Closing our Interiors auction on the 16 May, we are pleased to be offering a collection of painted truncheons, tipstaves and early weapons (Lots 421-468). Most of this collection has been built up over some years and features a wide array of examples, with the majority dating from the early 19th century. Ahead of the auction Head of Sale, Ashley Matthews takes a look at some of the highlights.
One of the earliest examples in the collection is Lot 422. This is a George III painted and stained wood truncheon, dated 1796. At an impressive 63cm long, it is decorated with a stylised Royal coat of arms and text for St. John, Hackney J. Brown, and carries an estimate of £800-1,000 (+ fees).
Lot 444 is an unusual tipstaff. Tipstaves were used to represent as a badge of office and were used on ceremonial occasions rather than as tools for peace keeping or personal protection like the longer truncheons. This example is only 17cm long, fitting in the palm of the hand and is made with protruding crown finials. Although the crown finials on this example are fixed, it is interesting to note that other short tipstaves, like the one we are offering in Lot 458, were designed to have a removable crown, which reveals a hollow chamber within. This chamber could be used to hold the owner’s warrant providing proof of the appointment of the holder to their position of authority.
Lot 453 is a Victorian painted wood provost’s truncheon by Hebbert & Co. The shaft is decorated with a crown above a VR cypher and M.P cartouche, indicating that it was used by the Military Police. It is finished with a ribbed handle and the end stamped 'D', with a broad arrow within the maker's text roundel surrounding this. At 44.5cm long, it is estimated at £400-600 (+ fees).
A perfect keepsake for a retired officer or a loved one is Lot 467, a miniature silver model of a truncheon, measuring at 6cm long. Dating from 1978 and with London hallmarks, this is of traditional form and is modelled with a ribbed handle and martingale, providing an ideal hanging point for a necklace or for mounting to a watch chain.
Tuesday 16 May | 10.30am BST
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
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