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Suffolk auction house to sell 'Lakenheath Shield' in specialist auction

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An auction that will also include a pocket watch which could have been owned by Jack the Ripper and Neolithic axe heads found in Suffolk will be taking place in September.

The Stowmarket salesrooms of Bishop and Miller is launching its Gentleman’s Library Auction, on Thursday, September 5, at 9.30am.

The sales will feature a fascinating selection of ancient artefacts, including many discoveries made in Suffolk, as well as ethnographic items, early photographs from around the world, maps, books as well as travel and exploration objects of interest to collectors.

The auction includes items such as the 'Lakenheath Shield'. (15553258)
The auction includes items such as the 'Lakenheath Shield'. (15553258)

One of the highlights is the 'The Lakenheath Shield', a very rare example of a Bronze Age Yetholm type copper alloy shield from around 1300B.C. to 975 B.C. which was discovered on a farm in Lakenheath, valued between £10,000 and £15,000.

Oliver Miller, managing director at Bishop and Miller, said: “The shield was discovered in 2015, by a metal detectorist,

"It’s a remarkable discovery and is one of only 27 shields ever found in the world. We are expecting keen interest from museums and serious collectors for this amazing artefact.”

Also included are a selection of Neolithic axe heads discovered in the 1960’s on a farm, near Brantham, a rare John Speed Map of the World valued at around £3,000-£5,000 and a 19th Century Southwold ship wreck painting which is valued at £300-£500.

One of the most interesting lots is an 18 carat gold pocket watch, T bar chain and eye glass that could have been owned by the mysterious and notorious Jack the Ripper.

This item was found by, and later belonged to, PC Edward Watkins.

PC Watkins was a London City Police Constable and was patrolling one night in September 1888 when he discovered the body of Catherine Eddowes.

She is believed to be the fourth victim of Jack the Ripper and this gold watch was found at the scene and could have belonged to her murderer.

The item has been in the family’s possession since then and will be sold with an estimate of £600-£900.

Oliver said: "We’re really excited to introduce this new specialist Auction to everyone. I have likened the selection of items available in this auction akin to walking into Sherlock Holmes’ dusty Victorian study,

"This new Auction offers our customers something a little different from our current Sales and we hope people will enjoy some of the quirky and unusual objects available to bid on.”

For further information on Bishop and Miller's, go to www.bishopandmillerauctions.co.uk.