DRINKING vessels of the Ancient Greeks through to the Art Deco designs of the renowned designer René Lalique are set to go under the hammer in North Yorkshire.

Ripon-based Elstob & Elstob are managing to offer the items among a large collection of glassware via an online auction later this month.

The Fine Art, Antiques and Jewellery Sale to be held on Saturday, April 18 is one of only a small number of auctions in the region not to have been postponed or cancelled due to current restrictions.

The saleroom itself will be closed to the public but live bids can still be made online.

Co-director David Elstob said: “We have decided to carry on with sales as long as possible.

“Our members of staff will all observe strict social distancing on the day and objects can either be collected safely, couriered to their destinations after the sale, or stored at our premises until such a time when people are able to collect them.

“Luckily we have been moving towards online sales for some time and have been investing heavily in state-of-the-art technology, so we are in an excellent position to be able to do this.

"All lots will be featured in an online catalogue with high-quality images and detailed descriptions.

"We are also producing videos of popular lots and our experts are readily available for internet-based or telephone consultations on request.

“It will be strange being by ourselves in what is usually a packed saleroom but we must remember that our audience has just moved a bit further away.”

Amongst the lots are several signature pieces from Lalique (1860-1945), including perfume bottles, vases and car mascots.

One particularly fine example is a clear and frosted glass Longchamp car mascot displaying a rare double mane variant.

Another showstopper is a spectacular plate depicting ondines (water spirits) in the distinctive Art Deco style.

Made from frosted, polished and opalescent glass to a design introduced in 1921, the plate is in excellent condition which has prompted a price estimate of between £800 and £1,200.

Mr Elstob said: “We are expecting a lot of interest in the collection.

“Lalique glass has long been a world-famous brand that is internationally admired and, of course, is still in production today.

“The demand for vintage Lalique has been prevalent for a few decades now and the work is consistently popular with collectors across the globe.

"These early pieces from the 1920s are particularly collectable due to their enduring style and the car mascots will have an additional appeal to motoring enthusiasts as well as connoisseurs of design and antiques.”

Also in the sale, at the other end of the historical spectrum, are two glass pieces dating back to the 1st – 4th Century BC.

One is a rare Greek oinochoe – a vase resembling a little pitcher from which wine was poured into the cups.