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AUCTION Sales round up

The AngloFrench medieval carving sold for


The pipe stand racked up a very creditable


Bishop & Miller, Stowmarket An unusual 19th-century Anglo-American pipe rack, in the shape of an oak tree, sold for £2,800, against a guide price of £600-£800 at the Suffolk auctioneer’s sale of the Beedham collection.

Dated 1800-1850, the stand, which is 69cm wide and 38.5cm high, is designed around a sporran-shaped tobacco pouch, with two pipes atop a 24-pipe aperture shelf.

At the same sale a rare 12th-century Romanesque, carved oak bear, which had been expected to make £2,000-£3,000 sold for £13,000. The Anglo-French carving, c. 1150, which is 60cm long and carved from one piece of wood, may have been used as a medieval door support.

The auction house was recently charged with the sale of stock from Beedham Antiques, the Hungerford-based specialists in fine English and European 15th, 16th, 17th-century oak and early sculptural works of art.

Halls, Shrewsbury A rare letter signed by the English essayist and lexicographer Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) sold for £13,200 at the Shropshire auction house, against an estimate of £3,000-£5,000.

The high price reflects the scarcity of Johnson letters: American

The rare letter by Samuel Johnson is requesting employ-

ment for an acquaintance collectors Donald and Mary Hyde acquired 746

Johnson letters, more than half the known total which they bequeathed to Harvard’s Houghton Library in 2003.

The two-sided letter, written on March 17, 1783, urges the unnamed correspondent to employ a young man known to Johnson. He writes: “About a fortnight ago, I wrote to you a request in favour of a young man whom I recommended as a clerk or copyer... I now repeat the request that if you know any business, in which a man not without literature, and accustomed to write for lawyers can be employed, you would be pleased to make trial of my friend.”

The letter was purchased by the vendor at Sotheby’s in the 1960s, when the Hydes were very active, “to stop it from going abroad”.

RR Auction, Boston An unopened first generation original Apple iPhone more than doubled its low estimate of $20,000 when it sold for $54,000 at the New Hampshire auction house’s recent sale called ‘Steve Jobs and the Apple Computer Revolution’.

Steve Jobs’ business card sold for


The box features a life-size image of the iPhone with 12 icons on the screen, indicating that it is from the earliest production (2007); a 13th icon, for iTunes, came later in the year.

It was consigned by an Apple employee who bought it on its release in 2007, but left it unopened as he received one through work.

The unopened first generation iPhone dates to 2007

At the same sale one of Steve Jobs’ Apple business cards, dating from 1983, sold for $6,188 against an estimate of $1,000.

The card notes his role as “Steven Jobs, Chairman Board of Directors” and features the iconic rainbow’ version of the Apple ‘byte’ logo.

Richard Winterton, Tamworth The Force was with the daughters of a local toy salesman when they sold his prized Star Wars collection for £15,130 at the Staffordshire auction house’s recent sale.

The figures, which had remained sealed in original blister packs for 40 years, included a sealed 1983 Kenner figure of Boba Fett from Return Of The Jedi, which sold for £1,600 and a Palitoy figure of Luke Skywalker which made £1,350.

Three original ‘Mail-away’ Boba Fett figures, sealed in original plain packaging – designed to have been ordered through the post via a special offer – totalled £3,300.

Between 1978 to 1985, American toy company Kenner produced and sold Star Wars action figures. In the UK, the licence was held by Palitoy with the company importing the figures for packaging in Britain on Palitoy branded cardbacks.

One of three original ‘mailaway’ Boba Fett figures which sold for a total of


The Palitoy figure of Luke Skywalker from the same film made



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