The latest Thomas Del Mar Ltd sale of Antique Arms
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- Last updated: 29/08/2018
A very rare Georgian Colour of the Coldstream Guards was among the highlights of the latest Thomas Del Mar Ltd sale of Antique Arms, Armour & Militaria took place at 25 Blythe Road, London, on June 27th. Expected to fetch £12,000-18,000, the design dates from 1814 and is of the no. 15 company, 2nd Battalion, the centre bearing St Edward’s Crown above the company symbol (Carolingian crown), ‘EGYPT’, the Sphinx between laurel sprays, ‘BARROSA’, a bugle-horn, ‘PENINSULA’ and ‘WATERLOO’. The horizontal arm of the cross inscribed ‘LINCELLES’ and ‘TALAVERA’. This colour was recently discovered in near-relic condition and has been expertly restored on a museum quality mount to display the obverse face. The Colour sold for £15,888.
The auction opened with a very strong section consisting of more than 115 lots of Japanese objects ranging from armour to firearms but predominantly swords. This was intersected by the property of a collector comprising 15 Japanese swords.
Other interesting pieces in the sale included a rare South German close helmet for field use, circa 1510-15 which was expected to fetch £10,000-14,000 and sold for £12,880. Following the sale, Auctioneer and Expert-in-charge, Thomas Del Mar, commented: “The sale had some very strong results; notably the Indian jade daggers, the property of a Prince, which included some highly decorated and gem-set examples which were very well viewed before the sale with some strong bidding and exceptional prices. We were also pleased with the English firearms, which had some excellent results including £8000 for a double flintlock carbine by Durs Egg and a number of strong prices for military firearms. We were delighted to welcome Clive Sinclaire as a consultant to this sale. His expertise in cataloguing three distinguished groups of Japanese edged weapons and firearms was clearly appreciated and we were particularly impressed at the growing strength in this area.”
The next sale takes place on December 5th. www.thomasdelmar.com
Record participation brings $7.3 million in June at Rock Island’s Regional auction…
In Rock Island Auction Company’s recent trend of hosting mammothsized, four-day Regional Auctions, their June 2018 event did not disappoint. Beginning on the first day of summer, the sale offered nearly 10,000 firearms to those who wanted to begin the season with a bang. The event was a record-setter for RIAC with over 23,000 sealed bids placed, leading to an entertaining weekend packed full of unexpected bidding wars, new additions to collections, and even a bargain or two. The results of the weekend were a realised total of $7.3 million.
Day 1 was Thursday and all the collectors present made it feel like the weekend had started early. Quick in their enthusiasm, one of the highest sale prices of the auction was achieved in lot 10, when an attractive New Haven Arms Henry rifle was sold for $16,100. Not half an hour later a New Haven Arms Volcanic pistol in lot 82 with a handsome mustard patina found a new home and more than doubled its low estimate for $9775. Around midday began a weekend long theme of heavy bidding for Colt semi-auto pistols, in particular Super 38 pistols. One such example was in lot 779, which blew the doors off its estimate and brought $8050. The M1941 Johnson rifle with its bayonet, shown below, quickly ascended past its estimate before landing on a $6325 realised price.
Friday showed a general strength around U.S. military arms, but the tops spots were a mixed bag of collecting genres. Similar to the day before, the action started right out of the gate when a very rare Winchester Model 1873 First Model saddle ring carbine crossed the block in lot 2004. Still bearing its original raised thumb print dust cover as well as some beautiful finish and case hardening, this classic had no trouble reaching $12,650. The top seller of the day was a pair of military rifles in lot 2473 that surprised everyone in the room by realizing $17,250. Manhatten Firearms are often overshadowed by their Colt contemporaries, but on this day a French-cased, engraved pair of their revolvers, flaunting antique ivory grips carved in a patriotic motif, captured one of the top spots with a final price of $7475.
There must be a flock of early birds at RIAC, because for the third day in a row one of the highest selling items occurred almost right away. Lot 4001 featured a factory engraved Volcanic No. 1 pistol with a case that wasted no time in finding a new home for $11,500. Other notable prices included a Smith & Wesson Model 320 revolving rifle in lot 4309 that rang the bell at $9200, an extremely desirable Springfield M1903A1 sniper rifle with its USMC Unertl scope in lot 4567 knocked down $8050, and in lot 4518 a beautifully refinished Death’s Head marked German G98/K98 conversion rifle from the Spandau arsenal far outpaced its estimate and brought $6900. The surprise of the day was the rare bird in lot 4300, an unusual Becker System semi-automatic, revolving shotgun in 16-gauge. Clearly intrigued, the audience had no trouble eclipsing the $1200 low estimate en route to $6325.
You can have two guesses as to how Sunday’s auction began at RIAC, but you’ll only need one. Right off the bat, in lot 6000, the first of the day, a stunning and rare factory engraved Winchester Model 1887 deluxe shotgun claimed the top spot of the final day by powdering its $5500 low estimate with a $12650 realised price. It was also no surprise when the attractive Colt Single Action Army in lot 6167 outperformed its estimate. Engraved, nickel finished, chambered in .44 Henry rimfire, and with raised carved Mexican eagle grips this bright little Colt easily drew its $9200 price tag.
Looking back at the auction’s top sellers, variety was clearly the name of the game. Covering a wide selection of not only genres, but also manufacturers, collectors let their bids be heard both in person and via the record number of sealed bids received before the auction began. The in-house online bidding platform RIAC Live also continues to be a success bringing nearly an additional 250 live bidders into the auction hall via the internet. This combination of participation and variety proves to be the perfect aperitif to the upcoming 2018 September Premiere Firearms auction; a sale already generating quite a bit of excitement in its own right for the same qualities as well as some absolute once-in-a-lifetime collecting opportunities. It promises to be the firearms auction of the year and the June Regional set the stage perfectly.