This Boer War Christmas tin with remains of original contents is estimated at £100-150 in the C&T auction on February 8-9.
Described as a fine example of the 1900 tin which was sent by Queen Victoria to British troops fighting during the war in South Africa, it still retains much of the original chocolate (now broken and crumbled) to the interior and the original straw packing.
The centre of the tin features a profile image of Victoria, crowned cipher to one side and on the other side SOUTH AFRICA 1900. Much of the original finish remains.
An album of around 40 photos of Princess Diana launching HMS Cornwall in 1985 in Glasgow that were discovered in a bookshop in Lewes, East Sussex, is coming up in maritime specialist Charles Miller’s auction on April 25.
The London saleroom says the pictures will be mostly if not all unpublished as the album would have been produced privately for Yarrow the shipbuilders and given to the directors as a souvenir of the day.
The album – titled Launch of HMS Cornwall by Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales at Yarrow Shipbuilders Limited 14th October 1985 – includes 32 colour and six black and white photographs.
The Type-22 frigate was commissioned at Falmouth, Cornwall, in 1988, and decommissioned in April 2011.
Shown here is A Gaucho on Horseback in an Argentine Prairie Landscape by Juan Manuel Blanes (1830-1901) on offer at Toovey’s of Washington, west Sussex, in the Fine Art sale on February 15.
The 19th century oil on canvas, signed with initials recto, label verso, 3ft 8in x 4ft 2in (1.12 x 1.28m), comes within a Watts-style gilt composition frame.
It has a long provenance to Baldomero Hyacinth de Bertodano, 7th Marquis del Moral (1844-1921), Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Judicature and resident of Cowbridge House, Wiltshire; The sale of the Contents of Cowbridge House, Messrs Matthews, Matthews & Goodman in conjunction with Messrs Dore, Fielder & Co, October 1922, where it was purchased by Charles Edmund de Bertodano M Inst CE (1853-1926); thence by family descent.
This early 19th century scrimshaw powder cow horn flask, set with a compass to the base, is carved and engraved with GR cypher, the garter star and a sailing ship in harbour.
However, its primary appeal is a lengthy verse that reads Powder and Ball shall confer all Confufion to the French. One and All. A Pox on Monfeer in his Wiked Crimes. Sucfefs to British Arms. This is Difiance to the French. Stele not this Horn for fear of shame. fare in site is my name. Pafs on. James McGraw.
Purchased from Michael Long Militaria in 2008, it has a guide of £400-450 as part of a Halls timed online sale closing on February 7.
The Cotswold Auction Company in Cheltenham is offering an inscribed and signed copy of TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (New Edition, 11th impression 1953) in the specialist books sale on February 7.
It was an engagement gift to Susan MacEwan, Eliot’s secretary at Faber and Faber, and the inscription reads …For Susan McEwan [sic] with warm good wishes to herself and her future husband - T S Eliot 16.X.58.
The book is accompanied by paperwork and ephemera including a handwritten letter to MacEwan from New York dated 28.IV.58 asking her to check Eliot’s income tax position with the accountants.
All this material comes directly from MacEwan, who has consigned it for auction via her daughter.
A remarkable Canadian single-owner collection of coins of the East India Company will be offered by Noonans on February 8-9.
Comprising 1246 coins (to be sold in 907 lots), the Robert Puddester Collection has been amassed over the past 45 years and is the best and most complete of its type.
It is expected to fetch in the region of £2m. The collection comprises coins dating from the inception of the East India Company in London by a group of merchant venturers in 1600 to the regal coinages issued by British India until independence in 1947.
Among its many rare coins from the Madras, Bombay and Bengal presidencies series is the celebrated 1765 Bombay gold mohur expected to fetch £100,000-150,000.
Peter Preston-Morley of Noonans’ coin department says: “This is an exceptional piece as only three, or possibly four specimens exist. It was bought from the sale of the Wolfson Trust collection in 1986.”
The first authenticated gold coinage for the Bombay presidency was authorised in the wake of a shortage of silver coins. In July 1765 the Bombay Council agreed that the new coins (some 4000 mohurs were struck using Venetian ducats) were to be made from 24ct gold and pass for 15 rupees.
Estimated at £10,000-15,000 as part of the Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs sale at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on February 8 is this marriage contract signed by Horatio, Viscount Nelson, Lady Emma Hamilton, Sir William Hamilton, Captain Thomas Hardy, and others.
All were witnesses to the marriage of William Compton and Anne Bottalin on board HMS Foudroyant in the Bay of Naples on July 9, 1799.
Never before offered for sale (it comes by direct descent from the Compton family), it unites Nelson with a cast of familiar characters from his story and provides a snapshot of ordinary life amid a period of high tension in the contest for the Mediterranean. Nelson’s signature appears alongside Lady Hamilton’s just months after the two had begun a scandalous love affair with Sir William a complaisant adjunct to the relationship.
Dr William Compton, the chancellor of Ely and relative of the Earl of Northampton, and Anne Bottalin, daughter of a sometime mayor of Norwich, were residents of Naples. Their marriage onboard the Foudroyant was a lavish affair, with Nelson himself giving away the bride.
The Oxford Library sale at Mallams on February 8 includes, estimated at £600-800, this Napoleonic prisoner of war polychrome bone model of the crucifixion.
Depicting Christ flanked by the figures of the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene and stylised flowers, it measures 9in (23cm) high.
This coin-operated upright disc musical box made by Lochmann estimated at £3000-5000 leads Tennants’ Scientific and Musical Instruments, Cameras and Tools Sale in Leyburn on February 1.
Housed in an Art Nouveau cabinet, the music box was made in Germany c.1900 at the height of the demand for mechanical music boxes; advances in technology meant that many more people were able to afford to play music at home.
The Catherine Southon sale at Farleigh Golf Course in Surrey on February 8 includes some fine period jewellery from a private collection.
This late 18th or early 19th century diamond-set brooch, designed as a five pointed star within a three row crescent in a closed back silver and yellow gold setting is estimated at £3000-4000.
Football superstar Pele donned his boots for his farewell international match 52 years ago, on July 18, 1971. Brazil faced Yugoslavia in Rio de Janeiro.
Two shirts were prepared for him for that final game: one long sleeve, the other short sleeve. He chose to wear the latter but had a plan for the other one. After the match he gifted his spare number 10 shirt to Brazil team masseur Abilio Jose de Silva, nicknamed Nocaute Jack (Knockout Jack). He was an integral part of the national squad’s operation from the late 1960s through to 1994 – and Pele wanted to show his gratitude.
Now that unworn shirt, complete with letter of authenticity from Nocaute Jack’s daughter Silvia Maria Fonseca da Silva, will be offered in Hansons’ Football and Sports Memorabilia Auction in Etwall, Derbyshire, on February 15, estimate £20,000-30,000.
It was consigned by a 33-year-old restaurant manager from Shropshire who bought it from a private collector in 2020 (who had purchased it four years earlier). This is the first time it has come to auction.
A lifetime’s collection of hats, bought by a UK collector since he was a teen, is coming for sale at Duke’s Sporting and Natural History auction on February 15.
It ranges from silk top, hard top bowler, dressage and straw boater hats to carriage, coaching early polo hats as well as hat boxes. Many of the 100 or so examples come with their own cardboard boxes.
Hat brands include Locks of London and Herbert Johnson.
Among the group is a collection of miniature top hats made by a hatmaker from Scott & Co, Piccadilly, which had been purchased at Christie’s in March 2003 (see ATG story from the time pictured below). The estimate is £3000-5000.
The sale features two other collections: more than 150 lots of taxidermy from collector Richard Pratley and The Christopher Bent Cockfighting collection.
This token of love is guided at £400-600 in the Charterhouse auction of jewellery, watches and silver on February 2 in Sherborne, Dorset.
The pendant has a miniature watercolour of an eye inset in a frame of paste set in a yellow coloured metal mount.