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The large painted cloth hangings known as picchavai were produced in Nathdwara, a town in Rajasthan, western India, and were displayed during annual Hindu festivals celebrating the cult of Krishna.

These fragile hangings were frequently replaced and began to be keenly collected during the early years of western tourism in the 1960s. A sale of European & Asian Works of Art held by Matthew Barton on May 22-23 at Olympia Auctions in west Kensington, London, will include a group consigned by a retired London couple who ran an art gallery in Hong Kong from the 1960s-80s.

This 6ft 8in x 5ft 6in (2.04 x 1.68m) example above depicts the central figure of Krishna dancing with a gopi – one of his devoted followers - at a festival celebrating the end of the monsoon season. Estimate £5000-7000.

olympiaauctions.com or see this item on thesaleroom.com


A leading lot in a sale of Militaria, Coins and Medals on May 16-17 at Somerset auction house Lawrences is a 12-medal group awarded to Vice Admiral Sir Humphrey Walwyn (1879-1957) whose illustrious career in the navy spanned the Second Boer War, the Great War and the Second World War.

Walwyn received the Queen’s South Africa medal aboard HMS Beagle. He served on HMS Warspite at Jutland and was promoted to captain in 1916 before taking command of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant. By 1928, Walwyn was rear admiral and four years later was promoted to vice admiral.

The group includes the Knight Commander Star of India, the Knight Commander Order of St Michael and St George and the Companion of the Order of the Bath as well as George V Distinguished Service Order and a selection of other notable awards.

Estimate £25,000-30,000.

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


This ship’s bell, above, bearing the scars of shrapnel damage, was used on the D-Day vessel USS LCI(L) 403, which landed during the Allied invasion of Normandy at Omaha beach in early June 1944.

Built in the mid-1940s by George Lawley & Sons in Massachusetts, the ship had sailed from North America to Portsmouth three months earlier as part of a convoy of 500 ships. During the assault at Omaha beach, the stormy and crowded sea forced the ship to crash into a fellow landing craft and it lost its port ramp. Nevertheless, the craft managed to collect 32 wounded soldiers and ferry them safely from the front line.

The bell is estimated at £6000-8000 at Henry Aldridge & Sons in Devizes, Wiltshire, on May 18.

henry-aldridge.co.uk