IHAVE sent you a disgusting object,’ wrote Auberon Waugh. ‘You may be able to identify it as a telescopic ear trumpet as used by my Father in his later years… it may be of some whimsical interest to an obsessive collector.’
Said obsessives should head to The Westbury hotel, Mayfair W1, on March 30, or visit www.forumauctions. co.uk, where Evelyn Waugh’s telescopic ear trumpet (above), estimated at £1,000–£1,500, will be offered at Forum Auctions’ Fine Books and Works on Paper sale, alongside a collection of first-editions and letters.
Waugh famously used his old-fashioned ear trumpets for dramatic effect—‘i don’t think I hear any better for them, but I look more dignified,’ he admitted to the Duchess of Devonshire—and to make people uncomfortable, unscrewing them when bored during speeches or dull conversations.