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This modern-looking implement above may resemble an Alexander Calder creation, but it is in fact from an early 19th century eel spear.

Such spears are used when hunting eels at low tide and are thrust downwards when one is thought to be detected in the mud.

This 15½in (39.5cm) high wrought-iron example with five prongs and very slight serrated edges is priced at £195 from Manfred Schotten Antiques, specialist in antique sporting items.


This humble family Christmas tree above is an 80-year-old festive heirloom. It was bought at Woolworths in the 1930s and has been in Steve Rose’s life at Christmas for every one of his 74 years.

One of the first mass-produced trees ever made for the famous department store, the vendor has consigned it to Derbyshire saleroom Hansons on December 18 along with more of the family’s festive collectables, including 1950s Woolworths Christmas tree lights still in their original box, baubles and glow-in-the-dark icicles.

Estimate £200-300.

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

Corsham saleroom Gardiner Houlgate has been holding specialist quarterly auctions of musical instruments for over 25 years. The next instalment takes place on December 14 and will include a cocus wood flute with silver-plated keys.

It was made by Rudall & Rose of Covent Garden in London. From its founding in 1822 until its acquisition by Boosey & Hawkes in 1955, the firm produced high-quality flutes in a range of materials – primarily cocus wood, but also silver, ebonite and gold.

This flute has some condition issues and is guided at £200-400 as a result.

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

Toy trains by German model maker Märklin will be among the toys going under the hammer at Moore Allen & Innocent in the Cotswolds on December 14.

A Märklin 3056 HO gauge ‘crocodile’ locomotive carries an estimate of £200-300, pictured top, while a DB 39 passenger steam locomotive with tender is expected to attract bids of £80-120.

The crocodile is a scale model of the German krokodil electric locomotives, so called because of their long ‘noses’ either side of a central cab, and because they are typically painted green. The DB 39 is a replica of a German Federal Railroad Class 39.