Sir Patrick Moore items sell for tens of thousands at auction
Sir Patrick Moore’s personal belongings fetched tens of thousands of pounds at a Chichester auction today.
There was a bidding frenzy as the items including his xylophone, orreries and signed books went up for sale at Henry Adams Auctions in Chichester today (October 8).
A replica brass model of the Telescope House Orrery fetched £1,800 - despite having a reserve price of only £150-200.
There was also a lot of interest in Sir Patrick’s typewriter which sold for £550.
The astronomer, who presented The Sky At Night for more than 50 years, died at his Selsey home in December 2012.
His monocle is also set to be auctioned today at Christie’s in London.
Sir Patrick’s xylophone - which it is believed he used during a Royal Variety Performance in front of the Queen - had a reserve price of £1,500 - £2,000.
It was sold for £1,005 to delighted buyer Christopher Beaumont, 23, a close personal friend of Sir Patrick’s.
Christopher, who lives in Barnham, first went to Sir Patrick’s home in Selsey aged 13, for help with his GCSE in astronomy.
It was then the world-renowned astronomer lent Christopher a small xylophone, kick-starting his passion for music.
“I was relieved I got the xylophone, to say the least,” Christopher said after the auction.
“I wasn’t going to be disappointed if someone else got it but I was pleased.
“Sir Patrick wouldn’t want it sitting doing nothing.
“I met Patrick through astronomy - as everyone did, and our friendship went from there.
“I played at Sir Patrick’s memorial, with Brian May, who I am still in touch with now.”
Speaking afterwards, auctioneer Andrew Swain said the sale went ‘even better than expected’.
“We had a lot of local interest and a lot of new faces in the room,” he said.
“It was a terrific sale.
“It demonstrates the interest and affection there is for Sir Patrick Moore in this area.
“There was a lot of Internet interest in our memorabilia boxes, which made over £100 each.
“There was also a lot of local interest from people simply coming along to watch.
“The orreries did particularly well, as did the pictures and the books.”
Astronomy lecturer Laurence Anslow came from Farnborough to attend the auction.
He purchased a number of items including a collection of Sir Patrick’s pipes, a portrait, and three memorabilia boxes. “I had been in correspondence with Sir Patrick since the age of 14,” said Mr Anslow.
“I went to college in Chichester and used to go and use his telescope.”
Other items at the auction included a watercolour painting which had a reserve price of £100-150 but sold for £550, and a George V Army Service Corp officer’s sword which also sold for more than three times its reserve price, fetching £300.
Sir Patrick presented the first edition of The Sky at Night in April 1957.
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