RELEASE | Out of the Ordinary – The 250th Anniversary Edition, 14 September 2016






London, South Kensington – On 14 September 2016 Christie’s South Kensington will host Out of the Ordinary – The 250th Anniversary Edition. The annual auction is a celebration of all things out of the ordinary: the unusual and the unique, the extraordinary and the exceptional. This year’s edition comprises over 90 lots selected for the intriguing stories they tell. Every object and work of art featured in the sale will be on view to the public in a five-week summer exhibition, from 6 August up until the evening of the auction. The exhibition is free and open to everyone to explore and enjoy this remarkable and fascinating selection of rare collectibles.

COLLECTING THE UNUSUAL                      

Leading this year’s Out of the Ordinary sale is a diverse collection of memorabilia compiled by the Jersey based collector David Gainsborough Roberts. David has spent the last forty years amassing an extraordinary selection of memorabilia from the worlds of film and entertainment, royalty and politics, sport, and travel and exploration. This vast array of items include personal possessions of many celebrated and renowned names of the 19th and 20th centuries such as Queen Victoria, Sir Winston Churchill, Lawrence of Arabia, the Duchess of Windsor, William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey and Captain Robert Falcon Scott, to name a few. Highlights include a set of keys from the Titanic (estimate: £7,000-10,000); a pair of ear clips owned and worn by the Duchess of Windsor (estimate: £8,000-12,000); a silk head scarf and agal owned by Lawrence of Arabia (estimate: £3,000-5,000 and £10,000-15,000); and a Stetson presented to Sir Winston Churchill by the City of Calgary (estimate: £4,000-6,000).

David Gainsborough Roberts:After collecting for over forty years the time has finally arrived to share my collection with the world. I hope my insatiable appetite for the curious, the famous and the infamous will inspire a new generation of custodians.”  


A further highlight is the Leica Camera Family Tree, an artwork displaying 107 Leica cameras that chart the history of renowned camera maker Leica from 1914 to 2014 (estimate: £350,000-450,000).

The introduction of the Leica heralded a new type of photographer: the photojournalist, who made use of the camera’s small size, with an ability to work unobtrusively in low-light or fast-moving conditions with previously difficult subjects. Leica users such as Robert Capa, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Nick Út, André Kertész, Andreas Feininger, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Leni Riefenstahl, Robert Doisneau, Bert Hardy, George Rodger, Thomas Hoepker and the great Henri Cartier-Bresson were amongst the many photographers who used the Leica to create some of the world’s best known images.

In 2014 Leica celebrated 100 years of Leica photography with an exhibition titled 36 aus 100 (‘36 from 100’).


This year’s sale features a selection of Olympic memorabilia, led by a 1904 Olympic gold medal awarded to American amateur golfer Robert E. Hunter (estimate: £20,000-30,000). Hunter was awarded the 14 carat gold Golf medal as part of the winning team at the Olympic Games in St. Louis. The St. Louis Games were the first to award gold, silver and bronze medals, and was one of only two Olympics in which the winners were presented with solid gold medals, making this medal particularly rare. In addition to the gold medal awarded to Robert E. Hunter, only two other team gold medals for golf are known to date.

Golf was last played in the Olympic Games in 1904 in St. Louis and it is fitting to be offering this medal in the year the sport returns to the Olympic schedule after an absence of 112 years. Read more about the story behind the 1904 Olympic gold medal here.

Also featured in the auction is an aluminium torch made for the 2012 London Paralympics Games offered together with an official Paralympics uniform (estimate: £1,000-1,500); and a collection of golfing medals and trophy cups awarded to Robert E. Hunter, together with a signed published diary by Robert Hunter (estimate: £6,000-10,000).


Out of the Ordinary features a car that has made extraordinary journeys: a silver Jaguar XJ8 armoured LWB saloon*, the last official car allocated to the late Baroness Thatcher by The Government Car Service (a division of the Department for Transport) (estimate: £15,000-25,000). Whilst other official cars were used during Margaret Thatcher’s time in office, both as Prime Minister and as an ex-Prime Minister, this is the only official car used by her that can be substantiated. This Jaguar saloon was also loaned to David Cameron during the 2010 election and was used by him en route to Downing Street after his first meeting with the Queen at Buckingham Palace as Prime Minister. The car was paid for by HM Treasury, and the funds raised from the sale of the car will go back to the Treasury.

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in the first half of 2018 that totalled £2.97 billion / $4.04 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.