Memento of the completion of Great Yarmouth’s Britannia Pier, a skeleton and a Maori cloak among the lots in Aylsham auction
15:19 18 November 2012
Archant Norfolk 2012
A miniature silver gilt groyne presented to the mayor of Great Yarmouth to commemorate the completion of the new Britannia Pier is among the lots in a three-day antique auction being held in Aylsham this week.
The sale, which begins on Tuesday and ends on Thursday, is being hosted by Keys Fine Art Auctioneers in Palmers Lane.
The seven inch commemorative Edward VII groyne was presented to the Great Yarmouth mayor Mrs Walter Diver on March 3, 1902 on the occasion of her driving in the last marine pile of the pier. It is valued at £140 to £160 and will be auctioned on Wednesday.
The pier’s original wooden structure was opened in July 1858 and replaced at the turn of the 20th Century with a wooden and steel construction, which officially opened in June 1902.
Among the most unusual lots on offer is a mid-19th Century Maori cloak with an accompanying handwritten letter, valued at up to £4,000. The letter describes how the cloak was given to a paymaster in the 58th regiment of the British army by a tribal chief who believed he was the most important man in the group because he was the tallest. The regiment, led by Colonel Wynyard, had put down a rebellion of the Maori chiefs against the British Government and the paymaster was visiting a friendly tribe with a party of officers when he was presented with the gift.
For an estimated £400 to £450, buyers can also pick up a partial human skeleton, which would have been used by medical students and doctors. The skeleton, which is in its original box and may have once belonged to a convicted criminal, includes a complete skull with removable top half, an intact spine and the limbs from one side of the body.
Other items on offer include two antique scrimshaw whale teeth, which have been engraved with nautical scenes, a silver ewer and basin, which is a replica of the Howard ewer and basin that forms part of the Norwich Civic Regalia Collection and a 201-year-old bottle of Brandy, which would have first been on-sale when Napoleon invaded Russia.
Keys will also be holding its annual sale of East Anglian art on Friday, which contains 364 lots built up throughout the year and attracts buyers from across the world. Estimated sale prices range start at £100 for watercolour paintings of the East Anglian landscape.
Paintings expected to attract a lot of interest include three still life oil paintings by Eloise Stannard valued at between £12,500 and £20,000 each. Work by members of the Norwich School art movement, including other members of the Stannard family, is also expected to be popular.
The online catalogue is available to view at www.keysauctions.co.uk.