More than 1,000 signatures were sold at Campbells auction house in High Street, Worthing, today and made £42,376 in total, attracting buyers from around the world.
A rare photograph taken from space before the Apollo 11 mission and signed by Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, sold for £2,585 – the highest individual sale.
Also selling for £2,585 was a letter from Lady Emma Hamilton, the mistress of Lord Nelson, which captured a lot of national interest.
A letter from Lady Hamilton’s husband Sir William Hamilton, which implies that he is aware of his wife’s relationship with Nelson, fetched £1,058.
Other high sellers included a signed manuscript from the first Prime Minister Robert Walpole, dated December 29, 1735, which sold for £1057.50, and Winston Churchill’s signature with a signature squiggle on a Whitehall notelet realised £705.
A fascinating signature from Charles Dickens on a cheque for £35 sold for £822.50 while signed piano sheet music by Maurice Ravel, composer of Bolero, fetched £1,762.50 in a lot with Franz Liszt.
Pablo Picasso’s signature was sold for £940 and a group of signed portraits of Mount Everest conquerors Edmund Hillary, Tensing Norgay and Lord Hunt fetched £822.50, while a postcard sent from Copacabana Beach by the Great Train Robbers, Ronnie Biggs and Bruce Reynolds, inscribed “Doctor John – My Kind of Luck” sold for £564.
A letter signed by Napoleon sold for £881 and a letter, one of several from the Duke of Wellington went for £764.
Auctioneer Paul Campbell said: “I am delighted with the result of today’s sale. It has 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. I was so pleased to see such competitive bidding in both the auction room and online; I am just sorry that it’s all over.”
The collection was amassed by magician Jon Evans, who is believed to have died aged 90 in 2007, at his home near Arundel Cathedral.
The sale was 100 per cent sold.
All the prices quoted include the 17.5 per cent buyer’s premium that is added onto the hammer price.
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