Battle of Britain ace's medals could soar to $256,000 at Spink's amazing sale

Spink's auction of Orders, Decorations, Campaign Medals & Militaria will be offering nearly 600 lots in London next month. There are many lots which would each make impressive headline pieces for an auction.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine Order of the Garter
Prince Rupert of the Rhine's 'Lesser George'

For those who are particularly intrigued by awards showing beauty and demonstrating workmanship, an early and important mid 17th century 'Beaufort' Lesser George, reputed to have belonged to Prince Rupert of the Rhine.

The 'Lesser George' is the phrase commonly used to refer to the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Companion - an award created by King Charles I in 1642. Prince Rupert was Charles's nephew.

Sadly the five diamonds and six rubies which at one time embellished the obverse of the order have been removed and replaced by crystals and doublets. The original central cameo was also removed, probably at the same time. This was replaced early in the last century with a fine quality agate cameo with a plain reverse.

Whilst this inevitably reduces the value of the piece from the point of view of jewellery, the piece remains extremely striking and has been exhibited in both London and Washington and was previously part of the 'Beaufort Garter Jewels' sale at Christie's.

It goes under the hammer for £30,000-35,000 (up to $56,000) and would make an attractive investment.

The lot which is vying for prominence with the VCs, however, is the Distinguished Service Order/Distinguished Flying Cross group once owned by the Battle of Britain's third most successful pilot, R F T 'Bob' Doe.

DSO and DFC group awarded to the Battle of Britain's Bob Doe
DSO and DFC group awarded to the Battle of Britain's Bob Doe

With 14 victories, two shared, and other enemy aircraft damaged, he was one of the few pilots to achieve recognition flying both Spitfires and Hurricanes. Later in the war he led No. 10 Squadron, Royal Indian Air force from January 1944, and operated from both India and Burma.

The lot includes the DSO and DFC, plus seven other medals including the 1939-1945 Star with Battle of Britain Bar. It also includes four Flying Log Books and a Caterpillar Club gold brooch badge. In total the lot is expected to sell for around £130,000-160,000 (up to $256,000).

Spink's  auction takes place this Thursday, November 25 in London. Outside the auction, the very first Victoria Cross awarded to a soldier in the army is currently available to collectors.

 

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