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Auctions

The advent of the September auction each year seems to bring about the end of summer. However, this year the fine hot weather just kept going, reminding us that even though the economy is still struggling to recover prices in this area of the collecting field have never been better. Arms and militaria remains one of the better fields in which to invest your money.

Medals and Militaria

We will start this report as usual with medals and an Afghanistan medal 1878-80, with three clasps, Charasia, Kabul and Kandahar. Named ‘1718 Pte W Craig, 72nd Highrs’, it was near very fine but with a little contact pitting. It sold for £410.

An India General Service medal 1895, had one clasp ‘Rel of Chitral 1895’. It was script engraved ‘6820 Pte F Davis, 1st Bn K R Rifle Corps’ and was in good to very fine condition. It made £160.

Moving onto militaria, we have a post-1902 farrier’s helmet, breast and backplate of the Household Cavalry. The white metal helmet with brass peak binding, ear-to-ear wreath, and leather backed chinchain and ear rosettes, he helmet plate with white metal star to the centre, the top mount and black hair plume with plain rosette. The plated breast and backplate had brass edging and studs, the leather backed shoulder scales with ornamental ends and buff leather fastening strap to the waist. It was in good condition and sold to a bidder in the room for £925.

Now we move on to German items with a good Third Reich naval bulkhead clock, the hinged chrome plated front 6½-inches diameter, with silvered dial, black figures and hands, including seconds hand, and impressed with eagle and swastika over ‘M’ and serial number 15985 over ‘N’. The tapered brass body with three securing lugs and the winding and opening by means of a key, which was missing. It was in very good condition and after much bidding in the room it went for £575.

Also on offer was a Third Reich Luftwaffe Parachutist’s badge, by Assmann & Sohn, the wreath of silvered brass, the gilt eagle secured by two domed rivets, with round wire pin, in good condition with no gilt remaining on the front of the eagle. Nevertheless they are sought after items and it sold in the room for £210.

Edged Weapons

In this part of the sale was an Indian bowie type knife, with 10-inch blade marked ‘Armaguellum Salem’ on one side, flat steel crossguard, the horn grip with rounded pommel cap. It was in good condition and went for £330.

A US cavalry trooper’s sword was offered, with a curved fullered blade which was marked at the forte on one side ‘US 1865 AGM’ and ‘C Roby W Chelmsford Mass’ on the other. It had a regulation brass hilt, the guard with reinforced edge, knucklebow and two sidebars, the brown leather covered ribbed grip with cap shaped pommel. It was in very good condition and made £280.

A good continental officer’s spadroon, circa 1775, sold to a commission bidder for £300. It had a straight fullered blade 32½-inches long, with steel hilt with flat crossguard and quillon, slender feather engraved langets, facetted knucklebow with polished one-piece maple grip and flattened cap shaped plain pommel and backstrap. It had dark pitting patina to the hilt and age pitting and edge nicks to the blade.

Firearms

Starting with a scarce seven shot .32” rimfire Moore’s Patent single action revolver, 9-inches long, with 4-inch octagonal barrel stamped ‘D Moore Patent Sept 18 1860’ and numbered 2519. The barrel and cylinder released by thumb catch to swing sideways for loading, with silver plated frame and walnut grips. It was in average condition for its age and the plating was worn. It sold for £475.

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A pair of 55-bore flintlock boxlock pocket pistols, circa 1800, measuring 7¼-inches long with 2½-inch turn off barrels, were sold for £425. Each frame engraved with swags and ‘Spencer, London’ in script, with London proofs, top safety and plain walnut slab butt. There was minor staining and some scoring to barrels but otherwise they were in pretty good condition.

Also on sale was a good 10-bore private purchase Brown Bess type flintlock musket by Prosser, London circa 1800. The 39-inch barrel with false breech, London proofs and engraved ‘London’, the plain flat stepped lock engraved ‘Prosser’, the walnut fullstock with brass mounts, large oval escutcheon, sling swivels, and original steel ramrod. It was in good working order and condition and had lovely age patination. At some point the lock had been cleaned to reveal the name and there was light surface rust on the barrel. It sold for £625.

Finally something of an oddity and puzzle; a curious 28-bore breech loading percussion gun 50½-inches long with a very heavy screw off barrel measuring 32¾-inches long. It had a plain rounded bronze frame and trigger guard insert with a bronze back action lock, the rounded bronze breech had a trap door on the upper side hinging upwards for loading but with no apparent means of locking the breech door. The walnut butt had a strange and heavy- duty brass or bronze reinforced comb, which was quite sharply pointed along the upper edge.

Several suggestions as to its use were mooted including a seal pup combined gun and club. The material it was made of suggests use in a corrosive environment and the sharp top edge of the comb makes it a fearsome and effective club. Shown here is the action and butt in detail and Wallis & Wallis are open to ideas… In any event several bidders speculated on the mystery of its use and it sold to one of them for £210.

Important Zulu Auction

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 details of this and other future sales, contact Wallis & Wallis on 01273 480208 or visit the website at http://wallisandwallis.co.uk

Autumn Auction of Hermann Historica oHG

With precious objects from all eras and originating from all over the world, the 67th auction of specialised auction house offered a diverse selection of lots from all fields of history and military history.

With the usual wide range of high quality objects, this year’s Autumn Auction will take place in Munich from 4th to 16th November. Approximately 8,000 lots from all specialist areas represented by the auction house – antiquities, arms and armour, hunting antiques, orders and collectibles from military history – will be auctioned.

Because of the huge and diverse range of outstanding items covered by this sale, including Oriental (8th – 7th century BC) and Greek (5th – 4th Century BC) bronze helmets, medieval armour, edged weapons, not to mention uniforms and accoutrements with provenance directly linked to historic figures such as Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830 – 1916), Kaiser Franz Joseph I, Emperor Napoleon I (1769 - 1821), Marshal Michel Ney, Prince de la Moskowa (1769 - 1815) etc., we are only able to highlight firearms here.

Fine Antique and Modern Firearms

The pièces de résistance among the antique firearms are; an outstanding luxury wheellock pistol from Nuremberg, circa 1590/1600, which occupied pride of place in the armoury owned by the Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. Every last detail of the pistol will delight bidders with its fine quality: the root of the barrel is decorated with etched and gilt tendrils, the gun is stamped with hallmarks, has elaborate inlays made of engraved and partially coloured bone as well as engraved mother-of-pearl in the walnut stock. This decorative and interesting piece is expected to fetch a minimum of 35,000 euros. Also on offer for 27,500 euros is a very early and rare luxury pistol of the wheellock type from Brunswick or Munich. Richly embellished with hunting scenes, the weapon has been dated at 1550.

Exceptionally rare examples of modern arms are also available, with two Borchardt C93s standing out in particular. Lot number 1886 is a rare self-loading pistol in a carrying case, one of a numbered series of only 1,100 that were manufactured by Loewe. Produced in Germany circa 1894, the calibre 7.65 mm firearm is up for sale from 20,000 euros. By contrast, the circa 1896 gun of the same name of DWM manufacture, Germany/Australia, is estimated at 10,000 euros. Once acquired, with a starting price of 9,500 euros, a unique Werle-Nedbal Parabellum, calibre .45 and still completely in the white, may be completed according to the demands of the purchaser.

For more information on this and other Hermann Historica oHG auctions visit www.hermann-historica.de GM

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