Shell enamel sign – £4200 at Clarks Auction Rooms.

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Each pitched at £60-80, three 2ft (61cm) wide double-sided enamel Shell signs came from a local vendor who told auctioneer Paul Clark he “just had them around” and hoped they would make some money for a West Country charity treating autism.

“I’d say they were around 1950 and were in good condition compared to many,” said Clark. “I was hoping they might each go for around £300-400.”

Bidders clearly agreed that signs had some age.

At the September 30 sale the 15in (38cm) high Guaranteed Fuel from the Pump sign sold at £4200. The others, a triangular Shell Lubricating Oil sign and an 18in (45cm) high Stop. Shell Spirit & Shell Oil. Fill Up Here With Shell sign each sold at £2300.

Familiar face


1928 Irish banknotes – £2600 at Clarks Auction Rooms.

The 10-shilling Irish banknotes, which came from a local charity shop, were offered without reserve and a £10-20 estimate.

They feature the familiar face of Lady Lavery, the Chicago-born wife of society portrait painter Sir John Lavery. Both were active at the highest levels in the course of Irish Independence and when, in 1927, Lavery took a £250 commission to design the young republic’s currency, he used his beautiful wife Hazel as a model.

She remained on Irish notes until the 1970s, thereafter appearing in the watermark until the euro replaced the punt in 2002.

The Liskeard notes bore first-day date stamps 10-9-28 and were numbered among the first 10,000 to be issued. They sold to an Irish collector at £2600.