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This 19th century Viennese enamel and silver gilt snuff box pictured above, depicting the figure of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), was made by the celebrated Austrian goldsmith and jeweller Hermann Böhm (1866-1922).

Possibly commissioned by a client who admired the French leader, the 3in (8cm) wide box opens to reveal a purple interior with a crown on a cushion and an eagle, and a capital N to base. The box is estimated at £300-500 in the Bishop & Miller sale in Stowmarket, Suffolk, on February 24.

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

Cover designs for Punch, the British weekly magazine of humour and satire, have been consigned to Catherine Southon’s sale in Surrey on March 7.

The 14-lot group features 17 designs from the archive of the artist who created them, Francis Wilford-Smith (1927-2009), who went by the pseudonym Smilby.

Published between 1957-66, they include a 20 x 15in (52 x 38cm) original watercolour artwork of a suit of cards for the magazine’s November 19, 1958, issue. It is estimated at £50-70.

Punch, which was established in 1841, was closed in 1992. The British Museum bought much of the Punch archive in 2004.


Meccano Motor Car Constructor sets, such as the one shown above, were introduced in 1932, designed with both keen model-builders and motor car enthusiasts in mind.

Driven by clockwork motors, the sets consisted mostly of custom parts that allowed model-makers to construct a range of car variations.

This example is a 1930s Outfit No 2 – originally larger and more expensive than Outfit No 1 car constructors. Retaining its original Dunlop rubber tyres and box, it is estimated at £300-500 in the February 16 David Duggleby auction in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.


Included in Cotswolds auction house Moore Allen & Innocent’s February 23 sale is a trunk belonging to a British naval captain who apparently met his end at the point of a Maltese sailor’s knife.

Belfast-born Thomas Greaves joined the Royal Navy at the age of 14 in 1816, rising through the ranks until, in 1853, he was appointed superintendent of the ports at Malta.

In 1856, he is said to have ordered a boat belonging to a Maltese sailor called Giuseppe Meli to be hauled up out of the water as punishment for overcharging a passenger. As the planks of the boat dried, it rendered the vessel unseaworthy.

With Meli’s livelihood ruined, he sought revenge, stabbing Greaves in the stomach.

The oak iron-bound trunk by naval outfitters E&W Seagrove bears a brass plaque to the lid engraved Cpt Greaves RN.

Estimate £100-150.