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This solid silver miniature quintant above is believed to have belonged to one of the giants of 19th century engineering, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Housed in a fitted box lid inscribed with the initials of his son HM Brunel, the c.1830 surveying instrument will be offered by Charles Miller, auction specialist in maritime and scientific models, fine art and instruments. The sale will take place at 25 Blythe Road in West Kensington on November 6.

The quintant passed down the female line via Isambard’s daughter Florence Coleridge, who in turn had daughters. A number of Brunel’s artefacts were donated to Bristol University in 1950 while others, including the quintant, were kept in the family until it was acquired by the vendor in 1990.

Estimate £3000-5000.


Alfred Grévin (1827-92) is perhaps best known as a 19th century caricaturist who found fame during his lifetime for his silhouettes of contemporary Parisian women. But he also designed costumes and sets for popular theatre, as well as sculpting.

A c.1890 Art Nouveau bronze by Grévin is priced at £2850 from Hickmet Fine Arts on London’s Portobello Road. The 14in (35cm) high piece is formed as a ‘golden fly’ winged nymph hovering over a pool of water.


This miniature shown above is considered to be a self-portrait of Richard Gibson (1615-90), one of the more prominent miniaturists or ‘limners’ of the 17th century.

Known as ‘Dwarf Gibson’ in his circle, the artist was born in Cumberland and worked as an apprentice in a tapestry works before entering the household of Philip Herbert 4th Earl of Pembroke. By 1639, he was appointed ‘Page of the Back Stairs’ under Charles I.

The portrait, which bears similarities with Gibson’s physiognomy recorded in contemporary likenesses by a number of painters including Sir Peter Lely, is priced at £4500 from Philip Mould in Pall Mall, London.


This life drawing of a classical young male nude lost in thought, above, dates to the early artistic career of 19th century Belgian portrait painter Alfred Stevens (1823-1906).

Stevens received rigorous training in drawing and composition first at the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts under Belgian neo-classical painter Francois-Joseph Navez, then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under the guidance of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, the famous defender of rigid classicism.

The 23 x 13¾in (58 x 35cm) charcoal and white chalk on paper is priced at £2500 from London fine art dealership Art Historical.