Antiquarian and Printed Books and Maps | 03 October 2013

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Lot no.


Orwell (George).- - A collection of 4 scarves and neckerchiefs belonging to George Orwell, accompanied by strong

Sold for £4500

Est: £800–1200

Orwell (George).-

A collection of 4 scarves and neckerchiefs belonging to George Orwell, accompanied by strong

provenance, all with anti-facist images and colours, 2 c.400 x 400mm., 1 c.210 x 210mm. and 1 c.1120 x 190mm., this last with small hole and blood being the one worn by him near Huesca on 20/5/1937 when he was shot in the neck by a sniper, accompanying letter of provenance from Kathleen [Wigham] to Don [Bateman], the father of the vendor, describing how the items had been given to her husband Wilfred Wigham by Hugh Patrick O'Hare who had treated Orwell in the aftermath of the shooting, and had removed them prior to Orwell going to hospital (5)

An important trove of Orwelliania from one of the most significant moments of his life and one that ultimately contributed to his early death in 1950, aged 46.

'I had been about ten days at the front when it happened. The whole experience of being hit by a bullet is very interesting…Suddenly, in the very middle of saying something, I felt--it is very hard to describe what I felt, though I remember it with the utmost vividness. Roughly speaking it was the sensation of being at the center of an explosion…
Webb, our stretcher-bearer, had brought a bandage and one of the little bottles of alcohol they gave us for field-dressings. The doctor re-bandaged the wound, gave me a shot of morphine, and sent me off to Sietamo.' George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia, 1938.

Orwell and O'Hara were both in Spain with the Independent Labour Party (ILP). O'Hara had first aid training. Wilfred Wigham and Donald Bateman (1892-1987) were also members of the ILP, Bateman being unable to go to Spain due to haemophilia. The items remained in Bateman's wardrobe until his death in 2010 when they came into the possession of the vendor. The Donald Bateman Collection, covering a number of subjects including the Independent Labour Party, is in the University of Bristol Library Special Collections, Reference DM1532.

Antiquarian and Printed Books and Maps

Thursday 03 October 2013, 1.00pm

Bloomsbury London
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street


1st October 2013 9.30am - 5.30pm
2nd October 2013 9.30am - 7.30pm
Day of Sale from 9.30am

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