1. Noel Gallagher's guitar
One of Noel Gallagher's guitars will be offered at an auction in France on May 17. Offered at Lemon Auction in Boulogne Billancourt on May 17, the 1960 Gibson ES-355 was described by the Oasis singer-songwriter as “the best guitar I've ever played”.
As Gallagher's preferred instrument model from 1996 to 2011, the 355 first appeared in the video for Stand By Me and can be seen in the hands of Gem Archer on the track Don't Look Back in Anger.
According to the auction catalogue, the artist owned two versions of the 355. A first version was played in concert with a short pick-guard. The other ES-355, which is up for auction here, carries a longer pick-guard and a black Truss rod cover.
The lot comes in its original case and is accompanied by a note written by Noel Gallagher himself. It is estimated at €300,000-500,000.
2. Louis XVI style commode
A sale titled Design for Living at The Pedestal in Henley-on-Thames on May 17 includes this late 19th century Louis XVI style mahogany and gilt bronze mounted commode à vantaux, above, made after the model created by Joseph Stöckel and Guillaume Benneman for Marie-Antoinette.
Part of a private collection of European decorative arts, it is guided at £10,000-15,000.
3. Leaf-cut picture
This leaf-cut picture is offered as part of a group of Victorian ephemera (estimate £150-250) included in Tennants’ Books, Maps and Manuscripts sale in Leyburn on May 18.
A detailed silhouette of workers around a derelict tower and trees has been created by scraping back the outer layers of the leaf, with a delicate skeleton of the leaf’s ribs and veins remaining as a transparent background.
4. Sihouette portrait
This silhouette portrait depicts the Royal Navy Captain George Robinson in naval uniform holding a telescope in his left hand, and with a wooden ‘peg-leg’.
A note verso records he served under Lords Rodney and Hood. Lost his leg in an engagement with 2 French men of war when in command of H.M. Ship Thames – taken prisoner was in a French Prison 2 years under Robespiere.
It comes for sale at Lawrences in Crewkerne on May 19 together with a similar silhouette of Robinson’s second wife plus two letters. One is a commission dated 1795 appointing Robinson in command of His Majesty’s Sloop the Wasp, the other a letter in French (dated the third year of the Republic – 1794) requesting permission to send the captain home from incarceration in Brest.
The estimate for the lot is £300-500.
5. Taxidermy Victorian pigeon
James Maurice Harrison (1892-1971) was one of the last great bird collectors, who gathered large numbers of specimens for ornithological study to document moult patterns, geographical distribution, and colour variation between individuals and species.
Specimen collecting, which had its heyday in the late 19th/early 20th century, provided the basis for much of today’s ornithological knowledge, and laid the foundations for the modern study of bird behaviour and ecology.
The James Harrison Collection of Birds, on offer at North Yorkshire auction house Tennants on May 20, comprises over 150 lots of cased and free-mount birds dating from the late Victorian era to the middle of the 20th century.
Highlights include this cased late Victorian passenger pigeon, supplied to Harrison by George Bristow of St Leonards-on-Sea, estimated at £7000-10,000.
The now extinct passenger pigeon was once endemic to North America, migrating in vast flocks across the continent. Deforestation and widespread hunting for meat saw the species decline rapidly during the 19th century, with the last wild bird though to have been shot in 1901 and the last captive bird, Martha, dying at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.