Philanthropic Auctioneer Brings Medal Glory Home to Wales Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, a UK ‘top 5’ auctioneer, have followed a long tradition of philanthropic endeavour and brought a Welsh ruby hero’s Triple Crown medal back home to Wales. The long-forg
Philanthropic Auctioneer Brings Medal Glory Home to Wales
Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, a UK ‘top 5’ auctioneer, have followed a long tradition of philanthropic endeavour and brought a Welsh ruby hero’s Triple Crown medal back home to Wales. The long-forgotten medal, presented to Algernon Frank Hill, celebrated forward and rugby captain for Wales in 1893, has been tucked away in a chest of drawers in Sydney, Australia for the past thirty years.
The Triple Crown (Irish: An Choróin Triarach; Scottish Gaelic: An Crùn Trìblite; Welsh: Y Goron Drifflyg) is a medal awarded in Rugby Union, held annually by the four national teams of the United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. If any one of those four teams wins all their matches against the other three, they win the Triple Crown. Nicknamed the ‘Sam Warburton’ of his day Hill led the Welsh side to beat all the other home nations hands-down in their 1893 victory. This was the first time this feat had been achieved and the one and only time a medal like this was struck.
Inherited by the owner, Mark Lanning, from his father (godson of Frank Hill), the medal is one of only two known to have survived from a batch of seventeen produced. Mr. Lanning appointed Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions to oversee the sale of the medal in the hope that they would be able to facilitate the delivery of the item back to Wales; which he believed would have been his late father’s wish.
Richard Madley, Senior Director of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, commented:
“I recognised it straight away as being a rare medal. I’ve been handling rugby memorabilia for 25 years and I’ve only ever seen one or two others of that ilk, but none as early as this. As soon as I knew the vendor was keen to see this medal return home to Wales we started approaching various institutions to see who might be interested in having the medal for an exhibit”
Interest in the medal came from the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame who managed to raise half the £3,000 asking price. Richard approached the board of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions parent company, Noble Investments (UK) PLC, who agreed to donate the remaining £1,500 to ensure this historical piece could be enjoyed by sporting fans for generations to come.
Richard Madley commented, “If it hadn’t been for the generosity of both the vendor and Noble Investments (UK) PLC, this medal would have been offered for sale on the open market and would have been rendered unaffordable for the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame. The response from our Managing Director was an unequivocal “yes”. ”
Ian Goldbart, Managing Director of Noble Investments (UK) PLC added:
“It has been a wonderful journey getting this medal back home to Wales and Noble are proud to have been involved in the process from the outset. The world of auctions is