A TREASURE-TROVE of antiques is set to go under the hammer this weekend.

The proceeds, which are expected to raise as much as #150,000, are going to a number of charities, including the RNLI, two African river-blindness charities, and a donkey sanctuary.

The collection of jewellery, furniture, portraits, ceramics, and books, much of which dates from as far back as the Napoleonic wars, was amassed by reclusive Edinburgh spinster Ruth Black over 50 years spent browsing the city's showrooms.

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Miss Black, who died in January at the age of 79, was the daughter of a media pioneer who left her an extensive antiques collection, which she kept in her home in Drumsheugh Gardens.

The centrepiece of the collection is an blue enamelled, diamond bracelet in the shape of a serpent, dated 1846, a wedding present from Lord Durham to his sister. It is expected to fetch up to #4000.

Also included in the lots is a #2500 early twentieth-century book-shaped silver music box with panels of Elizabethan figures, and a George III mahogany dining table, expected to fetch between #8000 and #12,000.

The auction will take place tomorrow at the showrooms of Lyon and Turnbull in Broughton Street at 11am.