Auctions - Wallis & Wallis
- By Pete Moore
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- Last updated: 16/12/2016
This sale took place whilst much of the country was still in the grip of unseasonal icy weather, nevertheless, even with snow on the ground Wallis & Wallis continued their busy schedule. The following is a selection of items successfully sold starting with medals and decorations.
Medals and Awards
First a Russian Order of St Stanislaus, 3rd class, in its gilt embossed case, together with a Ministry of Pensions letter to Lt Cmr Amos Nicholls RN. He was awarded the decoration in 1915 whilst serving on HMS Jupiter, which was sent to Archangel as an icebreaker. Some of the enamel on the reverse was missing, but it sold to an Internet bidder against other bidders in the room for £750.
A George V first type Distinguished Conduct Medal to 15209 Pte H Edmunds 1/ Glouc R, polished with some minor contact marking, it was nevertheless in VF condition. The London Gazette 15th April 1916 page 3989 states “For conspicuous gallantry when wounded in the face during heavy shelling, he had his wounds dressed and then insisted on returning to the firing-line, knowing that stretcher bearers were required.” It sold for £800.
A Waterloo 1815 Medal to James Burnett 28th Regiment of Foot had the suspender ring replaced. It is not uncommon to find the original ring removed because being made of steel it would rust and stain the wearer’s uniform. Despite the new ring it was in VF condition and sold in the room for £1850. Note:
Burnett was listed in Captain & Bt Major Irving’s Company, Picton’s 5th Division. The Regiment had a strength of 557 of which 252 were killed, wounded or missing. The vendor’s note states that Burnett died at Gosport May 17th 1817 having never recovered from being severely wounded at Waterloo. He was also entitled to the Military General Service medal with Vittoria clasp.
A Punjab Medal 1849 with two clasps (Chilianwala, Goojerat) was to Thomas Pattison 61st Foot. It was in VF condition with minor edge bruising. The roll confirms both clasps; a Private Thomas Pattison of the 61st Foot died in Delhi on 19th July 1857, and the vendor’s note stated: “During the 2nd Sikh War the regiment suffered 16 killed and 123 wounded….. during the battle of Chilianwala on 13th January 1849 the regiment formed part of Hoggan’s Brigade to the south of the British line. The brigade advanced 800 yards through thick jungle and, on reaching open ground, found itself facing Sikh cavalry at 80 yards. The 61st fired a volley and charged, forcing the Sikhs to retire. However, the neighbouring Native Infantry fell back, and the 61st had to turn two companies to avoid being outflanked. The regiment finished the day with a tally of thirteen Sikh guns spiked and captured..…” The medal sold for £600.
A fair amount is known about the recipient of this India General Service medal 1854, who appears to have been less than a model soldier. The ribbon had a Burma clasp 1887-89 and was script engraved 2452 Lce Corpl Z Andrews 2nd Bn Glouc R. In VF condition there was an official correction to the end of the surname. Zachariah Andrews enlisted on 26th February 1881 and having served in England since his enlistment he was sent to Afghanistan on 25th February 1882, then on to India on 1st March 1883. He was in confinement from 8th November 1883 for four days and then tried and imprisoned for five days on 12th November for being “Drunk on Guard”. From India his regiment was sent to Burma on 29th May 1887 and then back to India on 2nd July 1889 until 10th June 1890. The vendor stated that the Roll shows five Burma 1887-89 clasps to the 2nd Gloucestershire Regiment, including 2452 L/Cpl Z. Andrews Army Telegraphs. (Andrews passed Electrical Telegraphy 2nd Class on 12th October 1885; three of the five clasps are now in Gloucester or Bristol museums). It sold for £525.
Moving in to the mid 20th century now with a pair of medals: Queen’s Korea medal (5498719 Cpl W C Armstrong, Glosters), and a UN Korea medal. In VF condition the name was filed on first leaving “Glosters” untouched. Corporal Armstrong is listed on the Imjin Roll and is shown as missing 5th May 1951. Shown as a prisoner of war 13th October 1951. The Regiment’s losses in prisoners after this action is stated to be 522. The pair sold for £575.
Still in the news today, the Falkland Islands continue to be a flashpoint to the Argentinians. This was the first mass reported and televised war that the United Kingdom had taken principal part. The names of battles and of valiant servicemen still reverberate in people’s minds.The South Atlantic medal 1982, with combat zone rosette was awarded to 24539306 Guardsman J M Hamilton of the Scots Guards. It was in GVF condition. The Scots Guards showed great distinction on Tumbledown Mountain and it sold to a bidder on the telephone for £725.
Now we move away from medals and show this black japanned helmet, circa 1880, of the Queen’s Own Royal Yeomanry (Staffordshire). With white metal mounts, including binding and wreaths to the front and back peaks, similar wreath headband, chin chain rosettes (chain missing) and foliate top mount and plume holder. The helmet plate had a Staffordshire knot within an oval title garter on a studded star within an escutcheon and wreath of laurel (left) and oak (right). A white hair plume in strands, plain rosette and leather liner. It went for £500.
A good Georgian officer’s full dress gilt embroidered sabretache of The 15th (or the King’s) Light Dragoons (Hussars), the scarlet cloth with broad gilt regimental lace border, crowned GR, reversed and interlaced in the centre, with battle honour scrolls “Emsdorf, Villiers en Couche, Peninsula and Waterloo”. With three gilt suspension hoops, 38 x 33cm overall, with its original shaped tin case. The tin adds to the value and this desirable Lot sold for £2400.
Now we move on to the sea with two naval dirks. The first was made circa 1810 and had a tapering blade unusually long at 15¾-inches, with a broad central fuller, small gilt oval crosspiece, crossguard with acorn finials and a lion’s head boss to the centre. A slightly swollen ivory grip (pommel missing) and contained in its leather scabbard with gilt mounts and two rings. In reasonable condition for its age but with a little wear it went for £400.
Secondly was this slightly earlier example from around the time of Trafalgar. With ovoid section tapering blade 7½-inches long, with traces of blue and gilt etching, flat figure of eight crossguard with embossed stylised shell pattern on top, ivory baluster grip with swollen octagonal centre section and rosette pommel. The grip was cracked but it was basically in sound condition and it made £390.
A final item of edged weaponry was a George III 1803 pattern infantry officer’s sword. The broad curved blade, 31-inches long, etched with crowned 1801-16 royal arms and supporters, crowned GR cypher, trophies and flourishes and blue and gilt for half its length. With regulation copper gilt hilt, the openwork guard with four loops each side, into crowned GR cypher and knucklebow, lion’s head pommel and backstrap, wirebound fishskin grip. In its worn leather scabbard the sword was in good condition for its age and the blade retained approximately 20% blue and gilt, the hilt 75% gilt and scabbard mounts 20%. The blade had some wear and pitting stains. It made £775.
Finally in the report we have antique firearms, starting with an early 19th century brass barrelled flintlock blunderbuss, the three stage swamped brass barrel 13½-inches long. The breech with London proofs and maker’s mark “TF” below Prince of Wales’s plumes; flat stepped lock with roller on the frizzen spring, the plate engraved “Prudden”, walnut fullstock with brass mounts including engraved trigger guard with acorn finial. James Pruden is listed as being at Hitchin, Hertfordshire in 1825, and George Pruden (Prudden) at Hitchin 1839-51. Although the cock was a crude replacement, and there was no ramrod, the stock was crisp and it sold for £1100.
A scarce six-shot .31” Marston & Knox self cocking bar hammer percussion pepperbox revolver, the 2½-inch long barrels marked on the ribs “W W Marston & Knox, New York”, the hammer marked “W W Marston” on the top flat and “New York 1854” on the left side, with simple scroll engraved frame and nipple shield, and bag shaped butt with plain walnut grips. It was attractive as well as being unusual and was in good order. It made £625.
Finally in this report was a six-shot .36” Whitney Navy single action percussion revolver, converted to rimfire, 12¼-inches overall, the 7¾-inch barrel, still with the original hinged rammer beneath, was marked “E Whitney N Haven” and it had a small anchor near the breech. Numbered 26853 and with large separate number “34” on the cylinder and barrel. It was in pretty good condition overall but the rifling had several deep pits. Nevertheless it was a desirable object and justified its selling price of £900.
The next sales at Wallis & Wallis are on 11th June, 23rd July and 3rd September 2013. For further information contact the saleroom on 01273 480208 or visit the website at www.wallisandwallis.co.uk
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