Last week, Dominic Winter auction held a sale of nearly 750 lots relating to the Battle of Britain. As expected the log book of Sir Douglas Bader sold on target for £2,100. But it was not by any means the biggest sale.
Collectors paid most attention to some pieces from the collection of famous aeronautical engineer Reginald Joseph Mitchell CBE, with some bringing far more than they were ever expected to.
Mitchell is best remembered for his work on the Supermarine Spitfire and several models of the plane and its engine were available in the sale, all beating their guide prices. The pick was a hallmarked silver model of this aircraft, Mk1.
Raised on a triangular cross-section curved tapering support mounted on a polished marble base, the piece smashed its £600-800 estimate, achieving £4,400.
Even this was topped, however by rare and collectible material relating directly to the Schneider Trophy, which Britain won the right to hold permanently in 1931 having won it three times consecutively.
First there was a set of three 78 rpm recordings by the three most important men involved in the 1931 Schneider Trophy Contest: R.J. Mitchell, aircraft designer, A.J. Rowledge, Rolls-Royce engine designer, and Flight Lieutenant J.N. Boothman, pilot.
The lot, estimated at £700-1,000 sold for £5,200 whilst a fine hallmarked silver circular salver with pie-crust border on four ball and claw feet, engraved on the upper surface Schneider Trophy Contest, 1931, sold for £11,000 against an £800-1,200 guide price.
It carries the inscription "Presented to R. J. Mitchell Designer of Supermarine Rolls-Royce S.6.B. by the members of the Royal Aero Club."
The top lot, however, was a silver plated Schneider Trophy in miniature, mounted on an ebonised plinth applied with nine silver plaques recording the International Schneider Trophy winners, World's Speed Record holders and Royal Air Force High Speed Flight members.
Estimated at £4000-6000 it brought £27,000.
- More news on Space and Aviation
- Enjoy the read? Don't forget to sign up for your free newsletter with exclusive content
Images: Dominic Winter