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Lavish period outfit from important Derbyshire family uncovered

Posted on 29/08/2019 in Press Coverage

A richly elegant outfit worn by one of Derbyshire’s former High Sheriffs is coming up for auction in October.

The lavish black velvet affair with all accessories - including matching hat - belonged to Eric Seale Haslam who was High Sheriff in 1937.

It comes in its original box emblazoned with his name and is a classic piece of period clothing. The Haslam family made their mark on Derby’s history and once lived at Breadsall Priory, now a hotel. This splendid outfit would certainly make a striking addition to its lobby.

Eric was the son of Derby engineer Sir Alfred Seale Haslam, who lived from 1844 to 1927. He was Mayor of Derby from 1890 to 1891 and also Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme and an MP for the Staffordshire town from 1900 to 1906.

During his time as Derby’s Mayor, Sir Alfred backed efforts to replace the old William Strutt Infirmary with the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary. In 1890 there was an outbreak of disease at the old infirmary and an inspection condemned the building.

Royal Honour Bestowed on Family

When Queen Victoria opened the new hospital on May 21, 1891, she knighted Haslam for his services and gave permission for the term ‘Royal’ to be used.

Sir Alfred made his money from devising a refrigeration plant that could be used to transport food in ships worldwide. His son Eric followed in his father’s footsteps to serve the community but one member of the family did not live long enough to achieve such dreams.

Eric’s brother, Captain William Kenneth Seale Haslam, was killed in action in France, aged 24, during the First World War in 1917. He was serving with 4th (North Midland) Brigade, Territorial Force, Royal Field Artillery.Eric was an officer in the same unit but survived the war.

We’re proud to be selling his attire which will be part of our Fine Vintage Clothing and Textiles sale in Hansons’ October 9-14 Fine Art Auction. Entries are invited until September 25.

Vintage clothing specialist Notty Hornblower will offer free valuations at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, on September 6, 10am-4pm. To arrange a free valuation or other items, such as ceramic and paintings, email Adrian Rathbone: [email protected] or call 01283 733988.