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Alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate and the even more politically incorrect figure of a Robertson’s golliwog were all in demand along with the less controversial subject of soap.

A 143/4in (37cm) Johnnie Walker Whisky toby jug – monocled, red-coated, Born 1820 Still Going Strong – No. 426 from a limited edition had a slight hairline crack to the rim but was in excellent condition and brought an above estimate £1150.

Salvaged from a rubbish dump in Altrincham was a 6 by 3in (15 x 8cm) Player’s Country Life enamel fingerplate which combined its function of protecting doors from finger prints with a surface for striking matches on, was in perfect condition despite years buried in the dump, and saw £340.

Guinness products were as popular as ever.

From an antique shop in Bath came two multicoloured laminated Guinness stand-up card adverts – one picturing rugby players and the words Guinness for Strength in red lettering, and the other showing golfers looking for a ball on a pebble beach with the words Have a glass of Guinness/when you’re tired would never get past the advertising authorities today but at Elsecar they took £370 and £750 respectively.

Mr Blakeman remarked on the increasing interest in display cases, in particular those advertising chocolate or indeed any kind of confectionery.

The top seller amongst the cases offered was a Fry’s chocolate cabinet 28 by 15in (71 x 38cm) comprising two glass shelves and bearing the words Fry's/Choice Chocolate by special Royal Appointment in gold lettering to the base, which took £870.

As to the golliwog, a 1963 2ft 4in (71cm) plaster illuminated display figure modelled as a Robertson’s Golly – complete with bright red trousers, blue jacket and cream waistcoat – which was originally displayed in a shop in London, and announcing in white lettering Golly it’s good was sufficiently rare and in good enough condition to bring £820.

BBR Auctions, Elsecar,
February 4
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent