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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

THE INAUGURAL MILITARY SALE – A Fresh Format For Medals and Militaria

5 June 2013 saw the UK’s newest ‘top 5’ auctioneer hold their inaugural Military Sale of Medals, Orders, Decorations and Militaria. Presenting a fresh format for militaria auctions, Baldwin’s and Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions were delighted to be holding their first jointly branded auction having both been acquired by Noble Investments (UK) PLC in 2005 and 2012 respectively. The sale comprised 217 lots and totalled £158,720 (inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at 24% + VAT.)

Officer's Sabre belonging to Sir George Prévost
Officer’s Sabre belonging to Sir George Prévost
The sale opened with a strong section of 149 lots of Orders, Decorations and Medals with bidding throughout, both online and in the room. The highlight of the auction, lot 6, a superb and extremely rare WWII Pathfinder’s CGM and DFM Group of 5 awarded to Warrant Officer Solomon Joseph Harold Andrew, attracted a great deal of interest prior to the sale and was eventually purchased online by a bidder from Europe for £17,360 (inclusive of Buyer’s Premium.) Elsewhere in the medal section, lot 26, a very scarce Waterloo ‘Long Service & Good Conduct’ Pair awarded to Corporal John Taylor, 1st Battalion, 71st (Highland Light Infantry) Foot, received plenty of interest and sold in the room to a buyer at £6,820 (inclusive of Buyer’s Premium.)

Two lots (160 and 161) relating to the famous Sir George Prévost, who had a glittering military career throughout the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, sold well over estimate in the sale. In 1779 (at the age of eleven) Prévost was commissioned as an ensign in the 60th Regiment of Foot, in which his father was a senior officer; by the age of twenty three he had made it to the rank of Major. Prévosts moneyed background was certainly said to have contributed to his swift rise up the ranks as promotion could be obtained “by purchase.” By age 30 he had been quite severely wounded while stationed in St. Vincent but had still managed to climb to the rank of brigadier-general and, later in the same year, he was appointed lieutenant governor of St. Lucia, where his fluency in French and conciliatory administration won him the respect of the French planters living there. In 1802 he returned to the UK, as his health was failing and, soon after fighting with France resumed, he was chosen to be the new governor of Dominica. He fought against the French in 1803 when they attempted to seize Dominica, and again when they attempted to seize St. Lucia. On January 1 1805, at the age of 37, he was promoted to the rank of major-general and was granted leave to return to England, where he became a commander of the Portsmouth district and, later, a colonel commandant of his regiment.

Lot 160, a Georgian Officer’s Sabre by Hawkes Mosely & Co. of Piccadilly, London belonged to Prévost and was sold for £4,000 (inclusive of buyer’s premium), against an estimate of £2,000 – 3,000. The second, a portrait of the man himself, pictured above, sold for £3,700 (inclusive of buyer’s premium), against an estimate of £1,000 – 1,500.

Baldwin’s Military Medal specialist, David Kirk, commented after the auction:

‘We are very happy with the results from our inaugural ‘Military Sale’, which we hope will mark the first of many joint ventures with Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions. We have taken the strategic decision to continue holding these auctions in London and make them a regular feature of our auction calendar and, to this end, we are very much looking forward to building on this initial success.’

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