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Still bearing the remains of a Venetian dealer’s paper label, this 19th century continental singing bird automaton will go under the hammer at Darlington saleroom Thomas Watson on February 27.

Engraved with bands of laurel and mounted with stylised flower heads, the 4in (10cm) wide gilt-metal box has a hinged musical trophy that opens to reveal a multi-coloured turning and tweeting bird. The box comes in an original fitted case with a bird-form key and is estimated at £2000-3000. or see this item on


These lopsided wooden tennis rackets by French maker Tison are a far cry from today’s light graphite and fibreglass models.

The set of four 2ft 2in (67cm) racquets was made for real tennis, the original indoor racket sport from which lawn tennis was born.

Made with ash frames and trebled gut stringing, the quartet is estimated at £1500-2500 in a March 13 sale at Sworders in Stansted Mountfitchet. 

An auction at Shrewsbury saleroom Halls on February 28 will include this cold painted and ivory Art Deco figure by Demetre Chiparus (1886-1947).

Innocence stands 7in (17.5cm) high on a variegated stone plinth incised D Chiparus. The ivory is fashioned into a young woman standing in a demure pose, hands clasped in front of her and wearing an off-the-shoulder dress with gilt highlights.

Estimate £2000-3000. or see this item on


Art glass by the Loetz factory in Bohemia headlines a sale at John Nicholson’s in Haslemere, Surrey, on February 22.

Decorated in relief with fish and water lilies, this large 9in (23cm) wide circular vase displays a range of colours and iridescence typical of the Art Nouveau glass produced by Loetz in the early 20th century.

Estimate £3000-4000. or see this item on