This real oddity, a beaker advertising Garintisept: Britain’s First Line of Defence against Diseases, is only the second example to have surfaced in his 40 years of trading, said Alan Blakeman of BBR. The green transfer-printed image features antiseptic bottles as cannon mounted on gun carriages in front of a line of soldiers of the First World War period, said Blakeman, who added: “Somewhere out there must be a newspaper or magazine advertisement for this product.” It is estimated at £120-150 in the upcoming auction during the BBR ‘WinterNational’ on January 20-21.

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Regular on-site fairs run alongside the auctions, selling the same material: bottles, pharmacy, kitchenalia, breweriana, Doulton and Beswick and advertising material.

Blakeman, who founded BBR in 1979, said: “When we launched BBR’s new saleroom in 2016, some people viewed it as a bit of a white elephant. This has proved unfounded as we’re going from strength to strength.

“We are now famed for our dispersals of singleowner collections and 2017 included the Bacco two-day smoking museum collection (cabinets, counters, enamel signs, 800 tobacco jars). All sales are now live online and our long-term plans remain extremely exciting with no sign of any slow down.

“I’ve a collection to pick up in Florida, another in South Africa, along with around 20 specialist fairs I attend each year around the UK. Added to the 10 book titles we have already published, the current hefty 450-page tome on ink bottles and inkwells is due in a year or so. Fitting in my climbing trips gets ever more difficult, slotted around deadlines, but my remit remains ‘live life, love life’.”

Blakeman is a committed fan of ATG: “While we’re relatively small fry in terms of annual turnover compared to most UK salerooms, a huge chunk of our annual advertising spend goes to ATG and is seen as the core of our promotion to reach ever outwards. Collectors and dealers globally know of BBR.”

The BBR WinterNational weekend is on Saturday and Sunday, January 20-21, with auctions held on the same days and 120-150 stands at a specialist fair taking place on site on the Sunday.