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A vast collection of bears assembled over 30 years by collector Yvonne Crompton has been consigned by her daughters to Special Auction Services’ sale in Newbury on May 18.

Valued at around £40,000, the collection comprises 414 lots of antique, vintage, artist and modern bears bought at exhibitions and shows in the UK and Germany.

This scarce Dean’s Rag Book Co Tru-to-Life American black bear, designed by Sylvia Wilgoss in the early 1950s, is estimated at £800-1200.


Andrew Smith & Son’s May 16-17 sale in Winchester will include three volumes of handwritten notes from the chemistry lectures of Dr Joseph Black (1728-99).

They were written up by George Buchan-Hepburn, who would later become a significant landowner and judge Sir George, 1st Baronet.

The notes in each book highlight Black’s series of lectures during the last six months of 1775, starting with the premise that: ‘Chemistry is the effect of heat’, a subject studied by Black since his work on latent heat in 1761. Black discovered magnesium in 1755-56, but perhaps his greatest legacy was the attention paid to his work by Lavoisier during his experiments leading to the establishment of quantitative analysis and the conservation of mass. Black was professor of chemistry at both Glasgow and Edinburgh universities from 1756-66.

Estimate £1000-2000.


A trio of medals presented to English footballer William ‘Billy’ Bannister (1879-1942) are included in Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s two-day Sporting & Collectors sale in Exeter on May 17-18.

Bannister was born in Burnley, Lancashire, in 1879 and worked as a miner in Barden Colliery before becoming a professional football defender. He had spells with Earsely, Burnley, Bolton Wanders and Woolwich Arsenal before signing a record-breaking £300 transfer fee with Leicester Fosse. He went on to make 149 appearances for the club and earned two caps for England.

Made from 9ct gold, the group includes the 1901 and 1902 (pictured) medals for English versus Scottish League fixtures and a Leicestershire Senior Football League medal, etched to the reverse with Champions 1926-27.

The medals are estimated at £800-1000 and have been consigned from Bannister’s family.


Dating from 1902, this early bicycle by Imperial Rover in Coventry is going under the hammer at Lawrences of Crewkerne on May 12.

It was one of only a few shaft-driven experimental bikes made by the firm, and was ridden by Walter Driver, an employee of Imperial Rover and founder of Driver’s Toy Shop.

Estimate £1500-2000.