Up for auction, a watch good enough for James Bond
PUBLISHED: 08:46 09 June 2018
Under the Hammer: our monthly look at what’s hot in the salerooms, with Chris Elmy of Lockdales Auctioneers, Martlesham Heath.
Our May 19-20 auction of Specialist Collectables achieved total sales of £364,000. There were many highlights, and a few examples follow:
Lot 2146: An original ‘Suffragettes’ enamel badge, of the WSPU (Women’s Social & Political Union). Estimate £300-£400, hammer price £500 (£598 including premium).
Lot 2504: A pair of early 20th Century woven silk aviation postcards depicting Graff von Zeppelin and Louis Bleriot, by a French publisher. We sold the second part of the David Murray Collection of Woven Silk Postcards in the May auction, and the results were spectacular again. This pair had an estimate of £100-£150, but fetched a hammer price of £900 (£1076 in premium).
Lot 2560: An example of the incredible prices these postcards were achieving; this estimated at just £50 to £60, the hammer went down at £750 (£896 inc premium)! HMHS Rewa was sunk by a German U-Boat off the north coast of Cornwall on January 4 1918. Four crew members, all Indian, were killed, but the hospital patients were safely evacuated. The captain of the German U-Boat Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm Werner was tried for war crimes at Leipzig after the war, but he evaded justice, escaping to Brazil. Later he returned to Germany, joined the Nazi party and the SS, and is believed to have committed suicide towards the end of the Second World War.
Our next auction will be the Fine Sale of jewellery, watches, art and antiques this coming Wednesday and Thursday (June 13-14). There are some extraordinary items coming up for sale, which include:
Lots 236 and 238: Estimated at £300-£400, and £350-£450. These are strings of chunky natural amber beads. They are always popular with Eastern European buyers, especially with opaque “butterscotch” patina. Amber is associated with the Russian royal family, who had an entire ‘amber room’ in the Catherine Palace near St Petersburg.
Lot 381, likely to be the star of the show: The Rolex Submariner “Big Crown” c.1956, with gilt dial and hands, catalogue estimate £10,000 to £20,000. We now know that the bidding on this watch will open at £40,000. An early and rare model of the Submariner, this is the same type of watch that appeared in the James Bond film Goldfinger. The exterior scratches on the watch could almost be considered a bonus to collectors, since it indicates that this ‘single owner’ watch has not been tampered with. It is currently working, although will certainly be expertly serviced by whichever buyer receives this. We expect this watch to attract the same dealers and collectors who fought over the ‘orange numerals’ Submariner we sold in 2017 for £230,000 (a British record).
Lot 613: A 95x87mm silver Liberty & Co. mantle clock 1902. Marked ‘CYMRIC’, indicating that it was created by the famous designer Archibald Knox. This is an iconic ‘art nouveau’ piece, and likely to cause a storm in the saleroom. The published estimate is just £1000 to £2000, but you may consider this a “come and buy me” estimate, meant to indicate that the clock has a low reserve. You could add an extra zero on the end for the likely result, but we will have to wait and see!
Lot 842: A medieval gold stirrup ring discovered near Newmarket in the 1970s, set with a dark blue stone, could possibly have belonged to a member of the clergy, to be worn over a glove. Estimate £1100 to £1600
Lot 1184: Amazing Spider-Man comic #3, 1963, British 9d version. One of several collectable comics in the auction. Estimate £200-£300
Lot 1307: Langley & Belch’s New Map of London 1812, hand-coloured. Estimate £100 to £150. This is part of a large library of London-related maps and books in this auction. We expect the map collectors to be out in force.
Lot 1404: Corgi Toys, The Monkees ‘Monkeemobile’ in original box. Estimate £80-£120. This is one of many collectable model vehicles in the auction, by Corgi, Dinky, Matchbox and others.
We are also selling a very large collection of Scalextric models, lots 1465 to 1530 including many bulk lots.
An unusual survival, lot 1587: A vintage Gillette glass-fronted shop display cabinet containing original stock. How this sort of thing turns up is anybody’s guess! Estimate £250-£300
Lot 1619, estimated at just £50 to £80, a piece of Ipswich history: The signage of A H Rivron & Son Opticians, established in 1880. Would make a great display in a pub.
Lot 1699, an ancient bronze sword around 3000 years old! From the Luristan region, in the Zagros Mountains in western Iran, near the Tigris-Euphrates river system known as the ‘Cradle of Civilization’. A very fine piece, estimate £1500 to £2000.
Lot 1735: A Viking knife with bone handle, c.AD900-1100. Iron blade, with iron boss. Estimate £250-£350