Auction Report – Wallis & Wallis
- By Pete Moore
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- Last updated: 21/12/2016
This interesting sale comprised a rich variety of historic items, the following being just a small selection of the 300+ Lots successfully sold on the day.
Medals, Plates and Badges
We start as usual with medals and an Order of the British Empire, Civil type. It was engraved on the lower reverse field ‘J. Turner’ and was in good to very fine condition. It sold for £330.
Next was a South Africa 1877-79 with 1879 clasp (1732 Pte T Parker, 1st Dn. Gds). In very fine condition there was a little scratching to the reverse and it took £340.
An Egypt medal, with undated reverse, two clasps The Nile 1884-85 and Abu Klea (2262 Pte W Hardwell, 5th Lancers), in very fine condition with dark oxidised covering in places, made £420.
Two medals from a group of three (British War Medal not illustrated): Army General Service medal 1902, with one clasp Somaliland 1902-04 (Asst Engr A.B. Collings R.I.M.S Hardinge); Coronation 1911 (engraved Engr Lieut A B Collings, R.I.M.S Dufferin), extra fine and mounted as a pair; British War Medal (Engr-Lt-Comdr A B Collings R.I.M) extra fine in its mint envelope; and a ‘For Voluntary War Work in India 1914-19’ a cased brooch with Govt. of India transmittal letter to Engineer Lt Cdr A.B. Collings Royal Indian Marine; a pair of miniature Army General Service and Coronation medals. They sold to an Internet buyer for £360.
A post 1902 officer’s gilt brass and white metal helmet plate of The York & Lancaster Regiment, retaining much original gilt, sold for £300.
Vintage medical equipment is always sought after, particularly if it relates to the military. On offer here was a WWI military surgeon’s instrument chest of oak with brass carrying handles, the lid escutcheon engraved ‘Capt Edwin J Bradley R.A.M.C’. It contained a bone saw marked with a broad arrow and ‘W.O’, a small saw with broad arrow, bow saw with broad arrow and dated 1915, two tooth extractors, tourniquet, stethoscope, and six assorted scalpels. The instruments were by various makers including Maw, Arnold & Sons, and Rampling of Cambridge. Capt Bradley was awarded the Military Cross and bar. The chest sold for £1125.
This Victorian officer’s sword of the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers had a 30½-inch long claymore blade etched with maker’s mark ‘Tonkin & Co, Outfitters, Devonport’ and crowned VR cypher fouled anchor and ‘RNAV’ within scrolled panels, regulation brass hilt, retaining a little gilt, incorporating crowned fouled anchor, turn down inner portion which locks to the scabbard, lion’s head pommel and backstrap, in its brass mounted leather scabbard. The blade retained a little original polish (some dark rust patches, mostly to edges) and it sold for £550.
Next was a late 18th century cavalry sword, possibly Scandinavian, with a curved fullered blade, 35-inches long, with a narrow back fuller, a heavy brass stirrup hilt and flattened crossguard with cap shaped quillon terminal, slender langets, forward sloping cap shaped pommel and backstrap with monster head pommel cap. The broad ribbed leather grip with a hole for a knot. The scabbard was not in good condition but it caused considerable interest from Internet bidders and finally sold for £500.
Good miniature models of military objects often fetch large sums and these next two lots were excellent examples. First was a well made all steel model of a WWII anti-aircraft gun. The barrel measuring 13-inches long, with interrupted thread breech, recoil cylinder, sights, elevating and traversing handles, and footplates for crew, on a fixed mount with rectangular base. It was painted grey and caused much competitive bidding. It finally sold to a bidder in the room against several Internet bidders for £1150.
Then a well executed contemporary model of a late 19th century heavy coastal defence gun was offered. It had a stepped barrel, measuring 12½-inches long, with interrupted thread breech, on its sliding carriage with elevating mechanism (sadly now incomplete), and base with recoil cylinder and small brass flanged wheels for fitting semi circular traversing rails. It went to a commission bidder for £850.
Zulu War Items
In January we held a very special sale of objects related to the Zulu Wars. The prices were so high that we were approached and asked to sell further Zulu items by other vendors. This shows a fine 19th century Zulu axe, isizenze, with half moon blade, the handle decorated with three bands of steel wire. The overall length was 30-inches and it made £520.
Shields always make good displays and here two examples were offered. First this 1879 period Zulu regimental war shield umbhumbuluzo, measuring 39-inches by 21-inches, with black hair and white spot, mounted with two antelope horns (stick missing), bearing an old label on the back stating “Hitch Chiswick”. There was some discolouration; otherwise it was in good condition and made £925.
Note: It was sold with research suggesting a possible link to Frederick Hitch who, as a member of B Company, 2/24th, was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, 22 January 1879. Hitch later lived in Chiswick, on his death in 1913 he was buried in Chiswick Old Cemetery.
Here we show a fine 19th century Zulu stabbing spear, iklwa, the blade 14½-inches long by 2-inches broad, showing some flaws in the smelting process (often found in a hand forged blade). Wirework binding and wooden haft with usual swollen end. The overall length was 56-inches and it was a fine piece. It sold for £500.
Next was a large 1879 period Zulu war shield Isihlangu, of white cowhide specked with brown, a colour associated with the uMxapho regiment. It was in very good clean condition, with original stick, some old mounting holes at the edges, one small section of lacing missing, and the hide measuring 46-inches by 26-inches. It went for £1100.
Now we move on to antique firearms with this 6-shot .44” Colt Model 1860 Army percussion revolver, number 63844 on all parts. The barrel reduced to 5½-inches and with New York US America address. Although it was in reasonably good condition it needed some attention but despite this it still made a healthy £750.
Finally we have this fascinating and historically interesting piece of WWI aeronautical history. It was a hall stand made from part of a WWI propeller, reputedly from the Cuffley ‘Zeppelin’ (actually Schutte-Lanz SL11) brought down by 2nd Lieut Leefe Robinson VC in September 1916.
It had a massive 10½-inch steel boss, to which is attached one of the laminated wooden blades which has been reshaped and cut down to 62-inches (measured from the centre of the boss), the outer edge of the hub stamped ‘22428/ Axial/ Edulzug/ 260 PS D310 ST 180/ TP999’, mounted as the back of a walking stick stand.
With it was a label made from an old linen shirt cuff stating that ‘the propeller was from the Cuffley Schutte-Lanz SL11, brought down by 2nd Lieut Leefe Robinson in September 1916, and was owned by the late Capt Manning, late of the Air Ministry’; also a small archive of letters and articles relating to the Cuffley ‘Zeppelin’ and to 2nd Lieut Leefe Robinson. One letter in particular identifies the markings, ‘Axial’ being the manufacturer, and 260 P.S. referring to the horsepower, which could apply to Mercedes DIVa engines (for giant aircraft) or Maybach Mb IVa (for aircraft or airships), the SL11 being fitted with the latter. 2nd Lieut W Leefe Robinson shot down SL11 on the night of 2-3rd September 1916, being the first airman to shoot down a German airship in WWI, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross, £3500 in prize money, and a silver cup donated by the people of Hornchurch. After much bidding it finally sold to an Internet bidder for £1700.
The next auctions at Wallis & Wallis will be 22nd July 2014, 2nd September 2014, the Autumn Connoisseur Sale on 14th & 15th October 2014, and 25th November 2014. For further details on all future sales at Wallis & Wallis, phone 01273 480208 or visit the website at http://wallisandwallis.co.uk