Furniture possibly from first Prime Minister’s residence among items to be auctioned

An item of furniture which probably graced the residence of Malta’s first Prime Minister, Joseph Howard, is among some 1,200 items which will soon come under the auctioneer’s hammer. Many of the items formed part of private collections.

Auctions are held fairly frequently in Malta, but some of them attract more attention because of valuable antique items, some of which perhaps deserve to be part of a National collection rather than in private hands.

A visit to a pre-auction viewing revealed a number of items of interest which will be auctioned off and sold under the auctioneer’s hammer. These include a rare early 18th century book on the history of the Order of St John in Malta by the French historian Abbe de Vertot. Another interesting item – a silver plate, the work of Saverio Meli, which had been presented to Brigadier Sir Thomas Graham by the Maltese people as a token of appreciation for his part in ridding Valletta of the French occupation in 1800.

Items to be auctioned include paintings, weapons, jewellery, clocks and watches, old documents and antique furniture, including a mirror with a female figure sculpted in wood, possibly part of a collection owned by Malta’s first Prime Minister, Joseph Howard. Other items include paintings from the Preti period, and contemporary 20th century art by Maltese artists Esprit Barthet, Antoine Camilleri, Richard England, Emvin Cremona, Willie Apap and Raymond Pitre’ among others.