketching in Granada in the spring of 1833, producing a body of 21 finished works from this trip a year later. Chiswick Auctions is offering this signed 9 x 12½in (23 x 32cm) watercolour from 1834 of The Tower of the Seven Vaults at night in its sale on October 3 in London.

Engraved by W Radclyffe in 1835, the watercolour appeared in an exhibition at the German Gallery in London in 1857, before it was sold at Christie’s in 1860.

Estimate £2500-3000.

chiswickauctions.co.uk or see this item on thesaleroom.com