7468 - 20170124 - Phenomenal single-owner collection of 1,000 signatures to be offered at Campbells - Worthing - U.K. - 24.01.2017

Duke of Buckingham.
A magnificent collection of more than a 1,000 signatures from iconic historical figures from the past five centuries, from Charles Dickens to the Duke of Wellington to the First Men on the Moon to Buffalo Bill and Harry Houdini will be offered by auctioneers Campbells on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 11am at their premises, 44-46 High St, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1LL. For those who cannot attend the sale, online bidding is available via www.the-saleroom.com. 
The collection was amassed by the late John Evans, who meticulously framed or put the signatures in albums. He was passionate about politics, which is evident from the collection, and was one of the first Anti-Vivisection campaigners.

Auctioneer Paul Campbell was asked to take the collection when Mr Evans died earlier this year, he said: "It's been such a privilege to turn the pages of one man's life and passion and to see and consider the history he brought together. The Dalai Lama is next to Spencer Perceval, the Prime Minister who was murdered inside the House of Commons in 1812."

Estimates range from £50 to £1,000, with the earliest signature dating from 1697 from the 1st Duke of Marlborough. One of the most fascinating signatures is that of Charles Dickens on a Coutts cheque for £35 for a piece of silver in 1861 to Messrs Hunt & Roskell, which was originally founded as Paul Storr in 1819. Other literary names include J.M Barrie; Rudyard Kipling; William Wordsworth; Arthur Conan Doyle and John Ruskin.

Mr Evans was obviously fascinated by the Duke of Wellington and there are several letters from him as well as a lock of hair and an invitation to his funeral plus a letter from his wife, Catherine Pakenham. One letter is from his Parisian Headquarters, dated 1815 – the year of the Battle of Waterloo, when he defeated Napoleon – who is also featured in the auction.

Unfortunately, there is no signature from Lord Nelson, but there are letters from his mistress Emma Hamilton and her husband, Sir William Hamilton as well as Sir William Beatty, the doctor who treated Nelson until his death. Other important military figures include Lord Kitchener; Air Chief Marshall Hugh Dowding and Field Marshal Montgomery of Alamein.

Other important Historical Figures include Explorer Sir Edmund Hillary and Lord Hunt – who led the successful 1953 expedition to Mount Everest; photographs taken on the moon that were later signed by the first men on the moon including Neil Armstrong; Buzz Aldrin and Charlie Duke as well as Artists including Pablo Picasso; Dante Gabriel Rosetti and an exquisite sketch from Dame Laura Knight.

Most Prime Ministers from Robert Walpole to Winston Churchill through to Tony Blair are featured either in bound albums or signed books, which also include Mikhail Gorbachev. A delightful comment from Scottish Politician James Keir Hardie, who was the first Labour Member of Parliament, commented “Autograph hunters are a wee bit of a nuisance”, while a letter from Harold Wilson discusses Huddersfield Town and a letter from Margaret Thatcher covers a topic close to Mr Evan’s heart, antivivisection.

Elsewhere, there is a group of signatures from the Charge of the Light Brigade including Private William Boyd, who participated; the Earl of Cardigan, who commanded the Light Brigade and Lord Lucan who gave the order to charge!