Aviation memorabilia is propelled to centre stage at Battle of Britain auction

As we've reported, Dominic Winter is holding a sale of aviation memorabilia and militaria today to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with 800 lots going under the hammer.

Two of the key lots are medal groups: A Royal Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross group of five medals awarded to Squadron Leader M.V. 'Shorty' Longbottom and a group of eight awarded to Group Captain Peter Thompson.

The latter is particularly rare and valuable, having been won in January 1942 for his service in the defence of Malta, during time which he raised his personal score to six strikes on enemy aircraft.

However, much of the auction is not closely tied to war memorabilia at all. There are a series of collectible, early edition ballooning and aviation books including the Graham Warner aviation books collection.

Aviation memorabilia including the Quentin Bland collection of USAF aviation memorabilia, uniforms & flying clothing, Zeppelin memorabilia, propellers and aviation models make up the rest of the sale.

Avroplane model
Avroplane model
(Click to enlarge)

One of our favourites is a model of 'The Avroplane'. This was an important Pioneer and "Daily Mail" Prize-contest design model by Edwin Alliot Verdon-Roe, 1907.

The unique exhibition display model of a pioneer flying-machine, was created by Alliott Verdon-Roe (the founder of AVRO and Saunders-Roe Aircraft Companies) who was later knighted for his services to the Aviation Industry.

This model, numbered "B2", is the second maquette for his winning example of two versions submitted for the prize-contest sponsored by the Daily Mail, for a free-flight aeroplane design.

As a unique and attractive piece it will make a strong investment, especially as Verdon-Roe was the first true Englishman to design and build his own heavier-than-air powered machine.  It is available for £1,800-2,500.

Aside from this, there are two propellers which stand out in their section:  

A fine and large four-bladed propeller from a Bristol Jupiter of laminated hardwoods manufacture, which has scalloped brass trim to the leading-edges affixed with copper nails is in excellent condition and is likely to catch the eye of any collector

Bristol Jupiter propeller
Bristol Jupiter propeller

Secondly, a DH-4 Rolls Royce 250HP fine and large original four-blade propeller by Maple & Co, London, which were fitted to RFC fighting biplanes of the DH-4 type, dated 1917, represents a piece of history.

Both are listed at £4,000-5,000 in the sale which will get underway within the next hour at Dominic Winter's auction in Gloucester for which online and telephone bidding is available. Alternatively some classic pieces of aviation history relating to the Wright brothers and Charles Lindbergh are currently available.


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