Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood, Honiton
Figurines of a red-coated huntsman on horseback complete with hounds and fox make a charming lot among the porcelain at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood's sale on Tuesday.
The group of figures are by well-known maker Beswick. Designed in 1957 by one Arthur Gredington, the design proved so popular that they were produced by Beswick right up until 1995.
Auctioneer Brian Goodison-Blanks said that this set was in particularly good condition, and was likely to sell for more than the estimate of £200-£300.
"Usually the hounds have got broken legs, or the fox has a broken tail or ear. They are quite fragile, so for them to have survived in good condition makes them quite a find."
Another interesting lot, being sold commission free by the auctioneers in aid of Hospiscare, is a fox head mounted on a shield by Rowland Ward. Bearing the legend "Killed on Higher Town Farm, Dec 28 1925", believed to be near Bideford, it has an estimate of £40-£80.
"Rowland Ward was a very famous taxidermist from London, and I wouldn't be surprised if that exceeded its estimate," says Brian. "This is a particularly good fox, it is a nice adult fox, but in any case taxidermy is popular right now. We have a number of people who buy fox mounts for film and theatre set dressing. If you think of Downton Abbey, this is the sort of thing the Edwardian county set would have had on their walls as trophies."
A sale of antiques and collectables is at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood, Dowell Street, Honiton at 10am on Tuesday. There is viewing this morning from 9am-12 noon and on Monday from 9am-7pm.Full catalogue available online at www.bhl.co.uk.