A rare and highly detailed silver model of St. Marks Church in Bromley, Kent is one of the most unusual items to feature in The Gentlemans Library Sale on 29th January 2013 at Bonhams
The realistically modelled church, estimated at £8,000 12,000, also includes a miniature clock in the bell-tower. It was presented to Sir Thomas Charles Dewey, a leading figure in 19th Century Kent society, for his services as church warden. As a successful businessman, he became a generous patron in the area and was instrumental in the development of St. Marks Church.
It was Dewey, along with Ernest Soames who bought the land for the church in 1897 and who later employed the architect Evelyn Hellicar. In addition to providing support for the building of the church, Dewey also held other strong connections to St. Marks. He worked as church warden for 30 years and his daughter eventually married the curate-in-charge of the church, Rev L J Lewin, in May 1905.
Dewey was made honorary freeman of Bromley in 1904 and in 1917 he was made a baronet. His efforts in the local community continued with his great contribution to the First World War, helping wounded soldiers and making South Hill and Peak House available as hospitals. In 1922 his generosity was honoured by the King of Belgium with the award of the diploma and insignia of Medaille du Roi Albert for his services to wounded Belgian soldiers.
The silver model depicts the church as it was between 1898 and 1941, when it was heavily bombed during an air raid, with only the tower escaping damage. It is accompanied by an engraved plaque dated 1905. The front door and portico of the model open to reveal a copper chassis for the winding mechanism of the timepiece.