- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 16/12/2016
This Connoisseur Sale sees several large private antique firearms collections come on to the market, giving other collectors a chance to own models they have been searching for. The sale is a prelude to several other big auctions to be held by Wallis & Wallis next year, including one of the largest Zulu collections in the world, to be sold in January, and a huge private collection of antique swords and edged weapons, which will go under the hammer in the Spring Connoisseur Sale in early May. The following is Part One of our report, Part Two will appear in our February issue.
We start this report as usual with medals and this group of three: Crimea Medal with three clasps: Alma, Balaklava, Sebastopol, (engraved 2716 Samuel Ross, 93rd Highlanders); Indian Mutiny Medal with two clasps Lucknow, Relief of Lucknow (impressed Saml Ross 93rd Highlanders); Turkish Crimea, British issue (engraved 2716 Samuel Ross 93rd Highlanders). In very fine condition they came with an unsigned but well painted full length watercolour of an officer in the 93rd Highlanders, 6¼ by 10¼ inches. They sold for £1700. (Note: The 93rd (Sutherland Highlanders) particularly distinguished themselves at Balaklava under the command of General Sir Colin Campbell where they repulsed an attack by Russian cavalry. Campbell had urged his men ‘There is no retreat from here men. You must die where you stand’. The Times Correspondent, William Russell, described the scene as ‘A thin red streak tipped with a line of steel’, this was later condensed to the now famous ‘The Thin Red Line’.)
Next we have a group of five: Military Cross, George V issue (un-named); Distinguished Flying Cross, George V issue (un-named); 1914-15 Star (Lieut. F.F. Dutton Ches. R); British War Medal and Victory Medal (Lieut. F.F. Dutton, RAF). All were good to very fine and were mounted court style. They sold for £2900. (Note: Frank Falconer Dutton, born Northwich, Cheshire, December 1894. Served in WWI with the Cheshire Regiment, awarded the MC, 22nd September 1916, see London Gazette 17th April 1917 ‘For conspicuous gallantry when in command of a raiding party. In spite of the most determined opposition he successfully extricated his command and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy’. Transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and flew operationally with No 113 Squadron in Egypt and Palestine September 1917 to August 1918 (the Squadron formed in August 1917 as a reconnaissance and artillery spotting unit, used against the Turkish 7th and 8th Armies). Mentioned in the Despatch of General Sir E H H Allenby, C in C Egyptian Expeditionary Force 14th June 1918; awarded the DFC, London Gazette 8th February 1919 (Egypt) ‘An officer of great courage and endurance who sets an inspiring example to his flight. On 19th September he flew for 7¾ hours, carrying out an extremely valuable artillery patrol, which enabled our artillery to silence a number of enemy batteries, in addition to tactical and bombing flights’. Transferred to unemployed list June 1919. The Northwich Guardian published an Obituary in May 1977, which stated ‘He joined the Royal Flying Corps in Egypt, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross and flying with Lawrence of Arabia.’ Together with 6 reprint photos of bi-planes showing type flown by Dutton.)
This shows a scarce Officer’s gilt and silver plated grenade badge of The Royal Marine Artillery, of typically early thin construction, with applied Royal Crest to prominent ball grenade, and motto strap ‘Per Mare Per Terram’. With three iron lug fastenings, 3½ x 2 inches. It made £775.
Here is a good Officer’s gilt and silver-plated grenade helmet plate of The Royal Marine Artillery, worn between 1879-1905, with blue enamel backing to the title strap. It was in very good condition and sold for £675.
This good Officer’s silver mounted dirk of The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders was in super condition with polished 11 inch blade, studded writhen darkwood hilt, the pommel inset with a glass ‘citrine’, in its black leather scabbard, the mounts embossed with regimental badges, with companion knife and fork. Hallmarked Edinburgh 1898 and maker’s name R & H B Kirkwood, Edinburgh. It sold to a bidder in the room for £1850.
Uniforms make wonderful displays and this example of an Elizabeth II Captain’s uniform of The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and Royal Dragoons) was particularly attractive to bidders. It comprised a silver plated helmet with gilt peak binding, the scarlet yak hair plume with gilt rosette, gilt helmet plate with red and blue enamelled centre.
The blue tunic had scarlet facings and edging, heavily gilt embroidered collar and cuffs, gilt shoulder cords; gilt lace shoulder belt with scarlet morocco backing; plated cuirass, brass edge binding and studs, shoulder scales with ornamental studs and lion’s head finials, red leather lining with crimson velvet edging; pair buff leather breeches; pair black leather boots. It was in very good condition and went for £3000.
When this late 16th century North Italian backplate came in for sale it was covered in red rust. A beautifully etched design was just visible underneath and so it was decided to delicately clean it. The result was superb as can be seen here. It was decorated overall with radiating alternate plain and decorated panels, the latter bearing stylised human and animal figures forming writhen patterns within roped bordered panels. It was stamped at the top with a small ‘P’ and was in nice condition. It went to a bidder in the room against several telephone bidders for £1650.
Before moving on to firearm related items we have a couple of swords. First this mid 17th century English ‘mortuary’ broadsword, the double edged blade 32 inches long with short fullers with running wolf mark and ‘date’ 1554.The iron hilt with double shell guard, each pierced guard embossed with two masks, flattened knucklebow with two small side loops, the pommel also embossed with two masks, the grip bound with copper wire and tape and with Turks heads. There was some pitting as you might expect with a piece of this age and it sold in the room for £1150.
Next this lovely United States artillery officer’s sword, circa 1810, had a curved shallow fullered blade 30 inches long, etched with trophies and flourishes, blued and gilt for half its length, with plain etched floral inset panels, gilt hilt, the knucklebow incorporating three diminishing circles each with a grenade, pronounced eagle’s head pommel and ivory grip. The blade retained around 80% blueing and gilding, the hilt and scabbard mounts approx 85% gilt. The hammer fell at £1600.
Here we show a French prisoner of war bone ship model of a 48-gun frigate of the Napoleonic period, 12¼ long and 10 inches high. The three masts with standing and running rigging strengthened with dead eyes in fine detail. The hull and main deck sheathed in bone with sections secured by metal pins. There were 48 brass cannon on two decks. The base bore a Swedish inscription ‘Örlogsfregatt om 48 Kanoner från 1800 - talets början’. It was in very good condition and sold to a commission bidder for £3500.
This Indian horn powder flask in the form of a fish caused much interest before the Sale. It measured 7½ inches overall and the upper body was covered with bone panels secured by pegs. The lower part was covered with dark stained bone and it was engraved overall with crosses and circles within lozenge shaped designs. The mouth was horn as were the eyes and tail. The mouth was formed to hold the stopper. It was in good condition and after much bidding finally sold for £1650 to a telephone bidder against those in the room.
Purdey is always a name to admire and this sporting rifle was an excellent example of their work. The fine quality 54-bore percussion double-barrels measured 30 inches long. They were damascus twist barrels with platinum lined breech and raised top rib marked ‘J. Purdey, 314½ Oxford Street London’. It had a fixed ‘V’ notch rear sight with three hinged leaves, a long sloping blade foresight, finely engraved steel mounts, trigger guard numbered 4247, locks marked ‘Purdey’, polished walnut half stock with chequered fore-end. The steel patchbox was marked inside ‘...Drs Powder’ and the chequered butt plate marked ‘Charge 2 Drms No 6 G. Powder’. It was in very good condition and went to a bidder in the room for £2000.
This example of a blunderbuss was the earliest we had seen for a considerable time. It was a good mid 17th century brass barrelled flintlock doglock blunderbuss, by G. Taylor, measuring 33½ inches overall, the three stage slightly swamped barrel had an octagonal breech with London proofs and maker’s proof of star over ‘GT’. The flat lock had three side nails, dog catch, flat notched cock and squared pan with unbridled frizzen, the plate engraved with simple scrolled foliage terminating in stylised animal head, and maker’s name ‘Taylor’. The walnut stock was mounted with a 5 inch iron saddle bar and it was in good condition. It went to a telephone bidder for £4000.
Here we show a scarce single barrelled 14-bore flintlock sporting gun by Joseph Egg, with patent waterproof lock. It had a refinished three stage twist barrel 28 inches long, with two gold lines and gold inlaid ‘J Egg’ at the breech. The barrel was engraved ‘Joseph Egg, No 1 Piccadilly, London’ and the breech had a countersunk platinum touch hole recessed and dovetailed to take a sliding touch hole cover (now missing). It went to a commission bidder for £2400.
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