History draws top dollars at Hoare sale

It seems that history is in demand, with auction lots with a story going for big bucks at Jeffrey Hoare Auctions’ September sale.

“The sale went very well,” Wendy Hoare said. “History is something that everyone is interested in and want to own. The lots with history were highly contested.”

One example was an Indian medal from King George III, with the monarch’s effigy on one side and the Royal Coat of Arms on the other. Described as VG the 76.7 mm medal is missing the original loop suspension, and has a small hole below so the medal could be worn, and a broken section on the rim. King George III reigned from 1760 to 1820 and medals were awarded to First Nations peoples as a sign of friendship and loyalty. The medal had a pre-sale estimate of $5,000 and was hammered down for the full amount. Prices quoted in this article are hammer price, and do not include taxes and buyer’s premium.

Among the highlights of the numismatic section was Lot 29, a 1875 United States 20-cent piece, Fine-15. This lot realized its full pre-sale estimate of $300. Lot 63 featured an 1855 gold dollar, VF. It sold for $300, against a pre-sale estimate of $240.

Lot 111 was a 1908 Specimen Set, from one-cent to 50-cents in a red case with impressed interior lettering. The cent is red and has been laquered while the silver pieces have dark toning and the five-cent piece is described as SP-50 cleaned. The other coins graded between SP-60 and SP-63. It sold for $1,700 compared to an estimate of $2,000.

The militaria section included a North West Canada Medal from 1885, with Saskatchewan clasp. The medal had a historical connection because it was issued to Constable Muray Jarvis of the North West Mounted Police rather than a soldier. Jarvis saw action at the Battle of Cut Knife Hill, near Battleford, Sask., on May 2, 1885. The final bidding on this lot blew past the pre-sale estimate of $2,000, eventually selling for $6,300.

The militaria section also included weapons, Canadian cap badges, cloth badges, insignia and military uniforms.

Another case of history drawing out the bidders was Lot 325, a British full stck flintlock rifle. It was marked with addorsed R’s/ Broad Arrow (the government condemnation mark) and two Broad Arros point to point (sold out of stores). This rifle is one of a number of rifles ordered from Henry Tatham, who manufactured firearms for the British Indian Department. These rifles were to be presented to deserving Indians who served in the War of 1812 as recommended by then War Chief John Norton on behalf of the Prince Regent. Objections to this by the Governor General and officials in Upper Canada prevented their distribution. The majority of these rifles remain in the Royal Armouries collection. With a pre-sale estimate of $15,000, the rifle sold for $30,000.

The auction also included material from the collection of Warren Carroll.

Carroll, who died in 2015, was a long time collector of Royal Canadian Air Force material. An acknowledged expert on Canadian and British Commonwealth air force insignia, he not only collected but also researched extensively.

Lot 597, a group of Royal Canadian Naval Air Service (RCNAS) insignia attributed to Flt. Cdt. E.J. Marsh, offered a great story and genuine rarity. The lot consisted of Marsh’s cap badges, wings, certificates and photographs and a letter.

Marsh, a native of Grimsby, Ont., joined the RCNAS on Sept. 12, 1918, just seven days after it was formed. He was in the first group of flight cadets sent to the Massachusets Institute of Technololgy to study aviation. At the end of the war, Marsh elected to complete his training, and remained in the RCNAS until it was disbanded in 1919.

Carroll estimated that only six RCNAS officer’s cap badges remained in existence, and only five RCNAS pilot’s wing existed. The badges and wings were issued together with matching serial numbers of the back. With a pre-sale estimate of $6,000, Lot 597 sold for $8,500.

The sale was held Sept. 17-18 at the Ramada Hotel in London and was held in conjunction with the London Numismatic Society.

A full list of prices realized is available online at jeffreyhoare.on.ca.

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