A Piece of Dorset History Goes Under The Hammer!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

harvesting 1880sFans of local heritage and antiques have the opportunity to get their hands on a genuinely exciting piece of Dorset history next month, as a set of 100-150 year old Victorian brass bushel measures go under the hammer at Duke’s Auctioneers in Dorchester.

These rare and collectable items belong to Dorset County Council, and are one of seven lots up for sale at an auction in early February. Also included in the sale is a pair of checkpump petrol measures – a slightly more recent piece of Dorset history, expected to raise around £150.

The set of 10 imperial standard bushel measures date from 1858 to 1899, and were used to track and regulate crop production and sales in Dorset. Each piece has a date stamp and a label marking it as property of the County of Dorsetshire. They are estimated to sell for £2,000 at auction, so you better have deep pockets if you want to make a bid!

A key attraction of these pieces is that they come from one of the most fascinating periods in Dorset’s history. While much of the rest of Britain was in the throes of being transformed by the Industrial Revolution, Dorset kept its largely rural character in the late 19th century, with an economy that never lost its focus on traditional agriculture. This was the Dorset of Thomas Hardy novels – thatched cottages, milkmaids, harvest festivals and an altogether simpler existence than that being experienced by those dwelling in the cities.

The Victorian crop measures speak to that simpler time in Dorset history, with its farm economy and centuries old system of trade and bartering. They would a great buy for anyone with an interest in local history or a wider appreciation of antiques from the Victorian period.

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