Arthur Henry Cross medals exceed estimate by 70% in London
The Arthur Henry Cross medal group brought $357,533 at a London auction on April 19
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Saturday 21 April 2012
A collection of Victoria Cross and military medals awarded to Arthur Henry Cross achieved an increase of 70% on their estimate at an auction in London on April 19.
The medals were presented to Cross, who served as a corporal in the Machine Gun Corps during the first world war. They were awarded as a result of a feat in which he recaptured a formerly British-controlled position and prevented a major German attack.
Cross single-handedly advanced into enemy trenches and, armed only with a revolver, forced seven enemy soldiers to surrender. He then had them carry captured machine guns back to his own lines, and used the weapons to destroy the enemy, who were launching a very heavy attack at the time.
He was awarded his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on Septemer 4, 1918. Corporal Cross' medals were sold for £222,000 against an estimate of £110,000-130,000.
This top lot was closely followed by a group of five Victoria Cross medals presented to Chief Skipper Joseph Watt of the Royal Navy. His action during the first world war saw he and his crew repel a huge Austrian scout cruiser in their tiny ship, HM Drifter Gowanlea.
The skipper and his crew were ordered to abandon the drifter following a surprise attack from the Austrian forces. Faced with drowning, Watt commanded his crew to fire at the larger boat using the small guns on board.
The crew survived and went on to rescue wounded men from several other ships that had sunk in the attack. This selection sold for £204,000, an impressive increase of 27.5%.
The sale highlights the value of items that encapsulate an event held in the public consciousness. Paul Fraser Collectibles is proud to offer this photograph of the first flag raise at Iwo Jima, signed by Charles Lindbergh.
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