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Brian Goodison-Blanks
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About Brian Goodison-Blanks
Brian Goodison-Blanks is the Head of the Maritime and Sporting Department at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood. He is based at Honiton in Devon.
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.

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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, December 23, 2014

After nearly 30 years, an extremely rare variation of a 1950s Matchbox model will be returning to auction at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood in our Sporting and Collectors Sale of 25th February 2015. The opportunity to acquire such a unique piece will be a great attraction to any collector.

Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood are honoured to have been instructed to undertake the sale of the collection of the Late Mr Phillip Tarbox. He was a passionate collector and member of The Matchbox International Collectors Association. His collection includes a rare variation of a Lesney ‘Model Of Yesteryear’ Y8, 1926 Cowley Bullnose Morris with a tow hitch.



An extremely rare Lesney First Series Model of Yesteryear Y8 Cowley Bullnose with tow hitch.

The story behind how Mr Tarbox acquired this rare variation of a well-known model is one that many collectors around the world dream of but only few ever have the opportunity.  As a regular collector and buyer at auction, a simple catalogue description of ‘ten boxed Models of Yesteryear and two unboxed models’ in a sale in Exeter in April 1986 piqued his interest and he purchased the lot for a modest price.

On closer examination, the Bullnose model revealed that it had a tow hook on the rear of the chassis and so further investigation began.  In the days long before email and social media, Mr Tarbox wrote to Matchbox and sent photographs of the model to confirm that it was correct.



Underside of Chassis.

Engineers from Matchbox thoroughly examined the piece and confirmed that it was correct and that it was not a manufacturing fault of excess casting or flash.  This was also confirmed by the MICA members and magazine editor at the Farnham swapmeet in September 1986, and published in the MICA magazine. (Vol 2 No4 1986).


Rear View of Chassis

It is not known how many of these variations exist and they rarely come up at auction. Mr Tarbox’s model in its original box and a copy of the MICA magazine with his photographs are included in the sale.  This provenance will no doubt help it achieve the upper end of its pre-sale estimate of £600-£800.

Why not discuss this on Twitter using the hash tag #MatchboxModel? Don't forget to tweet us @BHandL

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014 7:22:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Collectable Toys | Collectors | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood will be at the Honiton Show (on 7th August 2014) again this year at Avenue A15. 

We shall be on hand to say hello to all our regular clients and provide details for anyone thinking of buying or selling at auction. We will also be happy to answer any other questions you may have on the services we provide or the antiques market in general.

 a collection of items on offer in an upcoming auction.

A collection of items on offer in an upcoming auction.

East Devon's award winning public art gallery,  THG (Thelma Hulbert Gallery), who host our regular Honiton valuation mornings every Thursday between 10:00am to 1:00pm, will also be on our stand - so stop by and browse designer cards and prints, together with some colouring-in activities for the kids.

We look forward to meeting everyone and sharing a glass of wine with you whatever the weather!

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014 8:04:14 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Wednesday, June 04, 2014
HMS Victory is perhaps the most iconic ship of Nelson’s career, but what of her predecessor?

HMS Foudroyant is a ship perhaps better known to the Victorians than to many people today, but her significance in Nelson's career was equally as important as the Victory.


 hms foudroyant wall cabinet constructed form ship's timbers and copper est £5000-7000

HMS Foudroyant wall cabinet constructed form ship's timbers and copper. Est £5,000-£7,000.


Laid down in 1789, this was the second ship to be given the name Foudroyant and was the second two-decker to be built carrying 80 guns. Modelled upon the French Foudroyant, Nelson took great interest in her development and had intentions of making her his flagship as soon as she was launched, but took the Vanguard instead as Foudroyant had not yet been completed.

Nelson transferred his flag to the Foudroyant in 1799 while dealing with the return of the Neapolitan Royal family to Naples, she returned under the flag of Captain John Clarke Searle in June 1801. Foudroyant returned home after the Napoleonic wars to become the guardship of Plymouth in 1819 and was converted to a gunnery training ship in 1862, a role she undertook until 1894 when she returned to port duties.

In 1891, she was sold out of service and immediately resold to a German shipbreaking company, the ensuing public protest led to her being repurchased by Wheatly Cobb who refitted her as a training ship. In order to recoup the £20,000 cost of refitting she was taken around English seaside resorts for exhibition, but was wrecked at Blackpool in 1897 during a violent storm. The wreck was sold for £250 to a Mr Hayhurst who began to dismantle the ship, but relinquished the task when a passer by was injured by a dynamite blast, after which she was purchased by the Manchester firm of Goodall Lamb & Heighway.

This cabinet is styled in the form of the stern of the great ship and should attract a great deal of interest in the Maritime Sale of 11th June 2014 (MA14/179).
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Wednesday, June 04, 2014 10:10:26 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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The next specialist Maritime Sale on 11th June 2014 at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood's Westcountry auction centre in Exeter, has a number of pieces relating to Lord Nelson and his career.

Perhaps the most interesting is a short note in Nelson's own hand writing (MA14/147)  to a Mr Lovell on September 3rd 1803, discussing the shipment of a pipe of best port wine to Canterbury.


a hand written letter by lord horatio nelson 1st viscount nelson

A hand written letter by Lord Horatio Nelson 1st Viscount Nelson.


Nelson's handwriting and signature of this period are very distintice, due to him having to adapt to using his left hand after loosing his arm at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1797.  Nelson's difficulty with writing often  meant his correspondances had apologies for not being longer.  This short note asking the shipment of port to be sent to a D Nelson of Canterbury could refer to Nelson's older brother William Nelson, who was Prebendary of Canterbury 1803-1805.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2014 9:10:06 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Saturday, April 12, 2014

Our team of valuers cover the whole of the South West and are now covering the Bournemouth (Dorset) area. As one of the Westcountry's leading auctioneers, Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s range of fine art sales, weekly antiques and collectables auctions and specialist sales provide clients with a comprehensive auction service. With sales conducted from our Westcountry auction centre in Exeter, live internet bidding ensures a truly International market for fine art and speciality pieces. 

FJ Widgery Low Tide at Newquay Cornwall consigned from Bournemouth for the July 2014 Fine Art Sale. Estimate £600-£800.

From George III mahogany urns at £350,000 to mint boxed Dinky cars at £200, our aim is to provide clients in Bournemouth with a high level of service.
Should you wish to take the opportunity of our valuation services, one of our valuers will be in the Bournemouth area for free home visits, valuations and advice for selling at auction on Wednesday, 14th May 2014.  For further information on the range of sales and services provided by Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood available to both buyers and sellers in the Bournemouth area, please contact Brian Goodison-Blanks on (01392) 413100.
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Saturday, April 12, 2014 10:15:33 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Monday, February 24, 2014

Valuation mornings are often full of surprises and unusual pieces, and the continued success of Bearnes Hampton & Littlewoods valuation mornings at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Dowell Street in Honiton has resulted in turning up an intriguing example of an elusive Victorian silversmith.


 a three piece silver gilt tea set by alexander crichton 1878

A Three piece silver gilt tea set by Alexander Crichton 1878 

Alexander Crichton is a mysterious figure of the Victorian era, whose place of birth and death are still unknown. His mark was registered with Goldsmiths Hall in 1872 and a pair of shields made by Crichton after designs by Sir Joesph Noel Paton were exhibited in Edinburgh in 1886. Paton’s great artworks ‘The Quarrel’ and ‘The reconciliation of Oberon and Titania’ were themselves based upon ‘A Midsumer Nights Dream’ and contain a plethora of fairytale figures that inspired Crichton.

detail of insect decoration

Detail of insect decoration 

Crichton seems to have embraced the fanciful world of fairytales, no doubt influenced by his relationship to Paton and through him Crichton may certainly have had an acquaintance with Sir John Tenniel. Tenniel’s creations of Lewis Carols figures was perhaps the main impetus for Crichton’s best known work, the wonderfully fanciful silver mounted claret jugs made between 1881 and 1882. Fish, squirrels, owls, cockatoo’s and dodo’s were a number of animals that Crichton used to produce some of the finest eclectic silver of the Victorian period. 


marks for alexander crichton and london assay 1878

Marks for Alexander Crichton and London Assay 1878 

This small three piece silver gilt bachelor tea set bears all of the whimsical styling of Crichton’s work, with butterflies, herons and cockerel executed in high relief. Hallmarked for London 1878 it pre dates the better known claret jugs, but is perhaps an important step in the little known life of Crichton himself. Looking at the octagonal form and naturalistic cast handles, it clearly has influences of the Arts and Crafts period, and the decoration may well have been influenced by Tenniel’s illustrations for Walter Crane’s ‘The baby’s own Aesop…’ 
Working among such luminary figures at the end of the 19th century, it is clear that Alexander Crichton embraced the mood of the nation and its passion for fairytales. Whilst his creations are remembered and coveted by collectors worldwide, the fate of the fairytale silversmith remains unknown, except for an application for discharge from bankruptcy filled in Sheffield in 1899. 
That this tea set should appear (as if by magic) it continues the story of Crichton’s work onto a new era. Included in Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s next quarterly fine sale of 29th April 2014 and should easily attract interest form all realms with a pre-sale estimate of £400-£600.
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Monday, February 24, 2014 9:41:22 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Friday, November 22, 2013

Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood have established a strong connection with the town and community of Honiton through the Dowell Street saleroom. It is with great pleasure that we are able to offer a painting by renowned local artist Thelma Hulbert (1913-1995) in the forthcoming sale of 10th December 2013.  


Thelma Hulbert, Leaves: Honesty and Eucalyptus 1951

Consigned form a private collection outside the county, the still life of leaves on a dressing table has been returned home to The Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Dowell Street, Honiton, where it is currently on view prior to the sale.

Thelma Hulbert was among a group of artists that included Victor Pasmore, William Coldstream, Claude Rogers and Graham Bell and which became the Euston Road School. After the War she travelled to America, Africa and on the continent while continuing to paint in her Holland Park studio. In the 60s and early 70s she taught at the Central School of Art & Design and took part in numerous exhibitions including solo shows at the Leicester, Redfern and Marjorie Pass Galleries. She died at her home in Dowell Street in Honiton in 1995 which is now The Thelma Hulbert Gallery. Throughout her life the subjects of her paintings were still life, domestic interiors, and landscapes, many of which included the Cornish coast.


Deborah Smith of the Thelma Hulbert gallery has recently discovered that the painting was lent by the artist for a retrospective of her works at Whitechapel Gallery, London in October-November 1962. 
Valuation mornings will be held every Thursday at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery between 10:00am to 1:00pm. 
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Friday, November 22, 2013 3:42:44 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, October 22, 2013

As one of the members of the Honiton Antiques Festival Committee, Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood are holding a series of events throughout the week of 11th-16th November 2013.


On the evening of Monday, 11th November 2013 you are invited for An evening at the valuer’s table, where a specialist valuer from each of the ceramics, silver, jewellery, picture, works of art and collectables departments will give an insight into appraising, valuing and identifying antiques. Numbers for this event are strictly limited. To purchase tickets, please telephone Ann Hampton on (01404) 510000.
On Tuesday, 12th November 2013 we are holding an auction of Antiques & Collectables including Silver and Jewellery.
Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood are sponsoring the Present Makers Exhibition at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Dowell Street Honiton, that begins with a preview evening on Friday, 15th November 2013.
For further details of all events during the week, please see the Honiton Antiques Festival website.
For details of the sale of 12th November 2013, please see the Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood website or click on the RSS link to receive notification of all sales and events.
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013 12:51:23 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Friday, September 06, 2013

As the centenary of the outbreak of WWI approaches next year, Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s forthcoming Sporting & collectors sale of 18th September contains a number medals and militaria that are a timely reminder of the sacrifice and extreme conditions under which the conflict was fought.

a wwi hand drawn map of british and german trences circa 1916

A WWI hand drawn map of British and German trences circa 1916

Lot 230 (SC17/230) in the sale contains the service medals and personal effects of Capt G.H. Hawkes Intelligence Officer 2/4 Bn. Royal Berkshire Regiment. Included is a hand drawn map of the British and German trenches in 1916. Marked with compass bearings and illustrated with ruined building and trees, it is a unique first hand record of the situation faced by troops enduring the harsh conditions of trench warfare.


Original first hand documents are an important source of the historical record, the personal connection and experience of the individuals involved sometimes revealing more than official accounts. For collectors, such documents make this a unique group for their collection and will no doubt attract worldwide interest.
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Friday, September 06, 2013 2:01:44 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Honiton | Medals & Militaria | Sporting | Trackback

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