Cheltenham's historic royal dining platter to be auctioned on Friday
A piece of silverware used to serve guests of Cheltenham's royal box for more than 100 years will be auctioned on Friday to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund.
When celebrity antique dealer David Dickinson visited the course recently to film for his television show Real Deal, Jockey Club Racecourses decided to submit their own item for valuation: a silver-plated meat platter.
The platter, which first saw action in around 1880, had been used in the royal box until its demolition five years ago to make way for the new Princess Royal stand. Since then it had been in storage, until recently.
JCR's head of marketing for the south-west, Matthew Foxton-Duffy, told the Wiltshire & Gloucestershire Standard: "We decided to put the platter, along with a duck platter, to good use and raise funds for this very worthwhile charity.
"Having spent five to six years gathering dust, staff spent three days polishing the meat platter to return it to its former glory."
Dickinson was said to have described the item as "very grand" and it is expected to make £2,000 to £3,000 at Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester on Friday.
Auctioneer Philip Allwood said: "It's a unique piece of racing history and should appeal to both racing fans and collectors of royal memorabilia.
"Given its age, it's possible that every horse-loving royal from Queen Victoria onwards has been served from this meat platter."
The Real Deal episode in which the platter features is due to air in January.