Oldnautibits News
Somerset, England - 9th July 2002

Millers Antiques Guide Select Oldnautibits!

Oldnautibits have had a very busy early summer here in South West England - although our weather has been more like Autumn or Winter. Since our last report we have attended another Bath & West Antiques Fair at Shepton Mallet and have just returned from the Westpoint Fair near Exeter, another new venue for us. We are pleased to have been featured in both "Antique Dealer" and "Antique Explorer in the West Country" magazines for July. At both events we received a very positive reaction to our stand and variety of stock on offer, we were also complimented on our display - with one customer saying we had the best presentation at the fair!

This feeling appears to have been endorsed by representatives of the well-known "Millers Antiques Guide" who were selecting and photographing interesting stock for their editions to be published in 2003. We were happy to loan a range of aeronautical and marine items. It remains to be seen how many will be selected for publication, but judging from the range photographed by Millers, this could be quite extensive!

BE2c Propeller Hub ClockOn the stock front we continue to search out quality items that are just a little bit different - this policy appears to be keeping our customer base happy. We managed to track down a fine, fully stamped, propeller hub from a vintage 1915 RFC BE2c Aircraft which, like so many, has been converted into a unique clock. Our research on this aircraft indicates that, while it was a very stable observation platform, it also made an easy target for the Germans and acquired the name of "focker fodder" until it was withdrawn from first line service!

This month we have also sourced an amazing example of a WWII Luftwaffe "Channel Suit", discovered in a barn in Europe where it had remained forgotten since 1945. The suit is winter weight for flight over water, finished in soft blue nubuck with a full shearling wool lining and a fur collar - there are zips and pockets everywhere - the trousers are in near mint condition!

"Seth Thomas" Ship's Bell ClockQuality marine material is proving harder and harder to find - but again we managed to locate a fine Seth Thomas "Officer of the Watch" Ship's Bell Clock in the University town of Cambridge. This was bought from a private collector and is an early example (1890 -1900) of work by one of the most famous horologists in the USA. The distinguishing feature of the clock is that it strikes the number of bells of each watch on the hour and also on the half hour, so when we get eight bells at 12.00 this is not a fault! These clocks are much sought after and it will be hard to take it from the office wall to the next fair!

Once again thanks for visiting the site - if you have any feedback do contact us - or better still check our fair dates and come and meet the team on the stand! Our last show saw a 1944 submarine collectable sold to a US buyer and a 1914 ship's lantern destined for Australia, proving yet again our capability of serving the world from our base in South West England.