Specialist’s Insights: Derek Ainsworth

A few words from Watches, Coins and Medallions Specialist Derek Ainsworth prior to the upcoming Fine Pictures, Silver and Jewellery Auction.




Lot 297: a Waltham 18k pocket watch, estimate £5000 - £7000
Click here to view this lot on our catalogue


Sometimes it’s good to ‘tell tales’

As a specialist there’s nothing I enjoy more than cataloguing an item that has its own story to tell. The history of an object can sometimes have huge bearing on value,  increasing its appeal well beyond its component parts.

Take, for example, lot 297; a Waltham 18k pocket watch. Watches of this design by the American manufactures are not uncommon and thus usually realise between £400-600 at auction, however, this particular lot has an estimate of £5000-7000. Why I hear you ask? Well, it’s all about its story. The original owner of the timepiece was presented it as a gift from the president of the United States for an heroic life saving act. On the 19th of December in 1886, Captain John C. Cox of the British ship ‘Von Moltke’ rescued the crew of the American barque ‘Ella S Thayer’. It was presented to Captain Cox by president Grover Cleveland who was in office between 1885 and 1889, then again from 1893 to 1897.


Lot 323: A silver hunger strike suffragette medal (front), estimate £6000 - £8000
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Another lot with a story to tell is 323; a silver hunger strike suffragette medal. Women’s rights and gender equality has been at the forefront of daily news more than ever in recent years; a movement which has taken generations to get to where it is today, most part in thanks to the women suffragette organisation that was created over a century ago.
The medal in question was awarded to Clara Giveen, who was imprisoned for her involvement in an arson attach at Hurst Park race course on the 13th June 1913. In prison she, like many others, went on a hunger strike, only to be forcibly fed before her release under the cat and mouse act. The medal is being offered with a pre-sale estimate of £6000-8000, reflecting the importance of such historically significant artefacts.


Lot 323: A silver hunger strike suffragette medal (back), estimate £6000 - £8000
Click here to view this link on our catalogue


The moral of this story...never assume an item holds just its intrinsic value, it’s sometime the tale behind it that holds its true worth.


If you would like any more information about these lots, please contact Derek Ainsworth on 01743 450 700 or email at fineart@hallsgb.com





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