Railton's auctioneers of Northumberland, UK have another antique sale looming with a wide variety of paintings, antique vases and jewellery going under the hammer.
However, the most eye-catching lot is none of these, but instead is a whole rhino head.
Antiques made from rhino horn, let alone whole rhino heads, can be highly controversial at auction, and Railton's mentions that it has had to put some work in to get permission to sell it at all. But the crucial factor in law is the age of the item, and that has worked in their favour.
The striking lot is a large nineteenth century rhino head with two horns and glass eyes, and is described as follows:
"The rhino stands 37in high with its neck on the ground. The larger horn is 16.25in long from the top of head and about 14in long on the underside. The smaller horn is 8.5in long on the long side and 7.5in long on the underside.
"The beast's head is rather crudely stitched with stitches showing to the corrugated skin. Condition-wise it is quite distressed, but it would polish up. Some of the stitching is apart in some places, showing the plaster."
They have nicknamed him Reginald - though he does not answer to the name. The head is listed at £20,000-30,000 ($48,250).
For those of gentler tastes (or perhaps those who feel a rhino head isn't ostentatious enough without some extra bling), there are some fine pieces of jewellery available including aplatinum cushion cut sapphire and diamond ring, the claw set square stone held above a band, set either side with six baguette cut diamonds.
This is an important ring set on a platinum hallmarked band. The fine cushion cut sapphire weighs approx 1.6 carats. The shoulders are set with rectangular diamonds - six to each side. The sapphire is of a purply blue colour and very unusual, making it an excellent investment.
It is expected to sell for a tenth of the price of the rhino head (£2,000-£3,000) in the sale which takes place on Saturday March 19th. Watch this space for more news of Railton's auction
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