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Royal French chair to go under the hammer

This chair once belonged to Princess Marie Antoinette Murat of France Credit: Duke's of Dorchester

Duke’s of Dorchester, Dorset are to sell a 200 year old chair that was once owned by a glamorous French princess. The chair originally belonged to Princess Marie Antoinette Murat (1793-1847 ) whose famous Uncle Joachim Murat, King of the Two Sicilies from 1808 to 1815, was brother-in-law to Napoleon through marriage to Napoleon’s younger sister, Caroline Bonaparte.

The chair, which is thought to date from around 1810, is typical for the style that became favourable during the Napoleonic reign, for example, the intricately caned seat, gilt paintwork and Egyptian-head decorated legs.

It was later acquired by Field Marshal Lord Grenfell, GCB, GCMG, FSA, where it featured in his Napoleonic Collection before presenting it in February 1920 to Bournemouth Natural Science Society. A label still remaining on the chair is testament to the gift.

Napoleonic related items are well sought after at auction and there have been some astounding results in recent years. Napoleon Bonaparte is arguably the most famous historic figure in French history and thus creates strong interest from collectors all over the world. Recently a bicorn hat belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte sold for £1.25 million proving that the market is very strong.

This chair, aptly described by Duke’s Auctioneers as “Fit for a Princess” is to be sold in a specialist furniture auction on 5th December estimated at £800-£1600.


Spectacular horse sculptures to be sold at auction

One of the horse's heads being sold at auction Credit: Summer Place Auctions

A fascinating auction is due to take place at Billingshurst in West Sussex. Camden Lock is now famous for its market – the fourth most popular London visitors' attraction, with around 100,000 visitors each weekend – but it used to be known for the Pickford horse stables and horse hospital.

To commemorate the origins of the market, the owners commissioned a number of bronzes, mainly depicting horses and those working with them, to be installed around the market and in the market halls in the 1990s.

Some of these life-sized bronzes will now be sold at auction in Summers Place Auction's Sculpture and Design for the House and Garden live sale on 21 and 22 October.

Eighteen bronzes and statues will be included in the live sale and the particular highlights are the two monumental horse's heads, both about 3.2 metres high and 3.7 metres wide, they are being sold as individual lots, with an estimate of £15,000 – 25,000 each.

Also included in the sale is a bronze stallion, which is over two metres high and estimated at £5,000 – 8,000.

Manston Airport equipment to be sold at auction

Fire engines, baggage belts and aircraft steps from Manston Airport in Kent are being put up for sale.

They're among more than a hundred lots in an online auction selling equipment from the closed down airfield. Manston was shut almost two months ago by its owners - who said it was losing ten thousand pounds a day. There was a massive campaign to save it.

ITV Meridian spoke to MP for North Thanet, Sir Roger Gale.

New online auction system launched for livestock

These two sheep have made history by becoming the first to be sold on an online auction site just for livestock.

The Dorset cross lambs were sold on Sell My Livestock, which is the only online auction system of its kind in the UK.

Sussex farmer Andrew Huxham bought the lambs for his father-in-law.

The two Dorset-cross lambs Credit: Oxtale

He said, "With time and cost top of the mind at the moment, we wanted to see how the system worked. We were impressed with the level of detail submitted about the lambs so when we went to look at them, they were exactly what we expected.

"We're really pleased with the lambs, they're settling in well and enjoying the early summer grass!"

Sell My Livestock was launched last week and already has 425 farmers registered, 1,230 cattle registered on the system and 254 animals now available for sale.

Vintage cars fetch more than £2.5 million at auction

Vintage Rolls Royce Credit: Bonhams

A private collection of vintage and veteran vehicles has raised more than two point six million pounds at auction.

The vehicles, along with thousands of pieces of motoring memorabilia, were owned by the late Michael Banfield, and went on sale in Staplehurst in Kent. The top lot was a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost which sold for £418,140.

Vintage open top bus Credit: Bonhams

A trio of buses raised more than half a million pounds between them. Auctioneers believe the 1922 AEC open top bus broke the world record for a vintage double decker bus sold at auction.


Unique Anglo Saxon coin sold for £78,000 at auction

The unique Anglo Saxon coin fetched £78,000 at auction today Credit: Dix Noonan Webb

An unique Anglo Saxon coin that was found by a Sussex man has sold for £78,000 in auction.

The silver penny was estimated to sell for around £15,000 to £20,000.

A spokesperson for Dix Noonan Webb, the international coins and medals specialists, said, "There was fierce bidding for this unique coin. The price paid shows that the worldwide market for important pieces like this coin is extremely strong."

Darrin Simpson, the 48-year-old metal detectorist from Eastbourne in Sussex said, "It's fantastic, an amazing result. I am really quite shocked."

He will give half the money to the Sussex farmer who owns the field where the coin was found and another quarter to the three friends who were detecting with him when he made the discovery in March earlier this year.

Playschool's Humpty going under the hammer

Humpty is going under the hammer, with one of the original dolls made for children's TV show Playschool expected to fetch four figures at auction.

The 53cm-high egg-shaped toy is being sold by Bonhams at Oxford next week.

Humpty which featured in Playschool is being sold at auction Credit: Bonhams

It's one of three made for the BBC show which ran for more than 20 years from the mid-sixties.

Bonhams say the doll, valued at #1,200, was "an important member of the Playschool cast, taking part in almost every single episode and even receiving his very own fan mail".

Pearl sold at auction for nearly £1m

A rare pearl has fetched nearly a million pounds when they were sold at auction in Salisbury this week.

The described natural pearl exhibits an impressive size and weight of 33.147cts (132.59 grains), combined with an attractive roundish shape and smooth pearl lustre.

This pearl was sold for £680,000 at Woolley and Wallace Credit: Woolley and Wallace

The pearl shows an attractive white colour with weak rosé and green overtones, poetically also referred to as the 'orient of pearls'. Such overtones are due to an iridescence effect caused on the surface of pearls and greatly contribute to their beauty.

Documentation of historic round pearls can be prone to conflicting details and some pearls, over the years, have simply disappeared. Although some were recovered, the entire French crown jewels were stolen when the Garde Meuble was stormed in Paris during the French Revolution in 1792.

A pearl of 148 grains was referred to in Taverniers Voyages as being a gift to the Great Mogul from Shah Abbas. Again, it has not been mentioned since.

However, it is certain that the 33.14, or 132 grain pearl to be offered is one of the largest round pearls ever to be offered at auction.

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