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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 Wednesday, 05 April 2017

Recently consigned for inclusion in the Sporting & Collectors Auction is this Edwardian 9ct gold and enamel Scottish International football medal for Alexander Bennett.  Pre-war football memorabilia has always had a strong following for devoted collectors and this piece should prove to be no exception.

edwardian 9ct gold and enamel scottish international football medal for alexander bennett 

Edwardian 9ct gold and enamel Scottish International football medal for Alexander Bennett 

Alexander 'Alex' Bennett began playing for his local club Rutherglen Glencairn in 1901 and was selected for the Scottish International Junior side in 1902, scoring three goals in junior internationals, In 1903 he signed for Celtic Rangers and was a regular first team player in the squad that won the Scottish League title for four years consecutively from 1905-1908. In 1908 he left Celtic and signed for Glasgow Rangers (ten days after scoring the winning goal against them) and became the first player ever to play for both Celtic and Rangers. The signing did not pass without an enquiry from Celtic into the transfer, but the appeal was eventually turned down by the Scottish FA in June 1908. During the First World War he played for Dumbarton and finished his foot balling career with Albion Rovers in over the 1920/21 season. He went on to manage Third Larnak and Clydebank as well a writing a regular column for the Daily Mail. Over his playing career he made eleven appearances for the Scottish International team scoring two goals and represented the Scottish League on ten occasions. 

alex bennett 9ct gold and enamel medal scotland v england 1908

Alex Bennett 9ct gold and enamel medal Scotland V England 1908

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Wednesday, 05 April 2017 09:25:08 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Collectors | Medals & Militaria | Sporting | Trackback

Amongst a number of items of Polar Exploration to be included in Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s next Specialist maritime auction, is a rare and well preserved Arctic exploration sledge flag for Admiral George Richards CB, Commander of HMS Assistance in Sir Edward Belcher's expedition of 1852/3/4 in search of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror of Sir John Franklins Lost Expedition of 1845. The silk flag with Admirals Richard's personal heraldry comprising a lamb and flag crest with motto 'Laus Deo' (Praise God) in white silk on a blue reserve, is mounted in a glazed frame with inscription,

arctic exploration sledge flag for admiral george richards cb, commander of hms assistance    

Arctic exploration sledge flag for Admiral George Richards CB, Commander of HMS Assistance   

'This Banner was carried to the Arctic Regions by Admiral Richards CB. when Commander of HMS Assistance, in Sir E Belcher's Expedition 1852.3.4 in search of the Erebus and Terror, under Sir J Franklin. After wintering at the Head of Wellington Channel in 76°55' N. Lat it was taken, in the Spring of 1853 to Melville Island and floated on every conspicuous height discovered, and having accomplished near 1000 miles, it was returned to HMS Assistance. Passing a second Winter it was again carried on a Sledge journey down the Channel westward and through Barrow Straits, and again returned after a sojourn of 73 days on the Sledge. On reaching England in 1854 it was presented to Mr Barrow. When the late Expedition of 1875 was fitted out under Capt now Sir George Nares KCB it was carried up Smiths Sound and hoisted on Cape Joseph Henry in Lat 83° N. On its return to England it was restored to Mr Barrow who bequeaths it to the family of Adml Richards'

 admiral george richards cb, commander of hms assistance in sir edward belcher's expedition of 1852/3/4 in search of hms erebus and hms terror of sir john franklins lost expedition of 1845.

Admiral George Richards CB, Commander of HMS Assistance in Sir Edward Belcher's expedition of 1852/3/4 in search of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror of Sir John Franklins Lost Expedition of 1845. 

Admiral George Henry Richards was captain of HMS Assistance under the command of Sir Edward Belcher on the Admiralty's last and largest Expedition to search for survivors of Sir John Franklin's Expedition of the Northwest Passage in 1845. In the early winter of 1850 the Assistance and the steam tender Pioneer became frozen in the ice off Northumberland Sound in the Wellington Channel forcing much of the searching to be undertaken by sledge. As sledges were man-hauled at this time by the men themselves they were treated in some degree as boats and each sledge named. The idea originated with Captain Horatio Austin who whilst leading a similar search in 1850 intended that sledge flags would "...retain esprit de corps, and a naval atmosphere,..' .The flags were usually the personal badge of the commanding officer who led the team on foot, carrying a gun ahead of the crew for protection. A similar sledge flag for Lieutenant Bedford Pim by Lady Franklin is held in the National Maritime Museum. A sledge flag used by Scott on his first Expedition of 1900-1904 made by his mother hangs in Exeter Cathedral.
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Wednesday, 05 April 2017 08:26:22 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Maritime | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Wednesday, 08 March 2017

Donald McNarry FRSA (1921-2010) is widely acknowledged among model ship builders as the master craftsman of extreme miniature model building. 

 a waterline model of the 20 -gun sixth-rate frigate hms tartar (1734) modelled by donald mcnarry frsa

 A waterline model of the 20 -gun Sixth-rate frigate HMS Tartar (1734) modelled by Donald McNarry FRSA 

Born in Walthamstow, February 21st, 1921 he took up model building as a boy and began entering competitions at the age of nine, winning several prizes at the annual Model Engineer Exhibition. In an early letter to the judges he expressed his dismay that his models were to be categorised as 'junior' rather than be judged against the 'proper' ship models.    

 an exceptional 16' 1" scale admiralty navy board style model of the 17th century eight gun royal yacht hmy charles (1675) modelled by donald mcnarry frsa:

An exceptional 16' 1" scale Admiralty Navy board style model of the 17th century eight gun Royal Yacht HMY Charles (1675) modelled by Donald McNarry FRSA: 

After serving with the Gordon Highlanders during the Second World War he continued to make models in his spare time, describing many of the models made between 1946 and 1953 in his first published book 'Shipbuilding in Miniature ' in 1955. It was also at this time he changed from 'amateur' model builder to freelance professional model maker, creating over 350 models of historic ships from 700BC to the late 1960s.   Working in either 100ft to one inch or 16ft to one inch, the models though small, contained as much detail as others executed on larger scales. Donald's wife Iris often helped with early models producing the sails and Donald even used strands of his own hair for rigging on these models before thinner wires and filaments became available. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  

 an exceptional 16' 1" scale model of the us brig 'lexington' (1775) modelled by donald mcnarry frsa

An exceptional 16' 1" scale model of the US brig 'Lexington' (1775) modelled by Donald McNarry FRSA 

Examples of his work can be found in the Royal Collection, but he was particularly sought after by American Collectors and modellers. Some of his models can be seen at The Peabody Essex Museum, The Smithsonian and the Mariner's Museum. The quality and detail of his work is perhaps best acknowledged by his overall attitude as described in his own words in the introduction of his first book;

 

'I believe one of the most important things is to try and build miniature ships instead of ship models'

 

 
These three models of the US Lexington, HMY Chares and HMS Tartar are included in Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s next Specialist Maritime Auction of the 14th June 2017. For further information please contact Brian Goodison-Blanks bgb@bhandl.co.uk
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Wednesday, 08 March 2017 09:28:52 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Maritime | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Wednesday, 18 January 2017

If you missed attending the auction of The Anthony & Yvonne Pardoe Collection of Diving Helmets and Equipment  at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood (SS02)  some catalogues from the sale are still available for £10 each.

the antony & yvonne pardoe collection of diving helmets & equipment

The Antony & Yvonne Pardoe Collection of Diving Helmets & Equipment

 

Fully illustrated with over 150 diving helmets, diving pumps, boots knives and diving accessories it is a useful reference for anyone with a passion for collecting historic diving equipment.

Entries for the next Specialist Maritime Auction of the 14th June 2017 are currently invited.  For further information please contact Brian Goodison-Blanks bgb@bhandl.co.uk

 

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Wednesday, 18 January 2017 16:26:22 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Collectors | Maritime | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The basic principle of a diving helmet is relatively simple, so much so that over the years many budding explorers have made their own diving helmets and used them to great effect. Most of these homemade helmets, such as the one seen here made from a gas cylinder with a single air supply, have been for use in shallow water. 

 a homemade diving helmet constructed from a gas cylinder.

A homemade diving helmet constructed from a gas cylinder.

These have copied the basic designs of shallow water helmets like the Miller Dunn ‘Divinhood’ style one, in which the air escapes from under the shoulders of the diver (though it looks incredibly like a Minion character!) In order to go deeper, the more common standard diving dress is required such as those supplied by Siebe Gorman & Co and CE Heinke & Co.

 a miller dunn divinhood style helmet.

A Miller Dunn Divinhood style helmet.

But what if you look at this equipment and think ‘I know, I’ll make my own diving gear’?

In cataloguing the Tony and Yvonne Pardoe Collection of Diving Helmets and Equipment, there is one particular homemade diving helmet that has quite a remarkable story to its creation. Though the book does not provide any names or details, the images show a Swedish farmer who had lost his tractor through the ice, diving into the cold water using a helmet and equipment he had made himself.

The red painted helmet has clear weld marks to the domed section and is fitted with an engine drain tap in place of a spitcock. His ingenuity does not stop there as he even made his own diving weights using canvas and lead as well as using an old car headlamp as a diving lamp. 

As well as these pieces, he constructed his own diving knife and by using and old suitcase and speaker, made his own diver telephone with which to communicate to his friends on the surface.

 a set of homemade standard diving equipment made by a swedish farmer.

A set of homemade standard diving equipment made by a Swedish farmer.

Certainly comparing this homemade diving helmet to those made by Siebe Gorman, Heinke and Morse the extent of the farmer’s skills is evident in the quality of his work in producing a practical and functional diving helmet.  He was certainly brave enough to trust his own work and was even successful at locating the tractor beneath the ice and recovering it.

A truly remarkable man and an unusual provenance to this diving helmet should raise considerable interest when it comes up for auction on the 15th June 2016.

 

sweidsh farmer who made his own diving equipment

sweidsh farmer using his hoemmade diving equipment

swedish farmer and diving support team

Various shots of the Swedish farmer using his home made
diving equipment, which he used to recover a tractor.

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Tuesday, 16 February 2016 20:55:02 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Maritime | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Monday, 01 February 2016

If any auctioneer ever says to you ‘seen one, you’ve seen them all’ then politely ask them to finish their cup of tea and leave.  If there is one thing that cataloguing the Tony and Yvonne Pardoe Collection of Diving Helmets and Equipment has taught me, it is that there are a vast number of variations of a single item that means, as an auctioneer, you can never stop learning.

 

 an early 12 bolt sqaure corselet diving helmet by ce heinke & co ltd

An early 12 bolt sqaure corselet diving helmet by CE Heinke & Co Ltd.

Diving helmets are instantly recognisable from their basic shape, which has essentially remained unchanged for over 100 years.  Even today you can still buy a figure in a diving helmet and suit for your fish tank at home! The large copper bonnet with small windows, the weighted chest plate and the umbilical cord airline remains the basic principal behind its use, but seeing such a collection of diving helmets together in preparation for an auction  later on in the year, shows how solutions to the development of diving helmets and technology have produced various results.

 

 a us navy mark v helium re-breather diving helmet by morse (front).

A US Navy Mark V Helium Re-Breather Diving Helmet by Morse (front).

From this early 12 bolt diving helmet with square corselet by CE Heinke with breast plate air outlet through to the rather Steampunk looking Mark V helium re-breather by Morse, the variations in the Tony and Yvonne Pardoe collection are quite simply fascinating. Taking time cataloguing the collection has been an interesting and educational experience.

 

a us navy mark v helium re-breather diving helmet by morse (side).

A US Navy Mark V Helium Re-Breather Diving Helmet by Morse (front).

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Monday, 01 February 2016 18:22:56 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Maritime | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Tuesday, 09 June 2015

A historic piece of Royal Navy history has been consigned to Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s forthcoming Maritime Auction of 1st July 2015 in the form of a Royal Navy Life preserver from HMS Hood (MA15/290)

 

a war department issue life preserver for hms hood

A War Department issue life preserver for HMS Hood 

 
Inscribed in black text to the front with the ship’s name, the reverse has War Department markings, that though faded are a good indication of the origins of this piece.  It was acquired by the vendor’s father while on holiday in Scotland in the 1930s who bought it at auction and it has remained within the family ever since. It is most likely possible that it was taken from the ship during her major refit May 1929-March 1931 and sold as a souvenir by an enterprising sailor. As well as the pride of the Royal Navy the Hood also attracted a great deal of public support and following during her showing the flag exercises in the 1920s, her sinking having a dramatic affect worldwide.
Souvenirs from the Hood were taken by visitors to the ship in the 1920s and 1930s, like the brass Dolphin fitting (MA13/124A) and the rowing blade trophy (SC19/644).  These pieces are very few and far between as many remain within private collections.
For further information please contact Brian Goodison-Blanks goodisonblanksb@bhandl.co.uk
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Tuesday, 09 June 2015 14:07:18 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Collectors | Maritime | Medals & Militaria | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Thursday, 07 May 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, 07 May 2015 14:27:08 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Honiton | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Wednesday, 15 April 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

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 bgb@bhandl.co.uk.

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015 16:55:01 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Maritime | Trackback

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