Published 4th March 2022
By Brian Goodison-Blanks View profile
Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood's two day Sporting and Collectors Auction on 8th/9th March 2022 has a strong militaria section that includes several fascinating and historical items with connections to the Southwest.
During the General Election in 1951, Winston Churchill passed through Exeter on 15th October 1951, stopping at Exeter Central Station to give his support to the Conservative candidate, Rolf Dudley-Williams. During their brief exchange, Churchill presented Dudley-Williams with a cigar, which the family has kept ever since. Cigars and cigar stubs from Churchill have always been popular with collectors and with such strong provenance, this Winston Churchill cigar (SC36/518) should easily reach above its £500-£700* estimate.
Wing Commander Terrence Helfer (SC36/376) lived in Torquay and his wartime career is simply quite amazing. Having been shot down twice and becoming a member of both the Goldfish club (for being afloat in a dingy for several days at sea) and a member of the caterpillar club (for having parachuted out of a burning plane), his medal group, log books and photographs will not doubt reach above the pre-sale estimate of £3,000-£5,000*.
Another fascinating collection of wartime journals are those of Flying Officer Thomas William Warwick RAF (SC36/346), who after being shot down in 1944, was interned at Stammlager Luft III, perhaps the most famous POW camp know for 'The Great Escape'. Though Warwick was captured after the events of the 'Harry' tunnel escape in March 1944, his sketches and notes on life in the camp are an invaluable research resource and should again reach the upper of the £1,000-£1,500 estimate*.
Over the two days the auction also has a number of single owner collections, including a good collection of wood working tools. They may seem an unusual item to collect but planes made by Norris are considered to be the pinnacle of woodworking and have a strong market. Even a small smoothing plane (SC36/6) will easily reach £200-£300 estimate*.
If you are looking for a showpiece then the 19th century brass live steam scale model of a high pressure 12hp beam engine by Archibald More, Edinburgh 1847 (SC36/1036) should be ideal. Finely constructed and detailed it should bring international attention on the day.
If you are looking for something with a more traditional Westcountry feel, then perhaps the cased set of Asprey card holders (SC36/167) in the form of game birds £200-£300* would be more appealing.
For more information contact Brian Goodison-Blanks 01392 413100
* (Plus buyer’s premium of 27.6% incl. of VAT @ 20%)