Antiques auction to go with a bang

10th August 2017

An antiques auction in the Cotswolds is sure to go with a bang when a collection of early 19th century pistols goes under the hammer.

One of the star lots at the Moore Allen & Innocent auction in Cirencester on Friday, August 25 is expected to be a cased travelling pistol with chequered butt and Damascus barrel, silver metalwork and capping.

Inside the lid of the wooden case is a maker's label: Clive & Stowe Gun & Pistol Makers of Birmingham.

The case contains a powder flask, shot, cleaning roads, lead mould, shots, a cap tin with caps, and other accessories, along with a handwritten label reminding the user to load 15 grams of fine powder for a six-yard shot, or 22 grams for 20 yards.

The pistol commands an estimate of £600 to £800.

Being sold separately are a Belgian renaissance-style pistol, a pistol with walnut slab butt signed Piper of London, a pistol with chequered bag shaped butt signed Manalu of Ollerton, and an over and under pistol with chequered butt signed Holland, London. Each carries an estimate of £150 to £250.

There are more guns to be found – this time in miniature – protruding from the hulls of a pair of scratch-built replica tall sail warships.

Finished in stunning detail with sails, rigging, anchors, figureheads and cannons, the slightly larger of the two measures a metre tall by 95cm bow to stern, including base.

A bid of £200 to £300 should secure the pair.

Finally, also found near the sea and promising quite a bang – ooh er, missus – is a collection of three albums of postcards, mainly of the saucy seaside variety.

In these days of social media, it's easy to forget that the best way of letting family members and colleagues know about your soggy staycation was by picture postcard, often illustrated with a buxom blonde, sexually-frustrated husband, and disapproving wife, with a supporting cast of randy milkmen, ruddy-faced bobbies, and kilted Scots.

Across three albums, the collection of more than 100 postcards follows the progression of this very British style of comedy, from the toilet humour of the early 20th century to the sauce of the 1950s, and the smut of the more liberated 1960s and 70s.

And for fans of the female form there's even a collection-within-a-collection of 12 French monochrome photo postcards from the 1920s; the model and the photographer leaving nothing to the imagination.

The entire collection is expected to achieve between £200 and £300.

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