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Coronavirus lockdown delays sale of First World War plaque discovered in Newbury attic

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Bronze artwork expected to fetch more than £20k when it eventually goes under the hammer at Special Auction Services

A BRONZE plaque by Charles Sargeant Jagger entitled No Man’s Land that was discovered in a house clearance is expected to fetch £20,000-25,000 when it goes under the hammer at Special Auction Services in Newbury.

The plaque was going to be included in a sale at the auction house on Tuesday, March 31, but the coronavirus lockdown has meant that SAS has had to suspend all auctions for now.

Jagger is one of the most celebrated sculptors of the 20th Century and following active service in the First World War, he is best known for his war memorials.

Examples of his work can be seen in London at the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner as well as the Great Western Railway War Memorial on Platform One at Paddington Station.

No Man's Land depicts a "listening post", a technique of trench warfare in which a soldier would hide among the corpses, broken stretchers and barbed wire of No Man's Land, in order to listen for the enemy.

Television expert and director of SAS Thomas Forrester said: “This is a hidden gem that was bought to us at one of our free valuation days and is sure to have a wide appeal not only to those who love modern British art, but also for those for whom the depiction of war is significant.”

Fellow director of SAS Neil Shuttleworth said: "Due to the current health crisis, we have postponed all forthcoming auctions as the welfare of our staff and clients is of utmost importance.

"We are working behind the scenes in order to establish our new ways of working that are in line with the daily Government guidance and hope to be able to provide an update soon.

"Our fantastic and large new premises means we can store items easier ahead of and following auctions if needs be. We are offering free auction valuations by Skype, FaceTime, and email if you need any help.

"In the meantime, we hope that all Newbury Weekly News readers stay safe and healthy."

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