Second World War Relic up for Auction

A Second World War Liberty ship launch bottle is one of the more unusual lots included in the Charterhouse two day specialist collectors auction in September. “In many ways it is quite a bizarre item to auction. During my 27 year auctioneering career, I have always regarded glass which has been broken into a thousand pieces as being of no commercial value, so this is a real change to put a broken bottle into one of my auctions! ” Commented Richard Bromell. “This is a fascinating piece of modern history. It is the first time it has ever appeared on the open market and is estimated at a modest £100-150. “The bottle, which is wrapped in a patriotic red, white and blue cloth, was used to launch the Liberty steam ship AR18 on July 8th 1944. Mrs R Millar, the vendor’s late mother-in-law, conducted the ceremony and was selected as her husband worked in the Admiralty. With the bottle, there are several photographs of the launch, the ship at sea, a few letters and a presentation mahogany box. AR18 was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Diligence, a repair and maintenance ship. HMS Diligence was returned the US Navy in 1946, laid up at Suisun Bay and then scrapped in Karachi in 1973.Liberty ships were cargo ships built in the USA during World War Two. They were ordered by the British to replace ships destroyed by German U Boats to keep the war effort going and 2,751 liberty ships were built between 1941 and 1945. Although only designed for a lifespan of five years, many sailed on after the war and today there are still two left in service.Charterhouse is now accepting further entries for their busy programme of auctions including motorcycles and automobilia in September closely followed by model cars, stamps, postcards, clocks, coins, medals and collectors’ items also in September and then pictures and books in October.For more information regarding these auctions, or to arrange a free home visit, please contact Richard Bromell, Director, at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne, Dorset on 01935 812277 or via email rbromell@charterhouse-auction.comPart of the launch lot estimated at £100-150:Mrs Millar swings the bottle to launch the shipHMS Diligence at seaCharterhouse member of staff James Butler with the launch bottleQuick Links
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For further information regarding this article, please contact Richard Bromell, Director