A set of gardening tools has been valued at up to £3,500 at Christie's thanks to high-quality engravings and muntjac hoof handles.
The Telegraph reported that not much is known of their provenance, except that the current seller bought them at a previous auction 15 years ago and that they were made in 1851 for the Great Exhibition by John Moseley & Sons.
Mark Stephen, a European works specialist at Christie's in South Kensington, suggested the cased tools were made for display, but that some light gardening might be done with them. One item is engraved with the Royal Coat of Arms, while another features the French Second Empire Eagle.
The lot, due to go on sale on Tuesday (March 6th), includes two trowels, a fork, two pruning knives and some clippers. The precision engraving covering the steel parts of the gardening tools is believed to add value to the antiques.
Mr Stephen said: "They're not the easiest things to value, because they are so unusual. But they were made as an example of English workmanship, and the engraving is of a very high quality."
While the engravings on these items are essentially decorative, etchings on other antiques can help to clarify who previous owners were. Last month, a watch was bought by a dealer who noted that the engraving on the back meant the timepiece may have belonged to the infamous Lord Lucan, reported the Birmingham Mail.
Inscribed on the back of the watch was: "Presented to Lord 'Lucky' Lucan, The Old Fossil, by his friends at the Clermont Club, Mayfair, 18 December 1967."