LANDMARK SALE WILL OFFER THE TOPHAM FAMILY OF AINTREE MEMORABILIA The Topham Family Collection of objects and memorabilia relating to the family’s 169-year association with Aintree Racecourse - home of the Grand National - will be auctioned in London on November 20.
News-Antique.com - Nov 06,2007 - Graham Budd Auctions Ltd are proud to announce a landmark sale in which they will sell the Topham Family Collection of objects and memorabilia relating to the family’s 169-year association with Aintree Racecourse and Motor Racing Circuit – home of the Grand National, the Blue Riband of steeplechasing, and five British Grand Prix. The collection will be sold in London on Tuesday November 20, 2007.
The sale will comprise 110 lots of often unique objects, some known to race goers and others previously unseen and unpublished. They come from the personal collection of a surviving Topham family member and from the personal effects of deceased family members that had accumulated at Paddock Lodge the Topham family’s historic home adjacent to the Winners Enclosure at Aintree Racecourse.
The family’s involvement with the Grand National began in 1839 with Edward William Topham (1805-1873) and ended with James “Jim” Bidwell-Topham (1923-2005) the last Topham to live at Paddock Lodge. He was Clerk of the Course at Aintree Racecourse for many years and also an enthusiastic supporter of the Grand Prix motor racing that took place at Aintree from 1955 to 1962.
Brimming with history, Paddock Lodge was purchased earlier this year by Lord Peter Daresbury, the Chairman of Aintree Racecourse. Until then a large part of the collection now offered had remained undisturbed for many years thus making this auction a unique opportunity for collectors of both horse racing and motor racing memorabilia.
“This is a truly historic collection of sporting memorabilia,” said auctioneer Graham Budd. “When I visited Paddock Lodge to catalogue the items there I found much of it untouched from half a century ago. The objects in this sale are a celebration of the Topham family’s long association with Aintree and I am privileged to have been asked to auction the collection.”
Among the most evocative objects in the collection is a jockey’s red silk jacket reputedly worn by Jem Mason, who rode Mr J Elmore’s “Lottery” to victory of the first Grand National at Aintree. However, little of the provenance of the silks is known to support the statement on the caption.
Graham Budd said: “Mr Elmore’s colours are not recorded in the racing calendars of the day, and despite a good deal of research from Grand National historians, no published evidence has been found. However, a number of paintings and prints exist of Lottery and the Grand National and these always portray the jockey wearing a blue jacket and a black cap, although, curiously, one print appears to contradict this and portrays Mason in a reddish jacket.
“It is also possible to read the card and deduce that Mason wore this jacket in races during his career, but not necessarily while riding Lottery and winning the Grand National. Perhaps they were the racing colours of Mason himself. Although clearly an ancient and historic jockey's jacket and a superb collector's item, the exact meaning of the silks remains somewhat mysterious and worthy of further research.”