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Spitfire soars to £3m sale record

Published 09/07/2015

Undated handout file photo issued by Christie's of a restored Spitfire that has sold for a record price at auction - with the multi-million-pound profits donated to charity
Undated handout file photo issued by Christie's of a restored Spitfire that has sold for a record price at auction - with the multi-million-pound profits donated to charity

The last Spitfire of its kind has sold for a record price at auction - with the multi-million-pound profits donated to charity.

The restored Vickers Supermarine mark 1 sold for £3,106,500 at Christie's in London - the highest ever paid for a Spitfire.

It comes on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, in which the famous fighter aircraft played a vital role.

The restored aircraft was donated by American philanthropist and art collector Thomas Kaplan and his wife Daphne. It was sold to benefit the RAF Benevolent Fund. A second model was donated to the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

Nic McElhatton, the chairman of Christie's South Kensington, said: "Bringing this iconic and historic aircraft to auction has captivated collectors and enthusiasts around the world.

"It has been an extraordinary project for Christie's to work on, and we have all been in awe of Thomas Kaplan's incredible generosity.

"Not only are the proceeds of this sale being gifted to so many worthy causes, not least Panthera and the RAF Benevolent Fund, Thomas and Daphne Kaplan are also gifting Spitfire N3200 to Imperial War Museum Duxford for the public to admire and enjoy for generations to come."

Undated handout file photo issued by Christie's of German soldiers sitting on the fuselage of a downed Spitfire on the Calais coast, as the restored plane has sold for a record price at auction - with the multi-million-pound profits donated to charity
Undated handout file photo issued by Christie's of German soldiers sitting on the fuselage of a downed Spitfire on the Calais coast, as the restored plane has sold for a record price at auction - with the multi-million-pound profits donated to charity
The Duke of Cambridge (left) during a tour of the Imperial War Museum in Duxford where he received a newly restored Supermarine Spitfire Mark I N3200 on behalf of the museum. Photo: Geoff Pugh/Daily Telegraph/PA Wire
Handout photo dated 1940 issued by the Imperial War Museums of German soldiers inspecting the N3200 Spitfire after it was shot down on a beach at Sangatte, France.
Undated handout file photo issued by Christie's of a restored Spitfire that has sold for a record price at auction - with the multi-million-pound profits donated to charity
DUXFORD, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks with pilot John Romain as he visits the Imperial War Museum Duxford to receive a newly restored Supermarine Spitfire Mark I N3200 on behalf of the museum, at IWM Duxford on July 9, 2015 in Duxford, England. (Photo by Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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