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Flints Auctions, specialist in cameras and scientific instruments, will hold a two-day sale on April 26-27 in Stoke Newington, London.

Among a collection of 30 microscopes is this c.1772 example known as an ‘Adams’ variable microscope.

It bears the signature of Ann Adams of A & G Adams at no 60 Fleet Street, London – one of only a few 18th century instruments known to have been signed by a woman.

Adams took over the running of her late husband’s company for the short period of just two years. She put her initial on the instruments produced during that time, along with the initial of her son George Adams Junior.

The microscope comes in its original wooden case with many of the original accessories and is guided at £10,000-15,000.

flintsauctions.com or see this item on thesaleroom.com


A James II Irish silver two-handled porringer and cover is among the stars of Woolley & Wallis’ silver sale in Salisbury on April 24-25.

The porringer, which may have once been used to hold soups, stews and other liquids, has a circular bellied form embossed with foliate decoration and female heads to the scroll handles.

The cover, also embossed with foliate decoration, bears the maker’s mark of John Phillips, Dublin 1685-87.

Estimate £8000-12,000.

woolleyandwallis.co.uk or see this item on thesaleroom.com


A pair of late 19th century Chinese vases sent to the UK when the Japanese invaded China in 1937 is among the stand-out Asian entries to Charterhouse Auctions in Sherbourne, Dorset on April 19-20.

The 12in (30cm) high works, applied with famille rose enamel millefleurs and dragons to the shoulders, have come from a deceased estate in Somerset.

They were acquired by the vendor’s parents, who ran a piano manufacturing business in China during the 1920s and ‘30s. With the Japanese invasion of China just before the outbreak of the Second World War, the couple made a hasty return to Britain, managing to ship the vases and a number of other belongings with them.

Estimate £6000-10,000.

charterhouse-auction.com