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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 Thursday, May 07, 2015

Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood continue to hold valuation mornings every Thursday (10:00am-1:00pm) at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Dowell Street, Honiton and are currently sponsoring the current 'Drop Me A Line Part I' exhibition until the 16th May 2015.  Our good friends at the gallery are now in the running for an opportunity to continue their successful winning run this year with a unique opportunity that everyone can spend some time getting involved with!



Artist Luke Jerram has selected Thelma Hulbert Gallery as one of the top five museums/galleries in the United Kingdom to work with for the Museums At Night event in October.

It’s now down to a public vote!

His plan is to install over a thousand clocks throughout the gallery and garden. Donated by visitors, local businesses, community groups, school children and families, these timepieces will transform the space visually and aurally, reviving the familial environment of the gallery's 200 year old building.

Not only will the gallery run a late night event during the installation but it will keep the exhibition open for several days and run a series of accompanying events and workshops.

Nick Stockman, Culture24Campaigns Manager said: “This year the Connect! competition is more exciting than ever with voting taking place during the May Museums at Night festival and the artist-led events in October. All of the competing venues have wonderfully creative ideas for what they’d like their chosen artist to do if they win. Now every venue will be trying their hardest to get people to vote for them: we’d like to wish all the museums, galleries and heritage sites the best of luck!”

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Thursday, May 07, 2015 2:27:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Honiton | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s forthcoming Maritime Auction on 1st July 2015 has a touch of Royalty with the inclusion of several pieces of tableware from the Royal Service of the Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert III. Decorated with the Royal cypher and entwined within a maritime themed decoration, the service was made by Spode and supplied by the prestigious firm of Thomas Goode of London.



An ice bucket and coffee can from the Royal Service of HMY Victoria & Albert III

HRY Albert & Victoria III was launched in 1899 and finally ready for service in 1901. Expenditure for her was increased as it was pointed out that both the Russian Tzar and German Kaiser had larger yachts than Great Britain. Her launch was delayed as the consistent updating of her fittings led to redevelopment of her hull and the addition of extra ballast. This extra weight caused her to fall while in dry dock, delaying her launch even further whilst repairs were carried out. Serving four sovereigns, she was finally decommissioned in 1939 and served as a depot ship during WWII.

The quality of the service indicates that at the time that no expense was spared in fitting out and providing for Royalty and dignitaries, a fashion that continued as Ocean Liners became the height of fashionable travel during the first half of the 20th century.

Further entries are currently invited for the sale. For further information, please contact Brian Goodison-Blanks

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015 4:55:01 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Maritime | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Thursday, April 09, 2015

A recent consignment to Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s forthcoming auction of Maritime and Nautical Antiques on 1st July 2015, this scale model of the RMS Queen Mary made for Hamley's of London, still brings out the child in all collectors. It is fitting that the one of the world’s greatest Ocean Liners of the early 20th century should have had a scale model version being sold in Hamley's, perhaps the world’s greatest toy shop. The detailing of the model is in keeping with the RMS Queen Mary herself, with elegant decking and detail to attention in her funnels and masts. 


a scale model of rms queen mary made for hamleys of london

A scale model of RMS Queen Mary made for Hamley's of London 

Pond yachts and model boats were a popular pastime with many children and adults in the late 19th and early 20th century, many parks still have a small boating pond even to this day. Collectors will certainly be enthralled by the original condition of this model made for Hamley's, even despite showing signs of perhaps a few unsuccessful voyages, with a pre-sale estimate of £300-£400.

Further entries are currently invited for the sale. For further information, please contact Brian Goodison-Blanks
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Thursday, April 09, 2015 4:41:25 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Collectable Toys | Collectors | Maritime | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Saturday, March 07, 2015

With the recent solar eclipse, it is a reminder of man’s fascination with the stars and planets and his endeavours to comprehend them. Astrology has been an important and practical part of history for centuries, and a consignment to the Scientific Instrument section of the forthcoming Maritime Auction of 1st July 2015, reminds us of this. This late 18th century orrery by W Jones of London has a delicate system of gears that rotate an ivory earth with moon around a central gilt sun with an indicator pointing to the seasons, month and star signs. (Estimate £3,000-£4,000) 


 A late 18th century orrery by W Jones of London 

Understanding the planets and stars has helped mariners navigate around the globe with sextant and compass for centuries and the Maritime Auction is in part a celebration of the ‘Golden Age of Sail’. Along with the many navigational and scientific Instruments already consigned to the auction, are a number of other maritime and nautical themed antiques that make the auction a popular event on Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s calendar at their West Country Salerooms.  
Further entries are currently invited for the sale. For further information, please contact Brian Goodison-Blanks
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Saturday, March 07, 2015 3:13:36 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Maritime | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood's next Sporting & Collectors Auction on 25th/26th February 2015 has a good selection of antique firearms, arms and armour for all collectors. Included within the sale is a large single owner collection that has produced a few surprises along the way. Perhaps one of the most interesting is a rare Kolibri 2.7mm semi-automatic pistol, produced by Franz Pfanni, an Austrian watch maker.


a rare kolibri semi automatic pistol. 

A rare Kolibri semi automatic pistol.

Introduced in 1914, it was the world's smallest commercially available semi-automatic pistol, firing a centre fire 0.2g bullet. Only around 1,000 were ever produced as the pistol and round proved ineffective and it soon became obsolete.

American collectors still seek good examples and this piece numbered '15' will still be an attractive item despite suffering some rusting, with an estimate of £200-£300.

Also within the collection is another favourite for all antique firearms collectors, a .41calbre Remington Derringer over and under pistol. Even more enticing is the original leather holster that has the gun retailer's stamp. Estimated at £300-£600, it should certainly gain great interest with collectors on both sides of the Atlantic, eager to acquire one for their antique firearm collection.


a remington double barrel over and under derringer.

A Remington double barrel over and under Derringer.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 2:57:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Antique Guns & Firearms | Collectors | Trackback

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)  #
Honiton | Trackback

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)  #
Maritime | Trackback

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)  #
Maritime | Trackback

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