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Rare Russian medals could fetch thousands at auction

Medal shows the transportation of the granite monolith for a monument of Catherine the Great’s husband, Philip I. Credit: Duke's of Dorchester

A pair of rare Russian medals found in house in Dorset are expected to fetch around three to five thousand pounds each at auction.

The gold collectables date back to the 1700s and are believed to have been struck during the reign of Catherine the Great (1761-1796).

One of the coins depicts the establishment of the Foundling Hospital in Moscow. The auctioneer who discovered the medals, Timothy Medhurst, said that newspaper articles in the years after the site opened reported that up to 40 children per day were admitted to the institution which could hold up to 7000 children.

It is hoped the sale may attract some wealthy Russian bidders keen to purchase historical objects. The items will be sold at Duke's of Dorchester on 12th March.

Medal commemorates the creation of the Foundling Hospital in Moscow which was capable of housing up to 7,000 children Credit: Duke's of Dorchester

Both medals depict important events in the history of Russia - the Foundling Hospital for example, was so important to the country that when Napoleon retreated from Moscow in 1812, he gave specific orders to preserve the building.

To find not one but two medals crafted in gold, an expensive material in which very few medals were ever issued and in this original condition is exceptional.

– Timothy Medhurst, Auctioneer

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.

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Appeal to help find missing woman from Dorchester

Joan Davis was last seen at her home last night Credit: Dorset Police

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of a missing woman from Dorchester.

Joan Davis, aged 66, was last seen at her home address along St. Helens Road last night but was reported missing today, Wednesday 21 October 2014.

Joan is described as white, with short grey hair and of medium build and normally wears glasses. She may be wearing denim jeans.

“Concern is increasing for Joan as we believe that she has been upset recently. A thorough search is being carried out in the local area with assistance of the National Police Air Service helicopter. She doesn’t have a car so may be travelling on foot or public transport. We are now becoming very worried for her safety and I urge her to get in touch as soon as possible – we simply need to know that she is safe and well."

– Incident Inspector Roger Robinson

Concerns for missing boy from Dorchester

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of a missing boy from the Frampton area of Dorchester.

George Pugh-Sargent, aged 11, was last seen near the car park and café at Ringstead Bay on the coast between Lulworth and Weymouth, at around 1.30pm today, 1 September 2014.

He is described as white, five feet three inches tall and has short blonde hair. He was wearing a Hawaiian print T-shirt, black shorts with braces, sandals and a gem stone bracelet.

"Due to some disabilities George has he may not recognise risks or may react differently than other children of his age. This could include approaching premises if he is hungry or thirsty. We are concerned, with his family, for his safety and are working with them and other agencies to locate him. Any sightings from the public, given his distinctive clothing, would be very helpful.”

– Chief Inspector Marsden, Force Incident Commander

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Badger Army protest comes to Dorchester

A peaceful, family friendly protest against the government’s unpopular badger cull, which will return to Somerset and Gloucestershire this summer, will take place in Dorchester on Saturday.

Organised by Dorset for Badger and Bovine Welfare, the event welcomes people of all ages to take part in a walk through the town centre. Speakers will include leading anti-cull spokesperson Dominic Dyer and Dorset Badger Vaccination Project.

The public have shown time and again that they are dead against these culls and the science has shown that they are a waste of time, money and lives. We encourage people to join us for the march in Dorchester and to get actively involved in protecting badgers and bovines by stopping the cull and promoting vaccination of badgers, improved biosecurity on farms and stricter cattle movement controls”.

– Andrew Butler from DBBW

I’ve worked in the agriculture and food industry for most of my career, and this is the worst agricultural policy I’ve seen in 30 years. I’m sympathetic to farmers, but culling badgers simply won’t work. Ordinary people from around the country have come out to protest against this barbaric cull, and we’re looking forward to seeing many of them come to Dorchester."

– Dominic Dyer, CEO of the Badger Trust

The event takes place between 12-3pm, starting in Borough Gardens before marching down High West Street, with speeches in South Street.

Motorcyclist dies after collision in Dorchester

Investigations are underway into a crash in Dorchester in which a 23-year-old motorcyclist died.

He collided with a people carrier, driven by a 47-year-old man, at the junction of Windsor Road and Cambridge Road last night.

After the initial collision, he crashed into a parked Ford vehicle.

Emergency services attended the scene but after being taken to hospital, sadly the man died.

A full forensic investigation is now underway.

Valuable poems recovered

Officers in Dorchester are appealing for the help of the public after a selection of valuable poems were recovered in the town. Approximately 50 representations of Thomas Hardy poems were seized by police in Dorchester on 2nd January – the owner has not been identified.

Poems seized by police in Dorchester Credit: Dorset Police

Police Constable Mark Powell, of Dorchester police, said: “The poems are written in original calligraphy on white card and are 36 centimetres by 41 centimetres in size.

"We hope that someone recognises them from the image and will help us to find the rightful owner. It is possible that they have been stolen and the owner has not yet realised that they are missing."

£16k diamond ring stolen

Dorset Police are appealing for witnesses after a valuable diamond ring was stolen from a shop in Dorchester.

The incident happened at around 4.50pm on Monday 23 December 2013 at Allum and Sidaway Jewellers in South Street.

A man entered the shop and used a hammer to smash a glass display cabinet. A high-value platinum ring with a circular diamond solitaire worth £16,000 was stolen.

The offender is a white man, aged in his thirties, five feet nine inches tall and of medium build. He was wearing a black hooded jacket with the hood up.

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