The ultimate Christmas antiques wish list

With the festive season soon to get in full swing, auction houses and antique dealers offer gift hunters the perfect opportunity to pick up presents that combine unique appeal with fascinating stories. We’ve pulled together a few ideas that have caught our eye and we’d love to find in our stocking this Christmas morning.

Bulldog spirit

A late 19th/early 20th century taxidermy mounted bulldog, formerly from the private collection of Charles Saatchi. Coming up for sale in Tennants Auctioneer’s Natural History and Taxidermy Sale this month, with an estimate of £3,000 to £5,000.

Taxidermy bulldog

Wonderful Willows

An original fine ink and watercolour drawing, signed by Arthur Rackham, for the Wind in the Willows. Coming up in Sotheby’s English Literature, History, Children’s Book and Illustrations sale this month with an estimate of £25,000 to £30,000.

Arthur Rackham illustration for Wind in the Willows

All Aboard!

A highly collectible Meccano 0-4-0 L&NER green liveried locomotive and tender, measuring 28cms long, and coming up for sale at Mallams in Oxfordshire with an estimate of £50 to £80.

Vintage tin train set

All’s Wells

West Midlands auction house Cuttlestones has a particularly rare collection of first edition novels by the famous English author H.G. Wells due to sell this month, including Kipps The Story of a Simple Soul (1905), estimated at £2,000 to £4,000.

Kipps The Story of a Simple Soul (1905) by HG Wells

Essential Reading

A subscription to Antique Collecting magazine, an essential read for antiques and art lovers. Packed with informative articles, expert advice and the latest news and views on the market, for over 50 years Antique Collecting has been the go-to source for buying and collecting.

Antique Collecting December to January

Studio style

Studio pottery continues to be in demand, and this Small Suffolk Seaport by John Maltby is part of Woolley and Wallis‘ 20th century British Studio Pottery sale from the collection of Professor Luke Herrmann, taking place this month. It has an estimate of £800 to £1,200.John Ward studio pottery

One to Watch

Classic and vintage watches have become a must-have accessory for the modern man, and Rolex is one of the leading brands whose watches create frenzied demand in auction rooms around the world. This example, a Rolex yellow gold Submariner from 1983, is going under the hammer in Sotheby’s The Wish List: Jewellery & Watches Online with an estimate of £7,000 to £10,000.

Rolex Submariner watch

Seasonal Sparkle

Antique jewellery has an uniquely evocative charm, carrying with it the stories and lives of those who cherished it before, making it the perfect Christmas present for a loved one. This late-Victorian 18ct gold diamond and enamel ring is coming up for sale at Fellows this month with an estimate of £300 to £400.

Victorian gold diamond ring

Stitch up

A charming antique sampler, executed by and demonstrating the needlework skills of one Julia Warburton in 1841. For sale by LAPADA member Madelena Antiques and Collectables for £915.

A 19th century antique sampler

Naughty but nice

A collection of cheeky cartoon artworks by regular cartoonist for Playboy, ‘Smilby’ Francis Wilford-Smith, is set to be sold at Catherine Southon auctioneers later this week.

Playboy Artwork

Tea for one

Any tea-lover will adore this art deco bone china tea service for one from Shelley’s Solitaire range. Decorated with bands and line pattern in the Regency shape, this stylish way to serve up a well-deserved cuppa is coming up for sale at Chiswick Auctions.

art deco tea service

Pot Stars

With studio pottery currently much in demand, there is an array of sought-after pieces coming up in Design, Modern and Post War British Art in Mallams‘ sale this month, such as this David Leach bowl in celadon glaze with impressed potter’s seal.

David Leach bowl


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