Auction’s star lots include RMS Titanic-linked item
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk auction house Lockdales has a fascinating two-day sale coming up on March 17-18, as Chris Elmy reports.
The March 17-18 auction of specialist collectables features historic coins and medals, and other items of considerable interest.
Lot 727, two medals (estimate: £900-£1000) belonging to Commander Richard Williams, a 19th-century British naval officer. He was a player in the 'Trent Affair' of November 1861, which came close to involving Great Britain in the American Civil War. The USS San Jacinto intercepted the British mail packet steamer RMS Trent, firing a shot across its bows. The Americans boarded the British ship and arrested and removed two Confederate diplomats bound for Great Britain. To resolve the issue President Abraham Lincoln released the diplomats to continue their journey. During the incident Cmdr Williams hid the dispatch bag belonging to the diplomats. In Britain the incident caused public outrage, but in the US they toasted the Captain of the USS San Jacinto, Charles Wilkes, for his daring act against the British.
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Lot 1168, a silver penny of Cnut ('Canute'), est £380-£420. This penny was minted in Norwich around 1000 years ago. It is in mint condition, and we believe it comes from what is known as the Cambridge Hoard. Canute was a Danish ruler, famed for trying to hold back the tide (he was demonstrating humility, not hubris). The coin reads CNUT REX ANGLOX ('Cnut King of England'), and on the other side EDMUND ON NOR. The moneyer's name was Edmund. Canute had many moneyers working in the East of England. We believe this was to ransack the country of as much silver as possible and transport it to Denmark. Coins of Norwich and Ipswich turn up as far afield as Russia.
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Lots 1291, 1297, 1303 and 1309 - estimates between £45 to £160 each - are 17th Century tokens of Suffolk, produced in the latter half of the 1660s for traders and local authorities throughout England, Ireland and Wales, for use as halfpennies and farthings, since the regal authorities neglected to produce sufficient small change coinage for daily use. Examples on offer include traders from Bury St Edmunds, Clare, Lavenham, and Woodbridge.
Lot 1412 features a scarce 1842 Sovereign of Queen Victoria, who was then five years into her 64-year reign. This 22ct coin is an excellent example and carries an estimate of £700-£800. This example bears the 'shield-back' design of this period.
Lockdales is selling The David Murray Woven Silk Collection, with monies going to Aids charities. Woven silks were made by an ingenious method of punch-card looms, a mechanical predecessor of computer programming. It includes an example of what's thought to the first-ever woven silk postcard, an 1889 view of the Eiffel Tower. The RMS Titanic card (Lot 2616, est £500-£700) is especially valuable as anything to do with the ill-fated ship is highly collectable.
Items of sporting interest include four items of Muhammad Ali memorabilia, including his autograph (Lot 882, est £180-£200) and an original rosette worn by the legendary racehorse Red Rum (Lot 950, est £55-£60).
Lot 541 is a Norfolk Regiment Medal Group (est £1200-£1400) which belonged to Major Edmund Osborn Springfield, who served in both world wars. It includes a Civil OBE, a Military Cross and pair, and the Egyptian Order of the Nile 4th Class, issued by King Ahmed Fuad I of Egypt. A different side to war is shown by an unusual item, Lot 714. It features cartoons by Sergeant Reginald Dent of West Yorkshire, who served during the Second World War Two with the RAF in North Africa. It includes sketches made at Stalag 357, where he was imprisoned. It has an estimate of £300-£350.
Lockdales' auction will take place at 52 Barrack Square, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP5 3RF. Viewing currently available during business hours 9.30am-4.30pm. Viewing on the auction days from 8am. There will be two auction rooms in session from 9.30am and 10am on both days. See www.lockdales.com for further details. Lockdales provides a complete service from probate to home visits regarding the sale of collectables, jewellery, watches, fine art and antiques. Auction consignment and cash purchase offers available.