Harmony Harpoon

An unusual artefact with links to Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica in 1914/5, has surfaced in Hampshire. Consigned for sale with Andrew Smith & Son’s Winchester Auction Rooms by a descendant of the geologist James Wordie, an early 19th century whaling harpoon from the Scottish immigration transport ‘Harmony’, which by family repute was acquired by Wordie  at some stage during the journey southwards with Shackleton aboard the ‘Endurance’. The harpoon, measuring 113 cm long is engraved ‘Harmony 1821’ and R. Black. G to the barbed head. The brig  Harmony is recorded in 1821 as sailing from Barra (Scotland) to Sydney, Nova Scotia with 350 settlers from Barra. Historically interesting does not always justify a high value, as the harpoon is estimated at just £100/200 – the auctioneers have already received interest from descendants of those early settlers.

Elsewhere among the 850 lots and of appeal to interior furnishings buyers and collectors alike, a  set of five Murano glass wall sconces by Venini, Italy, model no. 413 after a design by Tomaso Buzzi, each sconce is formed as a palm leaf to rope twist scroll arms incorporating gold fleck decoration, mounted on brass wall mounts and date to circa 1930. Estimated at £500/800 these scarce lamps rarely turn up in such numbers and are sure to attract international interest.

More versed with selling full sized vintage automobiles and motorcycles, Andrew Smith & Son will also offer for sale an early pedal car version of the Austin J40, in ‘barn find’ condition, complete and highly original including undamaged seat and unusually complete with windscreen (although detached) and suitable for an eager individual to restore. These cars were constructed using off-cut steel from the full size Austin car factory and assembled by the Austin Junior Car Factory, a project which opened in Bargoed, South Wales in 1949 staffed by disabled ex-miners and set up as a non-profit business funded by the British government. The example offered here carries the flying ‘A’ bonnet emblem, indicating a very early production car, as this emblem was soon dropped due to the potential danger to children. Estimated at £300/400 this too is expected to attract much interest.


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