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A collection of 46 ceramics by the leading figure of the French avant-garde highlights Bonhams’ Prints and Multiples sale on December 11-12.

Like Picasso, Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) came to ceramics late in his career: he produced his first ceramics in 1957 after meeting Marie Madeleine Jolly and Philippe Madeline in their studio in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

However, from then until his death in 1963 he created more than 300 pieces, most produced in small editions.

Pictured above is the partially glazed earthenware vase Grand Chèvre – cou conceived in 1958 and made in an edition of 20. Estimate £15,000-20,000.


John Nicholson’s December 7 Antiques and Collectables sale in Haslemere, Surrey, includes a pair of blue john and ormolu two-branch candlesticks by Matthew Boulton (1728-1809).

They come from an estate in Paris. Modelled with eagles’ heads and chains, holding aloft a pair of curving candlesticks, they are supported on square white marble bases taking them to 18in (40cm) high.

The pair has an estimate of £15,000-20,000.


A James Purdey & Sons double-barrel hammer rifle, built in 1875 for Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales’ Indian tour of 1875-76, is among the highlights of Gavin Gardiner’s December 11 sale of Modern & Vintage Sporting Guns held at Sotheby’s London.

As engraved on the rib, the rifle was presented to the Nizam of the Decan, the ruler of the state of Hyderabad, by the prince on the tour that covered 21 towns and cities of the Indian subcontinent. It carries a gold oval engraved with the royal crest and the Order of the Star of India. The rifle is in its original maker’s case with the Nizam’s name on the lid and carries an estimate of £12,000-15,000.

The prince exchanged gifts with each ruler he met and a number of rifles were ordered from Purdey and Alexander Henry to be given as gifts. Purdey’s records indicate that two rifles were presented to the Nizam – the other is now in the collection of the Royal Armouries.


Youth’s Dreamland Garden by Frank Salisbury (1874-1962), signed and dated 1912, was originally painted for Samuel Ryder (1858- 1936), the St Albans seed merchant integral in setting up the golf tournament that still bears his name.

When sold by Christie’s on Ryder’s death, the picture was bought for the Salisbury family collection, elements of which have been sold by Woolley & Wallis since 2013.

It is in the final tranche of Salisbury pictures to be sold as part of a sale of Modern British & 20th Century Art on December 11, it has an estimate of £5000-7000.