A militaria auction fires Silverwoods' June sale

Chinese figurines lot from the recent Silverwoods' auction. (s)
Chinese figurines lot from the recent Silverwoods' auction. (s)

Extensive international pre-publicity for Silverwoods’ Specialist Militaria sale resulted in exceptional prices across the board at the June Fine Art and Antiques Auction.

Topping the bill was a rare copy of Mein Kampf signed by Adolf Hitler which was originally presented to a BBC journalist during a visit to Munich in 1936. Hitler was notoriously reluctant to sign anything and only did so in this instance at the behest of his friend Unity Mitford, and the blue cloth- covered edition sold to an internet bidder for a whopping £17,000.

Also the subject of coverage across the antiques trade and national media, a George Medal awarded to William Mason for an outstanding act of bravery during the Salford Blitz was knocked down to a phone bidder for £3,400. All the medals put forward for the auction exceeded their estimates, with a First World War Distinguished Conduct Medal group selling in the room for £750. The sale also featured helmets, uniforms and many other military artefacts and there was strong interest in a Japanese Katana sword which went under the hammer for £650 and a Georgian Navy flintlock pistol which achieved £380.

Earlier, the sale offered a late 18th/early 19th century Delft Flower Brick which was hotly contested in the room but, again, the internet won out with a hammer price of £450.

A group of nine Chinese pottery figures as immortals decorated in Famille Verte enamels were sold in the room for £680 despite damages and losses to four of them. The section of the auction that featured 20 lots of coins and sovereigns was particularly popular with the bidding community. A George IV Silver Crown coin, as mint and uncirculated was snapped up by an internet bidder for £450 and all the gold Sovereigns offered outperformed estimates, selling at around the £350 mark each. Jewellery highlights included an 18ct white gold amethyst and diamond dress ring which went to a room bidder for £350 and a gentleman’s Rolex Oyster steel wristwatch that sold to the internet for £700.

In pictures, a 19th century watercolour of children picking blackberries in the manner of the popular artist Birkett Foster went to a room bidder for £500, while two signed oil on boards by the 20th century artist Claude Harrison titled Dog Magic and Study for Alternative Questions were sold to the same enthusiastic phone bidder for £700 and £1,300 respectively. The top lot in the furniture section was a bureau by the noted ‘Mouseman’ (Robert Thompson of Kilburn) and the attractive piece went to a commission bidder for £3,000.

Entries are now invited for the next Antiques and Fine Art Auction at Silverwoods which will take place on Thursday, August 17th. This will also include a Specialist Sale of Sporting Art and collectables, so sporting and rural/countryside antiques will be a strong focus for worldwide collectors. These items can be appraised, valued and entered in advance of the sale by Silverwoods’ experienced team of experts either during the regular Monday intake (9am to 3pm), or by private appointment until July 24th. Call 01200 423322 for details.

Viewing for the burgeoning and extremely popular weekly antique and collectables sale at Silverwoods starts every Wednesday at 9am, with the sale itself getting underway at noon. Visit www.silverwoods.co.uk to find out more.