Arts & Culture
by Aspect County

Canterbury Auction Galleries

Christmas is a‑coming – and if the very idea of trudging round shops looking at a sea of the same old stuff now called gifting” makes you shudder, how about looking at far more imaginative alternatives? Every year, the Canterbury Auction Galleries holds a pre-Christmas auction, full of intriguing present possibilities for people with all kinds of interests. And no annoying Wizzard or Slade Christmas songs blaring out while you browse the treasures online. Result.

As the print deadlines for this lovely magazine are a bit too early for a full catalogue of items in the auction house’s November sale, here are a few things that have sold previously to give you some ideas. Keep an eye on www​.thecan​ter​buryauc​tion​gal​leries​.com for this year’s exciting catalogue in mid-November. 

See the catalogue for the two-day sale on November 25 – 26 at www​.thecan​ter​buryauc​tion​gal​leries​.com for the:

1 Boy at heart 007 car

The boy at heart
The most sought-after Christmas toy of the Sixties! A gold Corgi No. 261 James Bond Aston Martin’ (the DB5 of course) complete with instructions, spare villain to eject from the roof, machine guns that pop out of the front and bulletproof rear shield and sticker. Sold for £290 though many Dinky and Corgi collectible toys go for less. 

2 Girlfriend Robin brooch

The girlfriend
Every auction is full of beautiful and affordable jewellery. But what could be more Christmassy than this gorgeous 18ct gold and enamel robin brooch? Around 45mm square, it sold for £640

3 Interiors queen Whitefriars glass

The interiors queen
Mid-century furniture and art has really taken off, especially if it has a designer name attached. Anyone with an eye for style will love Sixties Whitefriars glass, designed by William Wilson and Harry Dyer. These original knobbly vases together sold for a very reasonable £90, too.

4 Model enthusiast train

The model enthusiast
From Hornby to huge handmade model ships and trains, there’s usually a wide selection in every sale. This O” Gauge clockwork model of Southern B329 on a stand, with clockwork mechanism sold for £80, for instance. 

5 Glamourpuss diamond pendant

The glamourpuss
They are of course a girl’s best friend, so why not treat her with a gorgeous diamond? Loads come up in rings, brooches and not only antique – like this very affordable 20th century solitaire diamond pendant in white gold on a white gold chain. Sold for just £160.

6 Alpha male Rolex Oyster

The alpha male
We don’t know a chap who wouldn’t keel over after unwrapping this – a 1960’s Rolex Automatic Air King” Oyster Perpetual Super Precision watch with gold numbers. Sold for £1,850 – and there are always cheaper styles on offer which are just as interesting.

5 Energetic kid rocking horse

The energetic kiddie
A beautifully-made, 20th Century hardwood rocking horse. Made by House of Marbles in Devon, it’s 52ins wide x 58ins high. Sold for £420 but others come up for nearer £100.

8 The aesthete Keats poems

The aesthete
A rare edition of John Keats’ poems, by Kelmscott Press, dated 1894. It’s one of only 300 copies, printed on flour paper with colourful borders designed by William Morris. Sold for £3,000

7 Imaginative child wood toys

The imaginative child:
These lovely carved wooden toys were made by Kent craftsman, the late Howard Murray, for the 1985 film Santa Claus’, starring Dudley Moore. There were 23 in total, of various sizes. Sold for £180

Find loads more ideas at