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The Vosper Collection - from Simon Chorley Art and Antiques

Thursday 11th December 2008 10.30 am - Simon Chorley Art and Antiques, Prinknash Abbey Park, Gloucestershire GL4 8EX. The eagerly anticipated sale of the collection of the late John Vosper, one of the greatest characters of Gloucestershire’s antiques world, will contain antiques, collectables and curios to appeal to every taste.VosperThe collection comprising the remainder of his dealers stock has not seen the light of day for some 18 years since being squirreled away into the attic of his house in Minchinhampton after Vosper retired as a dealer in the late 1980s.  The auctioneers had to fight their way through piles of clocks, brass and oil lamps as they catalogued the sale in what looked like a scene from Steptoe and Son.
The sale on Thursday 11 December will mainly comprise books, china and glass, silver, medals, postcards, clocks and furniture. Many of the items would have come from house clearances or Bruton Knowles sales in the late 1970s and 1980s and would have been picked up inexpensively.  Since that time, Victorian furniture has fallen in price but other areas like medals and postcards have seen huge growth.  Many of the items still have old lot labels attached and a large quantity of old house sale catalogues were found in drawers and boxes.  This is testament to the huge number of sales that John attended during the heyday of the house sale in the 1970s and 1980s.
Highlights from the sale include a vast collection of Royal commemoratives, Lot 155 includes a beaker commemorating the Coronation of George V also marked J Bruton Esq., Mayor of Gloucester.  This is offered with a large quantity of other mugs at £40-60.
There are many books of local interest to Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds.  One incredibly interesting example is Lot 22, an 1890 book by J D Robertson ‘Dialect of Gloucestershire’, a glossary of the local dialect, most of which has long since fallen out of use.  Full of amusing and unusual trivia, we learn that in the Hundred of Berkeley, a ‘Gubbarn’ is a pit in which rubbish or filth has accumulated.  At £20-30 it seems good value!
The silver selection is strong with several trophy cups of good weight.  One for the Cotswold Hunt point-to-point in 1923, won by J Preston Jones’ horse ‘Ask Mamma’ may well find a local buyer with an interest in horse racing.
Of more wide interest and the star of the show is Lot 195, an impressive lidded trophy won by Captain Percy E Lambert in 1913, one of the best known motor racing drivers of his era.  Lambert was the first person to cover 100 miles in an hour which he achieved at Brooklands on 15 February 1915 in his 4.5 litre side valve Talbot.  This record was soon broken and Lambert promised his fiancée that he would give up his pursuit of records after one last attempt.  On 21 October 1913 while on track to reclaim the record a tyre disintegrated causing the car to crash and roll.  He died en-route to hospital and is buried at Brompton cemetery.  The epitaph on his headstone reads, ‘A modest friend, a fine gentleman and a thorough sportsman/The first man to cover 100 miles in one hour/Killed by accident at Brooklands Motor Racing Track whilst attempting further records’.  This lot is particularly poignant in that it was won after he broke the 100mph record and before his untimely death.  It is the 2nd prize for the Brooklands 13th 100mph Short Handicap, 4 August 1913, just months before the fatal accident.  With the current interest in motor racing after Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 success, the auctioneers feel it is a safe bet at £500-700.
The postcards section is large and varied with the West of England and the local area strongly represented.  Many of the cards date from the pre-1910 era.  Lot 289 has a particularly interesting variety of local views including Minchinhampton, Nailsworth, Stroud, Painswick, Uley, Dursley, Tewkesbury, Upton-on-Severn, Bristol and more.  A great archive for a local historian, it is expected to fetch £150-200.
In the era that John was collecting, World War I medals could be picked up for a song.  Now the same medals are highly sought after by collectors, the sale includes many examples to different ranks and regiments. Lot 267 is an interesting group to 6043 Private C Hodges of the Gloucestershire Regiment.  He was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal for his service in the Boer war, the medal has bars for South Africa 1902, Orange Free State and Cape Colony.  He then served in WWI and was awarded the 1914 (Mons) Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  The 1914 Star was for service in France or Belgium between 5 August and midnight 22/23 November 1914.  It was generally awarded to the ‘Old Contemptibles’, the pre-war regular army who formed the British Expeditionary Force and then took part in the retreat from Mons.  The group of three is sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’ and this one is offered with its miniatures at £200-300.
Leading the clocks is a longcase, Lot 425, by J Lewis of Minchinhampton at £500-700.  Clocks by local makers are always popular and this one ticks all the boxes.  Lot 336 is a barograph by Ross of London, this was purchased from the Summerfield sale back in 1989/1990.  John Vosper asked auctioneer Simon Chorley to pick something unusual out for him to buy and this was the eventual purchase.  This time around it carries expectations of £250-£300.
Public Viewing: Tuesday 9th December, 10am – 7pm
Wednesday 10th December, 10am – 4pm

For further information please contact Thomas Jenner-Fust on 01452 344499, tjf@simonchorley.com or visit the website for the on-line catalogue at www.simonchorley.com

Simon Chorley Art & Antiques
Prinknash Abbey Park, Gloucestershire GL4 8EX
01452 344499
E Mail enquiries@simonchorley.com
www.simonchorley.com

Source: IONA PR

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