The Fire Mark Circle

Fire Mark Circle

Auction Catalogue: October 2023


Bidding in this auction has now ended, thank you to all vendors and bidders.

Results and winning bidder numbers are as shown below.

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Lot.
Photo.
Description.
Estimate.
Winning Bid
&
Bidder No.
1.

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Royal Exchange Assurance. Lead. W10J. Policy No.206136. An excellent example of this last stamped policy number mark issued in 1803, no original colour or flattening to the Exchange.


£40-50

Bid: £45
Bidder No. 15

2.

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Royal Exchange Assurance. Lead. W10F. Policy No 113072. An excellent example of this variant in a totally undamaged state no original colour or flattening to the Exchange and as near mint you will get in a lead mark, issued in 1789.


£110-130

Bid: £85
Bidder No. 21

3.

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County Fire Office. Copper. W45B. An excellent example of this second variant still retaining its original colour and gilding, no flattening to any of the raised parts. PLUS. Northern Assurance Co. Copper W88A. A good example of this Scottish mark mainly based in Aberdeenshire, some original colour and some retouching of the gilding, no flattening to the lion but some fraying at the edges.


£40-50

Bid: £35
Bidder No. 17

4.

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Eagle Star & British Dominions. Tin. B1026. An excellent example of this later third variant issued by The Star Life & Fire Assurance. 1843-1917 (W94A) mainly used for overseas business, the mark was taken from a property in Cyprus, last seen in a Phillips auction in the 1950s.


£60-70

Bid: £100
Bidder No. 14

5.

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London Assurance. Lead. W9E. Policy No.16867. An excellent example of this variant in a totally undamaged state and as near mint you will get in a lead mark as the illustration shows, issued in 1735, made and painted by a Richard Smith.


£300-350

Bid: £200
Bidder No. 16

6.

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Hibernian Insurance Co. Lead. W13A(i). Policy No. 9917. Another excellent example of a mark from the first company to issue Fire Insurance in Ireland from its Dublin office and unusually part of its stock was invested in Irish Government Bonds, a minor stress fracture on the panel and some minor repair to the crown.


£280-300

Bid: £280
Bidder No. 4

7.

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West of England Fire Insurance. Copper. W48G. A good example of a variant of seven issued by the company showing an image of Kind Alfred in profile, some original colour and gilding with no flattening to the figure, some minor stress fractures at the legs, although based in Exeter it still managed to run a brigade in London in 1828 as part of Braidwood’s LFEE.


£40-50

Bid: £70
Bidder No. 17

8.

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Hand in Hand Fire Office. Lead. W2C(iv). Policy No.104123. An excellent example of this early company mark issued in 1813, some original dulled background colour, no surface damage.


£150-170

Bid: £160
Bidder No. 1

9.

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Protector Fire Insurance Co. Copper. W80A. A very good example of this short-lived company mark (ten years) before being taken over by the Phoenix and only one of two to show a fireman in action, designed by R Smirke R.A. some original colour in the recessed parts, no flattening or surface damage.


£40-50

Bid: £75
Bidder No. 1

10.

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Norwich General Assurance Co. Lead. W28A. Policy No. 7981. An excellent example of this short-lived company (29 years) before being taken over by the Norwich Union, no surface damage or stress fractures in the lead.


£180-200

Bid: £180
Bidder No. 12

11.

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The Friendly Society. Lead. W1A. A very good reproduction of this first Insurance company mark, as referenced in our Rarity Guide as one of the two examples with doubtful authenticity, the other being in the CII collection, a definite for the serious collector to complete their lead marks.


£80-100

Bid: £680
Bidder No. 6

12.

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British General. Tin. B1006. A near mint example of one of two variants issued by this early 20th century company, some slight scuffing at the edges.


£40-50

Bid: £65
Bidder No. 14

13.

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Edinburgh Friendly Insurance. Lead. W7C. Policy No 1678. An excellent example of this small Scottish mark issued prior to 1780 and only to properties outside Edinburgh, with those inside the City having the larger Deo Juvante variant, as most collectors will know this is a rarely seen mark at circle auctions, only appearing at commercial auction houses, no original colour or other surface damage.


£300-400

Bid: £300
Bidder No. 6

14.

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Salop Fire Office. Lead. W20A. Policy No 398. An excellent example of one of the earliest Salop marks to come to auction, it was issued in 1780 the year the company was formed in the Company Secretary’s house in Shrewsbury, no original colour or surface damage, a sometimes-underrated mark.


£100-120

Bid: £190
Bidder No. 4

15.

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Union Fire Office. Copper. W4B. A good example of this first painted policy numbered copper mark, possible policy number 21531 issued in the late 1700s, some original colour and gilding. PLUS. Sun Fire Office. Tin. W3F. A good example of the first un-numbered mark in tin dating from 1760, no original colour, some surface rust on the back, no flattening to the suns face.


£60-70

Bid: £85
Bidder No. 17

16.

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Sun Fire Office. Lead. W3B. Policy No. 118464. A very good example of this 18th century mark issued in 1746, no original colour or surface damage.


£90-100

Bid: £95
Bidder No. 17

17.

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West of England Fire Insurance. Copper. W48F. A good example of a variant of seven issued by the company showing an image of King Alfred in an oval shield, some original colour and gilding with no flattening to the figure or other stress cracks, although based in Exeter it still managed to run a brigade in London in 1828 as part of Braidwood’s LFEE.


£40-50

Bid: £45
Bidder No. 17

18.

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Bath Sun Fire Office. Lead. W16A(ii). Policy No.716. An excellent example of this early lead mark, probably issued in 1790, no original colour or surface damage and very rarely seen at auction in this condition, the company together with the Bath Fire Office managed to run enjines in six stations in the town until they were both taken over by the Sun in 1838.


£360-400

Bid: £970
Bidder No. 4

19.

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Phoenix Fire Office. Lead. W23A. Policy No.1207. Issued in 1782 the year the company started by the London sugar bakers following on from a similar company of bakers in Bristol as a challenge to the Sun and Royal Exchange, in excellent condition with no original colour or surface damage and still retaining its spear tip, it is rare to find a mark issued in the year the company was formed.


£200-250

Bid: £220
Bidder No. 18

20.

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Sun Fire Office. Lead. W3B. Policy No.83124. A very good example of this early five figure 18th century mark, issued in 1735, no original colour or surface damage.


£120-140

Bid: £120
Bidder No. 4

21.

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British Fire Office by Roy Addis. A Definitive Collection of Colour Photographs. An excellent copy of this book with over 560 pages of every British Insurance Company fire mark, illustrating all 164 Companies in half sized colour photographs from The Friendly Society of the late 17th century to the Property Silkcrops Insurance of the early 20th century. This book can be used in conjunction with Brian Wrights book to identify the text of the History of the Companies (22cmx30cmx5cm).


£200-250

Bid: £280
Bidder No. 11

22.

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The British Fire Mark 1680-1879 by Brian Wright. A good example of this book first published in 1982 containing 482 pages of British Fire Mark information and forwarded by the then Circles President the Duke of Rutland.


£10-15

Bid: £10
Bidder No. 3

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