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The first of this trio of sales (282 lots) was held by Morton & Eden (15% buyer's premium) on November 23. The total was £192,080 and the highest price of the day was the £78,000 (estimate £60,000-80,000) paid by a UK private collector for an 1858 Indian Mutiny Victoria Cross group to John Pearson, a private of the 8th Hussars.

As 2005 is the bicentenary of Trafalgar, we should expect considerable interest in this field over the next few months. M&E anticipated this when they offered a Nelson Memorial cameo badge by William Tassie. He was the maker of paste reproductions of classical and other gems from all the main European collections. His 1791 catalogue lists over 15,000 examples and is an invaluable reference.

This paste mounted cameo in an enamel badge was estimated at £1500-2000. It made £2400 despite there being some small damage to the cameo.

You never quite know just what you will find in sales like these. As evidence of this I can cite the photogenic guest book, with many illustrious signatures from members, of the London Hangar Club which met from 1942 onwards to celebrate the exploits of Battle of Britain pilots.

It has a lively image of the diminutive personification of the RAF delivering a good kick up the generous arse of the Luftwaffe. How could anyone guess the estimate? Anyway, it was £1000-1500 and it made a deserved £1900.