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Dix Noonan Webb’s (15% buyer’s premium) December 1 sale provided us with evidence of this.

In their 1677-lot sale there were 114 vendors and 351 buyers. This ratio is very approximately the same for sales of coins and commemorative medals. Their total for this sale was £765,895.

As emotive, in its own way, as the Dickin Medal and the baton was the group of medals awarded to Group Captain Peter Town-send. DNW offered them here and it need hardly be said that Townsend was a Battle of Britain ace who was the first to bring down an enemy plane on English soil in February 1940. It fell at £62,000 over the telephone to a British private collector preserving his anonymity.

Like the baton, this group was not fresh to the market. Group Captain Townsend sold it at auction in November 1988 for £20,000, donating the entire proceeds to charity – to assist children.

Thus DNW’s sale closed their most successful year yet – a total of £4m raised from 6219 lots.

Next year’s prospects seem set very fair. Already they have two VC groups consigned and the second tranche of the massive Ritchie collection is due.

There are more affordable items on sale as well. It is clear from the sheer number of lots offered and the totals that there is much of British and family history pre-dating Trafalgar which only costs in the low hundreds.

As an example, witness the gold Peninsular War British/Hanoverian 1813 engraved gold cross estimated by Morton & Eden at £400-500 and described as “interesting” (I’ll say and gold too!) which made only £300.