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We learn from them that 1480 lots were consigned by 98 vendors and 333 buyers performed. This means that collections are getting smaller and the gear is getting more widely dispersed.

Now, as any skoolboy kno, random events do not happen at regular intervals. So the more vendors there are – which the larger number of buyers to vendors indicates – the more even will the flow of goods become. It is already a remarkably constant flow. Attentive readers to my annual tabulation of London numismatic sales will know that the annual turnover for the last three years has remained just about constant. So in 2000 the total turnover was £10.88m; in 2001 it was £11.4m and in 2002 it was an equidistant £11.4m. I guess that this is a general principle throughout the art world whatever the commodity.

So much for the general principle, let’s get back to the actual sale. This was the company’s best ever auction, crowed DNW managing director Nimrod Dix. He went on, as well he might, stating that every area of the market was extremely well supported and mentioned that the final total was above the upper presale estimate of £230,000.

What was the total? £888,605 – so with the premium a smidgen above the magic £1m (£1,021,896).

The day’s top price was the £120,000 realised by the Second World War DSO, DFC and OBE group with attendant “tea-party” medals won by Spitfire pilot New Zealander Al Deere, who survived the war to write his memoirs in his book Nine Lives. This lot also contained much of his documentation.

Gentle reader, be pleased to learn that this group is now, following the sale, in the amiable captivity of the RAF Museum at Hendon by dint of the highest bid ever offered for any lot at a DNW auction and the third highest result ever paid for any non-Victoria Cross group of medals at auction anywhere.

The half-century of the Coronation is soon upon us (June 2). Many will remember that this gracious day was rendered the more happy by the announcement that Mount Everest had been climbed, probably for the first time (pace. Mallory).

Only the second 1953 Coronation medal awarded to a member of this celebrated expedition to come on the market was offered in this sale.

The other was sold by DNW in 1994 at £640. The vendor, we learn, had acquired it, a little-worn and proudly polished, in Kathmandu in 1985. It fell to a British buyer at £1900 (estimate £300-400). Only 37 of these medals were issued to members of this memorable expedition.