News & Blog


Posted on Sat, 30 January 2010 by Phil Mussell - Medal News

Market scene October - December 2009

The sheer number of sales in October, November and December 2009 means that we aren't able to accommodate full reports for each within the pages of MEDAL NEWS therefore we have highlights within the magazine with the full reports appearing here:

Thomson Roddick & Medcalf, the Carlisle auctioneers, included a smaller number than usual (46) of medal or medal-related lots in their October sale in Shaddongate.

An impressive group comprised Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Crimea Medal clasp Sebastopol, Turkish Crimea, Jubilee Medal 1887 to Lt John Ommanney Hopkins, RN [524]; the catalogue provided brief biographical details, including the fact that he was promoted Admiral in 1896, and was at one time C-in-C of the American and West Indies, and later the Mediterranean, Fleets. This easily beat the top estimate of £2,500 to reach £4,025 (including buyers’ premium of 15 per cent).

Among the World War I lots was a Military Medal (GV), British War & Victory Medals to (Sgt) R. C. Bourhill, 52/King’s Regiment [501]. Presented in a wooden frame with a photograph, the medals were, unusually, accompanied by a document setting out the impressive citation for his gallantry on September 1, 1918. This was not enough, however, to ensure that the lot met its lower estimate of £800, and it sold for £750 (hammer, £863 in total). Even more interesting was Lot 541, which was catalogued as a BWM & VM pair to Lt P. Broatch, 23/Northumberland Fusiliers, who was recorded as having been awarded the Military Cross in 1917. It was estimated at £50–80, but the Military Cross came to light after the catalogue was printed; it was sold with the pair, and the lot made £1,495. Territorial Force War Medals, even as singles, are usually popular, and the medal to Pte W. Barton, Wiltshire Regiment [518], realised the top estimate of £150 (hammer, £173 in all). Probably the most impressive sale of the day in relative terms was the 1914–15 Star Trio, Scroll and Memorial Plaque to Pte William Henry Wilson, 11/Border Regiment, who was killed on July 1, 1916 [544]. This battalion was recruited mainly from the Westmoreland area, and the lot was therefore a local group for TRM, so the estimate of £200–300 was surely a misjudgement. 1914–15 Star Trios to First Day of the Somme fatal casualties have been selling for £450–500, and this lot was bid up to £1,093; it was an exceptional price, but probably reflected the unusual completeness of medals, plaque and scroll, and the local connection.

An attractive World War II group consisting of General Service Medal 1918 clasp Palestine, 1939–45/Africa/Italy Stars, Defence & War Medals (MiD), Croix de Guerre, Dunkirk Medal, to Tpr H. L. Turrell, 11th Hussars [514]. As the group was mounted as worn, it appeared to be worthy of detailed research (neither the MiD nor the Croix de Guerre was catalogued with an award date), but it did not appeal hugely to the bidders, achieving no more than £190 (hammer, £219 in all) against a bottom estimate of £240. The same fate met the Queen’s Korea and UN Korea pair to J. E. Brown, SM RN [510], which had a lower estimate of £120, but which was knocked down at £95 (£110 in all).