TV antiques man's collection for sale

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THE TREASURED collection of Britain's most famous antiques dealer, Arthur Negus, is set to go under the hammer next month.

His widow Irene, aged 84, has decided to sell many of their most cherished possessions seven years after the television presenter's death. Dealers and collectors from all over the world are expected to attend the auction.

As presenter of Going For A Song and The Antiques Roadshow, the Reading cabinet-maker's son introduced antiques to the masses. The sale will include some of Mr Negus's most prized silver pieces, which he displayed in an Edwardian cabinet in the couple's flat in Cheltenham.

Among the cherished items are six shell-shaped butter dishes, some caddy spoons and two George III sugar baskets.

'Many of the things are of great sentimental value and it's going to be a wrench parting with them,' Mrs Negus said. 'I used to polish the silver every day and some of the most precious things were only touched by me alone.' Mrs Negus decided to sell the collection after moving to a smaller flat on the south coast. The antiques have been stored in a bank vault.

The 150 lots are expected to fetch up to pounds 80,000. The collection boasts everything from rare silver, Faberge scent bottles and objets d'art to 17th-century coffin labels.

Fans hoping to buy a memento are expected to push up prices at the lower end of the scale. The sale is being arranged by Simon Chorley, auctioneer at Bruton Knowles, who spent 14 years as Mr Negus's assistant in the Gloucester fine art firm.

The sale will take place on 28 October at the Pittvill Pump Room in Cheltenham.