What.........Wednesday - A story of a flying ace!

'What can you tell me about.......'

So following on from our first ever 'What.......' Wednesday last week we were contacted by one of our youngest clients and collectors Rosie who wanted to share a story with us....and what a story it was!

I have been enjoying reading the daily ‘let us entertain you’ on your website and it has encouraged me to learn about my Great Great Uncle Jack Morton. He didn’t have any children and his passion was flying, he owned a de Havilland Gipsy II plane which he flew for pleasure and was a member of Coventry aeroplane club. 

Apparently, he and his wife were fun to be around and interesting characters - here are just some of the things they used to do!

They went hedge-hopping through the fields and low over my grandmas hedge, regularly flew to France and Spain for weekends away and would return with alcohol and jewellery which they sold to their friends! However, his flying career ended when he crash landed the plane but luckily returned un-harmed, the propellor was not damaged which from then on was hung in his living room with a clock in the centre of it. The propellor has passed on to my dad so it is now in our house however the clock is no longer in it. 

He also had some log books, flying manuals which and a 1950s alt meter, which are all kept in a bag in our loft and until today I didn’t know of their existence! I have attached some photos of these objects and the propellor.



This was just the most wonderful story and evoked such fantastic images of Rosies great Uncle Jack! I can only beging to image what a pair he and his wife must have made with their European trips, and hedge hopping antics!  

As you can see from the pictures Rosie sent us, while the plane may have crash landed the original properllor is still in superb condition and with all the related flying guides and ephemera it makes just the most fantastic collection. While we know Rosie and her family would never want to part with any of it she was still curious as to the value and what we could tell her, which we were all too happy to do!

Curious to learn more about the propellor itself we asked Rosie for a little more information, including any serial numbers stamped on to the centre of the propellor and a budding researcher and valuer in the making Rosie quickly came back with more photos and the information we'd asked for.


One side reads - DRG NO. 5180/14 ISSUE 14, DH GIPSY II L.H

And the other side reads - D6’  4”  P5’-0”    JULY/36 A.C. 45338


All this information came back to confirm the make and model of the plane and also the date of 1936. This was of course a wonderful time for travel and the 1920's and 1930's transformed the way we got around from planes like Uncle Jack owned to the motor car! The world was becoming a smaller place and it was the age of elegance and speed! I have always longed to go back to this time and would have most definately wanted to meet Uncle Jack and his wife!

In terms of value its a great collection and these complete propellor blades aren't that common these days, add to that the interior desirability, the ephemera and of course the story and well we think it would comfortable carry a pre-sale auction estimate of £600 to £800 and on a good day it could easily fetch four figures!

Reading that Rosies dad has much of the collection stored away in the loft, I think its the perfect excuse for Rosie to take over the care of these wonderful pieces and maybe research more about her Great Great Uncle and his wife......we look forward to hearing more tales of their adventures together.




Posted on 8 April 2020 in: Auction life

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