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1930 Bentley
Wednesday 21 September 2016


The single-owner collection of entrepreneur and businessman, the late Robert White, went under the Bonhams hammer to achieve an outstanding £3 million. Proceeds from the Sale of this incredible collection will be used to build new cancer facilities at Poole and Dorset County hospitals, benefiting patients across the whole of the country.
Bonhams Co-Chairman, Malcolm Barber, said: “Today’s Sale attracted bidders from all across the globe, seeing just shy of 100% sold, and £3 million achieved. As auctioneer of the Sale, I’m delighted that after ten hours on the rostrum it has achieved such excellent results.”
The vast collection contained hundreds of exceptional and rare mechanical items, including motorcycles, motor cars, Vintage Leica cameras, motoring mascots, Lalique, and several rare wristwatches.
Leading the auction was the 1930 Bentley 4½-Litre Le Mans-style Tourer, which sold to a European bidder in the room to achieve £315,100. Further motoring highlights include a 1959 AC Ace-Bristol Roadster, sold for £254,620; a 1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow motorcycle, sold for £88,900; and a 1977 MV Agusta 861cc ‘Magni’, sold for £69,700.
Elsewhere, a rare, handmade British watch from bespoke horologist, George Daniels, soared to more than twice its estimate, achieving £224,500 – a world record price for the model.  The 35th Anniversary George Daniels watch took three years to design in conjunction with Roger Smith, and is one in an edition of just 35 ever made.

Debbie Fleming, Chief Executive of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re so grateful to Robert for his immense gift, which will be of benefit to patients for years to come.”
“Robert curated a fantastic collection, with beautiful items desired by collectors around the world, so it’s of no surprise that the sale has done so well,” said Ben Walker, Bonhams Head of Motorcycles and head of the auction.
Robert White (1953-2015) was the founder of one of the UK’s leading photographic retailers, having started in business with a small camera shop in Poole, where he was born.
An astute and dedicated businessman, Robert White’s success enabled him to indulge a passion for collecting machines and objects that embodied the finest design and engineering. He loved to ride motorcycles and drive fast cars. He learned to fly and bought a vintage Boeing-Stearman bi-plane to travel round Britain.
He was described by a close friend as: “A modest person who liked the best of what he liked, but was never one for designer clothes and frippery, leaves a legacy that will outlast all of us. The life of Robert will help countless people he has never met. Robert’s illness taught him what is important, and he was in a self-made position to make a life-changing difference.”
Robert White died of cancer in 2015. His consultant oncologist, Dr. Mike Bayne, said: “The impact that Mr. White’s incredible generosity will have to patients facing cancer in Dorset cannot be overstated.
“This lasting legacy will continue to benefit patients and their families for years to come, enabling the people of Dorset to receive the very latest and most effective diagnoses and treatments for a range of cancers, and supporting our skilled clinicians and nursing teams to be among the most advanced in the country.”
The money raised from the Robert White Collection will help to fund essential improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment in Dorset, including:
  • New cancer treatment radiotherapy facilities at Dorset County Hospital to benefit patients in the west of the county, meaning shorter travel times 
  • New computerised tomography (CT) scanner for Poole Hospital, accurately identifying cancer site to enable targeted treatment 

  • Permanent positron emission tomography (PET) scanner at Poole Hospital – a sophisticated imaging technique widely used for cancer, providing highly detailed imagery showing tumours and its response to treatment. 

  • Education and training bursaries to enable staff working in cancer care and associated medical and diagnostic specialties to remain at the cutting edge of best practice. 

For further news from the Bonhams Motoring Department, please CLICK HERE


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