1. Scrimshaw flask
This early 19th century scrimshaw powder cow horn flask, set with a compass to the base, is carved and engraved with GR cypher, the garter star and a sailing ship in harbour.
However, its primary appeal is a lengthy verse that reads Powder and Ball shall confer all Confufion to the French. One and All. A Pox on Monfeer in his Wiked Crimes. Sucfefs to British Arms. This is Difiance to the French. Stele not this Horn for fear of shame. fare in site is my name. Pafs on. James McGraw.
Purchased from Michael Long Militaria in 2008, it has a guide of £400-450 as part of a Halls timed online sale closing on February 7.
2. Napoleonic prisoner of war model crucifixion
The Oxford Library sale at Mallams on February 8 includes, estimated at £600-800, this Napoleonic prisoner of war polychrome bone model of the crucifixion.
Depicting Christ flanked by the figures of the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene and stylised flowers, it measures 9in (23cm) high.
3. Diamond brooch
The Catherine Southon sale at Farleigh Golf Course in Surrey on February 8 includes some fine period jewellery from a private collection.
This late 18th or early 19th century diamond-set brooch, designed as a five pointed star within a three row crescent in a closed back silver and yellow gold setting is estimated at £3000-4000.
4. Dame Laura Knight picture
The Parker Fine Art Auctions sale of Fine Art & Frames on February 9 includes four lots by Laura Knight: two watercolour and ink sketches of Shakespearean actors, an etching of circus performers and a pencil drawing of Anna Pavlova.
All are in typical Knight style, portraying the contrast between the hard work behind the scenes with the glamour of the performance (she was fascinated and inspired by theatre, ballet and circus).
Knight and her husband, Harold, lived in Cornwall where she was introduced to Barry Jackson by the artist Alfred Munnings. Knight spent many hours at Jackson’s Regent Theatre in London observing the actors from both sides of the stage.
Jackson went on to become artistic director at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1945 and it was here that Knight produced this watercolour drawing of Anthony Quayle in The Taming of the Shrew being offered for sale. The performance took place in 1948, the same year that Quayle succeeded Jackson as artistic director at the theatre.
5. Nelson-signed marriage contract
Estimated at £10,000-15,000 as part of the Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs sale at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on February 8 is this marriage contract signed by Horatio, Viscount Nelson, Lady Emma Hamilton, Sir William Hamilton, Captain Thomas Hardy, and others.
All were witnesses to the marriage of William Compton and Anne Bottalin on board HMS Foudroyant in the Bay of Naples on July 9, 1799.
Never before offered for sale (it comes by direct descent from the Compton family), it unites Nelson with a cast of familiar characters from his story and provides a snapshot of ordinary life amid a period of high tension in the contest for the Mediterranean. Nelson’s signature appears alongside Lady Hamilton’s just months after the two had begun a scandalous love affair with Sir William a complaisant adjunct to the relationship.
Dr William Compton, the chancellor of Ely and relative of the Earl of Northampton, and Anne Bottalin, daughter of a sometime mayor of Norwich, were residents of Naples. Their marriage onboard the Foudroyant was a lavish affair, with Nelson himself giving away the bride.