Published 31st May 2023
Our Maritime department at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood is the only one of its kind in the South West, providing expert valuations and auctions of maritime-related artefacts and collectables. Led by experienced specialist Brian Goodison-Blanks, the department offers a treasure trove of rare and historically significant items for collectors, investors, and curious visitors. Located in the South West, with its beautiful rugged coastlines, ports, and Naval bases, the department has unearthed some amazing finds in homes, attics, and institutions across the region. These discoveries reflect the local heritage, while also showcasing items of major historical significance.
Our annual Maritime auction includes items such as ship models, navigation instruments, maritime paintings, sailor’s valentines, scrimshaw, documents and manuscripts, medals, and decorations. There have been several notable and high profile sales over the years, attracting bidders from around the world. The catalogue for the Pardoe Collection of diving helmets and equipment in 2015 remains an important resource for anyone interested in the history of diving technology and development of underwater exploration. The Francis Davies ‘Terra Nova’ collection in 2019 was an exceptional and important collection of material from the ‘Golden Age’ of Polar Exploration, attracting global interest.
The upcoming Maritime sale on 20th June 2023 promises to be another historic event, featuring a small handmade Union Jack flag measuring 5 x 5.5 cm related to the ‘Endurance,’ Shackleton’s famous ship lost on the Imperial Trans-Atlantic Expedition,1914-1917, recently rediscovered in remarkable condition in 2022. The flag was given to Dr Robert Selbie Clark, a marine biologist aboard ‘Endurance’, by a young admirer from Plymouth. Having survived the loss of ‘Endurance’, the subsequent voyage on the James Caird and four months on Elephant Island, Dr Clark returned to Plymouth and returned the flag to his admirer. It has remained within the family ever since and has now been consigned to be included in the upcoming Maritime sale.
All items are catalogued and researched by specialist and director Brian Goodison-Blanks, who has over 30 years of experience in the auction industry and has appeared on several television shows including the BBC’s Antiques Road Trip and Bargain Hunt. The maritime department is an excellent resource for collectors, investors and enthusiasts, and those interested in buying or selling maritime items can contact Brian Goodison-Blanks, who will happily share his knowledge and expertise.