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:
Sale number 75 from Lockdales included a medals and militaria section comprising 354 lots, of which 181 were medal or medal-related lots.
The sale included two Waterloo Medals which were interesting for different reasons. The medal to Robert Hill, 1/52nd Foot [Lot 1291], just beat its top estimate of £1,900 to make £2,345 (including the buyer’s premium of 17.25 per cent), in spite of his entitlement to an absent seven-clasp Military General Service Medal. The other Waterloo Medal  was clearly catalogued as “renamed” to “Wm Walker, 43’d Reg’t Volunteers”; with a top estimate of £350, it sold, amazingly, for £516.
Unusually, several lots of apparently attractive Victorian medals failed to sell, despite having realistic estimates, but others achieved good results, one of which was the Crimea Medal with four clasps, Long Service Medal and Turkish Crimea Medal to Thomas Griffiths ; the Crimea Medal was catalogued as “neatly and contemporarily engraved in upright serif capitals” to him in the 13th Light Dragoons; the Long Service Medal was impressed to 18th Hussars. The catalogue recorded that this group was last auctioned at Spink (April 2007, when it sold for £2,400 hammer). Clearly the successful bidder was convinced of the genuineness of the medals, and of Griffiths as a “Charger”, paying the bottom estimate of £3,000 (hammer, £3,518 in total). Another good Victorian lot that found a buyer was an Indian Mutiny Medal with clasps Lucknow, Relief Of Lucknow, to George Reynolds, 1/23rd Fusiliers ; although it did not make its bottom estimate of £450, it got as far as £420 (hammer, £492 altogether). A South Africa Medal 1877 clasp 1879 to Pte J. Clarke, 2/4th Foot , appeared to have a high estimate at £420–430, but it was bought for £425 hammer (£498 in all). An 1882 Egypt Medal and Khedive’s Star pair awarded to Leading Seaman H. Walters, HMS Inconstant, in NEF condition , sold for the bottom estimate of £200 (£235 in total). A well researched group comprised Lot 1106: Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (Pte, 1/Suffolk Regiment) and 1914–15 Star (Pte, Essex Regiment) to George Fleming; sold with a variety of ephemera and documentation it easily beat its top estimate of £250 to realise £352. A single QSA clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State to Pte J. Carter, 2/Grenadier Guards , who was wounded at Senekal, came in mid-estimate at £135 (hammer, £158 with premium).Yet another QSA with clasps Cape Colony, Wepener, Transvaal, Wittebergen appeared in this sale, named Edmund Keighley, 1/Brabants Horse ; several QSAs with these clasps have been on the market in the last year, the most recent being to ORC W. Harrington, Brabant’s Horse, which achieved £380 (hammer) at Bosleys in September, and to Pte J. J. Cronin, Cape Mounted Rifles, which made £360 (hammer) at Bonhams in July. Keighley’s medal, with a top estimate of £320, sold for £380 (hammer, £446 in total), confirming the market price for these relatively scarce medals.
As usual, Lockdales offered a large number of diverse World War I lots. There is still a strong market for even single medals to fatal casualties of World War I, and this was exemplified by the British War Medal to John Brown, 1/Black Watch, who was killed in action in October 1914 ; with a top estimate of £35 it made as much as £53. 1914 Star & Bar Trios are even more popular, as witnessed by Lot 1200, to Arthur Archer, a reservist in 1/Northamptonshire Regiment, killed in January 1915; the top estimate was £225, but it achieved £270. Lot 1007 was an attractive 1914–15 Star Trio to 2/Lt C. Bellamy, 2/King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (Pte, Rifle Brigade on the Star); Bellamy was commissioned in December 1917, and was also stated to have served in the Royal Air Force. Worthy of much more research, this group sold mid-estimate for £115 (hammer, £135 in total). Another 1914–15 Star Trio, this time to the Royal Navy and with a service record, was awarded to A. G. Barton ; it reached the bottom estimate of £75 (hammer, £88 in all). A really fine and researchable British War & Victory Medal pair, Memorial Plaque and Scroll, was awarded to Job Munford, 1/Essex Regiment, who was killed in April 1917 ; he came from Shelfanger (north of Diss), Norfolk, almost local for Lockdales, and the top estimate of £150 was easily overtaken with the successful bidder paying £235. Another fatal casualty group to beat its top estimate (of £250) was the 1914–15 Star Trio and Scroll to Frank Emms, 1/5th North Staffordshire Regiment , who was killed in April 1916; together with various documents and ephemera it was bid up to £317. The BWM/VM pair and Medaille de la Rheine Elisabeth to VAD M. Kirkham  was accompanied by a photograph album of wounded soldiers, and cleared its top estimate of £200 to sell for £363.
An intriguing group comprised 1914–15 Star Trio (Pte, 18th Hussars), India General Service Medal 1908 clasp North West Frontier 1930–31 (S-Sgt, IASC) and Indian Army Long Service Medal (Sub-Conductor) to F. Berry . The intriguing aspect was the inclusion in the lot of a group of miniatures which included 1939–45/Africa Stars, India Service Medal and War Medal. Together with a great deal of supporting documentation, the lot easily beat its top estimate of £250 to reach £399. Lot 1194 was worthy of much greater research, connecting as it did the two World Wars; it was awarded to William Joseph Jarvis, and consisted of 1914–15 Star Trio, Long Service Medal (HMS Marlborough), Naval Good Shooting Medal (HMS Bonaventure), 1939–45/Atlantic Stars, War Medal (as well as three Chatham Port Shooting medals). The lot included a service record, and although the medals were polished, the successful bidder had to pay £492 against a top estimate of £400.
A World War II group comprising 1939–45 Star, Defence & War Medals, Efficiency Medal clasp Territorial (GVI), Dunkirk Medal, King Albert 1 FRVRA–KVVKA Veterans’ Medal (Belgium) was awarded to William Alfred Bright, RA [1097); although the catalogue recorded that the group was accompanied by research, the top estimate of £90 was presumably low as the medals were polished, but the lot was bid up to £164, clearly a desirable buy even in this condition.
Of the post-war medals, a General Service Medal 1962 clasp Northern Ireland to L/Cpl S. C. Harris, Queen’s Lancashire Regiment , possibly because of its edge knock, failed to reach its bottom estimate of £65, making £60 (hammer, £70 in all). Similarly an unusual (and unresearched) GSM 1918 with clasps Palestine 1945–48, Cyprus to Gunner F. Wiles, RA , also achieved its bottom estimate of £75 (£88 total).
There was very little gallantry material in this sale, but the Military Medal and 1914 Star Trio to T/Sgt H. Barrell, 54/F Coy RE , catalogued as in mint condition, and unresearched apart from the London Gazette date, was bid up to a mid-estimate of £450 (hammer, £528 altogether).