By Chris Jaffray
Relatives who discovered rare medals in an elderly family member’s home were stunned when the unusual haul sold for £31,000.
After the unnamed man died in Crewe, Cheshire, his house was entered into for the first time in a long while.
Upon doing so, his family discovered a vast collection of medals from an obscure fraternity – the Royal Antdeviluvian Order of Buffalo.
The club was established in Drury Lane in London in 1822 and attracted membership from artists and entertainers, with its name coming from the popular song at the time ‘We’ll chase the Buffalo’.
The group lost members as a result of WWI but continues to work to this day in local communities helping members through times of difficulty.
The fraternity, whose motto is ‘No man is at all hours wise’, is open to men over the age of 18 as long as they are ‘true and loyal supporters of the British Crown and Constitution’ but it is forbidden at meetings to discuss politics or religion.
The 1,500 badges and medals – which were found in a chest so heavy it couldn’t be lifted by one man – were sold at auction at the Peter Wilson Fine Art Auctioneers in Nantwich last week – with the entirety of the collection making £31,000.
The brother of the deceased man, who asked not to be named, watched on in disbelief as he had no idea they were worth so much.
A spokesman for Peter Wilson Fine Art Auctioneers said: “We have sold Buffaloes medals previously in ones and twos but never such a vast collection.
“It is unlikely we will ever find such an incredible collection again.
“Interesting medals are often dismissed because people don’t appreciated they can be solid gold, most examples are silver gilt or based metal.
“A highly successful auction with the best result anyone could have hoped for.”