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Silk banner publicizing the abolition of slavery in Britain in 1834, estimated at £1,000-£2,000

Banner touting UK’s abolition of slavery poised to fly high at Chiswick, Jan. 18

Silk banner publicizing the abolition of slavery in Britain in 1834, estimated at £1,000-£2,000
Silk banner publicizing the abolition of slavery in Britain in 1834, estimated at £1,000-£2,000

LONDON – A silk banner proclaiming the abolition of slavery in the British empire in 1834 forms part of an extraordinary single-owner collection for sale at Chiswick Auctions on Wednesday, January 18. The blue and gold silk banner that reads “August 1, 1834 Slavery in the British Dominions Utterly and for ever Abolished” has an estimate of £1,000-£2,000. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The Slavery Abolition Act, which freed more than 800,000 enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and South Africa as well as a small number in Canada, had received royal assent on August 28, 1833 but did not take effect until August 1, 1834. The law became a source of inspiration and hope for abolitionists and enslaved people in other nations, particularly the United States.

The banner is one of many so-called “cabinet of curiosity” items assembled by a London dealer in mechanical and scientific antiques. They were collected in the 1980s and 90s during frequent visits to antiques fairs, markets and shops in the UK, Europe and America. Most have been in storage for 20 years although a portion has been viewable via a website devoted to the collection. The collector’s partner recalls he “always regretted he wasn’t born during the reign of Queen Victoria.”

Kaleidoscope made by Philip Carpenter to the specifications of Dr. Brewster’s patent, estimated at £2,000-£3,000
Kaleidoscope made by Philip Carpenter to the plan of Dr. Brewster’s patent, estimated at £2,000-£3,000

Also on offer is a kaleidoscope made by Philip Carpenter to Dr Brewster’s patent. It carries an estimate of £2,000-£3,000. The eminent Scottish inventor and scientist Sir David Brewster invented the kaleidoscope in 1815 while conducting experiments on light polarization and chose the Birmingham achromatic lens developer, Philip Carpenter, as the sole manufacturer of these instruments. Dating to circa 1820, this example, delivered in its 7in (18cm) mahogany case, comes with 11 discs of various colored objects.

Circa-1884 Ericsson skeleton swing-arm telephone, estimated at £3,000-£5,000

Circa-1884 Ericsson skeleton swing-arm telephone, estimated at £3,000-£5,000

Another standout is an early example of the Ericsson No 16 telephone – the world’s first telephone with a one-piece handset – which is expected to bring £1,000-£1,500. Perhaps the most desirable of all the skeletal models, it was produced from 1884 to 1890. This example sports the swing-arm separate transmitter-receiver. It is in original condition, still has its line cord, junction box and its lightening-protector plug, and it was formerly part of the Mick Juanneau collection.

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The current rate of exchange is £1 = $1.20.

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abolition of slavery