TO start the New Year with a gavel, an auctioneers is offering an exquisite collection of autographs, equestrian art and Victoria Cross cartes de visites.

Laidlaw Auctioneers and Valuers' two day auction will be packed with collectables ranging from furniture to toys, art to ceramics and will come to The Temple Auction Rooms, Carlisle, on January 27 - 28. 

With names like Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Laurel & Hardy and Dwight Isenhower, it is safe to say the auctioneers are bringing out the big guns when it comes to autographs. 

It may just be the perfect chance to own an object which is a very real and tangible memento of signatory, be it a historic figure or a contemporary screen icon. 

The collection will also feature a vast array of cartes de visites depicting receivers of the Victoria Cross.

In Cumbria: Cartes de visites going under the hammer. Cartes de visites going under the hammer. (Image: Laidlaw Auctioneers & Valuers)

The Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It was established in 1856 by Queen Victoria and is awarded for bravery in the presence of the enemy. 

These small photographs are no bigger than a postcard and were commonly traded amongst friends in the 1860s.

The popularity of these photographs led to more prominent figures being depicted such as royalty - priced at £30 - £50 each and are in some cases, signed by the subject makes them them a highly collectable piece of history for anyone interested in militaria.

In the art category this month, the auctioneers will be showcasing a vast range of equestrian themed limited edition prints and original works, notably prints by Claire Eva Burton and original watercolours by John Atkinson.

Burton’s love of horses dates back to her childhood and after giving up riding she turned her talents to art. She uses her riding experience, vibrant colours and bold brushstrokes to capture the powerful movement of the horses, stating that “you have to be able to feel how a horse moves at speed to be able to convey that on canvas”.

The auctioneers are offering public viewing on January 26, followed by the two day auction with the catalogue available for viewing at

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