Thursday 23rd September 2021 - Greg Bateman
Batemans of Stamford are proud to offer for sale many items from the Late Christopher Elliott's collection.
Lot 1 in Batemans' 2nd October auction of Fine Art, Antiques & Specialist Collectors is a jaw dropping piece of history - one of the two throttle pedal quadrant brackets from Donald Campbell's 'Bluebird' K7.
It has been mounted on a wooden pedestal and bears the typed inscription 'Throttle quadrant from Donald Campbell's Bluebird. Soon after dawn on January 4, 1967, he was returning down Coniston Water, Lancashire, on a world record attempt after doing 297 mph on the first leg when, suddenly, Bluebird leaped from the surface, the somersaulted and crashed, killing Campbell. As he entered the final run "at more than 320 mph", his hand on the throttle, Leo Villa, the Campbells chief engineer for 40 years, heard him cry over the radio: "She's going...I'm on my back...I'm going...". Bracket salvaged from 184-feet deep Coniston Water and presented to CRE, bracket itself 10.5 by 10.5 by 17.5cm high, as mounted 17.5 by 11 by 20cm high.
Also with four letters of provenance dated June - December 1967 in reply to letters sent by Christopher Elliott (the previous owner of this bracket), from Norris Brothers Limited, Leo Villa (Campbell's chief engineer), and Joan Villa (Leo's Wife), which detail Mr Elliott's great interest in the tragic affair and his polite request for a small relic from the Bluebird which Leo Villa agreed to, Joan Villa eventually sending this throttle quadrant bracket to Mr Elliott, and with a small archive of ephemera, contemporary newspapers with coverage of the tragedy, a photograph of the bracket, and drawing thereof.
Provenance - From the Christopher Elliott collection of militaria, mechanical and social history. This throttle quadrant bracket was gifted by Leo Villa to Christopher Elliott in November 1967 and has been one of the highlights of his incredible collection, following Mr Elliott's sad passing in 2020 his family have decided to sell many of these incredible items through Batemans of Stamford.