A medal celebrating the achievements of one of Swindon’s unsung heroes will go under the hammer in the Cotswolds next month.
Educated at Swindon High School and trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, Sir Thomas Horder – later Baron Horder of Shaston – was physician to four successive British monarchs, from Edward VII to Elizabeth II, and three prime ministers.
Sir Thomas – who was born in 1871 and died in 1955 – was a political animal as well as a leading physician, campaigning on matters such as eugenics, birth control, noise abatement and cremation. After the war he opposed many of Nye Bevan’s plans for a national health service.
In 1924 he was presented with the prestigious Mackenzie Davidson Medal by the Röntgen Society at the British Institute of Radiology. The medal will be sold by auctioneers Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester on Friday, April 1.
The 57mm bronze medal features a bust of the renowned radiologist Mackenzie Davidson on one side and the words In Memoriam 1856-1919 on the reverse. The side is inscribed Presented to Sir Thomas Horder Bt, M.D., 1924. Bids of £80 to £120 are expected.
As a founder of the Cardiac Club, which promoted research into heart disease, it is likely that if Sir Thomas had been around today he would have disapproved of smoking. And while the government moves to wipe tobacco advertising from shelves, an advertising sign recalls the days when smoking was a socially-acceptable pass time.
Enamel hoardings, of course, come through the auction house on a regular basis. But this one is special: the double-sided wall-mounted advertising sign, for Wills’s Capstan cigarettes, contains an electric lighting system and comes with the cast iron rod on which to hang it.
Signs like this would have hung outside tobacconists from around the early 1900s. A bid of £100 to £150 should secure the lot.
Also for sale at the auction is an ornate shop till, from the 1920s or 30s, which would have have taken pride of place on the counter of a shop far posher than a tobacconists.
The cash register, by National Daylon of Chicago and converted to British currency by Stevensons, is chased with Athenian motifs in the neo-classical taste, which is another way of saying it’s fancy.
With keys for pounds, shillings and pence, it would serve little practical use on today’s computerised shop counters, but a bid of £100 to £150 from a collector will likely secure this curiosity.
For a full auction catalogue, log on to www.mooreallen.co.uk/furniturefinearts