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Bonhams announce The Robert White Collection

Updated: Jan 17, 2019

In late 2015 one of our clients, Robert White sadly passed away having courageously battled with cancer for three years.

Amazingly, Robert chose to leave his entire £2 million plus collection of his life's passion to charity with the proceeds of over 500 lots being used to build new cancer facilities at Poole and Dorset County hospitals, benefiting patients across the whole of the country.

The collection includes several classic cars, motorcycles, vintage Leica cameras, motoring mascots and several wrist watches.  During 2015, we were pleased to assist in selling his 11,000 mile from new Land Rover Defender and 2015 Mercedes Benz S350 AMG prior to Malton Coachworks preparing both an AC Ace and AC Bristol ahead of the vehicles being sold through auction later this year. The AC Ace was MOT tested, serviced and the AC Bristol had the same treatment as well as a total outer re-spray in Robert's colour choice at our Malton Coachworks bodyshop. Bonhams are now marketing the collection ahead of the sale which will take place on 19th September 2016 on New Bond Street, London.

For further information regarding the collection, please contact;


London, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 20 8963 2819

Fax: +44 20 8963 2801


Robert White (1953-2015) was the founder of one of the UK's leading photographic retailers, having started in business with a small camera shop in Poole, where he was born.

An astute and dedicated businessman, Robert White's success enabled him to indulge a passion for collecting machines and objects that embodied the finest design and engineering. He loved to ride motorcycles and drive fast cars. He learned to fly and bought a vintage Boeing-Stearman bi-plane to travel round Britain.

He was described by a close friend as: "A modest person who liked the best of what he liked, but was never one for designer clothes and frippery, leaves a legacy that will outlast all of us. The life of Robert will help countless people he has never met. Robert's illness taught him what is important, and he was in a self-made position to make a life-changing difference."

A CHARITABLE CAUSE: Robert White died of cancer in 2015. His consultant oncologist, Dr. Mike Bayne, said: "The impact that Mr. White's incredible generosity will have to patients facing cancer in Dorset cannot be overstated.

"This lasting legacy will continue to benefit patients and their families for years to come, enabling the people of Dorset to receive the very latest and most effective diagnoses and treatments for a range of cancers, and supporting our skilled clinicians and nursing teams to be among the most advanced in the country.

"Robert White will forever be associated with advances in cancer care in the county, and on behalf of our patients I would like to express our heartfelt thanks."

The money raised from the Robert White Collection will help to fund essential improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment in Dorset, including:

- New cancer treatment radiotherapy facilities at Dorset County Hospital to benefit patients in the west of the county, meaning shorter travel times - New computerised tomography (CT) scanner for Poole Hospital, accurately identifying cancer site to enable targeted treatment - Permanent positron emission tomography (PET) scanner at Poole Hospital - a sophisticated imaging technique widely used for cancer, providing highly detailed imagery showing tumours and its response to treatment. - Education and training bursaries to enable staff working in cancer care and associated medical and diagnostic specialties to remain at the cutting edge of best practice.

MOTORCYCLES: Motorcycles featured in the collection include: - c.1929 Megola 640cc Touring Model, estimated at £120,000-140,000 - MV Agusta 500cc 3-Cylinder Grand Prix recreation, estimate £80,000-100,000 - MV Agusta 500cc 4-Cylinder Grand Prix recreation, estimate £70,000-90,0000 - 1974 Ducati 750SS, estimated at £60,000-70,000 - 1951 Vincent 998cc Series C Black Shadow, estimated at £50,000-70,000

MOTOR CARS: Motor cars featured in the collection include: - 1930 Bentley 4½-Litre Le Mans-style Tourer, estimated at £450,000-550,000 - 1959 AC Ace-Bristol Roadster, estimated at £180,000-220,000 - 1958 AC Ace Roadster, estimated at £120,000-140,000 - Pur Sang 'Type 51' Sports Two Seater, estimated at £90,000-110,000

WATCHES: Dr. George Daniels C.B.E (1926-2011) is regarded by many as having been the greatest watchmaker of the last 250 years. In the 1990s, he relinquished some custodianship of his brand to Roger Smith, the man who would continue Daniels' legacy long after he'd gone.

Smith was the only watchmaker Daniels ever collaborated with, and, working together, they produced a number of watches, including the very last piece to bear the 'Daniels' name, the  George Daniels 35th Anniversary wristwatch. It is of no surprise then, that Robert White, an enthusiast of mechanics and engineering, possessed one of these rare, beautiful wristwatches. The watch is now offered at an estimate of £70,000-100,000.

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