05:00PM, Thursday 20 October 2016
Historic and personal items owned by Sir Nicholas Winton including family photographs, portraits, antiques and furniture will go under the hammer next month in an auction.
The family of Sir Nicholas – known as the British Schindler – will be auctioning off personal possessions at The Swan at Tetsworth in Oxfordshire on Thursday, November 3.
Hero Sir Nicholas saved 669 mainly Jewish children from the former Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War.
The children were transported to safety in Britain by trains called Kindertransports.
Items on sale include a Napoleon III period Kingwood Parquetry writing bureau, a letter from the Queen, a family photo of Sir Nicholas with former American president Bill Clinton and a sculpture gifted to the hero by Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue.
Nick Winton, son of Sir Nicholas, said it was an emotional decision to sell the items.
He added: “It’s taken us a long time to decide what we should do. Our houses aren’t big enough for us to keep all of it, that’s not practical.
“Lots of the items have an emotional connection. It’s a lifetime of his collecting.
“It will be sad to see it go.”
He continued: “I’ll be heading down to the auction on the day. It will be quite emotional.
“There are some small items like pictures and sculptures that people might buy because they want to connect to his past.”
The family will be keeping their father’s medals and awards.
Nick said: “My sister Barbara and I have agreed that items of particular significance could be loaned to Maidenhead Heritage Centre one day.”
Since their father passed away last July aged 106, the family has raised £15,000 towards two refugee charities and a memorial concert was held this summer.
The most expensive item put up for sale is a set of Winton family cutlery with a fiddle pattern engraved with the family crest.
It is estimated to fetch £2,000 to £3,000.
Other unique items include a presentation plaque commemorating the 17th anniversary of the Kindertransports and a photograph album containing 65 black and white photographs from Yugoslavia from the 1950s.
Viewing for the auction will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday before the auction from 10-5pm on Thursday, November 3. Visit www.theswan.co.uk to view the full catalogue.
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