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This 2ft 11in x 11in (89 x 28cm) playbill poster above promotes the performances of Harry Houdini (1874-1926) at the Theatre of Varieties in Birkenhead in 1905.

The poster, which refers to the stage magician and stunt performer as The Jail Breaker and Dexterous Handcuff King, is estimated at £1000-2000 in Omega Auctions’ sale in Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside, on January 16.


More than 290 lots of collectables will feature in Cheffins’ first Connoisseur’s Sale of the year in Cambridge on January 18.

This original poster was produced for an exhibition of paintings by firemen held at the Royal Academy in 1942 in aid of the London Fire Service Benevolent Fund.

Titled Fireman versus Firebomb Fritz, the 2ft 4in x 20in (73 x 51cm) poster was published by Argus Press and is estimated at £600-800.


This rare set of lead cricket figures, comprising two batsmen, a pair of umpires, a bowler, wicketkeeper, three slips, six outfielders and two wickets, was manufactured by the British toy company F Kew & Company in 1928.

Lead toy figures were big business during the early part of the 20th century, with Britains toy figures setting the standard for competitors such as F Kew & Company.

But when the Second World War started, the need to divert lead supplies for the war effort meant that lead figure manufacturing ground to a halt.

This set, which has retained much of its original paint, is being sold by Manfred Schotten Antiques in Oxfordshire, priced at £795.


“At twenty minutes past eight o’clock last evening a fire was found to have broken out on the premises of Mr. C. M. Smith, hatter, 97, St. John-street, West Smithfield,” wrote The Globe on July 27, 1876.

The blaze, which started in Clerkenwell, central London, is the subject of this 3ft x 4ft 4in (91cm x 1.32m) watercolour painted by Andrew MacCallum (1821-1902) in 1878. It carries a dedication to The Gallant Captain Shaw And The Brave Fire Brigade.

A mural based on MacCallum’s watercolour is believed to have been put up in Clerkenwell but was later destroyed during the Blitz.

The oil is estimated at £1000-1500 in Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s Fine Art sale in Exeter on January 22-24.

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