Auctions - Wallis & Wallis
- By Pete Moore
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- Last updated: 16/12/2016
We start with a medal section and this most interesting group and photographic record relating to the cruise of HMS Amphitrite from 1902-1905 on her cruise and tour of duty in the China station.
As well as the trio of WWI medals - and a Naval Long Service & Good Conduct Medal - there was a diary and photograph album with photographs showing the return journey from Chatham via Bombay, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and China Station. The group comprised a 1914-15 star, British War Medal, Victory Medal (350606 R J Thompson, Ch S.B.S. RN (the serial number partly mis-struck), Naval Long Service & Good Conduct with George V admiral’s bust (S.B. Stewd. HMS Pembroke); with a copy of service details; a manuscript diary, commencing with various medical observations and remedies, leading into an account “The Cruise of HMS Amphitrite 1902-1905”, leaving Chatham in April 1902 for the China station via Bombay, Singapore, Hong Kong, up to Japan and back finally paying off at Chatham on Aug 11th 1905.
These were accompanied by a heavy photograph album, the top and bottom covers being of lacquered decoration, the front with Chinese figures in a Sampan, their heads and hands picked out in ivory, and containing over ninety pages of photos, illustrations etc. of China, Singapore, Malta, Hawaii, etc. and including group photos of officers of HMS Amphritite, football team, naval, civic and geographic views, public beheadings etc. Generally good condition, (some wear to the journal and photo album with some chips and small damage to lacquer). The lot sold for £2550.
The lot sold for £2550 to a bidder on the Internet against several telephone bidders.
Militaria and Memorabilia
Wallis & Wallis are well known for achieving high prices for tribal art and here is a good Songe axe, Nzappa Zap, from the Upper Congo basin, the iron crescent blade supported by twisted and welded bars, the stout central bar with a raised mask on each side, mounted on its copper covered haft with swollen ends and band of ribbed decoration. As well as being a status symbol, this type of axe was also used as currency. It was in good condition and sold for £350.
Next is an interesting engraved horn spill jar with silver base rim, a memento of the 2nd
Maori War, engraved with the badge of the XII Regt and date 1864. Four scrolls below read ‘C.T. Morris Esq. Waikato. XII Regiment. New Zealand’. It measured 3-inches high and sold for £700.
As this next unusual lot came up, the auctioneer Roy Butler revealed that before he was called up into the army during WWII he worked for Hawker who made the famous Hurricane fighter, vital in the victory of the Battle of Britain. This lot shows a good reconstruction of an instrument panel for a WWII Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft (probably a Mk IB), using correct original instruments, gauges and switches, mostly bearing Air Ministry marks and early to mid war inspection dates, correctly mounted on a well engineered reproduction three piece blackened aluminium panel and attached to square section hollow steel spars. It sold for £550
We move on to Scottish items with a Highland broadsword circa 1770, with 35-inch blade, steel basket hilt with pierced panels, onion shaped pommel, wooden grip and red cloth liner. Basically in good condition for its age but with rust pitting overall, it made £850.
Staying north of the border we have a Scottish sporran or belt purse, with black leather pouch, silver coloured top with fastening stud and mount to belt hook, embossed overall with floral motifs, maker’s mark ‘FH’ (possibly for Francis Howden) and owner’s initials ‘SMG’ and dated ‘1800’ on the reverse. It sold for £370.
Firearms and Accessories
Now we go to antique firearms with a 6-shot 54-bore self cocking bar hammer open wedge frame transitional percussion revolver. The octagonal barrel, 5¾-long, engraved ‘Gibbs Bristol’ and with London proofs, the chambers numbered 1 to 6, the rounded scroll engraved frame with automatic half cock safety, the hammer with pierced sighting slot, the butt with finely chequered walnut grips and butt cap with hinged trap. In good working order it went for £600.
Irish guns always attract much interest, as did a steel barrelled flintlock blunderbuss by Fowler, Dublin. Measuring 32-inches overall, the half octagonal swamped barrel 16½-inches long engraved ‘Dublin’ and stamped with Dublin Castle registration number. A slightly rounded stepped lock with ring neck cock, the plate engraved with simple leaf designs and ‘Fowler’; walnut fullstock with plain brass military style mounts. It was in good order but the stock had some old woodworm. It sold for £950.
This was followed by another Irish steel barrelled flintlock blunderbuss with top spring bayonet by Trulock, Dublin. Measuring 31½-inches overall, the heavy swamped 16-inches long twist barrel, with octagonal breech stamped ‘Trulock Dublin’ and with Dublin registration number. Above the barrel was a 14-inch spring bayonet and it had a flat stepped lock with ring neck cock, raised pan and roller on the frizzen spring, the plate stamped ‘Trulock’. With walnut fullstock and plain brass military style mounts with original brass tipped wooden ramrod. In very good order it went for £1950.
Next was a scarce 5-shot .31” Allen & Wheelock sidehammer single action pocket percussion revolver, measuring 7½-inches overall, the 3-inch octagonal barrel with traces of markings on the left flat, the cylinder scene showing deer beneath trees and ducks on a pond, the trigger guard/loading lever secured by a spring catch. It made £460. (Note: Sellers & Smith in ‘American Percussion Revolvers’ state that it has been estimated that only approximately one thousand of this model were produced.)
This was followed by an attractive Belgian 6-shot 7mm pinfire open frame double action revolver, measuring 7¼-inches overall, the 3½-inch octagonal barrel with Liège proofs, the breech, frame and cylinder engraved with panels of scrolls, the cylinder also with gold inlaid lines, with folding trigger and ebony and ivory grips, the ebony parts carved with vine leaves. In very good order it went for £300.
Finally we have a telescopic sight for a Holland & Holland sporting rifle. It was made by Aldis Brothers, Birmingham, and numbered 68917, 1916. It measured 10½-inches, with rapid detachable mounts. These fine and well engineered optic sights were used with sniper rifles during WWI and after the war were sold as surplus. This example was engraved ‘Holland & Holland’ making it highly desirable and it had a serial number ‘F/779’which was also stamped on the underside of one securing bracket and inside the lid of the matching leather carrying case, which also had adjusting instructions in the lid. It was heavily contested by bidders in the room and eventually sold for £720.
The next sales at Wallis & Wallis will be held on 30th April & 1st May 2013 (including the Spring Connoisseur Sale), 11th June 2013 and 23rd July 2013. For further information contact the saleroom on 01273 480208 or visit the website at www.wallisandwallis.co.uk
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