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July 2015 Maritime Auction Preview

Brian Goodison-Blanks, Head of the Maritime Department, previews the July 2015 Maritime Sale, which boasts an impressive array of maritime artefacts and nautical antiques. The specialist sale is one of the very few in the United Kingdom focussing purely on antiques of maritime interest and will be held at our Westcountry Saleroom Complex on 1st July 2015 in Exeter, the capital of this sea-faring region.

An Ice Pail From the Royal Service of the RY Victoria & Albert III, by Copeland (MA15/9) that is being offered in our Maritime Auction starting on 1st July 2015 at our salerooms in Exeter, Devon.

An Ice Pail From the Royal Service of the RY Victoria & Albert III, by Copeland (MA15/9) that is being offered in our Maritime Auction starting on 1st July 2015 at our salerooms in Exeter, Devon.

The advantage that Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood has over its competitors is the broad knowledge base and experience of its specialist departments and the regular specialist auctions conducted in the heart of the West Country in Exeter. Those of you who are still sceptical should look at the forthcoming Maritime Auction of 1st July 2015 as a prime example of the demand for specialist auctions.

On any other day, with any other auctioneer, you might find the odd nautical antique or picture, tucked somewhere out of the way in the saleroom and certainly given a very brief description in the catalogue. However, Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood are far happier to take time, prepare and research these individual pieces and bring them together, for the benefit of vendors and buyers alike.

The sale of the 20ft Motor Launch 'Wier Dolphin' of Dartmouth (MA15/2) at auction (with a pre-sale estimate of £5,000-£6,000)
       demonstrates the greatly enhanced facilities we now have at the Westcountry Saleroom Complex in Exeter.

The sale of the 20ft Motor Launch 'Wier Dolphin' of Dartmouth (MA15/2) at auction (with a pre-sale estimate of £5,000-£6,000) demonstrates the greatly enhanced facilities we now have at the Westcountry Saleroom Complex in Exeter.

Starting the sale with a first for the company is the inclusion of a 20ft motor boat 'Wier Dolphin' of Dartmouth (MA15/2). Well equipped with a good clean engine, it will serve many years as a good day boat. It is already attracting pre-sale interest (perhaps even more if the directors let me take it for a trip up the Exe). At £5,000-£6,000, it follows in the footsteps of the classic cars and vehicles that we now have the facilities for in the re-developed Westcountry Saleroom Complex in Exeter.

To many, the section of maritime ceramics may look like pieces that are seen in our regular Antiques and Interiors Auctions, but to the specialist collectors there are a few gems here with historical and royal connections.

A Copeland Coffee Can and Saucer from the Royal Service of the RY Victoria & Albert III (MA15/10) is inviting bids of
        £80-£120 in the July 2015 Maritime Auction, which will support live online bidding for those unable to make it to Exeter.

A Copeland Coffee Can and Saucer from the Royal Service of the RY Victoria & Albert III (MA15/10) is inviting bids of £80-£120 in the July 2015 Maritime Auction, which will support live online bidding for those unable to make it to Exeter.

The ice pail (MA15/9) and coffee can and saucer (MA15/10) from the service of the Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert III are sought after by collectors and even with some slight damage should reach the upper end of their estimates.

A 19th Century Blue and White 1815 Wellington and Blucher Waterloo Commemorative Tea Bowl (MA15/46) carries a pre-sale estimate of £200-£300.

A 19th Century Blue and White 1815 Wellington and Blucher Waterloo Commemorative Tea Bowl (MA15/46) carries a pre-sale estimate of £200-£300.

The Waterloo commemorative cup (MA15/46) comes to the sale in the bicentenary year of the Battle of Waterloo and will attract interest in the sale as the Waterloo Manuscript will do in the August 2015 Antiquarian Book sale later in the year.

Items relating to the Napoleonic Wars and the main protagonists remain at the top of the market, even the small section of flag taken from the one that covered Nelson's coffin (MA15/265) or the mahogany box that contained a piece of Bonaparte's coffin (MA15/293) will see that two old adversaries competing again at auction.

This fragment of Admiral Viscount Nelson's Funeral Flag from the Battle Ensign of HMS Victory, taken by Rowden Holdsworth and attached to a signed and witnessed letter of provenance 
        (MA15/265) is expected to realise £6,000-£7,000.

This fragment of Admiral Viscount Nelson's Funeral Flag from the Battle Ensign of HMS Victory, taken by Rowden Holdsworth and attached to a signed and witnessed letter of provenance (MA15/265) is expected to realise £6,000-£7,000.

The very nature of the theme of the auction automatically attracts a great deal of international attention. The watercolour of the SS Austral by William Wyllie (MA15/357) is a perfect example, as the ship made the round trip From England to Australia for over 22 years, despite foundering in Neutral Bay in 1882; and this is exactly where the interest has been coming from in the run up to the sale.

The point of our maritime sales is to help bring these pieces out of the shadows and into the spotlight; certainly, something that past sale results have shown. Rather than consign a maritime picture or a scientific instrument or an item of sailor's shell work to a mediocre sale with a mediocre auctioneer, do it some justice and place it in a proper auction.

SS Austral in a Bay (MA15/357) by William Lionel Wyllie (1851-1931) (estimate £400-£600).

SS Austral in a Bay (MA15/357) by William Lionel Wyllie (1851-1931) (estimate £400-£600).

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  • Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
  • Maritime Auctions

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