A Rolls-Royce fit for Royalty

A 1951 Rolls-Royce, which carried members of the Royal Family, is going under the Charterhouse hammer in their auction of classic and vintage cars on Sunday 15th July.

“Rarely do you come across a car with such interesting history.” Commented Matthew Whitney. “The car has survived quite well over the past over the past 68 years although the blue leather seats have suffered over the decades but this was probably down to the heat of Africa rather than the bottoms of Royalty!”

The 1951 Rolls-Royce, a Silver Dawn, was transported shortly after to Kenya aboard the SS Dunotter Castle. Arriving in Mombasa the car would have been used for the visit of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh had not King George VI not passed away during the royal couple’s tour cutting their visit short with them having to return to Britain.


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Mantiques under the Hammer

June is a busy month for Charterhouse Auctioneers as they have two auctions with a slant toward mantiques.

First up there is the Charterhouse auction of classic car and motorcycles on Sunday 17th June at The Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet. Included in the auction are nearly 30 classic motorcycles which have been dragged out of a rural Somerset barn.

“All the bikes from the barn are covered in layers of dust which has accumulated on them over the past 30 years or so.” Commented Matthew Whitney. “The owner, a serial motorcycle owner, has decided he will never get around to restoring these bikes and to let someone else dust them off and enjoy them.”

There is a broad range of classic motorcycles from the barn including a 1977 Yamaha FS1E, a 1965 Matchless, a 1960’s Cougar Cotton, a circa 1964 Triumph Tiger Cub Trials Special and a late 1970’s Honda 400 Four. Estimates on the motorcycles range from £200 up to £1,500.

This auction is then closely followed by the Charterhouse two day auction on 21st & 22nd June.

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Reverends Military Medals under the Hammer

A trio of World War One medals, awarded to The Reverend Nathaniel George Railton who served in the Army Chaplains Department, are going under the charterhouse hammer in Sherborne in their 21st & 22nd June collectors’ auction.

“The medals come to Charterhouse for a distant family relation and have never been on the open market before.” Commented Richard Bromell. “Over the years I have sold hundreds of these trios but what makes this group really interesting is not only are the medals awarded to a military chaplain, but he was also the brother of Reverend David Railton who had the idea of The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.”

Reverend David Railton conceived the idea for The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, also known as the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, when in France during 1916. He was serving as a Chaplain on the Western Front and had seen a grave marked with a rough cross which bore the pencil written legend “An Unknown British Soldier”.

After the war, in 1920, he wrote to the Duke of Westminster proposing that an unidentified British soldier from the battlefields in France be buried with due ceremony in Westminster Abbey “among the kings” to represent the many hundreds of thousands of Empire dead.

The idea was strongly supported by the Dean and David Lloyd George, the Prime Minister. Plans were made and the body of an unknown soldier from the battlefields of France was chosen at random.

On the morning of 11th November 1920, the casket was place on a gun carriage from the Royal Horse Artillery. Drawn by a team of six horses the casket was taken to Westminster Abbey passing a vast and silent crowd.

The cortege was followed by The King, members of The Royal Family and ministers of state to Westminster Abbey. It was placed in the West Nave of the Abbey flanked by a guard of honour of over 100 recipients of the Victoria Cross.

Today, this is the only grave in Westminster Abbey which it is forbidden to walk on.

Charterhouse are now accepting further entries for their 21st & 22nd June specialist auction of coins, medals, stamps, clocks and collector’s items including a single owner lifetime collection of model cars and automobilia and for their 17th June auction of classic and vintage cars.

For further information regarding these auctions please contact Richard Bromell at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277 or via email info@charterhouse-auction.com

Richard Bromell with the trio of First World War medals awarded to Rev N G Railton ACD £150-250*

*Plus 25.2% buyers premium (inc VAT)

Barn full of Bikes

The Charterhouse auction of classic motorcycles and cars on Sunday 17th June includes a single owner collection of barn stored motorcycles.

“The collection certainly puts a slant on the term barn fresh!” Commented Matthew Whitney. “The owner has over the past few decades bought, rode and then put in the barn dozens of motorcycles and has decided it is now the time to have a sort out and free up some more space.”

There are nearly 30 motorcycles being sold from this collection which is expected to sell for up to £20,000. Needing restoration they are all under decades of dust and will offer a great opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to choose a project to keep them busy over the winter months.

Motorcycles in the collection include a Yamaha FS1E £800-1,200, a Honda SS50 £400-600*, a Cotton Cougar trials £800-1,200*, a Greeves Griffin £1,500-1,800*, a Honda 400 Four £1,400-1,600*, a Matchless 250cc £500-700*, and a Triumph Tiger Cub trials special £800-1,200*.

The auction on Sunday 17th June is being held in conjunction with The Footman James Bristol Classic Car Show which attracts huge numbers of enthusiasts, collectors and dealers running on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th June at The Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet.

For further information regarding this auction, or enter a classic or vintage motorcycle into the Netley Marsh Motorcycle Auction on 1st September, contact Matthew Whitney or Naomi Grabham at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277 or via email mw@charterhouse-auction.com

*plus 13.2% buyer’s premium (inc VAT)

Diamond Rocks and Silver Service at Charterhouse


The huge Charterhouse May two day auction on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th has a vast array of lots estimated to sell from £50 up to £10,000.

On Thursday 24th May there are 600 lots of silver, jewellery and watches. In the jewellery there is a diamond necklace with about 10ct of diamonds estimated at £8,500-10,000*, a large three stone diamond ring £6,500-7,500*, a large pair of diamond stud earrings £5,000-6,000* and an early 20th century diamond pendant brooch £2,500-3,500*.

In the silver section there is a Regency silver claret jug £700-1,000*, a large early 19th century silver ewer £1,000-1,500* and a Victorian silver gilt and glass Cellini pattern claret jug at £4,000-5,000*.

In the watch department there are both ladies and gentlemen’s Rolex, Longines, Omega, Jaeger-Le Coultre and International Watch Company with estimates up to £1,500*.


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Mini is a Show Stopper

A Mini, dating from the early swinging sixties, is entered into the Charterhouse classic car auction on Sunday 17th June.

“Mini cars are motoring icons and every time I see an early model it put a smile on my face.” Commented Matthew Whitney. “With excellent parts availability, simple mechanics, their diminutive size, bags of character and fun to drive Mini’s appeal to classic cars enthusiasts of all ages.”

The Mini first made an appearance in 1959. Designed by Sir Alec Issigonis it was revolutionary with its space saving transverse engine front wheel drive layout and was so popular it carried on in production until 2000 with sales of over 5 million Mini’s.

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Mighty MGs

The Charterhouse auction of classic and vintage cars on Wednesday 11th April has a group of MG’s dating from 1930 up to 1974.

“MG, the initials for Morris Garage, as a marque has been in the heart of this nation since its formation in the early 1920’s.” Commented Matthew Whitney. “Production in the early years was all about two seater sports cars and in our auction we have pulled together a fabulous selection of MG’s from several collections from across the West Country representing some 44 years of British sports car production.”

The earliest MG in the auction is a 1930 MG M-Type Double Twelve. Finished in British racing green, this pretty looking vintage MG has been lovingly and painstakingly restored by its owner over the past decade. In all probability now being in a better than new condition, this early MG is estimated at £38,000-42,000*.

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Asian Art

A pair of Chinese vases are estimated to sell for £6,000-10,000* when they are being sold by Charterhouse in Sherborne in their April Asian Art auction. “Whilst we have a fantastic selection of Chinese, Japanese and other Asian ceramics, bronze Buddha’s, scroll paintings, silver, furniture and works of art, it is a pair of Chinese millefleurs vases which are one of the stand out lots in the sale for me.” Commented Richard Bromell.

“Painted in bright famille rose enamel colours with millefleurs, or a thousand flowers, they are wonderful quality and will appeal not only to Chinese mainland collectors, but also Europeans and of course the Americans who really go in for this look and design.”

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Liberty Library Books

A collection of art related books from the library of Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty, founder of one of London’s best known shops Liberty & Co in Regent Street, are going under the Charterhouse hammer in their auction on Friday 19th January.

“The name Liberty is synonymous with design and the books from the library are a good run the popular arts books called The Studio Magazine.” Commented Richard Bromell. “The Studio Magazine was founded in 1893 by Charles Holme who had previously travelled with Sir Arthur and his wife through Japan and America so it is not entirely unsurprising that Sir Arthur collected the books from volume I in 1893.”

The Studio Magazine was international in scope and promoted the work of new art artists, architects and designers. The books going under the Charterhouse hammer are mostly bound to match and run to 111 volumes, albeit with the occasional missing volume, and are estimated at £600-1,000*.

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Picture Perfect

A collection of pictures from a Dorset deceased estate are to be sold in the first Charterhouse auction of the New Year.

“The pictures have been collected over a period of years, hung on the walls and enjoyed.” Commented Richard Bromell. “They generally date from the Victorian period onwards but there are also some more modern and contemporary pictures which work well with the more traditional subjects.

Included in the collection are a pair of oil paintings by William Meadows with a view of Santa Maria della Salute from the Grand Canal and its pair. Dating towards the end of the 19th century, signed and measuring 39 x 60 cm this pair of pictures are estimated at £1,500-2,500.

Also showing life in the Victorian age, but no in such a romantic way as a view in Venice is an oil painting by Nicolas Condy. A West Country artist, the Charterhouse picture portrays a harsh existence in a rustic kitchen and is estimated at £1,000-1,500.

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