Auctions

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Traditional Fag-ender of the season, Bonhams' marine sale, Wednesday (2pm) offers at an estimated pounds 80- pounds 120 a wooden press- gang shore stick, 19 inches long, with carved rope effect. It was used, probably in the 19th century, to encourage people to volunteer for the navy.

The painting of the great iron ship SS Great Eastern by John Stutterd, est pounds 5,000- pounds 8,000, is believed to have been commissioned by the ship's designer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, to hang in the stateroom at the time of the launch in 1857. In 1925 it was rescued by an old sailor from a wreck off the Tasmanian coast.

The sale also includes other paintings, prisoner-of-war models, ships' fittings and pond yachts.

Also at Bonhams: 88 charcoal badger drawings by Eileen Soper, for 20 years the illustrator for Enid Blyton's books, est pounds 1,000- pounds 1,500, on Thursday (2pm) in the Chelsea saleroom. The drawings are a bound mock-up for Soper's When Badgers Wake (1957).

The sale of watercolours and drawings also includes Soper's sketchbook of badgers and fieldmice, pounds 600- pounds 800.

Sporting guns are on Monday (2pm): 'try before you buy' by appointment today at the West Wycombe shooting ground (Philip Gompertz; 071-584 9161).

Musical instruments at Phillips, Thursday (11am), and at Bloomsbury Book Auctions, Thursday (1pm), a sale strong on histories and classics.

Christie's South Kensington is proud of its continuing August sales. Late-night viewing is on Mondays until 9pm. Tuesday, jewellery (2pm): Wednesday, carpets and furniture (10.30pm): Thursday, British and continental pictures (10.30am) and ceramics (10.30am and 2pm): Friday, Oriental artworks and ceramics, (10.30am and 2pm).

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