Sold on the oldest Football League shirt and more

From the thousands of lots that appear at auctions every week on, here we focus on five objects that sold well in early March, including 'the oldest Football League shirt’ at £16,000.

TSR March 16 Budd

Middlesbrough FC jersey dating from 1886-90, £16,000 at Graham Budd.

Boro in blue and white

This Middlesbrough FC jersey dates from between 1886 and 1890 – making it not just the oldest Boro shirt but possibly the oldest Football League shirt extant.

Made just like a Victorian dress shirt in a heavy, white wool flannelette with a blue and white polka dot cotton trim, it includes the label reading Manufactured by E. Banks, shirt maker Middlesborough. The badge inscribed MFC Erimus is hand embroidered.

London sporting memorabilia specialists Graham Budd concluded the shirt, that had survived in remarkably good condition, had to date from before 1890 as that was the year the club (established in 1876) changed its colours, first to an all-blue shirt, then to all-white and finally to the red they are famed for today.

Estimated at £15,000-20,000, it took £16,000 on March 7 from a buyer using

Giuliano's Etruscan revival

TSR March 16 Stroud

Victorian Etruscan revival gold earrings by Carlo Giuliano, £7800 at Stroud Auctions.

Born in Naples, the revivalist jeweller Carlo Giuliano (1831-95) made his name in London. Arriving in the city in 1860, he worked first from a workshop on Frith Street in Soho supplying jewellery to well-known retailers, and, from 1874, a shop with retail space on Piccadilly. For 40 years, Pasquale Novissimo was the firm’s chief designer.

While the firm would become best known as a maker of Renaissance style jewels, Giuliano’s early work focused on the fashionable archaeological revival inspired by recent finds in Etruscan burial sites. Jewels of this kind appear in the paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

This pair of earrings offered by Stroud Auctions in Gloucestershire are in the form of Etruscan urns or amphorae set with rubies, white enamel and split pearls. They have Giuliano’s first maker's mark, the CG in monogram. Hugely appealing at the estimate of just £200-400, they took a more substantial £7800 from a buyer using on March 8.

A portrait of two artists

TSR March 16 Winter

Head of a Young Man, possibly Craigie Aitchison, by Myles Murphy, £5800 at Dominic Winter.

This unframed oil on board Head of a Young Man is by the Slade School artist Myles Murphy (1927-2016). Painted c.1955, around the time he was badly burned when a garment he was wearing for a painting caught fire, it is quite possible the subject is the Scottish painter Craigie Aitchison (1926-2009).

Murphy and Aitchison were friends when students and, after winning a travelling scholarship, painted together in Ravenna. For many years the 23 x 18in (58 x 46cm) portrait was owned by Aitchison.

Portraits by artists in the Modern British canon are a current market strength – particularly those by artists who may previously have fallen under the radar.

The Murphy came for sale at Dominic Winter in South Cerney, Gloucestershire on March 8 with a guide of £300-500 but push on to make £5800 from an online buyer.

Maori guides the price

TSR March 16 Partridge

Pair of Maori portrait tiles by Sherwin & Cotton, £1550 at Adam Partridge.

The potter George Cartlidge, who worked for Sherwin & Cotton in Hanley for close to 30 years, is best known as the designer of the Arts and Crafts Morris Ware.

However, amongst tile collectors his name is associated with a range of portrait tiles in sepia monochrome glazes, that through fine modelling rather than transfer printing mirror the photographs they copied.

A large range of subjects were produced in the first decade of the 20th century but today the Maori series are probably the most commercial. Two of these were offered at Adam Partridge in Macclesfield on March 2 – portraits of two well-known Maori guides Sophia and Bella, both shown wearing a korowai (cloak), pounamu tiki and pendant and huia feather in their hair.

Measuring 6 x 9in (15 x 22cm), they are impressed with Sherwin & Cotton factory marks plus the artist’s monogram. These are most frequently sold in New Zealand where they can bring prices of more than £1000 each. This pair was guided at just £40-60 but sold for £1550 from a bidder using

Gaudy Night remembered

TSR March 16 Lodge Thomas

A signed copy of Gaudy Night by Dorothy Leigh Sayers, £2100 at Lodge Thomas.

Writing during the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957) was dubbed one of the four 'Queens of Crime' alongside Agatha Christie. Margaret Allingham and Ngaio Marsh,

She is best known for a series of mystery novels that feature the aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey and the fictional detective novelist Harriet Vane, Gaudy Night is the tenth in the series.

George Orwell was not a fan. Writing his review in 1936 he said Sayers’ "slickness in writing has blinded many readers to the fact that her stories, considered as detective stories, are very bad ones.”

Nonetheless the narrative that interweaves a love story with an examination of the stifled role of women in 1930s England, has since been described as ‘the first feminist mystery novel’.

Gaudy Night is a desirable first edition, particularly when offered with its ‘Just Out’ dust jacket in good order. Better still are copies signed by the author such as this one with an imperfect but intact jacket offered by Truro auctioneer Lodge Thomas on March 3. Estimated modestly at £120-180, it took £2100 from an online bidder.

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