Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Young’s Auctions is offering a Chinese Imperial Order of the Double Dragon award estimated at £8000-10,000 in its April 28 auction at West Horsley near Guildford, Surrey.

The 4th class honour, from 1882-1902, was bestowed on English engineer Harry Sait (1857-1940), who worked for and was involved in re-equipping the Imperial Chinese Navy in the 1880s. The order – housed in its original hardwood presentation carrying case – is accompanied by the award document, diaries, notebooks and ephemera compiled by Sait relating to his time in China.

Harry Sait was the grandson of Able Seaman Henry Sait, who served on board HMS Terror and perished in Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition to discover the North-West Passage c.1847. Henry’s Arctic Medal was sold at Young’s in February. This Chinese order has been consigned from the same vendor and it is believed to have come by family descent.


This hitherto unpublished photograph shown above depicts Albert Einstein (1879-1955) at the tender age of five. It forms part of an archive of letters, postcards and photographs consigned to Christie’s from the collections of Einstein’s younger sister, Maja Winteler-Einstein, and her husband, Paul Winteler.

As well as this photograph, which is estimated at £4000- 6000, the collection includes the only surviving letter from Einstein to his father and further insights into his difficult relationship with his first wife. The collection will be offered in an online sale ending on May 9.


A pair of high-relief carved ebony cabinets-on-stands reputedly housed at Fonthill Abbey in Wiltshire, the magnificent home of English art collector William Beckford (1760-1844) will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s Collections sale on May 3 estimated at £12,000-18,000.

Originating from Batavia or the Coromandel Coast in c.1680-1720, the 4ft 7in x 2ft 10in (1.4m x 86cm) cabinets have been consigned to auction by the Cholmondeley family.

According to family tradition, they were acquired by the English collector Richard Heber (1774-1833) from the great auction of Beckford’s collection at Fonthill in 1823. The furniture then passed to his half-sister Mary Cholmondeley.

Sotheby’s states that although Heber was known to have attended the sales and a quantity of ebony furniture was in Beckford’s collection, the cabinets are not listed in the Fonthill sale catalogues.