Edwardian wine cistern or racing trophy, £17,000 at Tennants.

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Made by Barker Bros of Birmingham in 1904, weighing 329oz and measuring 2ft 1in (64cm) in width across the handles, the fluted and foliate chased cistern was set on a conforming stand engraved to one side with the arms of Beverley and to the other with initials.

Each side was also applied with a contemporary plaque, one reading Beverley Races 1905 The Memorial Plate of the Late William Watt Esq and the other Won by Mr C. F. Elsey’s “Winterfold” 3 Years Trained by Mr W. E. Elsey Ridden by E. Wheatley.

Tennants had guided the piece at £6000-8000 on March 16 but it ended up more than doubling the guide to take £17,000.

Irish make


Irish silver bougie box, £2500 at Tennants.

The auction in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, also generated keen competition for a much smaller item, a piece of mid-18th century Irish silver.

This was a 3½in (8.5cm) high bougie box (a desk top container for a coiled wax taper that could be lit to melt sealing wax).

Of typical cylindrical form and with a loop handle, it was made by William Williamson of Dublin and dated from c.1750. It was marked under the base with the maker’s mark, a crowned harp and Hibernia and also had the maker’s mark inside the cover.


Irish silver bougie box, £2500 at Tennants.

There was scroll and lattice engraving probably of later date to the rim and cover and a later engraved crest.

It had a break to the handle which also had a pierced hole, perhaps for a chain to attach the now missing snuffer. Nevertheless it proved to be in demand with bidding outstripping its £300-500 guide to reach £2500.