'Cat's Eyes' Cunningham's medals auction 113.3% above estimate



2015-06-26 12:58:42

'Cat's Eyes' Cunningham's medals auction 113.3% above estimate

There were superb results for 'Cat's Eyes' Cunningham's medals at the Bentley Priory sale

An extraordinary set of medals awarded to John "Cat's Eyes" Cunningham have sold as part of a charity auction for the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust Appeal.

John Cunninghams medals auction Cunningham's medals reflect one of Britain's greatest aviators

The London September 6 sale was heldto ensure that Bentley Priory, the headquarters of fighter command, would remain a permanent living memorial to those that fought in the 1940 Battle of Britain, during the second world war.

John Cunningham's medals provided a fitting top lot in the auction, selling 113.3% above their high estimate of 180,000 ($287,543). The set achieved an impressive 384,000 ($613,425), including buyer's premium.

Cunningham, noted as the highest scoring night fighter of the war, devoted his life to aviation. As commander of both the 604 and 85 Squadrons, he was soon promoted to group captain of night operations in the RAF's No 11 Group in respect of his achievements.

After the second world war he spent over three decades working as the chief test pilot for British aviation manufacturer de Havilland.While there hetested the de Havilland Comet, the world's first jet airliner.

The collection of medals at auction included: Cunningham's CBE, his second war "immediate" DSO with two bars, Distinguished Flying Cross with second award bar, as well as the 1939-1945 Star, United States Silver Star and Russian Order of the Patriotic War.

Also featuring in the lot was an array of Cunningham's career memorabilia, including the 1978 Seagrave Trophy, which was awarded to the pilot in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the air.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a brilliant array of first and second world war memorabilia. Among the highlights is a fantastic signed Iwo Jima photograph from the great US aviator Charles Lindberg.

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