Dix Noonan Webb - The Indian Mutiny V.C. group of six awarded to Private Patrick Donohoe of the 9th Lancers, who at the Battle of Bolondshuhur on September 28, 1857, went to the aid of his severely wounded officer, was sold for a hammer price of £220,00 by Dix Noonan Webb in their auction of Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria,Wednesday, January 26, 2022. Estimated to fetch £140,000-180,000, the group has not been sold on the open market for over 100 years and was being sold by an Overseas collector [lot 207].
Following the sale, Christopher Mellor-Hill, Head of Client Liaison (Associate Director), Dix Noonan Webb commented:
“We are pleased with another great price today further reflecting the glory of the Victoria Cross and also a reflection on the notable Irish contribution in our military history as well as the growing interest in medal collecting generally with no less than six bidders participating in the auction. Donohoe’s V.C. group was bought by a private collector.”
The second highest price of the sale was achieved by a fine Battle of France and Battle of Britain Fighter Ace’s 1940 D.F.C. and 1945 ‘Test Pilot’s’ A.F. C. group of eight awarded to Hurricane and Spitfire pilot, Wing Commander P. L. Parrott, which realised a hammer price of £200,000. Estimated to fetch £80,000-120,000, it was being sold by his family.
Wing Commander Peter Lawrence Parrott, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who nearly achieved ‘Ace’ in a day status during his first aerial combats on May 10, 1940, was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire in June 1920, and educated at Lord Williams’s Grammar School. After school, he worked in the Bucks County Council offices at the County Hall in Aylesbury. Aged just 19, Parrott went on to fly with 607 (County of Durham) Squadron during the Battle of France, and with 145 Squadron over the beaches of Dunkirk. He was shot up whilst in combat with a He. III over Dunkirk on May 26, 1940, managing to limp home across the Channel and crash land in a field on the south coast.
Parrott went on to distinguish himself during the Battle of Britain whilst operating out of the Tangmere Sector, the high point of which being when he shot down 2 enemy aircraft, 8 August 1940, ‘our first view of the convoy near St. Catherine’s Point was of Ju 87’s in their bombing dives. Above the Ju. 87’s were the escorting Bf 109’s and farther to the south-east were two more large formations of enemy aircraft approaching the convoy - a formidable sight. I had already taken part in the Battle for France, and patrolled over Dunkirk during the evacuation, but I had never before seen so many aircraft in the sky at once.’ A remarkable year continued when Parrott’s photograph, taken during the Battle of France, was used for a recruiting poster - providing one of the iconic Royal Air Force images of the Second World War, and literally making him the poster boy of the R.A.F [lot 219].
The group was bought by a private collector and after the sale, Mark Quayle, Specialist (Associate Director) Dix Noonan Webb noted: “Naturally we are delighted by the result, but not particularly surprised given Peter Parrott’s remarkable bravery and determination in the face of real adversity. The strong public interest and awe felt with regard to ‘The Few’ is alive and well.”
The sale also included an extremely rare, if not unique George Cross that was presented in 1940 for bomb disposal during the London Blitz which sold for a hammer price of £110,000. Estimated to fetch £30,000-50,000, it was being sold by the recipient’s family.
The group of five was awarded to Sub-Lieutenant J. B. P. Duppa-Miller, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, who was awarded the George Cross for his courage and skill in disarming a highly sensitive and dangerous magnetic mine in Barking Creek on September 23, 1940 during the Battle of Britain. John Bryan Peter Duppa-Miller (born Miller) was born in 1903 at Stechford, Birmingham and died at Somerset West, South Africa in 1994 [lot 208].
Christopher Mellor-Hill, Head of Client Liaison (Associate Director), Dix Noonan Webb commented:
“We are particularly pleased to see Millers bravery so well recognized with such a fantastic price given that he was recommended for a bar to his George Cross (a second award) in WW2 for dangerous work disarming the biggest of German bombs before later on after the war, going off to teach in Africa where he lost his original cross on his travels. The George Cross was bought by a relatively new collector of iconic British medallic stories.”
FORTHCOMINGS AUCTIONS AT DNW
- TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 1 & 2 - COINS, TOKENS AND HISTORICAL MEDALS
- WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 23 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
- THURSDAY FEBRUARY 24 - BRITISH, IRISH AND WORLD BANKNOTES
- TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8 & 9 - COINS, TOKENS AND HISTORICAL MEDALS
- THURSDAY MARCH 10 - IRISH COINS, TOKENS AND HISTORICAL MEDALS
- TUESDAY MARCH 15 - JEWELLERY, WATCHES AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
- WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23 - ORDERS, DECORATIONS, MEDALS AND MILITARIA
Dix Noonan Webb – a brief history.
In 1991, its first year of trading, the company held three medal auctions and sold 1,200 lots for a total hammer price of £553,000, however 30 years later, DNW is established as the premier medal auctioneer worldwide. Two years later, in 1993, it opened a coin department which also auctions commemorative medals and tokens. In 2015 DNW added jewellery to its sales calendar as well as setting up a stand alone banknotes department and expanding into premises next door. In 2020 DNW achieved a total hammer price of £14,256,060 and the total number of lots sold across all departments was 24,400. To date the company has sold in excess of 350,000 lots totalling over £200 million.