Salver given to ‘Johnnie’ Johnson – estimate £600-800 at Cheffins on August 26.

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The salver, 14½in (37cm) in diameter, 40ozt, was gifted to Johnson on his retirement in 1962 and has an estimate of £600-800 in The Jewellery, Silver & Watches Sale.

It has a mark of Garrard & Co, London 1962 and is of ‘Chippendale’ style, the field engraved Presented to Air Vice Marshal J.E. Johnson CB CBE DSO DFC RAF by the Officers of Air Forces Middle East on the occasion of his retirement from the Royal Air Force, raised on four hoof feet, signed to the underside, 37cm in diameter, 40ozt.


Johnson in front of his Spitfire MK IX EN398 JE-J (image via Cheffins, reproduced with kind permission of the family).

Despite missing the Battle of Britain through injury, Johnson's wartime record was 34 aircraft claimed destroyed with a further seven shared destroyed, three probable destroyed, 10 damaged, and one shared, destroyed on the ground.

All of his kills were fighters including the formidable Focke-Wolf Fw190 and Messerschmitt Me 109 rather than the slower and more vulnerable bombers. His own aircraft was never shot down.

A portrait of Johnson painted by Leonard Harry Wells in 1945 at Lubeck in north Germany sold for £28,000 at Cheffins in January 2017 (ATG No 2312). Dealership MacConnal-Mason then sold the oil to a private UK buyer and it was donated to the RAF Club in London. Cheffins also sold Johnson’s diary for £16,000 in July 2017.