A DINAS POWYS man’s collection of more than 2,500 football programmes sold for £1,450 in a sale by leading South Wales auctioneers Rogers Jones Co.

The collection had been expected to raise a total of £1,200 but proved hugely popular when it was auctioned off on Friday, February 7.

The programme most wanted was one recalling one of the game’s darkest moments – the Munich air disaster. Reproduced on the front cover of the auction catalogue, the programme was for Manchester United’s European Cup home game against Red Star Belgrade of Yugoslavia (now Serbia) at Old Trafford on January 14, 1958.

Following the 3-3 away draw on February 5, United’s plane crashed killing eight United players, nicknamed “Busby’s Babes”. The programme was included in a group of 160 in the sale, including others for Liverpool v Reykjavik in 1964, Liverpool’s first competitive European match and Glasgow Rangers v Real Madrid a year earlier, which sold for £750 against an estimate of £300-400.

The collection was formed by Mr Brynmor Stark, 58, of Dinas Powys, who was taken to see his first football match by his grandfather in 1966.

Most valuable lot in the sale proved to be a Chinese bronze incense burner, the pierced lid decorated with a figure of a Lion Dog playing with a ball. Just seven inches tall, it sold to a Hong Kong buyer on the telephone for £3,600, a multiple of its presale estimate, delighting its Penarth owner.

Nearest contender for top honours was an impressive nine carat yellow gold hinged casket decorated with ripples and swirls. Assayed (tested for quality) in London with hallmarks for 1969, it sold to an Internet bidder for £2,900.

Ever the source of eclectic and exotic collectables, the saleroom’s latest find was a group of three Aborigine artefacts, which had been purchased in Western Australia by the vendor’s grandfather on his travels in the country in 1890-1905. The oblong shield decorated with geometric carving; a boomerang and a bull roarer, together with an African whip sold for £900.

A bull roarer is a sacred object used in Aboriginal religious ceremonies. It consists of a piece of wood attached to a cord, which produces a roaring noise when whirled through the air.

Nearer to home, a set of five apothecary wall cabinets, each containing banks of deep pine drawers bearing labels and glass handles, also known as a “drug run” sold for £1,100 against an estimate of £200-400.

Perhaps the most exotic lot in the sale, however, was a lilac dress, matching shoes, accessories and handbag worn by Barbara Windsor as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders for her marriage scene with the character Frank Butcher. It had been purchased at a charity auction and was sold together with a “This Morning” stage-card signed by the actress. To the amazement of all, it sold to a local dealer in the room for £620.

Rogers Jones Co’s forthcoming Welsh Sale – a celebration of Welsh art and artists – will be held in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, on March 1.

Entries are invited for the Cardiff saleroom’s next sale of fine art and antiques on March 7 and for a specialist auction of Military and Maritime antiques on April 10. For further information, please contact the saleroom, telephone 02920 708125 or info@rogersjones.co.uk.

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