Made in silverplate and leather and given titles such as Spirit of the Ages, Paradise Regained or The Traveller’s Friend, they open via a secret gilt bayonet detachable corner cap. Typically they bring £100-200 at auction.
However, the example offered at Minster Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) in Leominster on August 18 was potentially a little special.
To the top right corner, it is inscribed with the dedication Happy Birthday Home Secretary 30th Nov 1910. It is thus believed to have been a gift to Winston Churchill in his first year as home secretary in the Asquith government.
For this reason (and despite its far from perfect condition) it was given a guide of £1900- 2200 and, in fact, tipped over the top estimate to bring £2300 from an online bidder.