Early February will see a sale that will grab the attention of collectors of crime memorabilia and militaria. Gorringes, a lively and respected provincial auctioneer founded in the 1920s, will be conducting its Fine Art, Antiques and Collectables auction next week, with some hidden gems included.
Most notable amongst the lots on sale are several items relating to the infamous Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie. During the 1950s and 1960s, the brothers were notorious figures in the gang land scene of the East End of London.
They were involved in arson, robbery, murder and torture, yet were celebrities in their own right. They owned West End nightclubs, frequented by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Diana Dors, and represented the darker side of the Swinging Sixties.
The Gorringes auction includes several items that would make an inexpensive investment for a collector. An array of letters from Reggie Kray to Carol Kelly, the wife of a fellow prisoner, outline the crucial part she played in the gangster's conversion to Christianity after hearing she had contracted cancer.
A painting by Reggie depicting him as a boxer is a fine example of the investment potential in outsider art - the piece, oil on canvas, is estimated to sell for between £1,000-1,500. Similarly, an oil painting by his brother Ronnie, showing a house in a landscape, has been given an estimate of £1,000-1,500.
Overall, the Kray memorabilia could realise a considerable sum and is likely to appeciate in value. As we reported in October, Kray and criminal memorabilia can be highly valuable asset, realising thousands of pounds.
Of interest to militaria collectors is a matched pair of 12 bore side lock ejector shotguns, in fine condition. The barrels measure 27.5 inches and were nitro proofed in London. Created by Charles Boswell of the Strand, the guns have baquete engraved blue steel furniture, are signed, and fitted with walnut stocks. These classic firearms are expected to sell for between £10,000-15,000.
These items are, of course, a snapshot. Gorringes auction on February 9-10 has a real assortment on offer, which will appeal to a wide range of people - from avid collectors of Kray memorabilia to antique weapon enthusiasts, and beyond. This is an event that collectibles enthusiasts should certainly keep an eye on.
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