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Medal Collectors

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AlasdairW

Hi Kmad, 

I have pm'd you a link to the auction preview, the estimate is £1800-£2200, I can only hope if it goes for auction that there is little interest or for someone who is reluctant to bid me up in a similar scenario as you mentioned in your last reply.

 

Thank you very much for the support Medaler & Kim,

Having read numerous posts over a few years on the subject of handling, buying & selling medals I can clearly see what good collectors do for reuniting and preserving the items and in turn the history behind them, on the flip side this also increases the value to silly amounts, there does also seem to be a small minority who exploit the situations from those they know have nostalgic connections, I can see how family members can be frustrated although some take an entitled approach, I am not naïve enough to pretend the majority of these items haven't worked their way onto the market from families selling them.

As is the case right now for me, due to difficulties my father sold Alfred's medals which, had he retained would have naturally passed to me already.

 

Robins2, thanks but I wish it was that easy, I have a big family, many commitments and Christmas just over the hill.

 

I have the possibility of borrowing now but if the cost was to escalate I might have to just let go of any hopes of them ever coming back into the family line. 

 

Alasdair

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear kmad,

No need to feel bad about it. This collecting business has to do with Supply and Demand, obviously.

As you say, you saved it! The lady was understandably delighted to secure the object, and the price paid was largely irrelevant.

I have experienced similar scenarios, paying, say, double for a gallantry group and quickly writing off the money - but being delighted with the medals for years afterwards...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Alasdair,

Thanks for your sobering summary. You have my sympathy...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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chaz

register with the saleroom web site to make sure of your interest, check the auction house web site and see if they do online bidding. this should cut out the 3 to 5% commission the saleroom charge. note, they have just increased their cut.I am registered with a couple of local auctioneers and they say I can save 3% at least.

have you managed to get anything on the BMF? hopefully would stop a few bidding on the group.

 

having said the last bit, watch out for the vultures. Im on saleroom, and was notified by another member telling me about a pair of my interest, I bid to my limit but was beaten. lo and behold, a week later I get another email from same member offering the pair to me with a £25 mark up.. I refused, then to avoid any follow up, he deleted his emails to me.

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AlasdairW

Thanks for the advice Chaz, I have now registered, I have also messaged and emailed the owner to see if I could cut out the middle man but no reply so far.

 

I think I might post something on the BMF as you suggest, going by the estimates I'd already pushing the financial boundries, if its bought in the hope of squeezing a little more out of me (in a similar scenario as to one you describe) I am afraid they would only be disappointed, although maybe less so than I would be.

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AlasdairW

Having pondered the auction for some time now I've finally decided that I'm going to pass up the opportunity to buy them back, I could well scrape enough together at such short notice provided bidding didn't get silly, however It would be my family who ultimately pays for my sentimentality, I'm not going to lie, I feel a little bitter at the intrusion and falseness of the dealer In order to get information purely to increase profits, I'll leave it now in the knowledge he will still be remembered all the same and that his medals will be safe in the hands of a collector.

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MrEd

I am not a medal Collector but I am a militaria collector (different period to WW1 though).

 

my grandfathers WW1 medals and SWB were sold when my grandmother fell on hard times after his death in the 60’s.

 

i would love to ‘get his medals back’ - it’s been long told in the family that she sold them out of necessity of survival, along with a lot of other jewellery etc. She kept photos etc though all neatly in an album so I have no doubt that she only sold because her situation dictated she did rather than because a family member didn’t care etc.

 

i totally understand the collectors point of view, my collection (specific ww2 and Cold War organisation) has taken me a long time (15 years maybe?) and a good amount of money to (almost) complete - I treasure these items, store them carefully and take pleasure from owning them. (I take them to talks and loan them from time to time aswell). I regularly get asked to sell bits and get offered strong money, but I can’t as them the collection is incomplete and it diminishes in my mind and the objects are worth more to me as objects than some arbitrary monetary value.

 

i suspect it’s the same for a medal collector, especially if you put the work in to find out the back story behind the medals etc.

 

I think if it was me and I found my grandfathers medals and a medal collector wasn’t ready to sell I would make do with miniatures and ask for first refusal if they ever did want to sell.

 

i can see both sides of the argument tbh. 

 

Good luck with the auction, another option is to phone up and do telephone bidding to avoid saleroom commission. I have used them a couple of times and commission can get high so either proxy bid or telephone bid with the auctioneer direct 

Edited by MrEd

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nhclark

Very vexed question.

 

I wouldn't class myself as a "collector", although I do collect those medals awarded to members of my mother's family (specifically her surname) if I can find them, and I have a built a very small "collection" that way. Over a few years now I have been fortunate enough to find two lots for sale by dealers, and one medal for sale in an on-line auction.

In two other cases - no need for detail - I found medals already in the possession of others, and I was fortunate enough to be able to make an offer that was acceptable to them to bring the medals "back into the family", so to speak.

It so happened that shortly after the first occasion, I bought a single Victory Medal quite cheaply on e-Bay. It had been awarded to a soldier who had married one of the girls in the extended family (and therefore not the same surname as my mother), but at the time it was the only specimen of a VM that I had. I mentioned the purchase on-line somewhere, and I was subsequently contacted by a great-grandson of the couple concerned. I can only say that it gave me great pleasure to pass the medal back to someone whose claim to it was far greater than mine. I had paid so little for it that it wasn't even worth bothering with the foreign exchange.

 

We are all only custodians of these medals. Of course we obtain pleasure from them, buying them, doing the research on them, mounting and framing them, looking at them, doing "show and tell" sessions, etc. etc., but on those occasions when someone comes along with a "claim" to them (and I doubt that that occurs very often) we should give that claim every consideration.

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AlasdairW

Thanks MrEd, but as I said in my previous post I have decided not bid for them.

 

Seeing them up for sale did cause some angst, I would absolutely lovely to have them back, I remember looking at them amongst a box of other family medals, we had uncovered them after my grandfather passed away in the early 90s,  there was also a crimean pair and an Indian mutiny medal in there  as well as other Police, 1st and 2nd war medals, we always knew about Alfred's story and had been shown the war memorial when we were wee, sadly my father sold the medals, he had many problems which led to this, 2 serious injuries, one of which lost him an eye, alcohol addiction, financial problems and to top it all off in the mid 90s the house had a bad fire which pretty much destroyed everything else as well as making all matters worse.

 

having taking on board a few opinions I believe it would be In the best interest of my family not to bid, my wife knows how much it would mean to me and supports me if I did want to, but I can't help but think that it's too extravagant a buy, if I was minted and had the money good to go, then I'd already have outbid all the other folk before the auction even opens, but I simply don't.

 

I was in contact with a bloke possibly the one who currently owns them, but I don't know for certain if its still him as he won't reply, he did offer them for sale, at a much higher cost than they are currently being auctioned or estimated at, to his only credit I was told that he wouldn't get rid of them anytime soon, that was a while ago so that part actually was true enough, then a few weeks ago I asked for the "photograph" collectors so dread, apparently this automaticaly means I have some form of inflated sense of self entitlement and expect them to be handed over post haste for free, only for me to later divvy them out one medal at a time to other family members for a good brasso cleaning!...... one conformation of the memorial plaque being scrapped later and wallah! they are for sale without any contact.

I don't by mean to say that I think all collectors are unethical however I think there are a small minority I would class and 'unethical dealers', I don't collect anything myself but don't see any difference in collecting medals or militaria to say... stamp or coin collecting and I genuinely can see the good in protecting them.

Although I'd question if its done out of an enjoyment or greed, as you say for collecting an interesting group with a story behind them, preserving the history, in turn remembering the soldiers contribution and sacrifice......certainly not unethical in my opinion, far from it.

If efforts are made to establish the whereabouts of a related item for only self interest whilst telling a family member another load of old codswallop, I would say this isn't even collecting, this is solely about making money and not ethical IMO.

That said, I spose it's what keeps this big blue sphere spinning.....for some

 

Edited by AlasdairW
Re wording and removing some bitterness

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear AlaistairW,

I think MrEd got it about as right as one can get it!

Of course we all understand your point of view; your bitterness concerning the profit angle, for example. Moreover it is sad in the extreme that your father felt obliged to sell the medals in the first place. Once on the market it is a matter of supply and demand.

Even at that stage it is not as simple at that, as any collector can say: I have sold a large part of my hard-won collection to finance, in that case, an unusual gallantry group. Should I now let the (known) family have that group, it would be gone, plus the other medals sold to finance it!

One would be left with money, which oftentime means little to a collector, and a good feeling - but a bad feeling too!

One could go on and on - but your deciding not to bid, naturally saves you a lot of hassle.

As MrEd (who is obviously a wise and kind man) suggested, get an inexpensive miniature group made up: this could be displayed in a frame, with the recipient's photo, for example...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay

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MrEd

Yep this is exactly.

 

eventually collections change and things do get sold. Collectors mainly sell things so they can buy something else for their collection.

 

i would go down the miniature route, that would still be a fitting commemoration, and actually there are some nice miniatures out there

 

 

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