Three hundred beasts come to event to raise money for guide dogs

13th September 2017

Three hundred beasts – many real, some imagined - were identified at an antiques valuation day in the Cotswolds, held to raise money for guide dogs.

Among the items brought to Moore Allen & Innocent’s valuation event at Dobbies Garden World on Saturday, September 9 was a copy of A Description of Three Hundred Animals: viz. Beasts, Birds, Fishes, Serpents, and Insects, written and published by Thomas Boreman in 1730.

The book, aimed at 18th century children and illustrated with prints from copper plates opposite written description of each animal, features a great many of the world’s known animals, as well as unicorns and manticoras – a monster with the body of a lion, the head of a man, porcupine's quills, and the tail of a scorpion.

Auctioneer and valuer Piers Critchlow told the owner, Barbara Chivers, that the book – marked inside with a handwritten date 1787 – could fetch between £200 and £300 at auction.

There was more 18th century printing to be identified and valued on the desk of Philip Allwood, a familiar face to many as a a regular expert on TV shows including Bargain Hunt, Flog It, Antiques Road Trip, and Cash in the Attic.

Kathy Nelson brought along two 18th century maps: a new and correct map of South Britain, published by Henry Overton at ye White Horse without Newgate London in 1719, and a map of Europe 1784 to 86, centred on the Holy Roam Empire and featuring the states of Germania, Saxonia, and Bohemia, among others.

Philip was able to give the owner tips of preserving the maps and valued them at £100 to £150 apiece at auction.

Perhaps the most valuable antiques were a pair of alabaster rabbits with glass eyes, made in Rome in around 1900 and with interesting provenance – they had been given as a gift to the owner by a member of the royal household.

They were given an auction value of between £3,000 to £5,000, while a 1908s silk quilted Chanel handbag with the same provenance was valued at £3,000.

From the Far East, a circa 1900 coin sword – a talisman used to ward off evil and cure ailments – was valued at £50 to £80, while from Cold War era East Berlin, a 24 piece dinner service with 22ct gold decoration by Meissen was valued at between £500 and £800.

A circa 1940 open faced military pocket watch by Rolex was valued at £300 to £500, while another 18th century book – a London Almanack 1796, published by the Company of Stationers – was valued at £100 to £150.

Despite it tiny two-and-a-half-centimetre size, it was packed with information including saints days and the time of high and low tide at London Bridge. The presence of the original slipcase added to the overall value.

Antiques owners were invited to make a donation to the Cirencester branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind in return for a valuation, and guide dog Merlin and charity ambassador Bishop were on hand to meet visitors.