Waugh’s Ear Trumpet on Auction

One of Waugh’s ear trumpets will be auctioned on March 30 along with several books and letters from a collection which is being sold off. The auctioneer is Forum Auctions, but the catalogue is not yet available online. According to the Antiques Trade Gazettethe trumpet on offer last sold at Sotheby’s in 1995. It is said to be the one which Waugh removed from his ear to tune out a speech by Malcolm Muggeridge at a Foyle’s luncheon in 1957. According to the Gazette

The plated copper English made telescopic ear trumpet… comes with letters of provenance from son Auberon Waugh. He wrote: “I have sent you a disgusting object… you may be able to identify as a telescopic ear trumped as used by my Father in his later years… it may be of some whimsical interest to an obsessive collector.”

This is not the only ear trumpet Waugh possessed. As reported in the Gazette, citing an earlier post on this site:

A tortoiseshell ear trumpet, which he was given to him by the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, was once offered to journalist Alexander Chancellor to try on a visit to the Waugh household over a decade ago. Chancellor, whose daughter Eliza is married to Evelyn’s grandson Alexander Waugh, recalls he “heard rather better through Waugh’s ear trumpet than I do through my two state-of-the-art Swiss-made electronic hearing aids that cost me around £2,000 each a few years ago”.

The estimated sale price is £1000-1500.


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