- By Pete Moore
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- Last updated: 21/12/2016
This auction started as usual with medals and awards, including a group of six; a Military Cross, George VI GRI type (reverse engraved ‘3.R. F.F.R Capt. L B H Reford Tochi Scouts April 1940’), India General Service 1936 with two clasps North West Frontier 1936-37, North West Frontier 1937-39 (Lt L B H Reford 3-12 F F R), 1939-45 star, Italy star, War Medal and India 1939-45 War Medal. In very fine condition they were mounted as worn and sold for £1600.
Next came a Kabul to Kandahar Star 1880 (reverse impressed in British Army style Major E.G.G. Hastings, Bengal Cavalry). It was in very fine condition and went to a Canadian buyer for £360.
Now we move on to German medals with this Third Reich 50 Years Faithful Service Decoration in silver with gilt and enamel, together with its ribbon. It sold for £320. Next to it was a good Third Reich 12 year SS Long Service Award, in its original box with length of ribbon. This was heavily competed for and finally went for £610.
Moving on to badges and a Victorian officer’s 1881 pattern helmet plate of the South Wales Borderers in gilt and silver plate, in very good condition - it was almost untouched - sold to a buyer from the USA for £360.
A post 1902 officer’s silver plated helmet plate of a Volunteer Battalion of the South Wales Borderers, or possibly a post 1908 Monmouthshire Regiment, made £260.
A scarce officer’s silver cap badge of the 5th Volunteer Battalion South Wales Borderers, with blank plinth and superimposed ‘5VB’. Hallmarked for Birmingham 1897 and with maker’s mark ‘F & S Ld’, it was in good condition and caused much bidding interest from telephone and commission bidders. It finally sold for £625.
Militaria and Edged Weapons
To demonstrate the interesting vagaries of buying and selling at auction, a good Imperial German Infantry officer’s pickelhaube was bought in the last auction for £925. When the buyer was handed it after the sale he decided it wasn’t for him and asked us to re-enter it into the next auction. This we did and it reached an audience who missed it last time. It sold in this sale for £1350. It was in excellent condition and had its original field grey cloth cover.
Third Reich dress daggers are popular items, many of them having been brought back as souvenirs of the war by our servicemen. Here we have a naval officer’s dirk, by WKC, the blade etched with sailing ships, anchor and other symbols. The colour of grips can vary enormously between daggers and this example had one of dark orange. It was in its scarce hammered gilt brass sheath with pale gold coloured portepee. In clean condition it went for £975.
An 1831 pattern General Officer’s mameluke sword, the curved 29-inch blade etched with a crowned VR cypher above crossed sword and baton in foliate panels, maker’s name ‘Hart, Pall Mall London’. The regulation gilt hilt with ivory grips and crossed sword and baton on the crosspiece, in its brass scabbard. The blade retained approximately 50% of its polish but the gilding was worn. It made £420.
We seem to have been moving back and forth between England and Germany and here we go again with an interesting 18th Century German hanger, which had a curved 24-inch blade engraved on one side with a crowned ‘Z’ above trophies and ‘1765’ on the other with a crowned lion beneath a sword and ‘Fur Gott Und Das Vatterland’. The steel hilt had a single knucklebow engraved ‘LN 101’, back strap engraved ‘R.Z.4’. It went for £500.
A good 6-shot .36” Colt Model 1851 British military issue Navy percussion revolver, numbered 16609 on all parts, the barrel with London address and the cylinder with naval battle scene, the left barrel flat bearing a broad arrow (faintly struck) over ‘WD’, with steel trigger guard and backstrap and dark walnut grips. It was in very good working order and was covered in a layer of protective lacquer so may have been in a reasonably crisp condition underneath it all. The grips, however, were quite worn and bruised and it sold for £2200.
Here is a rare early example of a Webley Mark I air rifle, numbered 85 and etched .177” on the barrel pivot bracket. The barrel port turret was etched with the winged bullet trade mark over ‘W & S’; the air chamber stamped ‘Webley Air Rifle Mark I’ on the left side and with British and foreign patent dates on the right. The trigger block was stamped ‘Manufactured by Webley & Scott Ltd, Birmingham & London’ on the left side and serial number 85 on the right. The trigger adjustment was of the early type located at the front of the trigger block. It was in good working order and retained some of the original blued finish; the etching was clear but a little faint. It caused much interest before the sale and finally sold or £1600. It was an extremely costly air rifle to manufacture and in the late 1920s it would have cost a hefty 72s 6d, about four days wages for the average man.
Next we have a steel barrelled flintlock blunderbuss, circa 1820, with three-stage bell mouthed barrel measuring 11¾-inches. The octagonal breech with Birmingham proofs and engraved ‘London’, the flat stepped lock with a safety bolt, rainproof pan and roller on the frizzen spring. It had its original horn tipped ramrod with steel worm and was in reasonable working order. It was regarded as an untouched and very original item and made £925.
Finally a scarce .702” volunteer Minié percussion rifle, measuring 55-inches overall, with a tall ladder rearsight (slide missing) and lock marked with a crown over ‘Bradney’. The plain walnut fullstock had brass mounts and a steel ramrod. It was in good working order but the nipple and sling swivels were missing, the barrel had been lightly refinished and there was some pitting to the lock. Despite this it went on to sell for £1050.
The next sales at Wallis & Wallis are the Autumn Connoisseur Sale on the 15th & 16th October 2013. Included in this auction is a large single owner collection of antique pistols. An antique arms and militaria sale will be held on 26th November 2013. Also note that on 22nd January 2014, exactly one hundred and thirty five years to the day after the terrible British defeat at Isandlwana, Wallis & Wallis are holding the auction of an important single owner collection of Zulu objects. This is one of the largest private collections in the world to have come up for auction and will be sure to prove of great interest throughout the globe. For further information contact Wallis & Wallis on tel. 01273 480208 or visit www.wallisandwallis.co.uk
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