1. An early 18th century walnut tall boy
Lincolnshire auction house Golding Young & Mawer is selling more than 800 lots of stock and personal items of Stamford dealers Gavin Burns and his son, Ross, on their retirement from the business.
The collection, to be sold unreserved, features this early 18th century figured walnut chest-on-chest or tall boy.
With moulded cornice and fluted canted corners, the chest encloses three graduated drawers to the upper section, each having herringbone stringing and cross banding, and three further graduated drawers to the base. All drawers have brass drop handles with open back plates.
The chest is raised on rounded bracket feet and is 6ft 4in (1.94m) high, 3ft 6in (1.06m) wide and 1ft 10in (57cm) deep. It will be auctioned tomorrow (April 24) at GYM’s Bourne saleroom, estimated at £8000-12,000.
2. An Admiral Vernon ‘pinchbeck’ coin
A large collection of medals relating to Admiral Vernon, the British naval commander who became a popular hero in England and the American colonies, has been billed by the auction house selling it as one of the biggest ever put together.
The Merchant of the Islands collection contains more than 120 different varieties and will be offered in an auction of Coins, Tokens and Historical Medals at Dix Noonan Webb on April 24-25 in central London.
A rarity in the group at £600-800 is this unpublished and possibly unique coin above showing Admiral Vernon and the Capture of Portobello. The unsigned coin dates to 1739 and is made of ‘pinchbeck’ metal – a form of brass that closely resembles gold in appearance. It bears the motto brave Vernon made us free.
Vernon captured the Spanish port of Portobello (now in Panama) with only six ships in 1739. The feat made him a hero with many medals struck to commemorate it – more different medals were struck of Vernon than of any other 18th century Englishman.
To view the lot visit thesaleroom.com.
3. An Elisabeth Frink maquette
A maquette for Elisabeth Frink’s (1930-93) memorial commission at Manchester Airport in 1962 has been consigned from a private collection in Dorset to Duke’s Fine Art sale in Dorchester on April 26. The memorial, Horizontal Birdman, was dedicated to the aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown who made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919.
The sculpture belongs to Frink’s so-called Birdman bronzes series, which are thought to have been inspired by the real-life ‘birdman’, Léo Valentin, who tried to fly, Icarus-like, with wings. Valentin fell to his death in a failed stunt at an air show in Liverpool in 1956. The photos of the accident were published in the press and resonated with Frink, who had a deep fear of heights. The bronze maquette at Duke’s is signed and numbered Frink/7/9 and is estimated at £8000-12,000. To view the lot visit thesaleroom.com.
4. A snuff box containing a miniature portrait
This white metal and mother-of-pearl oval snuff box opens to reveal a half-length miniature portrait of a lady with an articulated arm holding a fan, which moves with a tiny leaver to cover then reveal her face.
The sitter is possibly Marie de Medici, the second wife of King Henry IV of France, who was noted for her ceaseless political intrigues at the French court and extensive artistic patronage.
The Continental late 18th century box comes from a private collection and is offered with an estimate of £300-500 in the Country House Sale at Tennants of Leyburn, North Yorkshire, on April 27. The sale can be viewed on thesaleroom.com.
5. A biscuit from a lifeboat during the sinking of the RMS Lusitania
This hard tack biscuit was purportedly taken from a lifeboat during the sinking of the RMS Lusitania and is believed to be one of only two such biscuits in existence. The other is on display at the Cobh Heritage Centre in County Cork, Ireland.
The biscuit is accompanied by a handwritten letter from a sapper in the Royal Engineers written shortly after the liner was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Ireland in 1915.
He wrote: “…You will find enclosed a biscuit which I got out of one of the Lusitania’s boats at Queenstown. I suppose these biscuits are put in the lifeboats to feed the people aboard her, in case they are a great distance from land or being adrift for many days.”
It is estimated at £3000-5000 in a Titanic, White Star and Transport Memorabilia sale on April 27 at Devizes saleroom Henry Aldridge & Son in Wiltshire.