Wed, 31st Oct 2012 12:00

Maritime and Scientific Models, Instruments & Art (Cochrane)

 
  Lot 31
 

31

AN HISTORICALLY INTERESTING PAIR OF WORLD WAR...

AN HISTORICALLY INTERESTING PAIR OF WORLD WAR II JAPANESE NAVAL BRIDGE/CONNING TOWER 'BIG EYE' BINOCULARS CAPTURED BY H.M.S. EURYALUS 1943-5
with 3in. diameter objective lenses, folding sights, adjustable eye-piece with individual focusing, trunnion mounts with radial quadrant and handle, finished in original grey paint and contained within fitted wooden box with lid inscribed The Superintendent / Admiralty Research Laboratory, / Teddington, / Middlesex. / Via. S.N.S.O. at Ports concerned. / Case No. E.C. 4624/155 / from Capt., R. O-B. H.M.S. Euryalus. Cased measurements -- 9¾ x 22¼ x 16in. (25 x 56.5 x 40.5cm.)

Provenance: Capt. Richard Oliver-Bellasis (1900-1964), Commander of H.M.S. Euryalus 1943-45 and thence by descent

According to family history, having captured this pair of binoculars and sent them for examination, the Admiralty had no further use for them and returned them to his care. They have languished in the painted and partially-padded box he sent them in ever since and remain in highly original condition. Oliver-Bellasis was a specialist in underwater defences and in charge of experimental mine sweeping before the war. He joined Euryalus on the 15th August 1943 - just after her epic service escorting the famous Malta convoys. On 27 August, Euryalus hoisted the flag of Rear-Admiral Vian, in command of Force V, consisting of five escort carriers and three cruisers. Force V provided co-ordinated air cover for the assault on Salerno on 9 September 1943. By 12 September 1943, an airfield had been established ashore and the force withdrew. A powerful German counter-offensive was mounted on 14 September 1943 and Euryalus, Cleopatra and Dido were ordered to Tripoli to embark troops and transport them at high speed to Salerno, arriving on the afternoon of 16 September 1943. Italy having now dropped out of the war, Euryalus took Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, the Allied Naval Commander-in-Chief, to Taranto on 23 September 1943 for a meeting on board with the Italian Minister of Marine to settle the surrender of the Italian Fleet. Her longest period at sea was in July and August 1945, when the ship was patrolling in the Pacific looking for Japanese naval craft. She steamed 16,850 miles non-stop for 44 days - then an RN record (using the new technique of refuelling at sea) - and when Oliver-Bellasis presumably acquired this lot. As one of the larger British ships located there, Euryalus liaised with any smaller British craft in the area. Although she did not encounter the enemy it seems likely the binoculars were captured and brought aboard by one of these. Oliver-Bellasis left the ship in November 1945 and, upon his return to the Admiralty, became Director of Underwater Weapons from 1947 until his retirement in 1950.

Sold for £7,440
Estimated at £2,000 - £4,000

(inc. buyer's premium of 24%)


Condition Report
Binoculars seem to have at least two layers of grey paint which has chipped on in some areas; optics appear to be excellent, but the movement of eye-pieces is still and a service is recommended; the box is structurally strong, at some point in the distant past the inscription was rubbed and is fainter in the upper half.

We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of this property. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Charles Miller Ltd is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD “AS IS” IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.

 
AN HISTORICALLY INTERESTING PAIR OF WORLD WAR II JAPANESE NAVAL BRIDGE/CONNING TOWER 'BIG EYE' BINOCULARS CAPTURED BY H.M.S. EURYALUS 1943-5
with 3in. diameter objective lenses, folding sights, adjustable eye-piece with individual focusing, trunnion mounts with radial quadrant and handle, finished in original grey paint and contained within fitted wooden box with lid inscribed The Superintendent / Admiralty Research Laboratory, / Teddington, / Middlesex. / Via. S.N.S.O. at Ports concerned. / Case No. E.C. 4624/155 / from Capt., R. O-B. H.M.S. Euryalus. Cased measurements -- 9¾ x 22¼ x 16in. (25 x 56.5 x 40.5cm.)

Provenance: Capt. Richard Oliver-Bellasis (1900-1964), Commander of H.M.S. Euryalus 1943-45 and thence by descent

According to family history, having captured this pair of binoculars and sent them for examination, the Admiralty had no further use for them and returned them to his care. They have languished in the painted and partially-padded box he sent them in ever since and remain in highly original condition. Oliver-Bellasis was a specialist in underwater defences and in charge of experimental mine sweeping before the war. He joined Euryalus on the 15th August 1943 - just after her epic service escorting the famous Malta convoys. On 27 August, Euryalus hoisted the flag of Rear-Admiral Vian, in command of Force V, consisting of five escort carriers and three cruisers. Force V provided co-ordinated air cover for the assault on Salerno on 9 September 1943. By 12 September 1943, an airfield had been established ashore and the force withdrew. A powerful German counter-offensive was mounted on 14 September 1943 and Euryalus, Cleopatra and Dido were ordered to Tripoli to embark troops and transport them at high speed to Salerno, arriving on the afternoon of 16 September 1943. Italy having now dropped out of the war, Euryalus took Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, the Allied Naval Commander-in-Chief, to Taranto on 23 September 1943 for a meeting on board with the Italian Minister of Marine to settle the surrender of the Italian Fleet. Her longest period at sea was in July and August 1945, when the ship was patrolling in the Pacific looking for Japanese naval craft. She steamed 16,850 miles non-stop for 44 days - then an RN record (using the new technique of refuelling at sea) - and when Oliver-Bellasis presumably acquired this lot. As one of the larger British ships located there, Euryalus liaised with any smaller British craft in the area. Although she did not encounter the enemy it seems likely the binoculars were captured and brought aboard by one of these. Oliver-Bellasis left the ship in November 1945 and, upon his return to the Admiralty, became Director of Underwater Weapons from 1947 until his retirement in 1950.