• Asian Art

    21st May 2018

    A rare ‘Number One’ Jun tripod narcissus bowl early Ming Dynasty
    Provenance: George Eumorfopoulos and A.C.J. Wall
    Estimate: £100,000-£200,000

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  • Asian Art

    21st May 2018

    A fine pair of celadon glazed dishes. Yongzheng six character mark with a double square and of the period.
    Provenance: A.C.J. Wall, acquired from Bluett & Sons and bearing labels;
    Estimate: £30,000-£50,000

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  • Coins, Militaria, Sporting and Tribal Art

    12th April 2018 at 10:30am

    John Williams (1796-1839) : A Fijian 'Ula' throwing club and a Maori Canoe Bailer 
    Sold for £11,000

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  • Coins, Militaria, Sporting and Tribal Art

    12th April 2018 at 10:30am

    A Private Collection of Sovereigns and other gold coins
    Sold for £65,675

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  • Fine Watches

    June 2018

    Patek Philippe: A gents yellow gold wristwatch
    Estimate: £5,000-£7,000
    Last date for entries 4th May 2018

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CANNIBAL VICTIM MISSIONARY JOHN WILLIAMS'S ARTEFACTS SOLD

Items brought back from the South Pacific by a Victorian missionary who was battered to death and eaten by cannibals on a later trip have been sold at auction.


An ‘Ula’ throwing club and a Maori canoe bailer held by descendants of missionary John Williams were sold for £1,500 and £9,500 respectively (inclusive of buyer's premium and VAT)

Mr Williams and fellow missionary James Harris were killed in Vanuatu in 1839. They were bought by private collectors at auction in Dorchester, Dorset.

Mr Williams and his wife Mary travelled on their first missionary expedition to the South Pacific in 1817.
They visited Tahiti and other island chains including the Cook Islands to spread Christianity, and were the first missionary family to visit Samoa.
On their return to Britain in 1834, Mr Williams supervised the printing of his translation of the New Testament into the Rarotongan language of the Cook Islands.

He returned to the South Pacific several years later and decided to go to Erromango, Vanuatu, then known as the New Hebrides.

However, the indigenous population, who had previously been mistreated by the crew of a trading ship, chased them before beating them to death and eating them.

In 2009 the descendants of Mr Williams went to the islands where locals apologised on behalf of their ancestors.
The club and canoe bailer were brought back by Mr Williams on his earlier trip to the south Pacific had remained with the family.
John Holmes from the Dukes Auctions saleroom said the items were "very evocative and have this great provenance".


Welcome to Duke's

Welcome to the Dorchester Fine Art Salerooms, which are centrally located in the county town, close to the main Dorchester South railway station. 

Trains run hourly to London Waterloo (approximately 2 hours 30 minutes) and there are airports at Bournemouth and Exeter. The Saleroom is surrounded by an ample car park. If you require further information please contact the saleroom

Dorchester Fine Art Salerooms

Photography By Jonathan Gooding