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April 04, 2016, 07:16 PM

Pine beer crates, a fleam and a dangle jack at T W Gaze bygones

By Thornton Kay

1950s Bullards beer crates 12-14 each [photo Gaze

Top lot mobile chicken house 850 [photo Gaze
An E. Audus three blade fleam sold for 20 [photo Gaze
An 18thC adjustable iron dangle spit sold for 40 [photo Gaze

Norfolk, UK - The rural and domestic bygones sale held at T W Gaze in Diss last Saturday included several stacks containing three 24 compartment three handled wire-bound pine beer crates from the old Norwich brewers, Bullard & Sons, which sold for around 12 to 14 a crate. Richard Bullard started his brewery in the 1830s and it rapidly became one of the planks of the Norwich establishment, with son Sir Harry Bullard becoming the city's MP in the late nineteenth century.

There were (in 2010 and 2014) two giant stacks of Bullard beer crates bought after the 1980s demise and now languishing in fields, one near Shapwick on the Somerset Levels and the other near Feltwell in Norfolk - and there could be more. It seems that a farmer had the idea of using the half-pint beer compartments as packaging for his celery.

The brewery ceased production in the 1980s but the Bullard brand has now been revived by another Norwich brewer, Redwell, the two new beers, which are both vegan-friendly, are an East Coast Pale Ale called Bullard's No1 and an IPA called Bullard's No2.

Top lot at Gaze's include a chicken hut on wheels with curved corrugated iron roof which sold for 850.

Second highest lot was an incomplete bank of 75 pine drawers which sold for 380.

A smart pair of Great Eastern railway cast iron brackets sold for 340. The GER was in operation from 1862-1922 and running from Liverpool Street to Norwich, coincidentally stopping at Diss.

An 18thC wrought iron dangle jack sold for 40. These spits were used for small pieces of meat and birds, hung from a string, attached to the fire surround or mantle, and were then rotated. The small weights maintained a slow turning movement as the string twisted and untwisted. In the Gastronomic Regenerator in 1849 the great chef Alexis Soyer wrote: 'I used to roast very well with a bit of string. For the cottage kitchen, where there is no smoke-jack provided, you may roast very well with a piece of worsted or string, by hooking it to the meat, and then suspending it to a bracket fixed under the mantel-piece, which will enable you to remove it to any distance you think proper from the fire, making a tea-tray, at the distance of three feet from the fire, act as a screen; the bottle-jacks are not bad, but soon get out of repair'.

The three-blade Sheffield steel fleam enclosed in a horn handle, impressed 'E AUDUS', sold for 20. Fleams were used for the medical procedure of bloodletting, which has been practiced since the times of ancient Egypt, and is still practiced today for a few rare disorders. Leeches and phlebotomy are the common methods. Fleams were used by doctors to cut the vein or artery, usually in the crook of the elbow. Fleams were also used by vets on animals. The three blades are of variable graduated depth. Scant evidence can be found for the name Audus, but there is a reference in the 1901 Eastern Counties Magazine to Audus's Sheffield stall at the St Edmund's fair, held annually on 20 November, at Bury St Edmunds. This would probably date the Gaze fleam at second half of the nineteenth century.

On 30 April Gaze will be holding an architectural salvage and statuary sale.

Jacks in general, dangle jacks in particular

T W Gaze Llp

TWGaze archived catalogues

Story Type:  Auction Report

ID: 94435

Date Modified: April 05, 2016, 10:53 AM

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