Published 27th March 2020
While the museums may be closed, as an auctioneer I find that in fact everyone is a curator of their own personal museum at home. Be it either as a collector or someone who has inherited items passed down through each generation, there are fascinating stories behind many items we have at home.
Last year I was privileged to catalogue part of the Antarctic Collection of Francis Edward Davies, ship's carpenter aboard RYS Terra Nova during Sir Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913. Included in the material were a number of personal letters and photographs that provided an insight from aboard ship during the expedition. Francis Davies was also a member of later Polar expeditions and an album of photographs documenting the Discovery II and William Scoresby Expeditions 1927 onwards, containing views aboard ship with frozen decks sold well over estimate for £2,100 (MA19/13).
Even more recently, sorting through some photographs consigned from a client who had been clearing their attic, some interesting family history came to light. Among the black and white photographs were a number of a young dancer Miss Coral Aster, as well as her original contract for dancing at the Folies-Bergere in 1920. Miss Aster lived in Maida Vale, London and appears to have been quite the superstar in Paris in the early 20th century. She was certainly an eye opener, who'd have thought that great grandma had been a darling of the Paris nightlife!
Many of us may have a box tucked away that hasn't been opened for years. A lady and gentleman who had been given a box of 'Old coins' many years ago, were very happy that they sold in the Collectors auction last month for over £14,000 (SC30/563).
So, if you are sorting through at home you and find something interesting and unusual it is always worth emailing one of the specialists at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.
Collectables was written on Friday, 27th March 2020.