The ‘old submarine badge’ looked as if it wouldn’t be out of place hanging above an antique oak partners desk , so Philip McKeiver was happy to pay £90 for it whilst attending a village sale.
In fact, it was the brass name plaque from a WWII submarine christened by Winston Churchill, worth around £10,000. Built in 1942, HMS Tally Ho was launched by Churchill in December of that year. She continued to have an illustrious career, sinking dozens of German and Japanese warships in the Mediterranean and Far East yet losing only one member of her own crew. She was later sold for scrap after being decommissioned in 1967, but the name plate remained hidden for more than 40 years.
Engraved with the ship’s motto “Celeriter in hostem” (Swiftly among the foe), the plaque is reminiscent of the brass mounts sometimes seen on Victorian oak partners desks in Cumbria. It was a lucky find for retired police officer Philip, 67, from Manchester, who normally collects medals. Having started collecting antiques only recently, he was delighted when he was offered the badge at a village fair near Knutsford, Cheshire. Instinct told him that the £90 he paid for the impressive looking piece would be money well spent – and it was. He had it valued by Sotheby’s of London, who estimated it was worth at least £10,000. He is now waiting for it to be authenticated by the Portsmouth Submariners Association, before deciding whether to sell it or donate it to a museum.
Whether you have a brass plaque or a brass inlaid antique desk, in Preston an antique dealer will always give you a fair price for your item.
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