A TREASURE trove of Stourbridge glass is set to go under the hammer this weekend in one of the biggest sales of its kind the town has seen in years.
More than one thousand items, including many rare examples of work by some of the most famous factory names in the glass world, will feature in the Centuries of Glass sale taking place at Fieldings Auctioneers, Mill Race Lane, Stourbridge, this Saturday (March 8).
The collection, comprising 804 lots and estimated to be worth more than £200,000, has attracted interest from across the globe.
Auctioneer Will Farmer, who has spent three months putting the sale together, said: "Half of the sale has links to Stourbridge. It's not just about the value - it's about the importance.
"We have some of the rarest pieces we've ever had and from across all areas of Stourbridge glass including the big factories - Thomas Webb & Sons and Stevens & Williams."
Items in the auction include a striking yellow 19th century Queen's Burmese cameo glass vase, by Thomas Webb & Sons, which is one of only three in the world.
Mr Farmer described the piece, valued at £5,000 to 6,000, as "one of the rarest pieces of Stourbridge glass" he's ever offered for sale.
A late 19th century Chinese inspired blue cameo moon flask, also by Thomas Webb & Sons, is another highlight of the sale which has caught the eye of collectors as far afield as America, South Africa, Australia and the Middle East.
Mr Farmer continued: "It's just an amazing display - predominantly offered for auction from one collector from North Devon who has had a 40 year passion for Stourbridge glass but who is now at the age to let the world see what he's been doing.
"I've been specialising in glass sales for ten years - and this is light years ahead of anything we've ever done before."
Rare drinking glasses dating back to the 17th and 18th century that have graced the display cabinets at the V&A museum in London also feature in the sale, which will be streamed live on the internet.
Pattern designs from the archives of the old Whitefriars Glass company in London are also up for auction.
The sale starts at 10am on Saturday - or it can be seen online at www.fieldingsauctioneers.co.uk.
Items can be viewed today Thursday (March 6) from 10am to 4pm, Friday March 7 from 10am to 8pm and between 8am and 10am on sale day.