After selling thousands of items during the clearance of a toy museum back in September, you’d have thought auctioneers at Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester would have had enough fun and games for the year.
But as Christmas approaches, the team are preparing to sell a Santa’s sackfuls of vintage playthings during their Selected Sale on Friday, December 9.
Among the best of the 80 lots in the toy section are a Victorian doll’s house as a three storey townhouse, standing at well over a metre tall, which should achieve between £600 and £800.
A Dinky Fordson Thames Flat Truck in its original box, carries an estimate of £60 to £100 and a boxed Dinky Guy Flat Truck is priced at £100 to £150.
Of the four rocking horses in the sale, the best is a Victorian painted horse in the manner of Stevenson on an associated red painted sleigh base, which carries a £500 to £800 estimate.
In the dolls section, a 39cm Victorian wax doll under a glass dome, bearing the label Wax Fairy Doll from Queen Victoria’s last Christmas tree at Osborne 1900… is expected to achieve between £200 and £300.
And a pair of painted papier-maché and wooden transfer decorated wrestling figures of politicians – Gladstone and Lord Salisbury – together with another similar pair as Turkish wrestlers, also carry a £200 to £300 estimate.
Caricatures also feature outside the toy section. Among a wide selection of Staffordshire pottery, a collection of early 19th century Toby jugs features likenesses of John Milton (£100 to £150) and The Reverend John Wesley (£60 to £100), while a traditional Toby in tri-corn hat, his face with various blemishes, an ale jug upon his knee, bearing an old label to underside inscribed J D Neil Smith Collection, carries an estimate of £500 to £800.
Famous faces can also be found on pieces of needlework. A 17th Century silk oval medallion depicting Charles I, measuring just 9cm by 8cm, carries an estimate of £800 to £1,200, a 17th Century needlework panel decorated with two oval medallions depicting a King and Queen should make £300 to £500, and a 17th Century French rolled and quilled paper panel centred by an oval depicting Christ feeding the disciples carries a £1,000 to £1,500 estimate.
For bidders looking for a special timepiece to ring in the new year there are six long case clocks from which to choose, including an early 18th Century walnut cased clock by the celebrated John Ellicot of London, which should make £6,000 to £9,000.
And for the man thinking of popping the question over the festive season, a selection of rings will make any woman swoon – especially the gold ring with 1.2 carat sapphire surrounded by 30 diamonds of 1.5 carats, which carries an estimate of £2,000 to £3,000. Failing that, the white gold ring with three diamonds totalling 1.3 carats, estimated at £1,500 to £2,000, should clinch the deal.
For those for whom Christmas would not be Christmas without a clutch of designer labels there are some real treats in the furniture section.
Highlights include a late Victorian rosewood and ivory marquetry inlaid side cabinet by Collinson & Lock of London at £2,000 to £3,000; a late Victorian ebonised writing table by Howard & Sons of London at £500 to £800; a 19th Century ebonised and gilt decorated desk at £1,000 to £1,5000 and a 19th Century mahogany desk at £800 to £1,200, both by Gillow & Co; and an oak dressing table and oak dressing chest, both dating from the 1920s and made for Heals of London, both with an auctioneer’s estimate of £200 to £300.
Elsewhere in the furniture section there’s a George II walnut side chair, which carries an estimate of £1,000 to £1,500. Described by auctioneer Philip Allwood as “a bit shabby, but one of the loveliest chairs I have seen in a long time,” the anthropomorphic chair, with its lion paw and ball feet, maintains remnants of the original mid-18th century upholstery.
A rhino horn cup (£1,000 to £1,500) and matching rhino horn beaker (£600 to £1,000) are attracting the attention that rhino horn always does, although these pieces come with interesting provenance: shot by Samuel Ernest Sawyers Ellis, warrant officer in charge of railways in Kenya/Tanganyika, on September 24 1944, the horns were carved by Italian prisoners of war.
Finally for the relative who has everything, how about a Japanese wakizashi sword with 16th Century blade, attributed to Sue-Seki? Guaranteed to slice with ease through turkey and Christmas cake alike, the sword carries an estimate of £1,000 to £1,500.
For an full auction catalogue, log on to www.mooreallen.co.uk