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Dirks, Dolls & Dainty Dancing Shoes - 1500-Lot Sale Has The Lot...

18th November 2018

A glance through the highest prices from the hugely popular two-day bi-annual sale of Militaria and Collector’s items serves to show how diverse these auctions are.

On the first day, a flintlock blunderbuss pistol by Richard Wilson, c.1740, fired bidders up to £4270; a 19th Century Mameluke sword and scabbard by John Garden, c.1800, sliced through bidders before being bought for £3170, three times its low estimate; Gordon Highlanders dirk by Kirkwood of Edinburgh, 1892, made £2680; a group of medals won by motorcycling ace Joseph Wright in the 1920’s raced to £1400; and a £5 gold piece, 1887, weighing just under 40 grams, made £1760.

In the selection of Collectors’ Items, highlights were again intriguing for their remarkable range and variety. A framed banded sampler, worked in 1669 and decorated with alphabets and floral motifs, made £1520; a walking cane made from a carved narwhal tusk strode to £2250; a Moy & Bastie patent cine camera, 45cm high and long pre-dating the slim convenience of a modern smartphone, flashed up to £3050; eleven bottles of Chateau Cheval Blanc, 1986, lifted spirits at just over £3000 as did a bottle of whisky from a limited edition made by the Brora Distillery in 1977 when it made £1090. A signed Snaffles print, entitled `Handing it out to `em`, showed a surprising return to glory days at £1070. Two particular delights involved clothing: a small pair of cream leather shoes made by Henry Weiss of St Petersburg were believed to have been worn by Grand Duchess Marie Nikolaevna of Russia (1899-1918). Tragically, she was slaughtered with her family at Ekaterinburg in 1918. These little shoes, a nostalgic glimpse of Tsarist Russia, made £5970.  Finally, a very rare Jules Steiner doll with a trunk of clothes came from Evelyn Shirley’s childhood and might have been a gift from her mother, Ethel, in about 1915. The `B Series` doll with a Motschmann body (23cm high), named `Celestine` by her young owner all those years ago, and was bought for just over £10,900. 

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