A 10% Goods and Services tax (G.S.T) will be charg… Read more

The finely modelled brooch in the form of Fokker Avro X trimotor monoplane paveé set with diamonds and calibre cut sapphires forming the windows, platinum lettering on the fuselage 'VH-USU SOUTHERN CROSS', and blue enamel on the wings, platinum and yellow gold, 5.8 cm (2 1/2 in) length
See illustration
Charles and Mary Kingsford Smith

The total proceeds of the sale of the brooch to be donated to charities selected by Mr and Mrs Kingsford-Smith
Special notice

A 10% Goods and Services tax (G.S.T) will be charged on the Buyer's Premium in all lots in this sale

Lot Essay

"In January 1932, my father left England carrying a load of mail for Australia. He was flying an Avro 10, a high wing trimoto almost identical to the Southern Cross, except that it was made in England under license from Fokker.
He reached Darwin in about twelve days and proceeded in a series of hops to Melbourne. My mother was staying there with her parents while he was away, and she greeted him at the airport along with several friends and the usual bevy of reporters, photographers and aviation enthusiasts. After more than an hour of talking he indicated that he needed some rest and the crowd dispersed. A few friends and mechanics pushed the plane into a hangar, closing the big doors behind them. Looking around quickly to see who was still there and satisfying himself it was 'safe' group, my father grabbed a stepladder, set it under one of the big wings, and climbed up. He reached for his pocketknife and made a foot-long slash in the fabric! Putting his arm into this hole, he pulled out a package. This intrigued the small group, including my mother, and they followed out a package. This intrigued the small group, including my mother, and they followed after him as he strode to a table to open it.
First out of the package were several items of French lingerie for my mother. There was only one other thing, also for her inside a small jewellery case. This was a beautiful diamond and platinum brooch in the form of the Southern Cross, crafted in such detail that even the registration letters are clearly seen: VH-USU. He ordered the brooch to be made by expert jewellers in Amsterdam in the same country where the plane itself had been designed and built.
Why the secrecy? Well, the brooch was expensive (but worth every penny, said my mother) and the dent in his pocketbook would have been considerably bigger if he had to pay Custom duty too".

Charles Kingsford Smith, Melbourne 2003


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