A shot of whisky? That’ll be £178, sir

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At up to £178 a shot, it might be the most expensive glass raised in the Cotswolds at Christmas this year – but auctioneers at Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester are confident that a very special bottle of whisky will sell for between £3,000 and £5,000 when it goes under the hammer next week.

The 70cl decanter of Macallan’s Millennium is the jewel in the crown of this year’s pre-Christmas wine and spirits sale.

Bottled to mark the tun of the millennium, the Speyside single malt whisky was distilled in January 1949 and stored in Spanish oak sherry casks until it was released into Caithness lead free crystal decanters in August 1999.

The whisky comes in its original presentation box, together with leaflets and original outer cardboard delivery box. And with that £3,000 to £5,000 estimate, each single measure will be worth between £107 and £178.

The sale will also boast a single bottle of what is considered to be one of the finest wines ever produced. Auctioneers are anticipating bids of between £1,500 and £2,000 for the bottle of 1945 Chateau Latour, Grand Cru Classé.

The pre-Christmas sale is also an opportunity for collectors to snap up antique toys. As always, Moore Allen has a vast selection ranging from vintage teddy bears and dolls to train sets, cars and model soldiers.

The dolls include a number of Armand Marseille models, whilst there are a smattering of Steiffs among the teddies. The most sought-after, however, is likely to be a black and white woodwool filled dog with jointed head, arms and legs, glass eyes and hand-stitched nose and mouth, probably by Farnell, which should make £100 to £150.

Among the toy cars, there are some excellent boxed examples of Dinky models. A single Jaguar XK120 coupe number 157 carries an estimate of £100 to £150, as does a Studebaker Land Cruiser number 172. A Rover 75 Saloon number 156, a Bristol 450 Sports Coupe number 163 and a Bentley Continental number 224 each carry estimates of £80 to £120.

Like the Chateau Latour, one particular toy with a fascinating heritage is the product of Europe at war. The wooden painted pull-along toy depicting a dog and four puppies was made by a German Prisoner of War at a farm in Winstone, near Cirencester, during World War II with bits of scrap around the farm. The PoW was paid 20 cigarettes for his efforts. A bid of £25 to £30 should secure the lot.

The star lots at many sales during 213 have been Chinese antiques, and the auctioneers have high hopes for the thirty lots of Oriental ceramics going under the hammer. Of particular note are a 19th century Chinese blue and white baluster shaped vase with later brass mounts, standing at 49 cm high.

Despite considerable historic cracking, the vase is still likely to achieve £300 to £400, while a pair of small (39 cm tall) circa 1900 Chinese export ware blue and white hexagonal garden seats could make between £800 and £1,200.

The new owners are encouraged not to sit down on them, however – they have been converted into lamps, and there’s 12cm of brass lamp stand between the sitter and the seat.

The sale starts at 10.30am on Friday, December 6. For a full auction catalogue, log on tohttp://www.mooreallen.co.uk

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