Gold Carpathia medal 1912 – £45,000 at Bourne End Auction Rooms.

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Titanic medal makes £45,000

A prolonged bidding battle emerged in Buckinghamshire as the gold medal awarded to the bursar on board the RMS Carpathia, the ship that famously rescued survivors from the Titanic in 1912, sold at £45,000.

Offered at Bourne End Auction Rooms on August 1, the 14ct yellow gold Carpathia medal was presented to Ernest GF Brown for his role in the rescue operation.

Estimated at £18,000- 25,000, it came down to a battle between the eventual buyer in the room and the underbidder who was bidding online via

Brown was the purser on board the Carpathia. The medal was a significant rarity. Only 14 medals in gold were awarded by the Titanic Survivors Committee to the captain and senior officers of the ship.

Cathedral buys rare bible survivor

Canterbury Cathedral has bought a rare illuminated bible. Now known as the Lyghfield Bible, after a monk called ‘William Lighfyld’ who once owned the tome, it was made in the third quarter of the 13th century.

Described as a Canterbury ‘Trussel’ bible, with prologues of Jerome, it was offered at Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures on July 10 with an estimate of £100,000-150,000.


Detail from the 13th century bible bought by Canterbury Cathedral for £100,000.

The cathedral paid a hammer price of £100,000. The purchase was made possible with a grant of almost £96,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), the Friends of the National Libraries, Friends of Canterbury Cathedral and a private donation.

The pocket-sized bible, probably produced in France, formed part of a collection of bibles at the medieval monastery in Canterbury in the 16th century and is likely to have been in the city before this time. The collection was dispersed at the time of the Reformation.

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Exeter fair under new ownership

The new owners of the rebranded Exeter Matford Antiques & Collectors Fair have commited to “reigniting” the West Country event.

Sue Ede, director of the Bath and Bruton decorative antiques fairs and the Giant Shepton Flea Market, acquired the Exeter Matford fair with her husband Peter and daughter Katie.

Ede said “our aim is to enthusiastically refresh” the event, starting with its next staging on August 11. She also hopes to “re-establish it as a 200-300 quality stand event”.

The Matford fair has run for more than 25 years.

Thieves target entrepreneur home

British biotech entrepreneur Sir Christopher Evans has offered a “substantial reward” to help recover £1m worth of antiques, jewellery and silver stolen in a raid on his home in Gloucestershire.

Among the items taken were three Omar Ramsden and Alwyn Carr Art Nouveau silver rose bowls and four George III silver candlesticks.

Officers from Gloucestershire police were called at 10.05pm on July 9 to reports of a burglary at Glebe House in Bibury. The police are asking anyone with information to ring them on 101 and quote incident number 595 and crime number 19555/18.

Persian relief on way back to Iran

A Persian limestone relief sculpture is to be returned to Iran, a New York court has ruled. The object, depicting a guard from the ancient city of Persepolis, was seized from the stand of Rupert Wace Ancient Art at TEFAF New York in October 2017.


The Persian limestone relief from Persepolis which a New York court ruled should be returned to Iran.

The District Attorney of New York filed a claim on May 24, 2018, with the state’s Supreme Court calling for the return of the relief to Iran, on the grounds that it was looted from the country in the 1930s.

London dealerships Rupert Wace and Sam Fogg, who jointly owned the relief, said: “We are pleased to report that the Persian guard relief is being returned to Iran.

“The relief originally came from Persepolis. We have concluded that Iran has a strong moral claim to it.”

The relief, dating from c.500BC and the Achaemenid Empire, was on display in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from 1951-2011.

Wace and Fogg purchased the relief from insurance company AXA ART in 2016, after it was stolen from the museum in 2011. Once recovered, the museum decided to keep the insurance money rather than have the object returned, and it was sold to the dealers.

East London fair put on hold for 2019

The London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair scheduled to run at ExCeL London in January has been put on hold for 2019.

Mary Claire Boyd of Clarion Events, which owns the ExCeL fair, said: “We are very disappointed not to be in a position to run next year’s event, especially as it was attracting a new buying audience for the exhibitors.” She added that “we will continue to keep the market informed on any further datelines should we move forward to host this event again in the future”.

The decision is believed to have been prompted by a shift in the date of the longer-established Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair, organised by the Antiques Dealers Fair Limited. The fair dates would have overlapped.

In Numbers


The hammer price for a Suffragette archive including a ‘hunger strike’ medal that sold for a house record at Catherine Southon’s auction in Surrey on July 25. The archive relating to the Welsh-born Kate Evans was bought by National Museum Wales.


The ‘hunger strike’ medal from the Suffragette archive sold at Catherine Southon in Surrey.