Antique tool collection could fetch £30,000 after treasure trove uncovered at Crockenhill home of retired woodwork teacher

2022-07-23 15:08:29 By : Ms. HONGXUAN CAI

Home   Dartford   News   Article

A treasure trove of thousands of antique tools a retired woodwork teacher crammed into every nook and cranny of his home could fetch more than £30,000 at auction.

Roy Turnage has spent decades adding to his haul of more than 1,000 late 19th century rare wood planes and hundreds of chisels and saws.

The 88-year-old is an avid collector of hand tools with a scarce No.28 steel chariot plane – found stuffed inside a Tesco bag – tipped to attract a four-figure sum alone.

A recent clearance of Roy's home in Crockenhill, near Swanley, has uncovered a series of "important treasures", some of which experts say may be worthy of a museum.

Every room, nook and cranny was crammed full of curious collectables which included everything from Victorian street lamps to magnifying glasses.

Among the star finds were a rusting Wolseley 14/60 classic car found in the garage and parts to build a Morris Minor discovered in the attic.

The house was jam-packed with tools including 30 made by T Norris & Son, one of the most prestigious makers of hand tools in England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

They’re famed for the quality of their planes and a fine G Entwistle gunmetal chariot plane is estimated to be worth between £500-£700.

The collection amassed by retiree Roy, who was born in Woolwich, London in 1933 has been described as astonishing by valuers at Hansons London who will auction the items later this month.

Sale of the items has been prompted by a house move due to Roy’s diminished mobility which meant the enormous collection – which also dominated the garage, attic and basement – had to be moved.

Family and friends have rallied round to clear the property but it’s been an enormous task.

According to Kay Orta, a family friend for 40 years, he didn’t hold back when it came to acquiring all types of objects over the course of 60 years.

She described Roy as "something of an artisan", explaining: “Roy’s father and brother had a love of collecting antiques.

"Roy followed suit and particularly liked to amass tools. He was always good at making things and working with his hands."

He worked woodwork teacher at Addey and Stanhope School in New Cross, London, for 37 years before taking retirement at the age of 60 in 1993.

Kay, who helped Roy’s family sort through his treasures, added: "He could really indulge his collecting passions, then.

"Roy used to go to specialist auctions around the country and liked to buy the crème-de-la crème of high-quality tools - makes like Norris, Preston, Howkins, Stanley and Marples.

"He admired the craftsmanship and quality of handmade tools and also used them.

Some of the tools discovered during the clearance are rare and date back to the 1920s and 30s, or even earlier. A Holtzapffel Rose Engine Lathe, which is extremely valuable, was also found.

The Wolseley 14/60 found in the garage is in need of restoration but is expected to fetch between £4,000-£6,000 at auction.

Roy acquired the former police vehicle after completing his National Service in the 1950s and it was his sole means of transport for 20 years.

“I have been helping to clear the house and couldn’t believe how much there was," added friend Kay.

"I’ve been on my hands and knees finding things tucked under beds and chests of drawers.

"The house was stuffed to the brim. There were metal filing cabinets full of tools. Roy doesn’t believe in buying just one item, he likes to buy multiple items."

As well as the tools, there were also Victorian street lamps, huge iron chains in the basement, 25 stamp albums, an almost complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica and collections of coins, paperweights, vintage perfume bottles, watches and magnifying glasses.

Other items set to go under the hammer include Japanese and oriental jewellery boxes and a Chippendale grandfather clock.

Kay added: "It’s difficult for Roy to part with his tools but he can’t use them anymore due to declining health.

"Also, there was so much in the house it became difficult for his devoted wife of 30 years, Nympha, to care for him. The house move will make life much easier for them both.”

The incredible single-owner collection has stunned antique valuers.

Chris Kirkham, associate director at Hansons London, said: “It’s been one of the most astonishing house clearance projects I have ever been involved with. Roy is quite simply a phenomenal collector with an eye for quality.

“Discovering valuable planes in the Tesco bag was one of many incredible finds.

"He has amassed an astonishing amount of beautifully-made high quality tools and other collectables – important treasures for people who like to work with wood and understand the quality of these objects.

“Some tools may be worthy of a museum, such as the rare Norris plane. We’ve also found a distinctive Scottish-made plane.

The auctioneer believes the collection should excel at auction and his tool collection alone could fetch £30,000.

"People like Roy are fascinated by all things and we’re grateful to have the opportunity to catalogue the items which have caught his eye over the years," he added. "He created a house of treasures.”

The Roy Turnage tools collection and Wolseley car will be auctioned on July 30 in London.

What's for dinner? Plan meals, try new foods and explore cuisines with tested recipes from the country's top chefs.

Trying to find the right nursery, school, college, university or training provider in Kent or Medway? Our Education Directory has everything you could possibly need!

This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)

n="tap:top.scrollTo(duration=200)" class="scrollToTop">Top