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THE GALLERIES

An ever-changing array of fascinating art and antiques

Tennants Auctioneers is privileged to handle a diverse range of art, antiques and rare and beautiful objects with a rich history. From large private Country House collections to exquisite 18th century costume, colourful Moorcroft pottery to vintage toys and train sets, we have the opportunity to display many fascinating objects for visitors to enjoy before they once more return to a private collection and away from public sight.

Open seven days a week, the Galleries are free for all to enjoy.

Your Collection

A unique facility

Our state of the art display galleries allow us to showcase your items and collections ahead of sale and to promote the many fascinating, rare and beautiful objects we are privileged to handle.  

To discuss exhibiting your collection ahead of sale at Tennants, please speak to your valuer or specialist.

Mauretania Name Letter

Toys & Collectables

27th November 2019

A 2-foot-high cast bronze letter ‘M’ from the starboard hull nameplate of the legendary Cunard liner R.M.S. Mauretania is to be offered for sale by Tennants Auctioneers  on 27th November. This unique piece of shipping history was bought for less than 10 Guineas in an auction of the ship’s fittings after her decommissioning in 1935 and is now offered for sale with an estimate of £5,000-8,000 (plus buyer’s premium).

The Mauretania was, at the time of her launch, the largest moving structure every built; she was slightly longer and heavier than her sister ship, the Lusitania. Commissioned by Cunard, the ‘Ocean Greyhound’ was built at the Wallsend Docks on Tyneside during a collaborative project by two shipbuilders, Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson. She held the record for the largest ship afloat until the RMS Olympic was launched in 1911 and held both the Eastbound and Westbound Blue Ribands for Atlantic crossings for almost twenty years. After the outbreak of the First World War the Mauretania was enlisted to the war effort, serving as troop transport, hospital ship and ship of mercy; she is estimated to have carried over 75,000 troops.

The Mauretania was decommissioned in 1935 after twenty-eight years of service. She was taken to Southampton Docks, where Hampton Sons of St. James’s, London were tasked with auctioning the ‘Appointments, Furnishings, Panelling etc. of the World Famous Cunarder’. The auction was held onboard the liner over several days, beginning on Tuesday 14th May; it garnered much interest, was reported to have realised £15,000, and was closed by an emotional rendition of the National Anthem. The sale was reported in the Daily Telegraph, which described the starboard bow lettering being sold “letter by letter”, and that  “The letter ‘M’ will hang in the home of a Reading seed merchant [Martin Sutton] who made several trips in the Mauretania”. It goes on to state that the two ‘A’s’ were purchased by Mr Douglas Sessions, a London engineer who intended to turn them into a gong, and that the ‘N’ went to the Salisbury house of a former purser. The port and stern nameplate lettering sets were sold complete to Mr Walter Martin, a cigar merchant and hotelier who intended to use them in a future hotel venture.

Display Highlights

  • Specialist Collectors Sale

    Specialist Collectors Sale

    A preview of our forthcoming Specialist Collectors sales, from Militaria to Toys, Books and Stamps.

  • Jewellery & Watches

    Jewellery & Watches

    Glittering diamonds and vintage watches coming up in the Autumn Fine Art Sale on 16th November are on display, along with a selection of vintage watches for the 7th December Jewellery, Watches & Silver Sale. Included in the cabinet is this beautiful, delicate Edwardian style diamond garland brooch.

  • The Housden Collection of Taxidermy

    The Housden Collection of Taxidermy

    Part of an important collection of fine Victorian taxidermy, collected by the late Bruce Housden, including examples by Rowland Ward, Peter Spicer and Henry Ward. The collection will be sold in Natural History Sales throughout 2019, with the third part on display ahead of sale in the Natural History & Taxidermy Sale on 30th October.

  • The Autumn Fine Art Sale

    The Autumn Fine Art Sale

    Highlight from the forthcoming Fine Art Sale on 16th November, including an Iznik dish and a rare portrait miniature of Charles I, which tells the story of his trial and execution through a series of painted mica overlays.

  • Clocks

    Clocks

    A display of table, bracket mantel and carriage clocks coming up in  the Autumn Fine Art Sale on 16th November. Included in the display is a rare George III ebony veneered quarter chiming table clock made by Jos Green of North Shields c.1730.

  • A Private Collection of Furniture and Furnishings

    A Private Collection of Furniture and Furnishings

    Two cabinets of furniture and furnishings from a private collection, to be sold in a single-owner sale on 18th January.

  • Costume, Accessories and Textiles

    Costume, Accessories and Textiles

    Highlights from November Costume, Accessories and Textiles Sale, including an impressive furnished dolls house, a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk and an exquisite sampler stitched by a pupil at an orphanage in Van Diemen's Land.

  • Autumn Fine Art Sale Silver

    Autumn Fine Art Sale Silver

    Highlights of Silver coming up for sale in the Autumn Fine Art Sale on 16th November, including two parcel-gilt silver wager cups.