Published 8th March 2012
There is an old saying "There's nothing like a good stuffing..." that has several connotations, but certainly applies to the results of the taxidermy section of the recent Sporting and Collectors' sale at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood Honiton saleroom.
Victorian taxidermy might not appeal to many, but collectors were in force in the room and online for the taxidermy specimens on offer. A Preserved Brown Bear's head on an oak plinth sold for £600, whilst a preserved Vulture reached £680. An early 20th century preserved Leopard in a transportation cage took the highest price of £950.
Medals and Militaria continue to have strong following with a Royal Irish Constabulary helmet badge, silver badges and related pieces fetching £5,400. A Military General Service medal 1793-1814 with ephemera also caught the medal collector's eye, selling for £3,300. Another medal group to surpass its estimate was the First World War medal group awarded to a sergeant from the 8th Devonshire Regiment, selling for £1,100 while a World War One Military cross group of medals fetched £1,050.
An Eastern European sabre of Karabela type was an interesting item that brought sword collectors to the sale. The shaped sword with velvet scabbard and crucifix hilt tough a little worn with age, stood out from the other swords on offer to fetch £3,300 to a telephone bidder. Telephone bidders were not quite as successful as a 19th century flintlock blunderbuss with spring loaded bayonet sold in the room for £2,100. Two other well used Turkish blunderbusses also sold well at £180 and £250, while a Westley Richards 19th century percussion pistol sold for £580.
The collectors section also contained numerous pieces for those interested in Dinky, Corgi, Hornby and Britain's toys and collectables. A Chad Valley Tinplate delivery lorry sold for £230, and a collection of Britains farming and Railway figures sold for £230 also. Seventeen Graham Farrish diecast figures in their original boxes more than trebled their pre sale estimate to sell for £400.
A good section of stamps on offer did not disappoint the stamp collectors who travelled form some distance to view the stamps prior to the sale, as well as on the day. A quantity of KGV to QEII British Empire covers with Falklands Island interest sold for £1,300, and an old time accumulation of stamps including Hong Kong reached £1,100.
The Sporting & Collectors sale has always enjoyed a strong following at the Dowell Street saleroom in Honiton and entries have already begun to arrive for the next sale for 26th September 2012.