March 30 2007 Press Release




This is the only way to describe the collection we have been instructed to sell. Our specialist found some 10,000 items filling every room of an anonymous looking house in Sunbury-on-Thames. This rare treasure trove of maritime history will come under the hammer in a series of auctions including live internet bidding commencing in June 2007


This most remarkable collection of maritime memorabilia was collected over a period of 40 years. The vendor has collected items covering a wide range including 1000's of Royal and Merchant Navy curiosities Ocean Liner souvenirs and memorabilia, marine antiques and Chandlery, ships china and glassware, edged weapons, head gear, cap tallies and uniforms, navigation instruments and clocks, ships models, photographs, postcards, menus, passenger lists and printed ephemera, rare Ship Builders Specifications, Welling dolls, objects made from the wood of Merchant and War ships and much more that we do not have room to list.


The collection was sourced through regular visits to auctions, antique fairs, markets and junk shops. Virtually every item is listed with details of where and when purchased and for what price.


The collector comes from a nautical background; his father, grandfather and great- grandfather were Master Mariners.  He went to sea in 1941 aged 16 working for Shell as a Deck Cadet on board an Eagle Oil Company tanker in the Atlantic convoys.  After two transatlantic crossings his ship arrived in Liverpool during the May blitz of 1941, a few days after his 17th birthday.  Shortly before she was due to sail the ship received a direct hit, causing extensive damage, severely wounding the young cadet who was on watch at the time.  He spent a year in hospital and was warned his prospects of returning to sea were remote.  However, his wish to continue his chosen career was strong enough to allow his return in 1942, continuing in service at sea until 1947.


Now in his eighties, he has had to make the difficult decision to sell the entire collection. He is looking forward to moving to Portsmouth to be beside the sea.


Onslows was established in 1984 and specialises in the sale of collectors items, we hold regular auctions of Vintage and Travel Posters, Propaganda Posters of the two World Wars, Printed Ephemera, Maritime Titanic and Railwayana. Sales have been traditionally held in central London, but with the Internet becoming the best place to buy and sell we are developing new sales using live bidding technology.