Auction 111 Highlights
Welcome to Smalls Sale 111.
With the US Elections and the ‘Battle of Capitol Hill’ behind us we have included a selection of items that reflect the politics that have shaped the World over the last few centuries, or in other words items with a military bent.
There is a ‘Chest of Chatham’ citation awarded to James Dunn who took one for the Brits at the Battle of Trafalgar. A Chinese War Medal awarded to another Brit, W.H. Littlefield, who as an immigrant to Australia was fatefully in charge of the Signal Station at Sydney Heads when three Japanese midget submarines slipped past to attack Allied Warships berthed in the Harbour. There are two rare pieces of memorabilia in the sale salvaged from one of the submarines which were sold off to help fund the war effort.
Some of the most interesting items on offer relate to the historic H.M.A.S. Sydney v S.M.S Emden sea battle. The Emden had wreaked havoc on Allied shipping in the Indian Ocean sailing from friendly ports where it purchased fuel and provisions from a cache of Spanish Silver 8 Reales (Dollars). While a landing crew beached on the Cocas Keeling Islands to attack the Signal Station the Emden was engaged and sunk by the Sydney. In the sale we have an historic ‘HMAS Sydney – SMS Emden Medal’ – dated Nov 9, 1914, in Very Fine condition in its original ‘W Kerr’ custom box. These were fashioned from sea salvaged Spanish dollars and presented to members of the crew of the Sydney. Not to be outdone, the Western Australian Government also produced a commemorative medal which was given to the crew of the Sydney. These are very scarce and the example in the sale comes with the original box of issue and the complete service records of the recipient George William Edwards of W.A. As well there are a number of historical documents and photographs pertaining to the battle as well as a Sailor’s Cap and Collar from a crew member of the H.M.A.S Sydney which conjure up the atmosphere of battle.
From the WWII Rogue’s Gallery, we have the mug shots of Rudolf Hess and Albert Speer taken at the Nuremberg Trials. They were close confidants of Hitler, but both escaped the hangman’s noose – the first who served as Vice-Chancellor because he was as ‘mad as a hatter’ and the second, Hitler’s personal architect and Minister of Armaments, because he successfully ran the Sergeant Schultz defence of “I know nothing.”
These are just a few of the highlights in this sale and if you have an interest in history we encourage you to take a close look at the many other items on offer.