After sale-topping tiger, auctioneers pin their hopes on a Jaguar

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A tiger stole the show at Moore Allen & Innocent’s last antiques auction. And at their next sale, auctioneers are pinning their hopes on a Jaguar.

This time, though, the big cat in question is not a piece of taxidermy. It still roars, and its sleek looks have been turning heads at the Cirencester saleroom.

The Jaguar XK8 convertible sports car in British racing green – with its four litre engine, automatic gearbox and beige leather and walnut interior – is something of a bargain.

New, it would have set you back somewhere in the region of £57,000. On Friday, September 13, auctioneers will be asking a far more modest £1,500 to £2,000 for this 1998 classic.

With its James Bond looks, it’s no surprise the XK8 appeared in a host of movies, although it was baddie Zao behind the wheel in 2002’s Die Another Day.

In an epic car chase, Pierce Brosnan’s Bond pursued him across a frozen lake in an Aston Martin Vanquish – a scene filmed not in Scandinavia, but just outside the Cotswolds village of Bourton-on-the-Water.

One British secret agent did get behind the wheel of the car, however. Who could forget Austin Powers’ union flag liveried XK8 – complete with Shaguar licence plate – in 2001’s Goldmember?

In all, the XK8 has starred in over 30 Hollywood movies, including Mail Order Bride and The Wedding Planner.

And a wedding dress by an Oscar-winning Hollywood costume designer will be going under the hammer at the same auction.

The satin and lace dress was designed by Sir Cecil Beaton for his niece, who was married in June 1957.

Beaton designed sets and costumes for Broadway plays, noticeably My Fair Lady, and he went on to design the costumes for the 1964 film of the same name, starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, for which he won an Academy Award.

The wedding dress – a size 8 to 10 – is likely to appeal equally to costume collectors, fans of Beaton’s work, and to any bride-to-be looking for a dress with a fascinating story behind it. Auctioneers are expecting bids of between £600 and £800.

It’s a safe bet that the wedding dress will attract a lot of interest. And anyone wanting to bid on a safe is in luck.

A circa 1920 safe by Samuel Withers & Co of West Bromwich comes with some interesting family history.

Samuel was one of five Withers making safes in the West Midlands in the second half of the 19th century. The dynasty was started in 1855 by George Withers and the firm was continued by his wife as Withers, Mary & Sons after his death in 1865.

His sons Samuel, George and Jesse founded their own safe making businesses in the 1870s, although Samuel’s was the most successful, with the firm that bore his name manufacturing well into the 1970s.

The safe being sold by Moore Allen & Innocent is unusual in that it has double locking doors, each with a brass key hole and an ornate handle in the form of a hand grasping a rod.

And extra hands are just what the winning bidder will need to help lift the three-foot-tall cast iron safe, which carries an auctioneer’s estimate of £100 to £150.

For a full auction catalogue, log on to

For pictures of the wedding dress, see Wedding dress by Hollywood costume designer is star lot at auction

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