News


2016 Year Review


    

2016 has been a vintage year for Henry Aldridge and Son, the Wiltshire Auctioneer with the Worldwide Reputation. Henry Aldridge have gained a reputation for the sale of high quality iconic collectables and the last year has seen them sell a number of historically important items. Most recently a letter from Muhammed Ali to Nelson Mandela was sold to an American collector for £7500, a painting that hung in Adolf Hitler's Berghof made £14000, a pair of envelopes written by Charlotte Bronte sold for £8000 and a rare Elvis Presley poster made £7250. On the other end of the spectrum, Although needing much restoration a 1920's Super Squirrel motorbike sold for over £9000 and an 800 year old Khmer stone statue made £7500. Other highlights included a collection of gold coins making over £35000 and a Spectacular Apollo 11 crew signed photograph attracted significant media attention. It showed the lunar module Eagle descending to the moon's surface with the earth in the background. The photograph was signed by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin at the end of their promotional trip to London in October 1969, it sold for £5500 to an American museum.

The honours for the top lot of the year went to a unique key from the Titanic, that was used to unlock a locker on the ill-fated liner as the Titanic was sinking, attracting worldwide media interest it sold to a bidder from the UK for £85000. Next up was a remarkable relic from the rescue of Titanic's surviving passengers and crew. Captain Arthur Rostron was commanding the rescue ship Carpathia and led the rescue effort, Henry Aldridge sold the sextant he used to navigate to the wreck site for £66000. This was closely followed by a unique and truly stunning letter written on board the Titanic that had a story behind it that would not be out of place in a Hollywood Blockbuster. The author Paul Danby's story is a fascinating one that reads like a movie. As a German living in England during WW1 he was interred in the Isle of Man and moved to Amsterdam after the war. He ran a successful business until the Nazi's invaded Holland in 1940. Being Jewish he had the option of going underground with false papers but believed he and his family were protected. Tragically he was wrong and together with his wife and one of his daughters he was sent to the Sobibor Death Camp by the Nazis where he was murdered alongside over 200000 other people.

The letter written on board Titanic on April 10th, the day she set sail from Southampton reads and has been in the family since it was written, it was stored in Amsterdam and survived the war in a shoebox, it reads in full:


"My very much loved Goll, We are the first who write a letter from the ship, it is wonderfully appointed. Uncle has a very large cabin nearly a living room with sofa and an electric ventilator. I will tell you all in detail later.

Kiss the little Goll, I embrace you and kiss you dearly

You're very loving

Paul Love from Uncle

This was the only Titanic letter to the best of our knowledge with a connection to the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis in the next generation. In 1907 Paul Danby, born in Berlin, was sent to Manchester, England to apprentice under Adolphe Saalfeld, merchant, perfumier and Chairman of Sparks, White & Company Ltd., London. In 1908 Paul met and fell in love with Adolphe's niece Rose and they married in 1910. Their first daughter Margaret was born in 1911.

In 1912 Adolphe booked a first class ticket on the R.M.S."TITANIC". The intention of the trip was to present his collection of floral essential oils to potential clients in America. Paul Danby had the honour of seeing Adolphe off in Southampton.

Paul's Granddaughter Astra commented "As children, my sister and I were always told about our relative who survived the Titanic. It was not until Dr. Margaret Danby's death in 1990, Paul daughter that the Titanic letter was discovered hidden in a shoebox in Margaret's attic" Because Paul Danby was a German citizen working in England, he was imprisoned on the Isle of Man from 1914- 1918. His wife Rose and three-year old daughter Margaret were sent to Hannover to be looked after by Paul's mother Clara. In 1919 Maurice Kempinski offered Paul the position of manager of the Kempinski Restaurant in Amsterdam and the family moved to Holland. In addition to being manager of the restaurant.

Paul set up the wine import export business company Kempinski Inc. In the same year Paul started P.J. Danby Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals - a successful import and export business. In 1921, his second daughter Ellen was born. Paul was an avid skier and mountain hiker. Every year, the family pursued winter sports in the European Alps. Thriving in his wine business, he built a holiday home in the Pyrenees. After the Germans invaded Holland in 1940, his daughter Margaret, then a medical doctor, said to her father: "I have papers for you, mother, Ellen and Clara to go underground". Paul said: "No, I am protected". Margaret was hidden by a Catholic family in the south of Holland and survived. In June 1943, Clara was taken by the Germans and sent to Camp Westerbork. She was 84 years old. Two weeks later, the Germans took Paul, Rose and their daughter Ellen. Clara, Paul and Rose were all sent to Sobibor Death Camp and murdered. His daughter Ellen was sent from Westerbork and then to Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. There she met her future husband, and when the camp was liberated in May 1945, they walked to Holland.

Adolphe Saalfeld survived the Titanic. He was in the smoking lounge having a port and cigar when the iceberg struck. He went to his Cabin C-106, put on a coat and went to the deck and entered lifeboat 3, being later rescued by the Carpathia. His leather satchel containing his floral perfume samples was left behind. Adolphe was rescued by the Carpathia and returned to England from New York. Traumatized by the sinking, he died at the age of 61. The Mir 1 submersible, when looking for artefact's around the wreckage of the R.M.S. Titanic at the bottom of the ocean, discovered a leather satchel containing 65 vials of essential oils for creating perfume. Inside the leather satchel were metal containers holding the glass vials belonging to Adolphe Saalfeld, 88 years after the sinking of the ship. Postscript of Paul Danby's children, Margaret Danby and Ellen Burka-Danby: Dr. Margaret Danby became a family doctor in her family home in Amsterdam. She died in 1990. Ellen Danby married Jan Burka. Ellen was a Dutch figure skater before the war. When asked to fill out in Camp Westerbork: "What is your profession?" She wrote down: "Dutch Figure Skating Champion", even though she did not become the Dutch Champion until 1946. Ellen and Jan Burka immigrated to Canada on the Queen Mary, via New York, with their two daughters, Petra and Astra. Ellen Burka, at 94 years old, remembered visiting Adolphe in London. In Canada, Ellen became an internationally renowned figure skating coach and choreographer. She coached many Canadian, International, World and Olympic figure skaters, and attended the Winter Olympics as a coach seven times. She is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, among many other honours.

In 1978 Ellen Burka was given Canada's highest honour - she became a Member of the Order of Canada 'for elevating skating to an art form and imaginative choreography on the ice.' She coached her daughter Petra to three Canadian championships, North American Champion, an Olympic bronze medal, and in 1965 Petra became the World Champion.

The letter attracted significant interest from collectors all over the world, it was purchased by a collector in the USA bidding online for £60000 against interest from a telephone bidder in the USA.

  

The Titanic story still evokes massive interest 104 years after the most famous liner of the 20th century hit an iceberg and sank in the early hours of April 15th 1912. The fourth and fifth highest selling lots of the year were both letters, written by and relating to Titanic's assistant surgeon John Simpson. The first was written on board the Titanic on April 9th 1912, any letter written on board the Titanic is highly prized but this particular example carried additional significance due to the importance of its author selling for £37000 and a letter from Titanic's highest ranking surviving officer Charles Lightoller that offered an unprecedented first person account of Titanic's and Dr Simpson's last moments made £34000.

Looking into our crystal ball, I feel demand for high quality collectables will remain buoyant in 2017, the Titanic market in particular has attracted hundreds of new buyers this year, there are those who are buying for investment but also those who are fascinated by the subject, a pattern that is repeated in numerous collectors markets. Low interest rates and poor returns from lump sums in bank accounts will continue to see people buying an object and enjoying it whether it be a letter written on the Titanic or a painting or an item connected to a particular moment in history that if purchased sensibly could appreciate in value rather than seeing their money shrink in real terms with inflation.

Henry Aldridge's will be holding free valuation days every Thursday in the New Year from 10am-3.30pm. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henry-aldridge.com.




Iconic Lots go Under the Hammer in Devizes


  

Henry Aldridge and Son's November 17th auction of Selected Antiques and Collectables presented buyers all over the world with an eclectic selection of over 660 lots of antiques and collectables.

The sale was led by an original oil painting by Ernst Friedrich that hung in Adolf Hitler's residence at Berchtesgaden. The painting depicted Wawel Catherdral and castle in Krakow, Poland. Krakow was the capital of the German government, a colonial authority under Hans Frank, Hitler's lawyer and friend, who was Governor General of Occupied Poland and lived at the castle. Frank was found guilty of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Trials and executed.

The painting came into the possession of Sergeant Herson Whitley of the 3rd Infantry Division in May 1945. A detailed letter of provenance accompanied the painting which stated that Sgt. Whitley removed the painting from a wall in his property at Berchtesgaden during his time there. "He obtained it by taking it off a wall in Hitler's retreat in Berchtesgaden at the end of the war. Note there is a crack along the upper corner which my father said occurred during shipping home from Europe." The provenance package also included numerous photos of Sgt. Whitley on operations during W.W.II, his war medals including the Bronze Star for Valour and Croix des Guerre, Dog Tags, patches, letters from his time serving in Europe, a copy of his citation for the award of the Bronze star and his Honourable Discharge from the United States Army. Against interest from clients in the United States and Europe, it sold to a telephone bidder for £14000


An original Elvis Presley first run 'In Memory' poster with one of a kind four negative set in blue, black, yellow and red sold to a collector based in the UK. There were handwritten notations in the margins and colour notes to each negative. Photographed by Bud Skinner this was one of the most iconic Elvis posters known. Estimated to sell for £6000-£10000, it sold for £7250 to a collector on the phone.

A pair of rare covers written by Charlotte Bronte caused considerable interest prior to the sale, with media coverage from both BBC and Fox News, they attracted interest from clients both in the UK and United States. They were postmarked Leeds Jan 30 1849 and Leeds MR31 1846, the latter had seen Miss Bronte affix a small printed scrap "Attend to Time" on the reverse. They sold for a combined £8100.

Other notable prices included over £7000 for a small set of gold coins, £2000 for a Chinese silver tea service and £1000 for a beautiful modern Lalique art glass Lion.

Henry Aldridge are now accepting entries for their December 17th Antiques, Collectables and Christmas Present auction and due to the popularity of their free valuation days they are now held every Thursday from 10am-3.30pm. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 or andrew@henry-aldridge.com.




Locker Key From The Titanic Sells at Auction For
$104,000 - New York Times Oct 23rd 2016



Henry Aldridge and Son, The Wiltshire Auctioneers with the Worldwide Reputation held their latest auction of Titanic and Icons of the 20th century on Saturday October 22nd. The world's media covered the auction both before and afterwards with the auction featuring throughout the day on BBC One's news coverage to stories by The New York Times, Washington Post, Daily Telegraph and even the official news agency of the Peoples Republic of China, Xinhua.

The star of the show was an exceptionally rare key with a brass tag stamped "Locker 14 F Deck" that was in the possession of Third Class Steward Sidney Sedunary as the Titanic was sinking. It was sold via direct descent and was the first time it has ever been offered for auction. Sidney was one of over 1500 souls who lost their lives in the sinking, his body was recovered by the Mackay Bennett and his personal effects including this key were sent back to his wife Madge who was pregnant with his unborn son who was born in November 1912 and named after his father.

The significance of this key revolved around evidence given at the British Inquiry by Steward John Hart. It showed Sedunary heroically working on F Deck on the very night of the sinking, even though it was flooded forward.


Sidney's son gave the key to a family member visiting from Australia in 1981 together with some copper coins that were also found alongside the key. Copies of a diary from the visit were included with the lot which mentions the key, letters from Sid Sedunary Jnr and a letter from the vendor's mother confirming its provenance. A collector from the UK purchased the key on the phone against interest from bidders in the room and online for £85000.

Another pair of stars that attracted significant interest were a unique pair of letters, the first written on board the Titanic by the ships assistant Surgeon Dr John Simpson and the second relating to Mr Simpson's fate from the highest ranked surviving crew member Second Officer Charles Lightoller just after a fortnight after the Titanic sank.

The letter was written in Southampton on board the Titanic on the 9th April 1912 on official Titanic stationary it reads in full.

"From Capt. J. E. Simpson, R.A.M.C.T.; To The Adjutant 1st (F.S) Btn. Middx. Rgt." Letter reads, in full: "I have the honour to request that I may be permitted to transfer to the unattached list of R.A.M.C.T. officers as owing to professional duties as Ship's Surgeon in the White Star Line & I am prevented from carrying out all my duties in the R.A.M.C.T. for some time."

Dr. John "Edward" Simpson was born in Belfast on 1st March 1875, and was 37 years old when he joined the Titanic on 6th April 1912. He had previously served on board Titanic's sister ship Olympic. He was still technically assigned to the Royal Army Medical Corps Territorials (R.A.M.C.T) as a medical doctor which meant his official duties would require him to remain under the army's direction. Thus, one last piece of official business before Titanic sailed was for Simpson to write this letter, to the Adjutant of the First Battalion requesting that he be permitted to transfer to the unattached (i.e. inactive) list of the R.A.M.C.T. so as to be able to carry out his duties for White Star Line. Since the letter was sent on 9th April 1912 and Titanic sailed the following day, it is unknown whether he was officially relieved of his military duties before sailing, or thereafter. It sold to a collector on the telephone for £37000.

The letter written by Titanic's second officer Charles Lightoller offered an unprecedented snapshot into the final moments of the Titanic. A stunning first person account of the last moments of the ill-fated liner, it was written on board S.S. Adriatic on May 1st, 1912 while Lightoller was returning to England after giving evidence in the US Enquiry into the Loss of the Titanic. It is written to R.W. Graham of Holt & Co. of New York informing Graham that Titanic assistant surgeon John E. Simpson was lost at sea.

Over two pages he says:

"I deeply regret your loss, which is also mine. I may say I was practically the last man to speak to Dr. Simpson, and on this occasion he was walking along the boat-deck in company with Messrs. McElroy, Barker, Dr. O'Loughlin and four assistant pursers. They were all perfectly calm in the knowledge that they had done their duty and were still assisting by showing a calm and cool exterior to the passengers. Each one individually came up to me and shook hands. We merely exchanged the words 'Goodbye, old man.' This occurred shortly before the end and I am not aware that he was seen by anyone after. With deepest sympathy for you in the loss of your friend."

Lightoller had been travelling on the Adriatic at this time on his return to England following his testimony at the American Senate Inquiry into the Titanic Disaster. He had been immediately detained following his arrival on Carpathia in New York, and was making his return to England at the time this letter was written. It was bought for £34000 by a British collector against interest from overseas bidders online.

Other significant lots included ones of the worlds most expensive postcard's that was written by Titanic's chief Wireless Operator Jack Phillips from Titanic on April 6th 1912 made £19000, a bag that contained the personal effects of Titanic baker John Davies £23000, and a collection of letters by Titanic's Chief Officer Henry Wilde £22000. A group of Titanic obstruction reports made £12000, a Customs card for a Titanic survivor £12500 and a sample menu cover from Titanic's a la carte restaurant also fetched £12000.

Henry Aldridge and Son's next auction of Titanic and Iconic memorabilia will be on April 22nd 2017 with entries now being accepted. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199/andrew@henryaldridge.com for further details.




Internet Buyers Help Propel Another Successful Auction


    

Henry Aldridge and Son, The Wiltshire Auctioneer with the Worldwide Reputation's summer season of auctions resulted in some superb prices with lots being sold to buyers from all over the world.

As is the norm now, Henry Aldridge conduct the sales live online which enables buyers from around the world to be as the action unfolded. Several hundred bidders registered to participate which resulted in some very satisfying results with buyers connecting with the auction from the comfort of their own homes to bid on some of the wonderful lots on offer.

One of the stars of the show was a Spectacular Apollo 11 crew signed photograph showing the lunar module Eagle descending to the moon's surface with the earth in the background. The photograph was signed by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin at the end of their promotional trip to London in October 1969. The photograph was autographed by the three astronauts as a thank you to John Cleland who lent them limousines for their one-day visit to Britain on 14th October 1969 to meet the Queen and Prime Minister. When the Embassy asked for a bill, he said it was an honour to be part of such a prestigious visit and in no way would he accept payment. So they gave him the signed photograph. It sold to an American museum for £5200.

A collection of Tibetan items was consigned from a client in Devon whose father lived in Lhasa prior to WW2 attracted strong interest from buyers all over the world, the most impressive was of the pieces within the collection was a bronze Chorten containing a large number of prayer scrolls, dating from the 15th century although damaged it sold for £4800 to a European collector. In a similar vain a large bronze figure of Buddha from Aguthia Thailand dating from the 17th century sold for £3600.


Other notable lots included a Meissen chocolate/coffee pot that made £5300, a collection of Gold coins that made over £25000 and a beautiful 18th century horn beaker that made £2500.

Henry Aldridge's are now accepting entries for their November 19th Fine Art, Antiques and Collectables auction. Their popular free valuation days are held every Thursday from 10am-3.30pm and members of the general public are invited to visit the saleroom and bring their antiques and collectables in for appraisal. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor for further details.




Internet Buyers Help Propel Another Successful Auction
At Henry Aldridge and Son


Henry Aldridge and Son, The Wiltshire Auctioneer with the Worldwide Reputation's latest auction of 2016 on June 18th carried on from the success of their previous sale. Internet Bidding featured prominently in all of the major lots, although not successful all of the time numerous lots were underbid online. This enables buyers from around the world to not only watch the action as it unfolds but also bid on their computers, phones and tablets in real time. This resulted in some very satisfying results with buyers from all over the world watching and bidding from the comfort of their own homes to own some of the wonderful lots on offer.

One of the stars of the show was an Indo-Chinese Baphuon style Khmer stone sculpture of Vishnu, although of fairly modest proportions, it dated from around the 11th century. This attracted interest from both Asian and European buyers, selling to one of the latter on the telephone for £7200 against bidders online. Items of a similar vein in the Chinese section also sold well with a Tang Horse with damage selling for £1100 and a Warring states short sword going online for £1800.

The paintings section of the sale sold well buoyed be several lots consigned during one of Henry Aldridge's popular valuation days. Two oils by Mortimer Luddington Menpes 1855-1938 one of a Mediterranean Girl Peeling Fruit the other of Rue La Fayette signed lower right, made £6700 and two watercolours by Maltese artist Nicholas Krassnoff (1869-1947) of a street View in Sliema and a flight of steps in Malta went online for £3250.

Other good lots that merited a mention included a rare John Gilroy preliminary watercolour of the famous "Guinness is good for you" Zoo Keeper poster that made £1210, a painted treen doll in period costume circa 1800 £2200, a good set of silver flatware £1500, an unusual pre 1937 Springbok Rugby shirt which sold to a collector in South Africa for £1000 and a pair of menus relating to Robert Scott's famous Discovery expedition which made £1000, selling to a collector from Canada.




  

Henry Aldridge's are now accepting entries for their July 23rd Fine Art, Antiques and Iconic Collectables auction. Clients are invited to bring their antiques, jewellery and collectables to one of the auctioneers popular free valuation days, these are held every Thursday from 10am-3.30pm. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor for further details.





Treasures from Titanic sold at Auction


Sir Arthur Roston's Sextant leads the way selling for over £ 66,000

Henry Aldridge and Son, The Wiltshire Auctioneer with the Worldwide Reputation's latest Titanic auction on April 23rd included one of the most important lots relating to the ill fated liner ever to go under the hammer.Against a backdrop of press coverage in all of the major newspapers interest was high with record numbers of buyers registered to bid.

Sir Arthur Rostron KBE, RD, RNR was one of the heroes of the Titanic disaster. As the Captain of the rescue ship Carpathia his prompt response to the sinking is widely credited with over 700 lives being saved.

Henry Aldridge and Son were delighted to be offering Sir Arthur's sextant that was used on board the Carpathia during the rescue and recovery of the surviving passengers and crew of the Titanic.

A sextant is used to measure the angle between a celestial object and the horizon and was an essential part of navigation at sea. This unique instrument was acquired by Arthur Rostron whilst serving as a cadet at the Merchant Navy Cadet School H.M.S. Conway in 1883 and was used throughout his career. Presented in its original mahogany box with brass label "A.H. Rostron Conway" Rostron has written his own name on the retailer's label inside. The sextant itself is of polished brass form with its original fittings and is engraved A.H. Rostron RNR. In Captain Rostron's evidence on Day One of the American Titanic enquiry on April 19th 1912 he states "I picked up our position on my chart and set a course to pick up the Titanic".

The sextant is the instrument which allows for the calculation of a position on a chart and this is without doubt one of the most important pieces of Titanic memorabilia due to the integral part Sir Arthur played in the rescue of the surviving 705 men, woman and children.

Captain Rostrons Great Granddaughter Janet commented "The Sextant has never been on public display before and has been kept within the Rostron family, passed down from father to son for the last 104 years"




"The Sextant would have been used by him throughout his career and would certainly have been the instrument he used to navigate through the ice flows". "Once Sir Arthur retired the sextant was passed onto his son Harry and then onto my father". Sir Arthur was described by his Grandson David "As a quiet, kind and dignified man" The sextant is without doubt a truly unique part of the Titanic story. It represented a unique chance for either a museum or collector to bid on an item of this calibre, selling to a UK collector bidding on the telephone for £66000 against interest from collectors based in the UK and USA.

The second highest price of the day was for a truly remarkable lot, one of the most interesting letters written onboard the Titanic that the auctioneers have ever sold. The author Paul Danby's story is a fascinating one that reads like a movie. As a German living in England during WW1 he was interred in the Isle of Man and moved to Amsterdam after the war. He ran a successful business until the Nazi's invaded Holland in 1940. Being Jewish he had the option of going underground with false papers but believed he and his family were protected. Tragically he was wrong and together with his wife and one of his daughters he was sent to the Sobibor Death Camp by the Nazis where he was murdered alongside over 200000 other people.

The letter written onboard Titanic on April 10th, the day she set sail from Southampton reads and has been in the family since it was written, it was stored in Amsterdam and survived the war in a shoebox, it reads in full:

"My very much loved Goll, We are the first who write a letter from the ship, it is wonderfully appointed. Uncle has a very large cabin nearly a living room with sofa and an electric ventilator. I will tell you all in detail later.
Kiss the little Goll, I embrace you and kiss you dearly
You're very loving
Paul Love from Uncle

This is the only Titanic letter to the best of our knowledge with a connection to the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis in the next generation. In 1907 Paul Danby, born in Berlin, was sent to Manchester, England to apprentice under Adolphe Saalfeld, merchant, perfumier and Chairman of Sparks, White & Company Ltd., London. In 1908 Paul met and fell in love with Adolphe's niece Rose and they married in 1910. Their first daughter Margaret was born in 1911. In 1912 Adolphe booked a first class ticket on the R.M.S."TITANIC". The intention of the trip was to present his collection of floral essential oils to potential clients in America. Paul Danby had the honour of seeing Adolphe off in Southampton.

Paul's Granddaughter Astra comments "As children, my sister and I were always told about our relative who survived the Titanic. It was not until Dr. Margaret Danby's death in 1990, Paul daughter that the Titanic letter was discovered hidden in a shoebox in Margaret's attic" Because Paul Danby was a German citizen working in England, he was imprisoned on the Isle of Man from 1914- 1918. His wife Rose and three-year old daughter Margaret were sent to Hannover to be looked after by Paul's mother Clara. In 1919 Maurice Kempinski offered Paul the position of manager of the Kempinski Restaurant in Amsterdam and the family moved to Holland. In addition to being manager of the restaurant, Paul set up the wine import export business company Kempinski Inc. In the same year Paul started P.J. Danby Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals - a successful import and export business. In 1921, his second daughter Ellen was born. Paul was an avid skier and mountain hiker. Every year, the family pursued winter sports in the European Alps. Thriving in his wine business, he built a holiday home in the Pyrenees. After the Germans invaded Holland in 1940, his daughter Margaret, then a medical doctor, said to her father: "I have papers for you, mother, Ellen and Clara to go underground". Paul said: "No, I am protected". Margaret was hidden by a Catholic family in the south of Holland and survived. In June 1943, Clara was taken by the Germans and sent to Camp Westerbork. She was 84 years old. Two weeks later, the Germans took Paul, Rose and their daughter Ellen. Clara, Paul and Rose were all sent to Sobibor Death Camp and murdered.

His daughter Ellen was sent from Westerbork and then to Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. There she met her future husband, and when the camp was liberated in May 1945, they walked to Holland.

Adolphe Saalfeld survived the Titanic. He was in the smoking lounge having a port and cigar when the iceberg struck. He went to his Cabin C-106, put on a coat and went to the deck and entered lifeboat 3, being later rescued by the Carpathia. His leather satchel containing his floral perfume samples was left behind. Adolphe was rescued by the Carpathia and returned to England from New York. Traumatized by the sinking, he died at the age of 61. The Mir 1 submersible, when looking for artefact's around the wreckage of the R.M.S. Titanic at the bottom of the ocean, discovered a leather satchel containing 65 vials of essential oils for creating perfume. Inside the leather satchel were metal containers holding the glass vials belonging to Adolphe Saalfeld, 88 years after the sinking of the ship. Postscript of Paul Danby's children, Margaret Danby and Ellen Burka-Danby: Dr. Margaret Danby became a family doctor in her family home in Amsterdam. She died in 1990. Ellen Danby married Jan Burka. Ellen was a Dutch figure skater before the war. When asked to fill out in Camp Westerbork: "What is your profession?" She wrote down: "Dutch Figure Skating Champion", even though she did not become the Dutch Champion until 1946.

Ellen and Jan Burka immigrated to Canada on the Queen Mary, via New York, with their two daughters, Petra and Astra. Ellen Burka, at 94 years old, remembered visiting Adolphe in London. In Canada, Ellen became an internationally renowned figure skating coach and choreographer. She coached many Canadian, International, World and Olympic figure skaters, and attended the Winter Olympics as a coach seven times. She is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, among many other honours.

In 1978 Ellen Burka was given Canada's highest honour - she became a Member of the Order of Canada 'for elevating skating to an art form and imaginative choreography on the ice.' She coached her daughter Petra to three Canadian championships, North American Champion, an Olympic bronze medal, and in 1965 Petra became the World Champion.

The letter attracted significant interest from collectors all over the world, it was purchased by a collector in the USA bidding online for £60000 against interest from a telephone bidder in the USA. Other lots that sold well included a sample menu holder from the Titanic which made £8500, a weight ticket from Titanic's Turkish Baths £20000, a letter from Titanic bandmaster Wallace Hartley's father that was recovered from his body £27000, a ticket stub from Titanic's launch £16000 and a light fitting from Titanic's sister ship Olympic £8500.

Henry Aldridge and Son are now accepting entries for their next Titanic and icons auction in October 2016.




Internet Bids in Force at Devizes Antique Auction


Henry Aldridge and Son, The Wiltshire Auctioneer with the Worldwide Reputation's latest auction on March 19th carried on where their previous sale left off. As is the norm now, Henry Aldridge conducted the sale live online which enabled buyers from around the world to bid as the action unfolded. Several hundred bidders registered to participate which resulted in some very satisfying results with buyers connecting with the auction from the comfort of their own homes to bid on some of the wonderful lots on offer.


   




One of the stars of the show was a brass microscope complete with accessories contained in a iron bound oak case. It was produced by Swift and Son and attracted a great deal of interest from clients all over the world. Bidding moved quickly with the lot purchased by a collector from Scotland against the internet making £4300. To illustrate the diverse nature of lots in the sale, they ranged from a postcard signed by the Rolling Stones when they played at the Westminster Lido on 20th December 1963, which sold to a client bidding on the internet for £900 to a rustic Georgian oak dresser consigned from a local client that made £1800 again to a bidder participating online. Every Thursday Henry Aldridge and Son hold open valuation days for members of the general public to have their antiques and collectables valued free of charge. A client from Swindon brought several items to be assessed, they included a small Doulton ceramic frog broken in two sections. The auctioneers identified it as an exceptionally rare figure by George Tinworth, it sold to a customer online for £3100 against a bidder on the telephone from London.

A client from London telephoned Henry Aldridge and Son earlier in the year to say that they had been left a small collection of Chinese ceramics and collectables and could they be auctioned in the March antique sale. They were located at a house in Wiltshire and asked if the auctioneers could take a look, after being valued the collection went under the hammer and sold for over £5500. Other notable lots included a pair of 18th century silver tea caddies with their original mahogany carrying box, they sold to a trade client on the telephone for £1150, a 20th century Chinese Jade brooch of exceptional colour that made £1200 and an 18th century heavily carved Gothic coffer that sold for £1100 again both selling online.

Henry Aldridge's are now accepting entries for their May 14th Fine Art, Antiques and Collectables auction. Their popular free valuation days are held every Thursday from 10am-3.30pm and members of the general public are invited to visit the saleroom and bring their antiques and collectables in for appraisal, the next diary date is for the Titanic and Transport auction on April 23rd at 1pm. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor for further details.







1920's Motorbike was the Star of the Show at

Henry Aldridge's first auction of 2016


Henry Aldridge and Son, The Wiltshire Auctioneer with the Worldwide Reputation's first auction of 2016 on February 13th took up where the auctioneers left off in 2015. It was the first sale that Henry Aldridge had conducted live using the saleroom platform which enabled buyers from around the world to not only watch the action as it unfolded but also bid on their computers in real time. This resulted in some very satisfying results with buyers from all over the world watching and bidding from the comfort of their own homes to own some of the wonderful lots on offer.

One of the stars of the show was a rare 1925 Scott 2 speed Super Squirrel reg. no. KYR 701 engine no. 57758, frame no. 2791. This bike was very much ahead of its time and was actually based upon the 1924 TT Racing bikes. It was purchased by James Colville of Oxfordshire in 1960 who had it restored in 1965. It remained in his possession until his death last year and is being sold by his estate. The bike is sold with numerous Scott driving manuals dating 1926, 1930, 1940 (45 reprint) and 1960, plus other Scott booklets. Also accompanying it were an induction site glass, crank case cover, badges and photos of her on exhibition in 1984, she attracted good interest from classic motorbike collectors all over the country selling above estimate for £9000. Other motorbike lots included a rare Welbike Engine no. XXE 1496 Built by Excelsior of Tyseley, Birmingham. The wartime Welbike was a 'fold-away' miniature motorcycle designed to be dropped by parachute in support of airborne troops during WW2, it sold for £4600 to a buyer on the internet and two rare BSA Airborne folding bikes made £1000 each to a buyer in the room underbid by the internet.




Last year Henry Aldridge and Son sold a negative image of Norma Jeane Baker, later Marilyn Monroe, taken by Joseph Jasgur. The auctioneers sold a further Jasgur image in this sale, equally rare it was taken on 6th March 1946 as part of some informal test shots that proceeded a formal shoot. This image was taken on a small street in West Hollywood behind Beverly Boulevard, it sold to a bidder in the room for £2000.

Other good lots included a fine quality Shelley twelve place setting of the rare and desirable Shades and Lines pattern that sold for £2500 an Aynsley "Love in the Mist" tea service with butterfly handles, 12 trios including sugar bowls and milk jug that made £2300 again selling to a buyer from the internet as did a L.S. Lowry Fine Art Guild signed Lithograph that made £2350.

Henry Aldridge's are now accepting entries for their March 19th Fine Art, Antiques and Iconic Collectables auction and their popular free valuation days are held every Thursday from 10am-3.30pm. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor for further details.







Elvis Has Left The Building ....

"If I can Dream" Boots Sell for £29,500


Henry Aldridge and Son, The Wiltshire Auctioneer with the Worldwide Reputation November 14th auction of Iconic Collectables, Fine Art and Antiques on November 14th offered a number of iconic and historical lots. They were led by the sale of Elvis Presley's white boots that he wore in one of his memorable performances when he sang If I Can Dream the song that that capped his 1968 NBC TV special.

If I Can Dream was a tribute song to Martin Luther King, Jr written by Walter Earl Brown, notable for its direct quotations from Dr. King. Elvis had finished shooting for Live a Little, Love a Little, for his upcoming Singer Television Special, to be broadcast on television that December. When first presented to Elvis, the TV special's producer, Steve Binder, was worried and thought Elvis would not want to sing it as the show was to be a Christmas special and "If I Can Dream" was not a Christmas song. Binder found Elvis and played it for him in his dressing room a number of times before Elvis finally said, "Okay, I'll do it." On June 23rd, Elvis recorded If I Can Dream in several incredibly passionate takes. To Binder, his performance was so staggering it seemed almost like a religious experience. Out on the floor with a hand mike, Elvis fell to his knees. For a moment, it appeared like he was back in church, singing the Gospel songs of his youth. These boots represent a tangible link to this truly iconic moment in show business history.

The boots attracted attention from collectors in China, the US and UK and attracted press interest from Fox News, Chinese news agencies and the BBC among others, they sold to a British collector for £29500.



An archive that attracted significant attention was a collection of letters, telegrams and photos relating to the infamous Dr Crippen. The archive included thirteen Marconi signals that started on July 22nd with a telegram sent by Captain Kendall of the Canadian Pacific ship Montrose at 3pm, 130 miles west of Lizard Point "Have strong suspicions that Crippen, London. Cellar murderer and accomplice are among saloon passengers, moustache taken off growing a beard, accomplice dressed as boy, voice manner and build undoubtable a boy, both travelling as Mr & Master Robinson", signed Kendall. It then chronicled the dramatic transatlantic chase which started with Detective Chief Inspector Dew of Scotland Yard boarding the SS Laurentic, a faster ship than the Montrose and arriving in Quebec first. As the Montrose arrived in the St Lawrence River, Detective Chief Inspector Dew came aboard disguised as a pilot. Kendall writes on July 30th seeming to relish his role in the chase "Advise you to come off in small boat with pilot disguised as one if possible", the next Morning, "Tell Captain of pilot steamer to steam with reporters towards big island until I hoist A Canadian ensign at mainmast indicating you have made the arrest". Detective Chief Inspector Dew replied "Thanks will speak you later operator here will make arrangements, meanwhile suggest suspects kept under discreet observation to prevent suicide". The collection also included an exhibit from the trial and the original handwritten notes from Dr Burroughs an expert witness in the trial, photos and notes from Belle Elmore, Crippen's wife, they sold for over £20000.


Another Fascinating collection was a group of photographs from around September to November 1945 at Celle Prison of some of the main perpetrators of crimes against humanity at the Belsen and Auschwitz concentration camps, taken by Ft. Lt Parfitt, an RAF Spitfire pilot. The subjects included Franz Hossler the Commander of the women's camp at Auschwitz and Deputy Camp Commander at Belsen, Irma Grese known as the Bitch of Belsen and Hertha Bothe, The Sadist of Belsen.

The archive also numbered some aerial shots of heavily bombed towns at the end of the war, selling for £2800. Further lots that attracted good interest were a Military medal WW1 trio awarded at the Somme £750, an oil on canvas by Scottish artist James McBay £1200 and a late Georgian bookcase bureau in the Chinoiserie style £2600.

Henry Aldridge's are now accepting entries for their December 19th Fine Art, Antiques and Iconic Collectables auction and due to their popularity of their free valuation days they are now held every Thursday from 10am-3.30pm. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




Crumbs ..... Titanic Sale Captures the Imagination once More

Henry Aldridge and Son's Titanic and Icons Auction on Saturday 24th October was a resounding success. The sale attracted significant media coverage all over the world headlining on the Fox Network in the USA, being extensively covered by CNN and featured on both BBC National television and radio, thus ensuring maximum exposure for both buyers and sellers.

The highlight of the sale was a magnificent and truly iconic sterling silver Loving Cup presented to Sir Arthur Henry Rostron, KBE, RD, RNR of the Carpathia by Titanic survivor Margaret Brown (later famously known as the Unsinkable Molly Brown) in a ceremony in New York on May 29th 1912. It sold to a British collector for £130000 against interest from collectors in the United States. The chased dedication on the cup read: "Presented to Captain A. H. Rostron RD, RNR, Commander of the RMS Carpathia. In grateful recognition and appreciation of his heroic and efficient service in the rescue of the survivors of the Titanic on April 15th 1912, and of the generous and sympathetic treatment he accorded us on his ship. From the Survivors of the Titanic".

Molly Brown was an American socialite and one of Titanic's most famous survivors who boarded as a First Class passenger at Cherbourg, Titanic's first stop after leaving Southampton. Five days later, when Titanic struck the infamous iceberg, Molly Brown bravely helped others into the lifeboats. She left the Titanic in lifeboat six at around 1.10am. Alongside Helen Churchill Candee, Quartermaster Robert Hitchins and Lookout Frederick Fleet along with around 18 others.

This was without doubt one of the most iconic objects relating to the Titanic disaster and carries a truly impeccable provenance. It had remained in the Rostron family since its presentation on May 29th 1912 and was exhibited in the National Museums Liverpool, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and the world's largest Titanic museums in Branson and Pigeon Forge in the USA.




The Molly Brown/Arthur Rostron Loving Cup Sold for £130,000

Another remarkable lot that captured the imagination was the World's most valuable biscuit, it formed part of a survival kit that would have been found in Titanic's lifeboats. The Spillers and Bakers "Pilot" biscuit was kept as a souvenir by James and Mabel Fenwick. It was saved by Mr Fenwick in a Kodak photographic envelope complete with original notation. The Fenwick archive is arguably THE definitive photographic archive of negatives relating to the rescue of the surviving Titanic passengers and crew. James and Mabel Fenwick were newlyweds and beginning a three month honeymoon trip to Europe. Boarding the SS Carpathia they departed New York on 11th April 1912, little knowing that four days later the Carpathia would be the saviour of over 700 survivors from the most famous shipping disaster of all time. The camera the couple were carrying was able to chronicle the momentous events that followed and provided a unique record of the events that unfolded. The biscuit sold for £15000, which means it must rank as one of if not the most expensive biscuit ever sold. The collection itself sold for over £40000.


The World's Most Valuable Biscuit sold for £15,000

One lot that fascinated both the media and collectors alike was a photograph of an iceberg. This remarkable image was taken on board the Prinz Adalbert on the morning of April 15th/16th 1912, Accompanying the original image was a copy of a previously unpublished document written by the Chief Steward of the Prinz Adalbert .

On the day after the sinking of the Titanic, the steamer Prinz Adalbert passes the iceberg shown in this photograph. The Titanic disaster was not yet known by us. On one side red paint was plainly visible, which has the appearance of having been made by the scraping of a vessel on the iceberg. SS Prinz Adalbert Hamburg America Line". It is then signed by the Chief Steward and three other crewmen. It sold to a collector in London for £21000.

The photograph was acquired not long after the Titanic's sinking by Burlingham, Montgomery & Beecher, attorneys for Titanic's owners, White Star Line. Hamburg American Lines, also a client of Charles Burlingham, a senior partner, sent the photograph to him when they learned that he was defending Titanic's owners in the New York litigation arising out of the sinking.

Burlingham represented Titanic's owners in the U.S Senate inquiry into the disaster that began a week after the sinking and later defended them in the American litigation arising out of the accident. This suit was ultimately decided by the United States Supreme Court in an opinion written by Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who held that, under the nation's Limitation of Liability Act of 1851, White Star Line was entitled to limit its liability to the remaining value of the ship and its pending freights since Titanic had been built and operated in accordance with then-accepted practice and the sinking had been caused by circumstances beyond the owners' "privity and knowledge".

After the disaster, Titanic's only remaining value consisted of 14 of her lifeboats, with a collective worth of about $4,520, and an additional $93,252, representing her pending voyage earnings from passenger fares and freight charges. This meant that, pursuant to the Court's ruling, her owners had a total legal liability of only just over $90,000 to the families of the deceased passengers and survivors who had lost personal property and had filed claims in the United States limitation action. However, because White Star Line was haemorrhaging financially due to the terrible publicity attending the disaster and wished to put this behind it, Burlingham ultimately negotiated a final settlement of around $660,000 for all of the U.S. claims arising out of the disaster.

The Zeppelin section of the auction also went well with only a handful of unsold lots. The highlights were two unique relics that were recovered from the most famous airship disaster of all time. They bear witness to the immense destructive power of the fire that overcame the mighty Hindenburg on May 6th 1937 in Lakehurst, New Jersey. She was the largest aircraft ever flown measuring over 800 feet that was destroyed in a little over 90 seconds. They consisted of a silver plated hollowware pitcher and serving tray. Both show obvious signs of exposure to extremely high temperatures, which include metal that has melted onto the face of the tray, the pitcher sold for £5500 and the tray £7000.



Henry Aldridge's next auction is Fine Antiques, Paintings and Iconic Collectables on November 14th. They are now accepting entries for their December 19th Fine Art, Antiques and Iconic Collectables auction and due to their popularity of their free valuation days they are now held every Thursday from 10am-3.30pm. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com.




Is this the Iceberg that Sank the Titanic?

Henry Aldridge and Son's Titanic and Icons Auction will present another first for the Wiltshire Auctioneers with the Worldwide Reputation in their auction of Titanic and Icons of the 20th century on Saturday 24th October. Henry Aldridge are auctioning a unique photograph that purports to be the iceberg involved in the collision with the R.M.S Titanic at 11.40pm. on April 14th 1912, a little over two hours later the Titanic was at the bottom of the North Atlantic and over 1500 souls had been lost with her.

This remarkable photograph was taken by the Chief Steward of the liner Prinz Adalbert on the morning of April 15th 1912. Accompanying the original image that is being auctioned is a previously unpublished document written by the Chief Steward of the Prinz Adalbert .

"On the day after the sinking of the Titanic, the steamer Prinz Adalbert passes the iceberg shown in this photograph. The Titanic disaster was not yet known by us. On one side red paint was plainly visible, which has the appearance of having been made by the scraping of a vessel on the iceberg. SS Prinz Adalbert Hamburg America Line". It is then signed by the Chief Steward and three other crewmen.

The photograph was acquired not long after the Titanic's sinking by Burlingham, Montgomery & Beecher, attorneys for Titanic's owners, White Star Line. Hamburg American Lines, also a client of Charles Burlingham, a senior partner, sent the photograph to him when they learned that he was defending Titanic's owners in the New York litigation arising out of the sinking.

Burlingham represented Titanic's owners in the U.S Senate inquiry into the disaster that began a week after the sinking and later defended them in the American litigation arising out of the accident. This suit was ultimately decided by the United States Supreme Court in an opinion written by Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who held that, under the nation's Limitation of Liability Act of 1851, White Star Line was entitled to limit its liability to the remaining value of the ship and its pending freights since Titanic had been built and operated in accordance with then-accepted practice and the sinking had been caused by circumstances beyond the owners' "privity and knowledge".

After the disaster, Titanic's only remaining value consisted of 14 of her lifeboats, with a collective worth of about $4,520, and an additional $93,252, representing her pending voyage earnings from passenger fares and freight charges. This meant that, pursuant to the Court's ruling, her owners had a total legal liability of only just over $90,000 to the families of the deceased passengers and survivors who had lost personal property and had filed claims in the United States limitation action. However, because White Star Line was haemorrhaging financially due to the terrible publicity attending the disaster and wished to put this behind it, Burlingham ultimately negotiated a final settlement of around $660,000 for all of the U.S. claims arising out of the disaster.




From left to right: unidentified man, possibly Sydney C. Neale, Washington representative of the White Star Line, P.A.S. Franklin, Charles C. Burlingham, and Bruce Ismay, in Washington, D.C., April 1912 for the Senate Commerce Committee hearings.



Unique Relics from the Hindenbury, the World's Most Famous Air Ship Disaster to be auctioned

Henry Aldridge and Son's Titanic and Icons Auction will present another first for the Wiltshire Auctioneers with the Worldwide Reputation. They will be devoting an entire section of their Icons of the 20th century auction on Saturday 24th October to Zeppelin memorabilia. The highlights of which are two unique relics that were recovered from the most famous airship disaster of all time. They bear witness to the immense destructive power of the fire that overcame the mighty Hindenburg on May 6th 1937 in Lakehurst, New Jersey. She was the largest aircraft ever flown measuring over 800 feet that was destroyed in a little over 90 seconds. The items consist of a silver plated hollowware pitcher and serving tray. Both show obvious signs of exposure to extremely high temperatures, which include metal that has melted onto the face of the tray.

In the direct aftermath of the disaster on Thursday 6th May 1937, as the LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, Matawan, New Jersey, volunteer Fire Chief Leroy Smith rushed to the crash scene with five others. After performing his duties, he recovered the pitcher and tray and buried them in the surrounding sand. Guards were allowing no objects to be removed from the site. The fire chief returned several days later and 'rescued' these items, together with six full bottles of beer, which he shared with his five co-rescuers, one of which was sold by Henry Aldridge & Son in 2009 for £11000.

The engineering and construction of the airship Hindenburg were one of the very highest achievements in early aviation history. The idea of the Zeppelin airship had its roots in the Midwestern United States, where Graf von Zeppelin travelled just after finishing his duties as a Prussian observer of the American Civil War in the 1860s. After progressive developments between the first Zeppelin test flight over Lake Constance in 1900 and the construction of the Hindenburg in 1936, an eventual fleet of airships was to enter regularly scheduled frequent passenger and mail service to North and South America. While the Hindenburg was a de facto prototype of the future airships, its dramatic crash on May 6th 1937 put an end to this plan and to all future Zeppelin flights.








Unique Titanic Photographic Archive to be auctioned alongside the World's Most Valuable Biscuit, A Hard Tack Cracker Recovered from a Titanic Lifeboat.

    

Henry Aldridge and Son's Titanic and Icons Auction will present another first for the Wiltshire Auctioneers with the Worldwide Reputation. The Fenwick archive is arguably THE definitive photographic archive of negatives relating to the rescue of the surviving Titanic passengers and crew. James and Mabel Fenwick were newlyweds and beginning a three month honeymoon trip to Europe. Boarding the SS Carpathia they departed New York on 11th April 1912, little knowing that four days later the Carpathia would be the saviour of over 700 survivors from the most famous shipping disaster of all time. The camera the couple were carrying was able to chronicle the momentous events that followed and provide a unique record of the events that unfolded.

The collection is being sold via direct descent and photographic negatives included offer a unique snapshot into the rescue, the archive documents the first sightings of Titanic lifeboats being rescued, Titanic survivors on board the Carpathia, their arrival in New York and even the SS Californian arriving at the scene of the rescue at around 08.30 on 15th April 1912. Described by leading Titanic historians Charles Haas and Jack Eaton in their book "Titanic, Triumph and Tragedy" as 'one of maritime history's most dramatic photos'. The story of the Californian is one the most controversial in Titanic's tragic loss; she was blamed by innuendo in the British Titanic Inquiry as the mystery ship, allegedly only 8-10 miles away from Titanic when she hit the iceberg, although Titanic witnesses repeatedly said the actual mystery ship came within five miles, and was moving - whereas the Californian was stopped. According to the British Inquiry if the Californian's Captain Stanley Lord had reacted to the Titanic's distress rockets the Californian 'might have saved many if not all the lives lost'. Discovery of the Titanic wreck in 1985 has invalidated many of Lord Mersey's claims and the mystery ship question has been reopened.

The collection also includes an unpublished account of the rescue of the survivors. The journal it is contained within was purchased originally as a record of the Fenwick's' honeymoon trip, it became a unique chronicle of the events on board the Carpathia during her rescue voyage.

The entry for April 15th, hours after the Titanic sank starts -

"5am. Awakened by hearing man's voice "Titanic gone down. We are rescuing passengers and are surrounded by icebergs. "This is time to be up and doing. Going on deck we found boats at our side crowded with those rescued plus other boats coming from all quarters, just beyond and on all sides of us... were the 'bergs". Then Mr Fenwick goes on to say "Took up about 700 from 19 boats, 14 of which were put on Carpathia decks and 5 were set adrift. The scenes pictured were long to be remembered". He later describes how the Californian and SS. Birma pass close to Carpathia. "At 4pm. Carpathia stops flags at half mast and buried at sea the bodies of 4 men who had died from exposure. The scene at Carpathia as the day wore on was one of tragedy. Women without husbands and children without parents". He further chronicles other events during the day finishing "A number of pictures were taken of rescued boats as they neared the ship also iceberg, ships that passed and Mr Beesley". The log goes on to detail other important events including the Carpathia's arrival in New York and the disembarkation of the Titanic survivors.

The Worlds most valuable biscuit also hails from the Fenwick archive, it formed part of a survival kit that would have been found in Titanic's lifeboats. The Spillers and Bakers "Pilot" biscuit was kept as a souvenir by the Fenwick's. It was saved by Mr Fenwick in a Kodak photographic envelope complete with original notation "Pilot biscuit from Titanic lifeboat April 1912". The biscuit is estimated to sell for £8,000-£10,000.

Henry Aldridge are now accepting entries for their November 14th Fine Art, Antiques and Collectables auction and due to their popularity of their free valuation days they are now held every Thursday from 10am-3.30pm. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com


The Fenwick's pictured on the right, on board the Carpathia.








Collectors' Items are a Big Hit in Devizes

Henry Aldridge & Son's September 28th auction of Antiques and Collectables presented another first for the Wiltshire Auctioneers with the Worldwide Reputation. The star lot was a small watercolour by one of the world's most famous artists Auguste Rodin. During his lifetime, Rodin was compare to Michelangelo and it is no exaggeration to say that we was widely recognized as the greatest artist of his era. He created priceless sculptures such as The Thinker and The Kiss. The watercolour had an excellent provenance having been displayed by two of the leading galleries in Paris, Galerie Marcel Guiot & H Beres and was last offered for sale in 1982 by leading West End Art Dealers Browse & Darby. During their exhibition it was described by The Sunday Times 11th July 1982 "as perhaps the single most beautiful thing on view in London, a small Rodin watercolour and pencil drawing of a woman's back, sensual, monumental, magnificent and intimate. This wonderful streak of colour contained by line is to be seen at a fine exhibition of 19th & 20th Century French paintings, drawings and sculpture at Browse & Darby". This exceptional piece was offered at an estimate of £10,000 - £15,000 and sold to a telephone bidder from London for £16,250.

Another lot that jumped from the pages of the catalogue was an unusual late 19th century carved and painted Noah's ark with approx. 200 carved wooden animals. Several collectors and members of the trade booked telephone lines for the sale, the winning bidder was a collector from London who paid £4,250 for the lot. Another rare and fascinating lot with a strong Railway and Chinese connection was an early Albumen print of the Celestial Empire loco and Ransome and Rapier's 0-4-0 pioneer on the Woosung Road, China's first commercial railway in 1876. The line itself was only open for a year and measured a little over nine miles in length. It attracted interest from both the United States and china, selling to a client in the US for ,200. Other fascinating lots included a collection of Devizes postcards that sold for £1,800, and 3½ ins gauge Thompson A2 Pacific 462 LNER Loco & Tender £1,200 and a pair of 2000 year old Roman Amphora £700.



Henry Aldridge & Son are now accepting entries for their November 14th Fine Art, Antiques and Collectables auction and due to the popularity of their free valuation days they are now held every Thursday from 10am to 3.30pm. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 719199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




Devizes Auction Shows Variety is the Spice of Life

Henry Aldridge & Son's August 22nd summer auction of Antiques and Collectables saw 700 lots go under the hammer with an interesting array of traditional and unusual collectables ranging from Antique furniture, clocks and paintings to silver, jewellery and even Star Wars figures!

A small collection of letters from the infamous 1960's gangster Reggie Kray sold well, consigned as a direct result of the publicity achieved due to the sale of the previous collection of Kray memorabilia they sold to a Wiltshire collector against interest from buyers in Rome and London for £1,200.

There were numerous other types of antiques and collectables featured which included a lovely Victorian oil painting by Percy Graveley of English Shorthorn Cattle in a meadow which sold to a local client for £2,400. Jewellery as ever sold well with a Diamond brooch selling for £1,000 and an 18ct white gold t bar diamond brooch selling to a Home Counties collector for £1,600. Other notable prices were for a London and South West Railway poster which made £500, a Tom Kitten Beswick wall plaque £380, an early Georgian Walnut chest on chest in need of significant restoration £700 and a chest of drawers of similar vintage again in need of a complete overhaul made £450.



Henry Aldridge & Son are now accepting entries for their September 26th auction of Antiques and Collectables auction. They are also holding free valuation days every Thursday from 10am to 3.30pm where members of the public are invited to bring in Antiques, Collectables and Jewellery for a free appraisal. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 719199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




The names Bond, James Bond....

Henry Aldridge and Son's July 25th auction of Antiques and Collectables offered a large variety of fresh to the market collectors' items, over 700 lots went under auctioneer Alan Aldridge's gavel at the Devizes saleroom with quite literally something for everyone.

A small collection of James Bond First Editions will attracted interest from both book collectors and trade in both the UK and France. The books were in good order but sadly their dust jackets had seen better days which will always effect their value. The four books were From Russia with Love, Dr. No, Gold Finger and Thunderball, they sold for £1,700. Another interesting lot that attracted attention in both the local and national media reaching as far as Sky in Australia was a small archive of letters written by Reginald "Reggie" Kray 1933 - 2000. They were penned by hand to Maureen Baker, a personal friend who he knew from the Tottenham Royal in the early 1950s. The letters offered a fascinating snap shot into the mind of one Britain's most notorious gangsters, one sentence in particular makes fascinating reading "I never did receive the letters in the guard house, if I had it may have changed the direction of both our lives, but it is no good to look back". Against interest from collectors in the UK and Australia they sold to a Wiltshire collector for £750.

There were numerous other types of antiques and collectables featured. They included an unusual 1995 Fender Stratocaster that made £1,900, a good Border Regiment Boer War Pair of Campaign medals and accompanying material £900, extremely rare set of Aesthetic/Arts & crafts Minton cup & saucers embellished with gilt, decorated with floral motifs, impressed and painted marks. They were designed by the master of his genre Christopher Dresser, they sold for £700. Henry Aldridge also welcomed the Celebrity Antiques Trail team to the sale with EastEnders Jo Joyner (Tanya Branning) and Sunetra Sarker from Strictly Come Dancing in attendance together with their respective experts.



Henry Aldridge are now accepting entries for their August 22nd auction and due to their popularity of their free valuation days they are now held every Thursday from 10am-3.30pm. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




Valuation Day Finds are the Stars of the Show

Henry Aldridge and Son's June 20th auction of Antiques and Collectables catered for most people's collecting interests with a diverse collection of 800 lots going under the hammer in the Devizes salerooms. The power of bringing items to the attention of collectors all of the world was once again illustrated with the two most expensive lots of the day going to buyers in New York and Australia.

The top price of the day was for a Wacai period jar and cover decorated in a traditional pallet with children playing, although slightly damaged it sold to a buyer from New York for £4,000. This particular piece was brought into Henry Aldridge and Son for appraisal during one of their popular weekly valuation days. Another of the stars of the sale were a pair of Royal Worcester vases painted by the famed Worcester artist Henry Stinton, depicting Highland Cattle, they sold to a buyer from Australia for £2,600 against interest from a collector in the Midlands. A small collection of Chinese Scent bottles that were brought into the auctioneers during the valuation roadshow also sold well making over £2,500. Autographs and paper items sell attract attention in Devizes and this auction was no exception with an autographed portrait of Sir Winston Churchill making over £1,100, a collection of Peter Sellers ephemera £1,000 and a signed photo of Benito Mussolini over £500.

The clock section of the sale again thrived, six longcases were offered for sale including a Nelson commemorative example that made £2,000, a Thomas Stapleton of London in need of complete restoration £900 and an unusual Gilkes of Devizes Eight Day realised £1,000.

Henry Aldridge are now accepting entries for their July 25th auction and due to the popularity of the free valuation days at their Devizes saleroom have increased the frequency of them to every Thursday. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com







Strong Prices Achieved in Devizes Once More

Henry Aldridge and Son's May 16th auction of Antiques and Collectables offered something for everyone. A diverse collection of over 800 lots went under auctioneer Alan Aldridge's gavel at the Devizes saleroom.

Collectables formed a fair proportion of the auction, with a collection of TG Green Cornish ware selling particularly well making over £2,000, it included two of the rarer Custard Powder and Cup Chocolate containers. A collection of postcards of all manner of topographical scenes including a number of post-Earthquake shots in the United States made £960 selling to a local buyer. A rare collection of hollowcast figures of the Coronation Durbar of King George V by Heyde of Germany sold for just under £2,000 to an internet bidder. One of the more unusual lots in the sale were a pair of Georgian waistcoats, dating from the early part of the 19th century and in remarkably good condition they sold for £750. A Shelley Orange Sunrise tea set in a rare Queen Anne variation sold for £950 to a collector from Ireland.





The silver and jewellery section sold especially well, with over 85% of the items selling on or above estimate. Diamonds as ever proved to be a ladies best friend with a 1.4ct solitaire making £4,500, a 3ct Diamond Trilogy ring selling for £6,000 and a .95ct Diamond half hoop ring selling for £1,000. The highlight of the paintings section were a pair of maritime studies in watercolour by Thomas Bush Hardy. The interest in these paintings was that measuring a little over 20ins they were larger than his usual work, selling to a gallery in the South West for £3,000 against a member of the London trade.. One of the final lots of the sale was a late 19th century Iraqi camel saddle, illustrating the power of the internet in bringing new clients from all over the world, it sold to a Middle Eastern buyer for £1,100 against an under bidder from Dubai.

Henry Aldridge are accepting entries for their June 20th auction and are holding their next free valuation days on Thursday 21st May and Thursday June 4th. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




Titanic Prices in Devizes Auction Soar as the World's Media cover another successful Sale.

Henry Aldridge and Son's latest auction of Titanic and Liner Memorabilia on April 18th attracted the attention of media outlets all over the world ranging from The Times, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph to Time Magazine and The Australian. The week proceeding the auction saw the volume of press coverage that Henry Aldridge and Son are synonymous for, with coverage on BBC One National News, News 24 and Channel 5 among the numerous appearances ensuring the auction was promoted to the largest possible auction.

The results spoke for themselves with the star of the show, the Nantucket Titanic Deck Chair one of only a handful of fully provenanced and documented examples in existence selling for £100,000. Craig Sopin, one of the worlds leading Titanic memorabilia commented when asked about the deckchair "It isn't often that one has the opportunity to acquire such an important part of Titanic's story. For such a significant item to have such a meticulous chain of custody is nothing short of astonishing, its history can be traced from the auction house back to the deck of Titanic itself".

This example was owned originally by Julien Lemarteleur, a French cable ship captain working in Halifax at the time of the disaster, who stated to his friend, Captain N. Robin Lee to whom he later gave the chair that it had come from the deck of Titanic.

Captain Lemarteleur had been in command of the cable ship Contre Amiral Caubet, one of at least two cable repair vessels of the French company Compagnie Francaise Des Cables Telegraphiques (CFCT), operating in Halifax.

Company documents showed that as late as April 3, 1912, merely 11 days before the Titanic struck the iceberg, Captain Lemarteleur was onboard the Mackay-Bennett completing some of the Amiral Caubet's cable repair work for a break on the Brest, France to St. Pierre, Newfoundland cable.

The probability was that this Titanic deck chair was given to Lemarteleur by a crew member of the Mackay-Bennett, along with the piece of cork from a Titanic lifejacket. The crew of the Minia, another of the body recovery ships similarly gave a Titanic deck chair they rescued to Rev. Henry Cunningham in appreciation for his work onboard their vessel. The indepth provenance documentation confirmed the chain of custody of the deck chair through from Captain Lemarteleur in 1912 through to the present day. Due to its fragile condition the chair was professionally but sympathetically conserved several years ago. A number of telephone bidders from all over the world battled against each other and a British collector purchased it for £100,000 making the chair the fourth most expensive piece of Titanic memorabilia ever sold.





One of the other stars of the show was an archive of 52 celluloid negatives of Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated Terra Nova Antarctic Expedition. Scott headed The British Antarctic "Terra Nova" Expedition, on 16 January 1912, as Scott's party neared the Pole, Herbert Bowers, who took the photographs being sold who first spotted a black flag left at a camp made by Roald Amundsen's polar party over a month previously. They knew then that they must have been beaten in the race to be first to the South Pole. On 18 January they arrived at the South Pole to find a tent left behind by Amundsen's party at their Polheim camp and inside a dated note informing them that Amundsen had reached the Pole on 14 December 1911, beating Scott's party by 35 days. Their return journey soon became a desperate due to the exceptionally adverse weather.

First Edgar Evans died on 17 February and then in a vain attempt to save his companions, Lawrence "Titus" Oates deliberately walked out of their tent to his death. On the 16 March after succumbing to the effects of terribly frostbitten and gangrenous feet. Scott, Bowers, and Dr. Edward Adrian "Bill" Wilson continued on for 3 more days, progressing 20 more miles, but were stopped 11 miles short of the next food depot by a blizzard on 20 March.

The blizzard continued for days, longer than they had fuel and food for. Too weak, cold and hungry to continue, they died in their tent on or soon after 29 March (Scott's last diary entry), 148 miles from their base camp. Their bodies were found by a search party the following spring on 12 November 1912. The tent was collapsed over them by the search party who then buried them where they lay, under a snow cairn, topped by a cross made from a pair of skis. This Extremely important archive of 52 negatives was taken by Lt. Henry "Birdie Bowers", he was born in Grennock, Scotland in 1883 and served in the Royal Indian Marine Service.

Although he had no previous polar experience, he was recommended to Scott by the ex-President of the Royal Geographical Society, Sir Clements Markham. Both Captain Scott and Lt. Bowers were taught to use a camera by Herbert Ponting, the Terra Nova expedition photographer and the man responsible for capturing some of the most heroic images of the age of the Antarctic exploration.

The negatives offered an incredible snapshot into one of the most famous British Antarctic expeditions of the 20th century. They sold to a bidder from London in the saleroom for £36,000 against interest from a collector of Titanic memorabilia based in the UK and several collectors from the United States and Europe.

Other highlights from the auction included a postcard written by Ernest Tomlin a third class passenger sold for £6,000 to a collector from Monaco, a first person account written by a passenger on the SS Carpathia describing the rescue of Titanic passengers £9,000, a Titanic survivors wedding ring £6,000, a key from a Titanic victim £5,500, and a pair of gold scissors used during the launch of the ill fated RMS Lusitania £5,000.

Henry Aldridge and Sons next free valuation days are Thursday May 7th and 21st with their next auction of Antiques and Collectables on Saturday 16th May. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




Collectors Items Lead the Way in Devizes

Henry Aldridge and Son's March 28th auction of Antiques and Collectables witnessed a significant influx of new customers which resulted in some very satisfying prices for the auctioneers.

Ephemeral and paper items again featured strongly in this auction with an archive of letters written by Dr Harvey Hawley Crippen, who was one of the most notorious killers in British history. Crippen rose to infamy by allegedly poisoning and dismembering his wife and hiding her remains under the cellar floor in 1910. He was arrested by police after trying to flee the UK with his mistress Ethel Le Neve, who had disguised herself as a young boy for the journey. Crippen was the first criminal to be captured with the aid of wireless communication after the captain of the SS Montrose, the ship he was escaping on sent a wireless telegram to the British authorities. His trial at the Old Bailey in October 1910 lasted five days and he was found guilty by a jury after just 27 minutes of discussion. He was hanged at Pentonville Prison in London on 23 November 1910.

The archive of letters were written by Crippen during his trial at the Old Bailey in 1910 and after he was given the death sentence together with correspondence from his wife and mistress. They attracted worldwide interest primarily from the United States and Europe, a significant factor in the final price was the amount of pre sale publicity secured by the auctioneers with coverage in newspapers such as The Times and Independent and also the BBC. They sold for £11,000 and stayed in the UK. Other stars of the show include a collection of over 50 autographs and letters from British Prime Ministers dating from Robert Walpole, our first PM in 1721 through to Tony Blair. Other examples include Robert Peel, David Lloyd George, The Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill and Devizes's only ever Prime Minister Henry Addington, prices ranged from £400 downwards.

A rare Sino Tibetan gilt on copper Repousse panel of Bodhisattva playing a lute sitting in a royal ease position on the remains of a lotus throne sold well. The provenance of the piece was immaculate having returned to the UK after the Francis Younghusband's expedition of 1904. Buyers from Hong Kong went against those from the UK and China, with the lot selling for £4,000. Other notable prices were £800 for an oak sideboard signed by Derek "Lizardman" Slater, £2,000 for a 19th century oriental games compendium, £700 for a late Georgian silver goblet and £800 for a late 19th century African Zanzibar chest.





Henry Aldridge and Son's next auction is Titanic, Liner and Polar Exploration on April 18th, the next free valuation day on April 9th and Antiques and Collectors sale on May 16th. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




Worldwide Press Coverage Greets Sale of Marilyn Monroe Negative

Henry Aldridge and Son started their calendar of 2015 auctions the same way they finished 2014 with a sale to remember on the 14th February.

Henry Aldridge have a growing reputation for the sale of high quality photographs and collectables and this auction was no exception. This star of the show being a rare negative of Norma Jeane Baker, later Marilyn Monroe, taken prior to her first professional photo shoot in a small street in West Hollywood behind Beverly Boulevard at the very start of her career in 1946, by Hollywood photographer Joseph Jasgur. Due to Henry Aldridge and Son's press contacts, the photo attracted significant media interest from The Times, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail in the UK and numerous other outlets in the USA.

The image itself formed part of her first modelling portfolio that was presented to Ben Lyon, casting director at 20th Century Fox. Norma Jeane Baker married James Dougherty in 1942, soon after Dougherty's Merchant Marines unit was shipped out and Norma Jeane was left to work at a defence plant. With aspirations of becoming a model she joined Hollywood's Blue Book Model Agency.



On March 6, 1946 Joseph Jasgur received a call from Emmeline Snively, head of Blue Book, Snively asked Jasgur to take a few test shots of an aspiring young model. She was later photographed on top of Don Lee Towers, above the Hollywood sign and at Zuma Beach where this image was taken. This photo offers a unique glimpse of the young girl who was later to become the global phenomena that was Marilyn Monroe. It is exceptionally rare for photos this type to come to auction, however the true value in this image lies in the fact that it is sold with its own copyright to reproduce and distribute the image as the winning bidder wishes. The image carried a pre sale estimate of £2,000-£3,000 and sold for £3,100 to a collector from England against interest from buyers in Australia and the USA. Another unusual offering was a small but rare collection of SS Great Eastern and SS Great Britain material that sold for £1,900. It attracted collectors from all over Europe and included a letter written onboard the Great Eastern in 1867.

Silver and Jewellery sold well, a pair of Omar Ramsden goblets, reinforced the old adage of "Small is Beautiful". Although only three inches high, they sold above their top estimate at £2,000. The result was even more satisfying as they were donated to a West Country Charity shop who brought them to Henry Aldridge and Son to appraise and sell, so they could maximise what they would be worth. Other notable prices were for a collection of four gold five pound coins which made £3,500.

Henry Aldridge and Son's next free valuation day is Thursday March 12th with entries now being accepted for their March 28th Antique and Collectors auction. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




8th Century Statue Found in Local Garden Helps Bring the Curtain Down on 2014 for Henry Aldridge

Henry Aldridge and Son finished 2014 the same way they started it with a number of exciting items that attracted interest from all over the world. Over 600 lots of antiques and collectables of all shapes and sizes went under the hammer.

One of the most interesting pieces in the sale was an 8th century stone stele from Eastern India that was discovered during a house call in a village in West Wiltshire. Although the Stele had spent the last 80 years in the vendors and prior to that her mothers garden which was reflected in its condition having several large cracks. It attracted interest from clients in New York, the UK and France, selling for a mid-estimate £2,500. Another lot that attracted a lot of attention was an 1815 Waterloo Medal awarded to Edmond Barrowcliffe of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment of Guards. Several collectors battled it out with the eventual winner paying the top estimate of £2,500 for the privilege of owing such a piece of history. Autographs and ephemera sold well with a section that included a letter from the Duke of Newcastle in 1627 selling for £800 and a collection of autographs that included Orson Wells, Audrey Hepburn, Buzz Aldrin and Peter Sellers selling for over £1,500.

Jewellery and gold were again strong sellers with a stainless steel Rolex Submariner selling for £4,000, a Stainless steel Rolex Datejust selling for above estimate at £2,000 and a solitaire diamond ring £1,000.



Henry Aldridge and Son are holding their first free antiques and collectables valuation day of 2015 on January 15th. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




Unique letter from Rorke's Drift sold for record price in Devizes

A unique relic from one of the most famous battles in British Military history sold on Saturday November 15th at Henry Aldridge and Son, the Devizes auctioneer's latest auction of Collectables. Having attracted interest from collectors in the UK and South Africa together with media attention from The Daily Mail and BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-30067286, Selling for £15000, which was a record price for a letter of its type, the successful buyers were a museum.

This highly important autographed letter was written by Assistant Commissary Officer Walter Adolphus Dunne ("W.A. Dunne"), who was charge of the stores at Rorke's Drift to Captain W.J. Warneford, Commissariat and resident Magistrate at Cape Colony. William John Jortin Warneford joined the army 16-4-1861 served as senior commissary in Natal during the Zulu war and was one of only 3 men awarded the Cape of Good Hope General Service medal with 1877-79 clasp to the Kaffarian Levies.

The letter was hand written from Rorke's Drift less than 24 hours after the battle on a chit for bags of mealies. Also included in the same sale were letters from Lt. Gonville Bromhead who commanded the Second Battalion of the 24th Foot at Rorkes Drift and Lt. Col Anthony Durnford who was killed at Isandlwana which sold for £1,200.

The Rorkes Drift letter in full read:

"Rorke's Drift/ 24 Jan.r '79/ My dear Warneford,/ Sad news about the 1/24th. (1st Battalion, 24th Foot) 5Cd commanded by Col. Pulleine were cut to pieces and the camp sacked. 20 Officers are missing. About 1000 of the Kafirs came in here and attacked us on the same day (22nd). We had got about 2 hours' notice and fortified the place with bags of grain biscuit boxes &c. They came on most determinedly on all sides. They drove our fellows out of the Hospital, killed the patients and burned the place. They made several attempts to storm us but the soldiers (B Co of 24th under Bromhead) kept up such a steady killing fire that they were driven back each time. We had only 80 men, the contingent having bolted before a shot was fired. The fight was kept up all night & in the morning the Kafirs retreated leaving 351 dead bodies. Dalton was wounded in the shoulder and temp clerk Byrne killed & 12 of the men... W A Dunne (over) Some of the missing are Pulleine, Col. Dunford, Capt. Russell, Hodson (killed), Anstey, Daly, Mostyn, Dyer, Griffith, Pope, Austin, Pulleine (2 Mr.) Shepherd (S... major) Wardell (killed), Younghusband, Degacher, Porteous, Carage Dyson, Atkinson - Coghill is believed to have escaped & also Melvill"; written across a recycled chit originally inscribed: "7101 Mealies / 5565 d(itt)o (both in brackets) to Sandspruit off a load from P.M. Burg [Pietermaritzburg)] 21/1/79", 3 pages, written on blue-grey wove paper, originally folded for delivery, two very slight abrasions where formerly mounted, Rorke's Drift, 24 January 1879.







Although the Rorke's Drift letter was the highest price of the day there were over 700 other lots in the auction. A collection of autographs also sold well, they included Sir Arthur Sullivan, Fritz Kreisler, John Souza and Ellen Terry selling for over £2,700. The Chinese ceramics section also went well with a heavily damaged Kangxi vase making £3300 and an early 20th century polychrome onion vase making £1,000. One of the most aesthetically pleasing lots in the sale was an Asprey's silver car mascot that depicted a discus thrower, sculpted by Louis Lejeune it adorned the vendors fathers Rolls Royce and sold to a telephone bidder for just over £3,000. Other sale highlights included a three stone diamond and sapphire ring of delicate proportions that sold for £1,100, an aquamarine and diamond pendent £3,000 and a pretty Georgian dresser base that made £1,000.

Henry Aldridge and Son are now accepting entries for their last auction of 2014 on December 13th. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




"Titanic Success for Wiltshire Auctioneers"

Although the Titanic sank over 102 years ago, demand for memorabilia from her shows little sign of abating. Henry Aldridge and Son's latest auction of 250 lots of Titanic and Transport memorabilia on October 18th saw interest from around the world. Due to the auctioneer's extensive list of media contacts, major organisations all of the world covered the story with headlines such as "Titanic artefacts fetch six-figure sum at Wiltshire auction".

A mystique has built up around the story since her demise on a cold April night in 1912 with the loss of 1517 lives. Ironically though it was not until Walter Lord's film a Night to Remember was realised in 1958 that the story was brought back to the attention of the media in general. Several films came and went after what is still seen by many as the definitive movie on the subject. Until in 1998 James Cameron's Titanic broke all box office records and took the world by storm taking the subject to a new audience.

The stars of the show included an extremely rare First Class menu dated April 12th 1912 for luncheon on board the Titanic. This opulent menu offered over 40 options for lunch. It was saved by First Class passenger Elise Lurette, she was born on 16th November 1852 and was travelling with her employers William and Marie Spencer as First Class passengers on board the Titanic. Elisa boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg on 10th April 1912. On the night of the sinking after a member of the ship's crew had knocked on her cabin door she put a coat on over her nightdress. In that coat were a menu from 12th April 1912 and a plan of Titanic's First Class accommodation. Elisa was rescued in lifeboat number 6 and was severely traumatized by her experiences recalling the screams of those in the water and their attempts to climb into the lifeboat. The menu was folded in two by Ms Lurette possibly prior to it going into her coat pocket. It stayed in her coat during her rescue from the Titanic on board lifeboat 6. Only a handful of menus survived the sinking of the Titanic and those from April 12th are among the rarest of the rare, it sold for over £60,000. Also included in the archive was one of the only Titanic plans of First Class accommodation to have travelled on board the ship and survived. This was Elise Lurette's personal copy and was rescued due to it being in Ms Lurette's coat pocket. Stateroom B76 is marked with a large cross in pencil. The plan would have been Ms Lurette's map to the First Class areas and would have been an invaluable asset to her as she found her way round the ship, it sold to a collector from Monaco for over £30,000.




Joseph Bell was Chief Engineer on board RMS Titanic and a senior member of the crew. Joseph served aboard the Olympic before being transferred to the Titanic. He "stood-by" the ship during her construction in Belfast. Bell died in the sinking leaving behind Maud and their four children, his body was never recovered. A lot of particular interest was a letter written on board Titanic, on crew stationery, from Queenstown on April 11th 1912. Mr Bell wrote it to his son Frank. 'I hope you got to Belfast alright to start work on time, I got your wire from Liverpool, we have made a good run from Southampton, and everything is working A1. We nearly had a collision with the New York & Oceanic when leaving Southampton, the wash of our propellers made the two ships range about when we were passing them, this made their mooring ropes break and the New York set off across the river until the tugs got hold of her again, no damage was done but it looked like trouble at the time, keep well and be a good lad, regards to Mr Johnston. Letters written by senior members of the crew are few and far between and although in two pieces, it exceeded expectations to sell for £24,000.

An extremely rare key to Titanic steward Sidney Sedunary's locker on board R.M.S. Titanic attracted global interest. Bidding for particularly fierce for this item with buyers from all over the globe participating principally from the UK, USA, South America and China. This very corroded iron key with brass tag 'Locker 27' 'E Deck' sold for over £60,000.

Henry Aldridge and Son are the leading auctioneers in the world of Titanic and White Star Line Memorabilia. They have several thousand collectors from all over the globe on their database who specialise in all variety of Titanic and Transport collectables, entries are now being accepted for their next auction of Titanic and Transport memorabilia in April 2015 and of Antiques, Collectables and Manuscripts on November 15th. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




Hollywood Stardust

A little bit of Hollywood stardust was sprinkled on Henry Aldridge and Son's Antique and Collectors auction of Saturday 20th September. Nearly 1000 lots of all shapes and sizes went under the hammer at the full to bursting saleroom in Bath Road, Devizes.

The star of the show was a unique negative of Norma Jeane Baker, later Marilyn Monroe, taken at Zuma Beach, Malibu at the very start of her career in 1946, by Hollywood photographer Joseph Jasgur. International press coverage preceded the auction with the BBC and numerous organisations in the United States covering its sale. Several collectors from all over the world battled to own this piece of history with the eventual buyer paying £4,250. The photo itself formed part of her first modelling portfolio that was presented to Ben Lyon, casting director at 20th Century Fox. Norma Jeane Baker married James Dougherty in 1942, soon after Dougherty's Merchant Marines unit was shipped out and Norma Jeane was left to work at a defence plant. With aspirations of becoming a model she joined Hollywood's Blue Book Model Agency. On March 6, 1946 Joseph Jasgur received a call from Emmeline Snively, head of Blue Book, Snively asked Jasgur to take a few test shots of an aspiring young model, he first photographed her on a small street in West Hollywood behind Beverly Boulevard and over the next few weeks he photographed her on top of Don Lee Towers, above the Hollywood sign and at Zuma Beach where this image was taken. This photo offers a unique glimpse of the young girl who was later to become the global phenomena that was Marilyn Monroe.




The Collectors section of the auction went exceptionally well with a small collection of Louis Wain postcards selling for £600, Three pre war aeronautical posters £1,000, a Sutlej medal from the first Anglo Sikh War in 1845 £1,000 and a taxidermy example of a Carp presented by Hardy Brothers of Alnwick £2,150. Other noteworthy prices were £1,500 for a late 19th/early 20th century Qing Charger, £4,000 for a 2ct Platinum ladies solitaire ring, £820 for a Dunhill Namiki travelling pen and £5,000 for a small collection of Gold coins.

Henry Aldridge and Son's next auction is the Titanic and Transport on October 18th, star lots include one of the only First Class menus that survived the sinking of the Titanic dated April 12th in existence which is estimated at £50,000-£60,000. Henry Aldridge and Son's next free valuation day is on October 9th between 10am and 3.30pm. Members of the public are invited to bring either Antiques or Collectables to the Wiltshire Auctioneer with the Worldwide Reputation for a free appraisal.

Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




June offers an Eclectic Mix

Henry Aldridge and Son's latest auction of Saturday 21st June offered an eclectic mix of antiques and collectables comprising of nearly 800 lots.

The sale started with Flog It! Presenter Paul Martin starring as a guest auctioneer for the auction of a wonderful adult size model of The Tree Man from Lord of the Rings, it showed Tolkien writing his book. All of the proceeds of the sale of that lot went to Keevil Primary School, it made a very respectable £90.

The star of the show was an exceptionally rare set of Russian playing cards by K.M. Gribanov in the first quarter of the 19th century. They attracted interest from all over Europe, Russia and the United States. Each card depicted a different Russian province, showing local costume and the provincial coat of arms. Highly prized by collectors of Russian ephemera, they were discovered by the auctioneers during a house call. Intense competition between five phone bidders resulted in them selling for over £21,000.




Ephemera was well represented on all levels ranging from collections of postcards amounting to many thousands of cards including humorous, topographical and transport examples. Several large albums of Victorian photos from tours around the world gave the viewer a fascinating snap shot into days gone by, subjects included India, New Zealand, Australia, Africa and even the Wimbledon Tennis Championships shortly before World War One, they ranged in value from low to high hundreds of pounds per lot. The Wimbledon photos attracted a good level of publicity prior to the auction with coverage in both the Daily Mail online and Daily Express.

A collection of banknotes attracted interest from collectors due to several rare runs of post war Bank of England notes, two lots of 10/- groups made £1,500 each.

A good selection of Oil Paintings from Urchfont Manor included examples by a Follower of Van Dyck, an oil on canvas by Dorofield Hardy of Lord Chief Baron Hanworth; Ernest Pollock 1st Viscount and a stunning oil by Dorofield Hardy of Sir Jonathan Fredrick Pollock, 1st Baronet of Hatton 1783 - 1870, the latter two lots made £1,800 each.

As ever collectables attracted a strong following with an early 19th century Irish flintlock blunderbuss complete with its bayonet selling for £1,000 and a rare collection of Olympic gold coins £4,000.

Henry Aldridge and Son hold monthly free valuation days where members of the public from all over Wiltshire and the West Country bring items in for their experts to appraise. The next free valuation day is on July 3rd between 10am and 3.30pm.

Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




Treasures Galore at Devizes Auction Rooms

Henry Aldridge and Son's latest auction of Antiques, Collectables and Coins on May 10th yielded some excellent results for those who consigned to the auction.

A packed sale of good quality traditional antiques and collectables together with a very large collection of proof coins and jewellery went under the hammer. Without doubt one of the most charming items was an exquisite 17th century Dutch school oil on panel still life of flowers, although it needed a little attention it sold to a buyer from London bidding on the telephone made £2100.

The jewellery, gold and silver collection on offer was one of the best Devizes has seen for a number of years. The high points were a 2ct Diamond solitaire ring that sold for £6,000, a white gold Tanzanite and Diamond dress style ring which made over £5,000 and a collection of gold and silver proof coins made over £10,000.




The clearance of a Victorian villa near Chippenham yielded some wonderful fresh to the market items from a serious collector that have been acquired over the last 40 years. Antiques of note included a charming Art Nouveau Liberty mantle clock that made £800, a large Moorcroft pomegranate vase £650, collection of postcards £1,200. Despite needing a significant amount of money spent to restore it a Queen Anne Walnut Chest of Drawers made £700 and a late 19th/early 20th century Globe Wernicke bookcase in the Arts style measuring over 6ft tall made £720.

One item grabbed the attention of football memorabilia collectors was a limited edition Adidas Table Football table, it was one of only 19 ever made and signed by some of the greatest ever Premier League footballers including Patrick Viera, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Arjen Robben, it sold to a local man for £600.

Henry Aldridge and Son will be holding a free valuation day on Thursday 15th May where members of the public are invited to bring along jewellery, antiques, medals or collectables for a free appraisal. These events have yielded some magnificent items in the past. Entries are also now invited for the 21st June Collectors and Antiques sale. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




World Records Shattered in 102nd Anniversary Titanic Auction

Unique letter written hours before Titanic sank sells for £119,000

Henry Aldridge and Son, the world's leading auctioneers of Titanic memorabilia held an auction of Titanic collectables to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the loss of the Royal Mail Steamer Titanic on April 26th at 1pm. Media coverage from all over the world preceded the sale with the auctioneers featured on the BBC National News and NBC's Flagship Today Programme in the United States to mention but a few, the end product being three world record prices for Titanic memorabilia were smashed including the one for the most valuable piece of Titanic ephemera. Over 200 lots went under the auctioneers hammer with estimates ranging from £50 ($85) to £100,000 ($168,000).

The star lot of the day was the only known letter written on Titanic stationery on board the ship on Sunday April 14th 1912, the day the liner collided with an iceberg, resulting in the loss of over 1500 lives. This unique piece, complete with its envelope embossed with the White Star Burgee, was written by Second Class passenger Esther Hart, the mother of the famous survivor Eva Hart, and it is featured in Eva Hart's biography "Shadow of the Titanic". She was travelling with her parents, Esther and Benjamin, a master builder, to Canada, where they were to start a new life.





Eva described the poignant events of April 14th in great detail in her biography... "After our very satisfying lunch, the three of us went to the library for a rest for a short time before mother left us to go to bed. She took the opportunity to write a letter to her own mother back in Chadwell Heath. It was intended that the letter would stay with the ship to be delivered on its return journey.

As it was, it was never mailed and survived the disaster with the two of us. "Writing on note paper embossed with the White Star Line flag and headed 'On Board "Titanic"' she makes it very clear that she was not enjoying the trip at all. She gave a very lucid picture of life on the ship through her worried eyes. That Sunday afternoon she wrote: "My Dear ones all, As you see it is Sunday afternoon and we are resting in the library after luncheon. I was very bad all day yesterday could not eat or drink and sick all the while, but today I have got over it. This morning Eva and I went to church and she was so pleased they sang "Oh God our help in ages past" that is her Hymn she sang so nicely. So she sang out loudly she is very bonny. She has had a nice ball and a box of toffee and a photo of this ship bought her today. Everybody takes notice of her through the Teddy Bear. There is to be a concert on board tomorrow night in aid of the Sailors' Home and she is going to sing so am I. Well, the sailors say we have had a wonderful passage up to now. There has been no tempest, but God knows what it must be when there is one. This mighty expanse of water, no land in sight and the ship rolling from side to side is being wonderful. Tho they say this Ship does not roll on account of its size. Any how it rolls enough for me, I shall never forget it. It is very nice weather but awfully windy and cold. They say we may get into New York Tuesday night but we are really due early Wednesday morning, shall write as soon as we get there. This letter won't leave the ship but will remain and come back to England where she is due again on the 26th. Where you see the letter all of a screw is where she rolls and shakes my arm. I am sending you on a menu to show you how we live. I shall be looking forward to a line from somebody to cheer me up a bit. I am always shutting my eyes and I see everything as I left it. I hope you are all quite well. Let this be an all-round letter as I can't write properly to all 'till I can set my foot on shore again. We have met some nice people on board, Lucy, and so it has been nice so far. But oh the long, long days and nights. It's the longest break I have ever spent in my life. I must close now with all our fondest love to all of you. From your loving Ess". "Mother left enough space for me to add my own message written in my large immature letters saying: "heaps of love and kisses to all from Eva".

Interest in the letter came from all over the world with the BBC National Television in attendance to report the result of the sale to the world, the letter sold for over £119,000 ($200,000) to an overseas telephone bidder against competition from collectors in the UK, America and Russia.

An Extremely rare Second Class breakfast menu dated April 11th 1912 again caused significant interest from both collectors and the media alike, at one point the letter was trending as a top story on the American news network Fox News.com . This piece was one of the rarest Titanic menus in existence and one of only a handful of Second Class examples to have survived. It gave a fascinating snapshot into the variety of food on offer in Second Class, although not as sumptuous as the offerings in First Class. It would have been extremely impressive for Second Class passengers who were used to more modest fare on lesser liners. The dishes included Yarmouth Bloaters; Grilled Ox Kidneys & Bacon; American Dry Hash Au Gratin; Grilled Sausage; Mashed Potatoes; Vienna & Graham Rolls.

The sender of the card was a member of the crew, second-class saloon steward, Jacob Gibbons, who was born in Charminster, near Dorchester, on October 10th 1875. When he signed on to the Titanic, he was living at Studland bay, in Dorset. Jacob was one of the crew members who survived the disaster and was rescued from lifeboat 11. Mr Gibbons claimed to be the oldest surviving member of the crew. Again selling for a world record price, this time for a menu it made £87,000 ($145,000), selling to a collector bidding on the telephone. Other rare pieces included a unique Titanic launch ticket which sold for £40,000 ($67,000), a lifeboat plaque £25,000 ($47,000), a postcard written by Fifth Officer Harold Lowe which was purchased by a member of the British Titanic Society for £18,000 ($30,000) and a First Class Deckplan from the Titanic dated December 1911 made £14,750 ($25,000).

Henry Aldridge and Son's next Titanic and Transport auction is on October 18th, entries are now being accepted. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




Broken Vase discovered on routine house visit sells for £1,500

Henry Aldridge and Son's March 29th auction of Antiques and Collectables offered something for everyone. Over 780 lots went under the hammer at the Devizes saleroom's latest offering of Antiques and Collectables.

A strong collection of paintings from a number of private clients led the way with a stunning still life by Benjamin Walter Spiers a highly acclaimed Victorian artist who specialised in that genre selling for £2600 and a small but quite superb oil by Thomas Barker of Leamington of cows grazing making £750.

General Collectables always feature strongly in Devizes and this sale was no exception. A rare vintage leather quilted Chanel handbag sold for £1,000, a World War One Vetinary medal trio £700, a beautiful 18ct gold Emerald bracelet £5,000, a lovely 19th century Alibert French musical clock £1,000 and Royal Naval Dress sword £580.




Henry Aldridge were asked to appraise a number of items in a local property earlier in March and during the valuation, Andrew Aldridge spotted a 16th century Italian Maiolica vase that was destined for the local house clearers. The vase was heavily damaged having converted into a lamp around 50 years ago. It exhibited all of the trade mark signs of a genuine piece of 400 year old Venetian tin glazed pottery. Mr Aldridge informed the rather surprised owner of its age and much to her delight it sold for a little over its top estimate of £1500.

Henry Aldridge and Son's next auction is on April 26th, the first of two dedicated Titanic and Transport sales this year. They are also accepting entries for the May 10th auction whether they be single items or full house clearances and are holding the next free valuation day on the 10th April. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com




Royal Memorabilia Sails into the distance

Henry Aldridge and Son's first auction of 2014 was a resounding success, over 800 lots went under the hammer with a packed saleroom making the effort to attend the auction in some truly atrocious weather conditions combined with numerous internet and telephone bids. The sale achieved some impressive publicity before the auction as has become the way with auctions at Henry Aldridge and Son's Devizes salerooms with results reflecting this.

A unique archive of items relating to King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II, The Queen Mother and the Royal Yachts were among the stars of the auction. They were collected by and given to a member of the Royal Household who rose to the position of Lt. Commander and his posts included being appointed Keeper of the Royal Apartments. Highlights of the collection included two items that sat on King George VI's desk in his study on board HM Yacht Victoria and Albert. They are an ashtray and beautiful quality sycamore desk companion/inkstand. Opportunities to own an item that sat on the desk of a King are few and far between and this was reflected in the interest in the collection which came from as far as New York, Los Angeles and Beijing. Other items from the collection included a paperweight that sat on the Queen's desk in her study on board the Britannia and was used only by the Queen Mother, signed photos presented to the owner by The Queen and Queen Mother after he left the Royal Yacht, an extremely rare Edward VIII Royal Yacht menu card, mixed ephemera and also rare china from the Royal Yachts Osborne, Alexandra and Victoria and Albert, the collection sold for over £7,000.

In typically eclectic style collectors of most genres were well represented with a rare totem from the now defunct Devizes Railway Station selling for £1,040, an album of New Zealand and Colonial postcards £1,500, an archive of postcards relating to a soldier who crossed Russia after World War One making £1,600, a 1930's silver tray £1,200, a small collection of sovereigns £2,400, 19th century tavern clock £3,500 and early 19th century Welsh dresser went back to North Wales going to a phone bidder for £2,300.

An original Beatles Melody Maker Pop Poll plaque from 1965 for Top British Vocal Disc for a Ticket to Ride attracted attention from both collectors and the press alike prior to the auction. Although missing its surround which was regarded by collectors as an integral element, the solid silver award, which showed an inset figure playing a saxophone was purchased by a collector from New York against interest from buyers in France and England for £1,200.







Henry Aldridge and Son hold monthly free valuation days where members of the public from all over Wiltshire and the West Country bring items in for their experts to appraise free of charge. The next free valuation day is on February 28th between 10am and 3.30pm with entries now being invited for the March 15th Antiques and Collectables auction. Please visit www.henry-aldridge.com or contact Alan Aldridge FRSA or Andrew Aldridge BA Hons MRICS Chartered Arts and Antiques Surveyor on 01380 729199 or andrew@henryaldridge.com







Top of Page

AUCTIONEERS AND VALUERS

Unit 1 | Bath Road Business Centre | Bath Road | Devizes | Wiltshire | SN10 1XA
Tel: (01380) 729199 / (01380) 720900
www.henry-aldridge.co.uk