Sell an icon, win a watch: Oris: Made in Switzerland since 1904

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The Independent Online
IN WRITING this week's auction catalogue entries about compact discs, many of you took your cue from the recent pricing controversy. Anjana Ahuja of South Ealing, London, writes: 'Item 200 is an example of a compact disc (CD), the white elephant of music formats. It should attract particular interest this year, the centenary of the CD's demise. Ironically, following a campaign in 1993 to reduce its price, the CD was no longer seen as a symbol of affluence and became obsolete.'

Similarly, David Croker of West Byfleet, writes: 'By the time the compact disc was an acceptable price, many alternative systems were born and simultaneously declared obsolete . . .'

Tom Gaunt of Milton Keynes took the alternative systems concept a step further: 'Unlike today's bio-implants, these discs were for external use only and were therefore much larger than today's 1mm intravenous entertainment capsules.'

The winning entry, however, comes from Jonathan Harrison of west London, who will receive an Oris watch.

This is a rare surviving copy of the ill-fated 'Maggie' by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. It comes in its original box with the lithograph of its heroine by Gerald Scarfe, signed by Lady Thatcher herself.

The most important item of Thatcherabilia to have appeared recently, it comes from the family of Baron Thatcher, who succeeded to his mother's title amid some acrimony in 2016. The musical itself - hurriedly withdrawn in 1990 - remains a curio in Lloyd Webber's archives, noted for its use of 5/8 time in the melody of 'Denis', later re-used as the title theme for 'Sunset Boulevard'.

Lady Thatcher, adored and vilified in office, is chiefly remembered today for her part in the unsuccessful opposition to the Maastricht and Bonn treaties which established the Pan-European Community. Strong interest will be expected from the Reagan Library and the Institute for Thatcher Studies in Warsaw.

Estimate: 10,000-15,000 ecus.

The next subject in our Time Pieces competition is cafetieres. We invite you to imagine it is the year 2093 and to write - in 150 words or fewer - a catalogue entry for this Eighties icon. The prize is an Oris watch worth pounds 200. Send your entries, to arrive by Wednesday, to: Oris Competition, Weekend, the Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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