Among the highlights of the sale will be the highly important Great War ‘Airships’ A.F.C. (Air Force Cross) group of ten awarded to Air Chief Marshal The Honourable Sir Ralph ‘Cocky’ Cochrane, [G.B.E., K.C.B.] Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Air Force is estimated at £6,000-8,000. Cochrane had worked with Barnes Wallis during the Great War, flying his experimental airships and testing the world’s first airship mooring mast, which Wallis had designed. He later became first Chief of Air Staff of the Royal New Zealand Air Force in April 1937 and then AOC (Air Officer Commanding) No. 5 (Bomber) Group, February 1943 - February 1945. Cochrane was to preside over, and plan, some of the most important air operations of the war. Just two days after being installed as AOC No. 5 Group, Cochrane was tasked by ‘Bomber’ Harris with the planning of Operation Chastise – the Dams Raid. Later on, Cochrane worked with Willie Tait, and together they masterminded the eventual sinking of the German battleship Tirpitz in 1944.
As Mark Quayle, Specialist and Associate Director at Dix, Noonan, Webb, commented: “We are delighted to be offering this group in our first medal sale of 2019. Given the importance of Air Chief Marshal The Honourable Sir Ralph ‘Cocky’ Cochrane’s career, we feel that this particular group will appeal to all types of collectors on an international level.”
He continued: “Cochrane had close links to Barnes Wallis throughout his long career - working together on experimental airships in the Great War, and on several high profile raids during the Second World War. The most high profile of all being the planning of Operation Chastise - the Dams Raid. Cochrane, a brilliant and meticulous planner, also masterminded the eventual sinking of the German battleship Tirpitz in 1944.”
Also included in the sale is the excessively rare Boer War C.S.C. (Conspicuous Service Cross) pair awarded to Midshipman T. F. J. Livesey-Wardle of the Royal Navy for his gallantry at the Battle of Graspan, near Belmont, on 25 November 1900. Wardle’s C.S.C. was one of only 8 ever awarded and is estimated at £15,000-20,000.
Among the Militaria in this two-day sale is a rare and probably the only surviving example of a Royal Horse Artillery Other Ranks First Pattern Light Dragoon Helmet dating from c1793- 1820. Estimated to fetch £600-800, the stout leather skull made up of two sections sewn along the crown and forming a raised seam. The helmet also has its original die-stamped copper title labels ‘Royal Horse’ & ‘Artillery’. As expert Dixon Pickup notes: “The helmet lacks its bearskin crest, turban and change chains likewise the front peak metal binding, however this is a remarkable item and well worthy of careful restoration!”
Public viewing is held two days before the sale between 10am – 5pm and free online bidding is available is www.dnw.co.uk.
For more information, please call 020 7016 1700
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
Dix Noonan Webb – a brief history
In 1991, its first year of trading, the company held three medal auctions and sold 1,200 lots for a total hammer price of £553,000. Two years later it opened a coin department which also auctions commemorative medals and tokens and in 2015 DNW added jewellery to its sales calendar. Last year it set up a standalone banknotes department and expanded into premises next door.
In 2018 DNW achieved a total hammer price of £11,676,580 and the total number of lots across all departments was 20,273. To date the company has sold in excess of 300,000 lots totalling £155 million.
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