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In Carlisle, at a one-vendor, country-house clear-out sale, Thomson Roddick (17.5% buyer’s premium) offered a dozen lots, with the highest price coming for a large Victorian or Edwardian example.

Featuring a golden eagle killing a grouse in a 2ft 7in (79cm) ebonised case, it was estimated at £500-800 and sold to a bidder from the south of England at £1100.

Case suits

Cased dioramas are selling particularly well at auction.

At Summers Place Auctions (25% buyer’s premium) in Billingshurst, West Sussex, on September 25-26 a late 19th century group of humming birds under a 17in (44cm) glass dome doubled the top estimate at £3000.

A single-owner collection of 36 antelope heads included many examples mounted by the renowned Rowland Ward. Most of the species were relatively common but the collection as a whole went well above pre-sale hopes at a total of nearly £9000.

Touch of Spicer


Fox diorama by Peter Spicer & Sons – £3000 at Reeman Dansie.

As Ward’s name puts a premium on safari trophies, that of Peter Spicer guarantees quality of the cased dioramas of British birds and beasts his Warwickshire firm produced.

At Reeman Dansie (20% buyer’s premium) at Colchester on September 25 the Spicer scene of a fox emerging from its den was pitched at £100-150.

The 23in (58cm) tall case had suffered woodworms and there was cracking to the edges of the background scene.

But the fox was in good condition and the signature Peter Spicer & Sons, Leamington, 1932 ensured the estimate would be left behind and it duly was when the piece sold at £3000.