The top lot of the sale in Tennants’ Toys, Models & Collectables sale November 27 is a 2ft (60cm) high cast bronze letter M. It comes from the starboard hull nameplate of the Cunard liner RMS Mauretania.
This unique piece of shipping history was bought for less than 10 Guineas in a famous auction of the ship’s fittings after her decommissioning in 1935 and is now offered for sale with an estimate of £5000-7000.
The letter M was acquired from the Sutton family (who were the original purchasers) in the 1950s by the present vendor’s father. It is thought that this is the first Mauretania letter to appear on the open auction market since 1935.
Dawson’s in Maidenhead will be offering a single-owner collection of 18th century and later medicine chests and related items in a November 23 auction.
Rare examples acquired by the Berkshire vendor include a large Regency mahogany cabinet and contents, similar to another in the Science Museum collection originally supplied by Reece’s Medical Hall of Piccadilly.
The 19in (47cm) chest has extensive brass and marquetry inlay, with many bottles labelled for Llewellyn Brothers of St Clears, Glamorgan. The brass side fixing points suggest it was used by a senior naval surgeon.