The ‘Blessington Commode’, estimate €100,000-150,000 at Adam’s.

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It was the renowned furniture historian and collector RW Symonds who first posited in 1956 that a curious group of early to mid-18th century ‘continental’ cabinets with Berainesque seaweed marquetry inlay had an Irish origin.

In 1997 the Irish furniture specialist The Knight of Glin conclusively demonstrated that this was indeed the case – concluding that they were supplied by the same workshop in Dublin – but it was not until 2007 that a name emerged.

This was John Kirkhoffer whose signature and the date 1732 was found on a desk in the Art Institute of Chicago. Kirkhoffer was from the Palatinate but is recorded in Dublin in the early 18th century, and he founded a cabinet making business that lasted into the 19th century.


The ‘Blessington Commode’, estimate €100,000-150,000 at Adam’s.

The same inlay appears on the ‘Blessington Commode’ that comes for sale as part of the Country House auction held by Adam’s at Townley Hall, County Louth, on October 9-10. Dated to c.1745, the top is inlaid with the arms of William Stewart, Earl of Blessington, who lived in Henrietta Street, Dublin, and possessed the great mansion house at Blessington, Co Wicklow, later burnt down in the 1798 Rising.

He and his wife Eleanor FitzGerald of Co Cork were considered among Dublin’s most fashionable couples.

His commode has a guide of €100,000-150,000. or this item can be found on


Portrait of Jean Blair by David Martin, estimate £2000-3000 at Thomson Roddick Callan.

Some 15 pictures from the Hunter Blair family of Blairquhan will be sold at Thomson Roddick Callan, Ayr, on October 19.

The majority of the works have been hung in the present castle since the 1820s, including the illustrated portrait of Jean Blair by David Martin (Scottish 1737-97) shown here, estimated at £2000-3000. or this item can be found on


Corner No 1 from Studio, 1882, by Anna Alma-Tadema, estimate £800-1200 at Parker Fine Art Auctions.

As the surname suggests, Anna Alma-Tadema (1865-1943), known as much as a Suffragette as an artist, was the daughter of Dutch-born painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

She worked with drawings and watercolour, creating many portraits, interior scenes and studies of flowers and buildings.

Corner No 1 from Studio, 1882, inscribed with title and the note too late for criticism in pencil verso, has a guide of £800-1200 at Parker Fine Art Auctions in Farnham, Surrey on October 5. or this item can be found on


Cased pair of boxlock percussion pocket pistols signed for Joseph Egg, London, estimate £4000-6000 at Stamford Auction Rooms.

This cased pair of boxlock percussion pocket pistols are signed for Joseph Egg, London, and housed in a fitted mahogany case with an Egg label to the underside of the lid. With accessories included, it has a guide of £4000-6000 at Stamford Auction Rooms in Lincolnshire on October 13. or this item can be found online on


Early 20th century doll’s swing boat set, estimate £700-1000 at Hartleys.

The Toy & Collectors auction at Hartleys in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, on October 7 includes this early 20th century doll’s swing boat set. Offered ensuite with six matching miniature French dolls with bisque heads, composition bodies and original clothing, it is guided at £700-1000. or this item can be found on


Making Hay by Michael Rothenstein, signed and dated 1931, estimate £600-800 at Olympia Auctions.

Olympia Auctions is holding a sale titled From the Studio: Works from Eleven Artists’ Estates on October 11.

This showcases a range of pictures consigned by the artists’ descendants or their trusted keepers, brought together by new head of pictures, Adrian Biddell. The 11 artists include Michael Rothenstein (1908-93), whose gouache Making Hay, signed and dated 1931, is estimated at £600-800. or this item can be found on

These are the Peninsula War medals and presentation silver snuff box awarded to Sergeant Major William Livsey, Royal Artillery.

The medals are estimated at £1000-1500 and the box £800-1200 at Hansons’ auction in Banbury on October 7. or the medals can be found on and the box on


Omega Railmaster, estimate £2000-2500 at Fellows.

Jewellery dealer Peter Hayman, 82, of Parkers Jewellers in Sheffield, has retired and is selling his watches and jewellery at Fellows.

Peter Hayman

Watch specialist Peter Hayman.

Hayman became one of the first retailers to sell luxury watches online around 20 years ago and he built a large client list of more than 50,000 including Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.

The first part of The Peter Hayman Retirement Watch Collection will be held on October 5 with the remainder sold at Fellows’ October Watches & Watch Accessories auction on October 26.

Among the 209 lots offered on October 5 is this Omega Railmaster estimated at £2000-2500. The Railmaster model has been nicknamed ‘Blue Jeans’ due to the brushed dial which gives it a denim look. or this item can be found on


Cup and cover by Kate Harris, inscribed under the base Connell 83 Cheapside London and stamped for London 1902, estimate £6000-8000 at Lyon & Turnbull.

The Design Since 1860 sale at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on October 11 includes a number of pieces of silver by Kate Harris (1878-1949).

From 1899 to around 1905, a period that offered fresh opportunities to female artists in training and employment, she produced exquisite (if largely anonymous) designs for artistic silver for the London-based firm William Hutton & Sons. Many were featured in The Studio Magazine and retailed by large-scale companies including Goldsmiths and GL Connell.

This 11in (27cm) cup and cover, inscribed under the base Connell 83 Cheapside London and stamped for London 1902, is estimated at £6000-8000. or this item can be found on


Autographs of all four Beatles obtained on the day they received their MBEs, estimate £3500-4500 at Richard Winterton.

These autographs of all four Beatles were obtained on the day they received their MBEs.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all signed at Buckingham Palace on October 26 1965, for Birmingham fire officer George Goodman, who requested the autographs for his 12-year-old daughter Joy. Goodman, who was also receiving an MBE, bluntly told the band he personally didn’t like their music.

The honest exchange was referenced by McCartney at a Beatles press conference following the ceremony, saying: “They were all nice, you know. But one fellow said ‘I want it for my daughter but I don’t know what she sees in you’.”

The autograph book features in Richard Winterton’s Antiques & Home Sale at The Lichfield Auction Centre on October 9 with an estimate of £3500-4500. or this item can be found on


The Golden Age by Thomas Heatherley, estimate £15,000-25,000 at Dreweatts.

An infrequent exhibitor and painter of mainly genre and figurative subjects, Thomas Heatherley (1824-1913) is perhaps best known as the founder of Heatherley’s Academy where many famous Victorian artists studied, including Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Arthur Hughes, and Walter Crane.

Working in pencil and oil on linen over millboard, Heatherley painted The Golden Age in c.1862 at the moment when fairy painting reached its height of popularity.

Filled with impish figures that dance mischievously around the seated fairies who play music under a leafy canopy, the work is pictured in the book Victorian Fairy Painting by Jeremy Maas, Pamela Trimpe and Charlotte Gere (1997), and shown as part of the exhibition of the same name that toured the Royal Academy, the University of Iowa Museum of Art and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

It comes for sale as part of the October 18 Old Master, British and European Art sale at Dreweatts with a guide of £15,000-25,000. or this item can be found on


Large wooden shoe last used to make the boxing shoes of Primo Carnera, the world heavyweight champion from 1933-34, estimate £200-300 at Busby.

This large wooden shoe last was made to make the boxing shoes of Primo Carnera (1906-67), the world heavyweight champion from 1933-34. Stamped with the maker’s mark R. Whitton, Northampton, it is inscribed by hand Last made for Primo Carnera for Boxing Boots, 1930.

Carnera - nicknamed the Ambling Alp - won more fights by knockout than any other heavyweight champion in boxing history.

It comes for sale at a specialist auction of sporting memorabilia at Busby in Bridport on October 5 with a guide of £200-300. or this item can be found on


George Smart collage, The Earth Stopper, for sale at Dominic Winter’s auction.

East Sussex tailor George Smart (1774-1846) is famed for his unique works of art fabricated from the scraps of cloth left over from his trade,

His works were mentioned in several contemporary local guidebooks in the early 19th century which earned him minor celebrity status. His most famous subjects were ones he observed from his shop: Old Bright, the local postman, and The Goosewoman.

The two Smarts coming up at Dominic Winter in South Cerney on October 19 are rarer collages. The Soldier and the Maid, c.1817, is one of just three examples of this subject known to exist and the only articulated picture by Smart (estimate £2000-3000).

Better known is The Earth Stopper. It sometimes comes with a paper inscription verso that tells the object’s story: The Business of an Earth Stopper, the Night previous to a Day’s Sport, is to stop up the Fox’s Earth whilst he is out Feeding. The above gentle Swain is supposed to be on his way home, when by a sudden turn of the Lane he is brought plump upon what he conceives to be nothing more or less than the Devil, but which in fact is a simple Sweep and his Donkey. or these items can be found on and

A George III truncheon, dated 1796

A George III truncheon, dated 1796, estimated at £600-800 at Dreweatts on October 17.

A 40-lot collection of truncheons and tipstaves will be offered for sale on October 17 as part of Dreweatts’ Interiors auction at Donnington Priory.

It includes a broad range of examples, showcasing the aims of the collector who says he was drawn to the "more unusual, interesting and scarcest of pieces, as well as those in the finest condition".

The earliest painted wood example in the collection is a George III truncheon, dated 1796. An impressive 63cm in length and with a bullet-shaped handle, it is decorated with a stylised royal coat of arms and text for St. John, Hackney J. Brown. The estimate is £600-800. or this item can be found on