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They were offered on February 6 in over 1400 lots, some comprising a single badge, others in small groups. Offered without reserve, the sell-through rate was close to 100% and the sale total was more than £70,000.

The majority of the collection comprised Commonwealth badges from the early 20th century to the Second World War and beyond. Most were either metal cap or collar badges but also included shoulder titles and hat badges. Many were for Australian and New Zealand units, including a series of rare Gallipoli army reinforcement badges that sold particularly well.

Stroud auctioneer Stuart Maule said it was one of the biggest collections in the UK of its type. The collector, not local to the saleroom, started buying in his youth in 1945 and after a break began again in 1982. His archive was displayed in 10 bespoke cabinets that will also be sold by the saleroom.

More than 20 bidders came from Australia, New Zealand also featured strongly but there was also competition interest from the Netherlands, Malta, Italy and Saudi Arabia. The majority were bidding online, aided by “clear and detailed photography and an in-house postage service,” added Maule.