Charity Shop Find is Rare Theatre Souvenir of Artic Explorers   

Charity Shop Find is Rare Theatre Souvenir of Artic Explorers  

A fairly unassuming playbill bought in an Epping charity shop for £5 sold for £4,750 in our auction of Fine Interiors on Wednesday 30 June after it was discovered to be a rare theatrical advertisement printed on the H.M.S Resolute during its Arctic expedition in the 1850s.

The unnamed buyer took a liking to the framed piece after seeing another shopper inspect it and put it down again. Thinking that the silk looked to have some age and intrigued by its charm, they conducted some research of their own and found a similar example had sold at Christie’s in 2004 for over £2,000. Excited by its prospects, they brought it in to us and entered it for sale in our June Fine Interiors auction.

 

 

HMS Resolute Playbill

 

 

The playbill, advertising performances of ‘The Taming the Shrew’ and ‘The Two Bonnycastles’, is a fascinating insight into the lives of the ship's crew. To alleviate their boredom during the winter months berthed at Dealy Island off the south shore of Melville Island, Canada, the men would put on performances complete with costumes and advertising playbills such as this one. After the 1853 season advertised on this playbill, the HMS Resolute became stuck in ice and had to be abandoned, later to be found by American whalers and sailed back to Britain to be presented to Queen Victoria in 1856. As a gesture of thanks, timbers from the ship were gifted to US President, Rutherford B Hayes in 1880, who used them to make the Resolute Desk which is still located in the White House's Oval Office today.

After significant interest from the UK and America, a successful UK trade buyer secured the lot for £4,750 including fees.

"It's remarkable what still turns up in Charity shops. They really would be better taking professional advice before selling their art and antiques. However, this was a great find for our vendor who knew we have a good track record selling items from the so-called Heroic Age of Polar exploration," said Sworders Chairman Guy Schooling.

 

VIEW LOT

 

 

Next Article

 

 


 


 

More Recent News

 

Mutiny On The Bounty

After becoming interested in the story of The mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty, John O’Conner began collecting artefacts on the subject, eventually owning some of Bligh’s most personal possessions. The collection will be sold as part of our Books and Maps timed auction in September

14 September 2021

 

The Lawrence Gatehouse Collection

Lawrie Gatehouse (1943 - 2020) was an avid collector of Art Deco and posters, drawn to the printed medium through his primary love of the golden age of steam and travel.  The main pieces of the collection now comes to sale in our auction of Design on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 October, other works from his collection will be sold in our Homes and Interiors sale on 21 September.

10 September 2021

It's The Little Things in Life...

Our upcoming Fine Interiors auction offers a magnificent single owner collection of miniatures that pay testament to the passion of their collector whose interests ranged from the 16th century to the early 19th century, from portraits of Kings to glamorous women...

6 September 2021

 

 


 

Get Sworders News