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28 July 2014
Auction News






1927 victory souvenir in sale on August 1

It was one of Cardiff City’s proudest moments. After beating The Arsenal 1-0 to lift the 1927 FA Cup in a final played in front of King George V, David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill and 93,000 fans, the Bluebirds were the toast of the town.

That historic single goal sparked hysteria and a Wembley pitch invasion, while more than 150,000 lined the streets in Cardiff city centre to cheer and wave as the now legendary team was paraded on an open-top bus.

More celebrations followed on Monday April 25, two days after the game, at a civic dinner given by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress at the City Hall. Among the guests was Spencer Gadsby, a keen autograph hunter, who had the presence of mind to pass around his copy of the embossed gatefold menu with its City of Cardiff crest for each of the 11 players to sign.

Now, some 87 years later, the autographed menu has surfaced to be sold by Cardiff auctioneers Rogers Jones Co. It could fetch as much as £1,000 in the auction in Penarth on Friday August 1.

Auctioneer Ben Rogers Jones explained that Mr Gadsby was a sales director for the men’s clothing company, Wolsey, responsible for the South Wales area. It is believed the company supplied the Cardiff City strip and Mr Gadsby would have been invited to the dinner by way of thanks.

“Mr Gadsby was born in 1892 and was a something of a man about town,” Ben Rogers Jones said. “He was a member of Whitchurch Golf Club and a keen collector of autographs. We also have two of his autograph books in the sale which contain a fascinating selection of famous signatures from the world of sports, politics, literature and entertainment. Among them is Buffalo Bill, William Cody, who brought his Wild West Show to Cardiff in 1903.”

Other autographs include Fred Astaire, Augustus John, David Lloyd George, P G Wodehouse, H G Wells, Malcolm Campbell, the Aga Khan, Bette Davis, Harry Lauder, Ivor Novello, Maurice Chevalier, George Bernard Shaw, Bing Crosby, Nellie Melba, Richard Tauber, Jimmy Durante and numerous cricket and rugby teams. The books are estimated to fetch £300-400.

But it is the signed civic dinner menu that is expected to create most interest. Alongside the autograph of Lord Mayor Alderman William Grey are those of all 11 cup-winning Bluebirds (there were no substitutes in early cup finals).

They are: Tom Farquharson; James Nelson, Tom Watson; Fred Keenor, Tom Sloan, Billy Hardy; Ernie Curtis, Sam Irving, Hughie Ferguson, Len Davies and George McLachlan.

Mr Gadsby died in 1957 and the menu and autograph books have remained with his family until now.

Most valuable lots in the sale will be found among a selection of antique and pre-owned jewellery, however. An Art Deco cocktail ring set with a line of three old cut round diamonds weighing of approximately 7.5 carats, and a platinum, diamond and emerald cluster bracelet in the manner of Asprey & Co comprising 14 eight-diamond hoops, seven of which each contain a table-cut emerald, the diamonds totalling about 22 carats were each bequeathed to vendor by an aunt in London, who was said to be “a frequent visitor to the best jewellers”.

Ring and bracelet are each estimated at £12,000-18,000.

Viewing for the sale of 322 lots of fine art, antiques and collectors’ items is on Thursday July 31 from 10am-7pm and on the morning of the August 1 sale, which starts at 11am. For further information, please contact the auctioneers on 02920 708125 or cardiffinfo@rogerjones.co.uk.


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