19/03/2021 Latest News, Antiques
The Auctioneers Mantlepiece III
I’m not a collector of post cards although I find many of them interesting, mainly for the images they display and the period in history they depict. However the mantelpiece in my cluttered emporium of a den and study does feature a few. There are some modern Art post cards featuring Rock stars like David Bowie and Mick Jagger but the old ones are more automobilia themed, three in number.
I suggest one is mildly important and the other two interesting. A few years ago a post card was consigned to the auction, of sufficient merit to be in a frame mount and to be sold on its own. At first glance it is an interesting pre First World War card depicting an early racing car from the pioneer days of motorsport, artillery type wheels with driver and riding mechanic and all. It caught my eye as a petrol head and close inspection revealed an amazing story, a totally unique card. The card depicts the Renault Grand Prix car which won the first French Grand Prix at Le Mans in 1906. Surely a rare card but I was shocked to realise that the card was written by a chap called Ferenc Szisz, who was the driver of the car on that day and in fact won the race! He’s annotated it in French on the front as a souvenir of his victory and written a short note on the back to friends whom he thanks for their congratulations and hopes to see soon! Its franked for the Seine region and dated July 1906, addressed to a M et Mme Gourbeault, Marseille. What an amazing and irresistible find. It was fully catalogued and photographed online and, against stiff competition, I bought it with a commission bid on the book. It is more than my life is worth to reveal how much I paid for this, especially as my wife will likely proof this! It was quite an expensive post card. To finish the story, the car still exists in the hands of the Renault Racing Collection and I stood by it with my hand on the bonnet a few years ago at the Goodwood Festival of Speed! It’s an amazing piece of history and the card almost touches that history.
The other two cards are of bikes which are interesting and evocative, especially to an aging battle scarred biker like me! Both are pre First World War bikes, the one with stern gentleman aboard a Singer, probably a 350ccs – a great image. The other I can’t identify but the chap who has broken down has a bevy of ladies helping him and a young boy looking on. The DA registration number is from Wolverhampton, where I went to school. Anyone able to ID the bike will get my thanks and admiration, I just can’t solve it.
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