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Among the highlights at the November 7 sale was a Cartier silver cigarette case.

The value of this item was hugely enhanced by the monogram of the King and Queen of Belgium and an inscription To Major Brackley R.A.F. In remembrance of our trip to Ostend from St Pol 18th October 1918. Albert Elisabeth.

Brackley, escorted by six Sopwith Camel fighters, had flown the couple over Ostend and Bruges, still occupied by German forces.

His connection with the Belgian royals continued after the war, as evidenced by a photograph of them offered with the case inscribed to the frame To Major Brackley, Cairo Baghdad Cairo, 15 21 March 31.

Consigned by a member of Major Brackley’s family, the 3in (8cm) wide case engraved Cartier Paris Londres was estimated at £300-500 but sold to a UK collector at £5200.

Presentation trowels


One of six silver trowels inscribed to Lord Jellicoe – £3400 together at Dominic Winter.

Looking far from warlike was a collection of six presentation trowels, but they were all inscribed to one of the under-appreciated commanders of the Great War, Admiral Jellicoe (1859-1935), in charge of the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.

After the war Viscount (later Earl) Jellicoe became Governor General of New Zealand and the trowels were souvenirs of foundation-stone laying duties there from 1921-26.

Entered into the sale by a dealer acting for a descendant of the Jellicoe family, the trowels, estimated at £1500-2000, went to a UK collector at £3400.


Mappin & Webb trench knife – £520 at Dominic Winter.

A more obvious momento of the events of 1914-18 was a product of world-famous Sheffield firm Mappin & Webb – a vicious-looking trench knife-cum-knuckleduster with a 5in (13cm) steel blade and brass grip stamped Trustworthy.

Fighting knives such as this are a vibrant collecting niche. Estimated at £200-300, it sold to a collector at £520.