Pensioner auctions Africa artefacts

08 August 2013 08:54

Rhinos in Kenya, where James Radford collected rare artefacts

Rhinos in Kenya, where James Radford collected rare artefacts

A pensioner who has spent the past 15 years doing aid work in Africa is auctioning off his travel souvenirs to help a children's charity back in the UK.

Former furniture retailer James Radford, 78, from Penarth in South Wales, is donating all the proceeds from the sale of the rare artefacts and vintage antiques this Saturday to local charity Ty Hafan.

Cardiff auctioneer Rogers Jones Co has been assigned to sell hundreds of ethnic collectibles, including rhino models made from indigenous minerals, carved figures and masks of Maasai warriors and others from Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya.

The 350 lots also include gazelle and buffalo horns, walking sticks, a decorative carved hardwood swordstick and matching dagger, and a stringed musical instrument.

Modest estimates have been set to encourage competition from collectors and supporters of the charity, while auctioneer Ben Rogers Jones has agreed to donate his services for free so the biggest amount possible goes to the charity.

He told the Penarth Times the objects are "not the usual tourist knickknacks associated with travel souvenirs".

"They are more rare objects purchased from local craftsmen from remote villages off the usual tourist trails," he said.

Mr Radford visited Africa for the first time shortly after retiring from his shop RB Furnishing at the age of 56, joining a trip to Zimbabwe.

He never looked back and since then he has supported a number of African charities and recently raised money for a boy born without kneecaps to have an operation to help him walk.

Over-70s with a similar sense of adventure can make the most of seniors travel insurance and pick up a few souvenirs of their own.

Mr Radford said: "I would still love to go back to Africa but I am limited by my mobility now. I decided the time was right to do something here for charity. There aren't many more worthwhile than Ty Hafan."

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