On March 24, Sotheby’s will sell the collection of Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma. She was great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, great niece of Russia’s last Tsarina, first cousin to Prince Philip and the daughter of Britain’s last Viceroy of India, Louis Mountbatten.
Close to 400 lots include four mourning brooches (pictured above) that had brought solace to Queen Victoria. Three of the brooches mark the death of Victoria’s third child Alice, who died of diphtheria at the age of 35 on December 14, 1878.
They are an onyx and seed pearl button commissioned in 1879 with a portrait miniature of Princess Alice (estimate £1000-1500), an agate and pearl pendant with a lock of hair inscribed from Grandmama VR as a gift from the queen to Alice’s daughter, Princess Victoria (estimate £1000-1500) and a hardstone, enamel and diamond cross centring on an onyx heart with Alice beneath a coronet (estimate £2000-3000).
An agate and diamond pendant, opening to reveal a miniature photograph of the Queen’s mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, later Duchess of Kent, was commissioned by Prince Albert c.1861 for Queen Victoria to mark the death of her mother. Including a touching inscription by the Prince Consort, it is guided at £1000-1500.
A mid-17th century watch given as a confirmation present is valued at £18,000-22,000 in the Charterhouse auction in Sherborne, Dorset, on March 11-12.
It was found in a sock drawer in a remote Dorset cottage. Contained in a little cardboard box with a pencil inscription Lorna’s watch-clock Confirmation Present from me, it is thought by the family to have been a present from her parents some 80 years ago or so.
The cruciform watch, made from brass in a rock crystal case and decorated with enamel, measures just 3in (8cm) high. The dial has a chapter ring with Roman numerals which is centred by the birth of Jesus above a vignette of Adam and Eve. The back plate, engraved scrolling foliage, is signed Drovino A Potiers.
Charterhouse says that generally it has survived the past 380 years in good condition, although it has lost its hand and the case is chipped.
A complete collection of more than 5000 original British vehicle tax discs from 1921-2015 comes up for sale in a Wokingham Auctions timed online sale finishing on March 6.
It includes one tax disc for every year from 1921-89, one tax disc for each month from 1990-July 2015 as well as 22 of the final tax discs issued.
The remainder of the collection is stored by year groups in 16 storage containers.
Though abolished in 2014 by the DVLA, motor vehicle tax discs would have celebrated their centenary this year since they first appeared in 1921. Since then an estimated 1.7bn discs were issued. However, taxation on travel goes back several hundred years with levies and tolls recorded on hackney horse-drawn cabs as far back as the 1600s.
This 1930s Ralph Bilston advertising sign, a 5ft 1in (1.54m) version of the well-known thermometer promoting the merits of Stephens Inks, appears to be in remarkably good condition.
The glass thermometer is intact, all of the text is crisp condition and there are only a few minor losses to the white enamel. The original supplier instructions appear to the rear.
At Thomas Miller in Newcastle on March 4-5 it is expected to bring £600-800.
In 1962 Edward Seago (1910-74) was invited to Hong Kong by John Swire to paint a series of pictures for the new boardroom of the eponymous multinational shipping company.
Swire had collected the artist’s work for many years and felt the opportunity to come to Hong Kong would be in the tradition of the 19th century topographical artist George Chinnery. During a six-week stay, Seago produced 80 works including a series of oil on board city street scenes created with the use of a palette knife.
Street in Hong Kong, 14 x 10½in (36 x 27cm), is for sale at Dreweatts in Newbury on March 18 with a provenance to Marlborough Fine Art, London, and latterly a deceased estate.
A sale of Jewellery, Watches and Silver at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on March 9 includes this late 19th century ring set with an enamel plaque depicting a classical figure in profile.
Signed A Meyer to the reverse, perhaps for the Limoges revivalist Alfred Meyer, it is estimated at £400-600.
This Carette live-steam painted tinplate boat – described as Ocean-Going Steam Ship No 622/3 in the Carette 1911 trade catalogue – was made in Nuremberg for the British market.
As well as flying the white ensign, a plaque to the stern reads Clyde Model Dockyard, Glasgow.
At Special Auction Services in Newbury on March 9 the estimate is £2000-3000.
A small 6 x 14in (15 x 35cm) oil by LS Lowry (1887-1976), is coming up for sale in Tennants’ Modern and Contemporary Art Sale on March 6.
People in a Park, a typical example of the figure pictures Lowry painted during the latter part of his career, is offered with an estimate of £60,000-90,000.
The painting, which has never been seen on the open market, is signed and dated 1971 and comes with provenance from John Fletcher of Oldham, who gifted the painting to his housekeeper.
The Rogers Jones sale in Cardiff on March 5 includes this Edwardian mahogany campaign or travel desk, c.1910. With an ivorine label marked Best London Make, the plain hinged top opens to reveal a fitted interior with leather writing surface, goliath pocket watch and stationery clips.
Ryedale Auctioneers in Kirkbymoorside will sell the medals belonging to Alan Booth on March 4. Booth, an RAF veteran, was awarded an MBE in 2005 for his 31 years of service as Scarborough Town Crier.
This County of Wilts brass Imperial Bushel No 2 measure dates from 1836 and was manufactured by De Grave of London.
With an estimate of £2000-2500, it is part of a collection of imperial measures, including a further bushel, a half bushel and a peck, offered in a Thimbleby & Shorland of Reading timed online sale ending on March 7.