One of the most interesting entries to be submitted to a Devon & Cornwall saleroom in decades has to be a gentleman’s walking cane belonging to the controversial Titanic survivor Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon. The cane goes under the hammer at our saleroom on New Year’s Day 2020 along with over 1000 other lots.
Landowner & fencing Olympian Sir. Duff-Gordon, was a first class passenger in one of the most exclusive suites on the Titanic. Statistics show that most of the first class gentleman observed the Birkenhead Drill of women & children first. However Sir. Cosmo Duff-Gordon soon faced accusations of cowardice & bribery when he, along with eleven others including his wife, were alleged to have rowed away from drowning passengers in a lifeboat that could hold forty after his rescue by Carpathia.
The cane itself was made by Briggs, one of the most renowned makers. It is made from malacca & is topped with a rare 12.5ct rose gold. Crafted by goldsmith Charles Cooke, the gold top was assayed in London 1904. It is inscribed “Cosmo Duff-Gordon” with also “Travellers Club”. The Travellers Club is one of London’s most exclusive Gentlemen’s Clubs. Sir Duff-Gordon was the grandson of its founder member, Sir Edmund Antrobus.
The provenance of the cane is that it was presented to Sir. Duff-Gordon’s housekeeper Isabella Whale in 1931 & has been submitted for sale by her great grandson. It has been sportingly placed into auction with a guide of just £300-500 with view to maximise interest.
The sale itself also sees a fine eight three lot strong collection of Cornish Troika pottery including a rare love token plaque (£800-1000) along with over fifty pieces of Mason’s ironstone including some rarer patterns.
There is an eclectic array of interesting collectables for all budgets throughout the sale. These include a German Doll stationary steam engine which should easily surpass its £200-300 guide price while a tinplate “Steam Express” is hoped to achieve its £60-80 guide. There are various Chinese art entries notably an 18thC. Kangxi porcelain bowl which simply has to surpass its come & get me guide of £100-150 despite very minor faults while a decorative Chinese blue & white lidded dish with dragon decor which should also top its £50-70 guide with no problem.
The sale also sees some great furnishing entries. These include a Victorian button back leather chaise longue £500-600 as well as popular retro furniture items such as an Ercol sutherland table £60-80 & an Ercol nest of pebble tables £200-250. Other furnishing items include a 19thC. sienna marble & gilt bronze garniture at £400-500 & a Regency period bracket clock (£500-600). An attractive pine king size four poster bed also enters the fray at £300-400.
There are many jewellery & silver entries toward the sale end. These include a 19thC. French Empire style silver chocolate pot at £400-500 & an antique diamond brooch at £1000-1500. An Elkington silver claret jug really ought to sell at £300-400 whilst a pretty 18ct gold diamond & sapphire ring surely must be finding a new home at £300-500.