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Charles Miller’s sale of Maritime and Scientific Models, Instruments & Art in London on November 5 includes a rare manuscript design book for a merchant shipbuilder.

Written by James Maw c.1783-85 (and later handed down to his great-great grandson, DB Ramsbottom), this comprehensive manual to ship building describes and illustrates, inter alia, of measuring boards or planks, timber, masts, windlass, tonnage of ships, cleats, bitts and cheeks and Haruschole and numerous other aspects of ship building.

A note to the last page (illustrating a crane) reads, in Maw’s hand: Scarborough July 27th, Friday 1804, this crane was first used for lifting Oak Timber at Mr John Tindall’s, Ship Builder.

Estimate £1000-1500.

charlesmillerltd.com or see this item on thesaleroom.com


An unusual Scottish silver-plated and hardstone inkwell supported on three frogs carries an estimate of £400-600 at Dreweatts of Donnington Priory on October 30. Inside is a removable lidded ink pot with a silver mount hallmarked for Edinburgh 1885.

It is part of the selected contents of Clifton Maybank, the Dorset home of art historian and curator Prof Michael Jaffé (1923-97).

The director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, for 17 years from 1973-90, Jaffé also introduced history of art to Cambridge undergraduate studies in the 1960s.

dreweatts.com or see this item on thesaleroom.com


The Fine Art sale at David Lay in Penzance on October 31 includes a private collection of vintage posters – many with a Cornwall theme.

Harold Sandys Williamson (1892-1978) produced this well-known image above for the General Post Office in 1934: it depicts a dock from a century before with masted ships loaded with transatlantic mail arriving in Falmouth.

Estimate £500-800.

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


Rare late-19th and early-20th century novelty pin cushions are on offer in the silver sale at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury on October 29.

They include this 3in (7cm) model of a military bell tent that functions as both hat pin stand and pin cushion.

Although the maker’s marks are worn, it is marked for Birmingham 1914 and has the registration number 641854.

Estimate £600-800.

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