IF YOU were going to bet on the lot that would draw the crowds at Moore Allen & Innocent’s general and antiques sale next Friday (August 13) the clever money would be on a 1930s one-armed bandit, all the way from the USA.
With its Art Deco front and Native American head feature – a nod to the fact that the first casinos were built on reservations – this Jennings Gibraltar Casino slot machine certainly is a striking piece.
It is unusual in that it comes complete with its original wooden stand, whereas many examples have lost their legs, and features a steeplechase element with horse icons, as well as the traditional fruits, which must be lined up for a win.
Happily the machine has been converted to accept UK currency after arriving here in the 1950s. Less happily, the new owner will need to feed it pre 1997-sized 50 pence coins, or have the mechanism converted again. Despite this, auctioneers are confident someone will gamble £300 to £400 to own this lot.
If the Americans gave us slot machines, they probably got the better end of the bargain when we sent The Beatles.
Included in the sale is a small collection of early American-issue Beatles albums, either imported from the UK or pressed in the States under licence.
Introducing… The Beatles, Englands No 1 Vocal Group(complete with missing apostrophe) on Vee-Jay records is the earliest in the collection. Also included in the eight album collection is Please Please Me, released here in 1963, Songs and Pictures of the Fabulous Beatles, Beatlemania! With The Beatles, and a copy of Magical Mystery Tour, released by EMI in 1967 and imported to America, complete with 24-page colour booklet.
The collection carries an estimate of £80 to £120.
Beatlemania, of course, fuelled an entire industry of tour T-shirts and hooded tops, but before this silk handkerchiefs seem to have been the memento of choice for many concert-goers.
At a concert at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden on June 23, 1897 to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the accession to the throne of Queen Victoria these handkerchiefs were used as memorabilia and as a programme.
God Save the Queen, Act 2 of Wagner’s Tannhauser, Act 3 of Romeo Et Juliette and Act 4 of Les Huguenots were all performed and printed delicately onto the fabric.
A bid of £30 to £50 should secure this piece of pre-rock memorabilia.
Whilst Victorian city-dwellers were tapping their toes to opera, their country cousins were breeding livestock for show and competition. Going under the hammer next are some interesting medals from local agricultural shows.
A Victorian twin handled goblet in silver, later inscribed Cirencester Park 1954, carries an estimate of £50 to £70.
Meanwhile, three medals awarded by the Wessex Saddleback Pig Society for the Best Wessex Saddleback Pig at the Chippenham Agriculture Show, cast in silver with a delightful Art Nouveau design and dated 1921, 1922 and 1924 respectively, will be sold alongside two medals featuring horse heads, inscribed Awarded by the Editor of Riding for Novice Pony First Prize and Novice Pony Second Prize.
A bid of £40 to £60 should secure the lot.
And lovers of equestrian wares will be pleased to learn that the Sporting Sale, to be held on Friday, August 27, features a large collection of horse and hunting-related antiques.