Lancashire Life - - ART & CULTURE -

Good things come in lit­tle pack­ages, they say, and that was cer­tainly the case with this charm­ing oa­sis scene right out of The Ara­bian Nights.

Each painted hol­low­cast lead fig­ure and ac­ces­sory ar­rived at a Capes Dunn val­u­a­tion day wrapped in tis­sue paper, hav­ing been trea­sured and stored away for many years. The chal­lenge fac­ing the Stock­port auc­tion­eer was identifyin­g them and, ab­sent of any marks or box, they had no choice but to err on the side of cau­tion. Spe­cial­ist Christophe­r Co­ram, who runs their Lytham St Annes of­fice, thought they were by Wil­liam Britain & Sons, a toy com­pany founded in 1893. Buy­ers prob­a­bly thought so too, the lot prompt­ing fierce bid­ding on com­mis­sion, in the room, on the in­ter­net and on the tele­phone.

The 50 or so pieces rep­re­sent­ing Arab fig­ures, camels and palm trees, to­gether with three canvas tents, sold to a London bid­der for £2,600 against an es­ti­mate of £200-300.

The Arab fig­ures sold for £2,600

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