The Boat That Rocked

The Boat That Rocked

with No Comments

Antique model galleon owned by John Entwhistle of The Who up for auction

“John Entwistle’s only real addiction was Harrods,” once said Pete Townshend of his bandmate, the former bassist of The Who who died in 2002 of a cocaine-induced heart attack.

It’s a view supported by the band’s singer Roger Daltrey. Earlier this year, in an interview with Classic Rock magazine, Daltrey joked that Entwistle “lived in Harrods. He’d order anything just so the van could come up the drive for his neighbours.”

The Rolls Royce Silver Shadow that Entwistle had customised to accommodate his Irish wolfhounds was also painted Harrods green – with the musician taking a Harrods carrier bag to the paint shop to make sure the colour was exact.

Entwistle’s tastes were not just for expensive guitars, clothes and watches, he also had a keen eye for antiques. His home Quarwood, a hunting lodge on the outskirts of Stow, was full of unusual objects, furniture and exotic pets, many of which had been acquired from his favourite store. He was also a regular customer of local antique dealers who always spoke highly of their loyal customer.

Among his Harrods’ purchases was a Scottish parcel-gilt silver model of a three-masted galleon that Entwistle bought from the Knightsbridge store in the 1970s, when The Who were at the height of their fame. The 2ft-long finely detailed model was made by Brook and Son in Edinburgh in 1912, and features 42 cannons, a gilded figurehead and stern, with wirework netting and fine wire rigging.

The ship has stayed in the Entwistle family since the bassist’s death and now features in the Fine Silver and Objects of Vertu auction at Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury, where it carries a pre-sale estimate of £4,000-£6,000.

“This is a really striking object, and it’s easy to see why it caught John Entwistle’s eye as he was browsing Harrods,” said Silver specialist, Rupert Slingsby. “It would have been a real statement piece in his home, and no doubt drew the attention of visitors to Quarwood.”

The galleon is only one of the notable items crafted by Scottish silversmiths which feature in the sale on October 29. A George III silver punchbowl made by Milne and Campbell in Glasgow between 1770-80 is another eye-catching piece.

The bowl bears six armorials representing Scottish families which were connected through marriage. The engraved arms are a Variant of Wood of Largo, Earl of Dundonald (Cochrane family), Bogle, Elliot, Mackirdy and Scott. The bowl was passed through the families finally reaching the Scott family when Susan Mackirdy, whose family owned the Birkwood Estate in Lanarkshire, married Andrew Scott. It has been owned by descent until now and has a pre-auction valuation of £3,000-£5,000.

The skills of 18th and 19th century Scottish silversmiths from across the country is also evident in 19 separate lots of silver spoons and other silverware which are up for auction. Ranging in value from £100-£3,000 they include works by silversmiths from Perth, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cupar, Arbroath, Forres, Elgin and Tain. The auction at Woolley & Wallis on October 29nd will offer 600 lots for sale. For information on how to register for online bidding, email or call 01722 424500