A rare Second World War RAF Observer Corps Electric Sector Clock and Synchronome Electric Master Clock was the star lot in Tennants Auctioneer’s Militaria and Ethnographic Sale on 13th December. The clocks date from 1943 and 1940 respectively, and were sold for £5,500 plus buyer’s premium having attracted interest from collectors across the country.
Sector clocks are colour-coded clocks used at military airfields to chart and track the movements of enemy aeroplanes. The face of the sector clock has alternating blue, yellow and red triangles marking out five minute intervals; enemy aircraft positions were recorded alongside the corresponding time and colour, and then relayed to a central command to be plotted on a map. This simple system was easily used, and helped those in command make quick decisions, proving vital during the Battle of Britain. Attached to a highly accurate, regulated ‘master clock’, they were first introduced in 1917, and are now highly sought after by collectors of aeronautica.
There was much interest in lots from the Second World War in the sale, and selling particularly strongly was a pair of Navy Bridge Binoculars by Ross of London dating from 1944. Sold in their original fitted wooden case the binoculars made £3,000 plus buyer’s premium against an estimate of £300-500. A pair of German Third Reich Kriegsmarine Binoculars by Carl Zeiss sold strongly too, fetching £2,300 plus buyer’s premium against an estimate of £400-600.
On a more personal note, a good Gallantry Group of First & Second World War Medals, which were awarded to L4151sJT.T. Hickey of the 9th Logistic Readiness Squadron sold for £2,500 plus buyer’s premium. The medals, which include a 1914 Mons Star with clasp 5th Aug.-22nd Nov.1914, a British War Medal, a Victory Medal (MID), a Defence Medal, a War Medal, and a Jubilee Medal 1935, were sold alongside further personal items belonging to Hickey, including his Second World War Military Identity Card, portrait photograph, two pairs of nickel spurs, cap and collar badges, sweetheart brooches, buttons, cloth insignia, Royal Tournament medal, a silver half hunter cased pocket watch, a silver metal hunter cased pocket watch, and, a caricature portrait of the recipient dated 1940, two framed portrait photographs of his horses "Felix" and "Bar One", five numbered hand written exercise books containing his autobiography "From the Blackwater to the Lee", and a plated presentation mug and tray.
The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £112,580 with 86% of the 585 lots sold.
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A Second World War Royal Air Force Observer Corps Electric Sector Clock and a Synchronome Electric Master Clock – Sold for £5,500
(top left) A Pair of Second World War Navy Bridge Binoculars – Sold for £3,000