Aviation heritage has never attracted broad investor interest, the inclusion of such items in high-end auction catalogues being more the exception, than the norm. Indeed, there is no such thing here as a established aeronautica market, as there is say for antiques or fine art.
While it was not altogether unusual to see an item of early Australian aeronautical silverware auctioned in Sydney earlier this week, the [comparatively] high price realized in this instance was somewhat unexpected.
Noble Numismatics‘ catalogue described The Evening News Cup (left) as “a highly polished 9 ct rose gold, affixed atop the lid is a miniature model of a WWI Sopwith Camel plated with yellow gold and satin finish for contrast (85g; 12.5cm high), on the side is attached a winged kangaroo standing on a mound, above is inscribed, ‘The Evening News Cup/New South Wales/Aerial Derby/Inaugurated 1920’, and below the kangaroo is inscribed, ‘Australian Aero Club/New South Wales Section’, around the base is inscribed, ‘Made by Angus & Coote Sydney’. Small dent in one arm, otherwise extremely fine and extremely rare.”
Only four of these gold replica cups have been awarded, one to Captain G. C. Matthews for winning the inaugural 1920 Aerial Derby and three to Lieutenant (later Captain) Nigel B. Love who won the inaugural 1920 Aerial Derby Handicap and in the second Aerial Derby in 1922 he won the event and was also Handicap winner. As the cup offered here has the inscription ‘Inaugurated 1920’ it must be assumed it was one of the two awarded for the first race held in 1920.
Here’s hoping that it went to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (a.k.a. The Powerhouse).