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Wallis & Wallis: Arms & Militaria Auction 12th June 2012

Wallis & Wallis: Arms & Militaria Auction 12th June 2012

The bad weather of recent months did nothing to put off buyers. They came from around the country and all over the world. In addition we had commission bids from seven different countries as far apart as Australia, America and Canada. We also had buyers fly in for the sale from Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and Slovenia.

Militaria
We start with three badges from a collector specialising in the local county of Sussex. A scarce NCO’s white metal forage cap badge of The Royal Sussex Regiment. In good condition it sold for £380. Next was a Victorian officer’s helmet plate of The Royal Sussex Regiment, with enamelled centre (slightly chipped) on red cloth backing. Most of the gilt was rubbed, but it was otherwise in good condition. It made £300 to a buyer from Canada. Then we had a Victorian officer’s silver-plated helmet plate of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment. With enamelled centre on crimson velvet, it was in very good condition and sold for £340 to the same Canadian buyer.

For many decades foreign collectors have sent objects for inclusion in W&W sales. Here is one such item sent from outside of the EU. It was an officer’s red and blue enamelled hat badge of the 45th Australian Infantry Battalion (The St George Regiment) (Cossum I, p25). In very good condition it went to an Australian bidder for £400.

Now we show two items of headgear. The first is this impressive WWI period Prussian Cuirassier officer’s helmet with added Guard parade eagle. The skull of nickel plated steel, deeply stamped around the spike mount ‘575 14’, with brass line eagle badge, white metal chinscales with traces of brass or gilt finish and brass trefoil ends, and large officer’s pattern national and state rosettes, the peak and neck guard lined with leather and with leather sweat band (no other lining present), the Guard parade eagle added at a later date. It was in reasonable condition and sold for £2100.

Next was a Victorian officer cadet’s blue cloth spiked helmet of the Royal Military College, the velvet backed chin chain with ear rosettes, top mount and spike, the helmet plate with enamelled centre, and with leather and silk lining. Although the helmet plate and mounts had been cleaned bright overall it was in reasonable condition and sold for £400.

A Third Reich German Cross in silver, the reverse with four hollow rivets and stamped ‘134’ in a rectangle, lightly polished with small chips to the red enamel, but otherwise in good condition, sold for £925.

Staying with Germany for a moment, that country’s optical instruments are considered the finest in the world. Certainly high prices are often paid for binoculars and this was the case with this WWII 10 x 80 binocular, bearing the maker’s code dkl (the mark was unclear but if so they were made by Joseph Schneider & Co of Kreuznach). It had individual eyepiece focus, filters, adjustable leather anti-glare shade, painted drab green on its adjustable folding tripod, height (closed) 50-inches. It sold for £1150. A fine porcelain figure of French Napoleonic period Marshal Augereau, in full dress holding, marked ‘Dresden’ on the base, 11½-inches high, sold for £200, while a fine painted porcelain figure of the Master of Arms, in ceremonial dress of tabard and bonnet, marked ‘Dresden Foreign’, 10½-inches high, sold for £280.

Edged Weapons
Now we move on to edged weapons with a Russian infantry officer’s sword, with slightly curved, fullered 30-inches long blade, dated 1858 on the backstrap, regulation brass hilt with traces of gilt, the guard with reinforced edges, sidebar with floral terminal, knucklebow with stylised birds head into forward sloping cap shaped pommel with oak wreath band, wire bound leather grip, in its steel scabbard with two rings. In reasonable condition, the blade had been slightly shortened and it sold for £1400 to a buyer from Slovenia.

Next was an 1899 pattern cavalry trooper’s sword in its rare 1901 experimental scabbard. The curved, fullered blade 33½-inches long with various stamps at forte and ‘1/99’ on the backstrap, steel semi-basket guard, reinforced on the inner edge, plain pommel, chequered grips, in experimental brown leather scabbard with steel throat, opposing rings and chape tip, the leather stamped on the top edge EFD/ 99/ and inspector’s stamp `01. (See Robson p57 where it states ‘Next Year (1901) Enfield produced a leather scabbard…’). In near very good condition it sold for £600.

Another interesting item was a presentation 1803 pattern light company infantry officer’s sword, with 30-inch broad curved fullered blade engraved ‘Woolley & Deakins Impressed Steel’ on the backstrap. Etched with crowned GR cipher, crowned 1801-16 Royal Arms, a standing officer wearing a Tarleton helmet, trophies, maker’s name and scroll ‘Warranted’.

Gilt hilt, slotted guard with three loops on each side into crowned GR cipher and fluted knucklebow, lion’s head pommel and backstrap engraved ‘J H Toyne Esq AD 1848’, in its brass (retaining traces of gilt) mounted leather scabbard with two rings, the locket engraved ‘Lieutenant Charles Parker to J H Toyne Esq AD 1848’. The blade retained much original gilding and a little blueing, the hilt approx. 15% gilt. It went for £1450.

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German edged weapons next with two examples. First an early Third Reich 1st pattern Luftwaffe officer’s dagger, by David Malsh, Steinbach, the blade bearing a small Waffenamt mark, in its sheath with hanging chains, the mounts and chains of nickel silver with very faint traces of silver plating, the grip and sheath covering of leather, the former with silver wire binding. It had been lightly polished overall and sold for £625. Also a Third Reich Model 1933 SS dagger, the blade etched with motto and RZM mark over ‘1211/39’ and runes in a circle, the hilt with plated base and metal mounts, in its sheath. In good condition for its age it took £900 from a commission bidder.

Tribal Art
We frequently achieve very high prices for tribal art and have built up quite a reputation for selling items from Australasia, Polynesia and Micronesia in particular. It was therefore no surprise when we were asked to sell this unusual triangular section hardwood club, probably of Australian Aboriginal origin.

It was carved overall on each face, stylised figures on one, and stylised heads on another and geometric on the third. Measuring 28-inches overall it was in good condition with a pleasing patina.

It wasn’t surprising to us that it was heavily competed for on the telephone and Internet from half way around the world. It finally sold to an Australian bidder for £3100.

Firearms, De- Activated Weapons and Airguns
The sale contained a good collection of de-activated weapons, which seem to be going through a renaissance at present. Here is an example. A.303” World War II pattern Vickers Machine Gun, number 5999, on its Mark IV tripod mount. In very good condition and with its original wooden crates for gun and tripod, white painted metal ammunition box with webbing belt, and canvas breech cover, sold for £1150.

Another popular item was a de-activated 9mm PO8 Artillery Luger semiautomatic pistol, with 8” barrel, number 5430, the breech dated 1914, the toggle with ‘DWM’ mark. It was in good order but the magazine was a later replacement. Nevertheless it went for £975.

Classic airguns are also highly collectable these days, possibly due to the restrictive firearms laws. A good .25” Webley Service Air Rifle Mark II, number S 11024, was offered for sale. It was the final type with push button barrel release, no safety catch, and centre hinged aperture sight, the walnut butt with chequered panels.

In clean condition, retaining much original blued finish, it came in its original card box, the lid with printed label with the calibre and serial number added in blue pencil, and also marked ‘Special M’, the box lined with its original Non Rust paper and containing a rare original card packet of 500 Webley .25” Special Pellets, with pale blue printed label and a tin of modern .25” pellets. There was slight damage to one end of the box lid and some wear to pellet box, but still in above average condition. It sold to a UK buyer for £1200.

Finally we move on to antique guns and start with a 10-bore Short Land pattern Brown Bess flintlock musket, 57½-inches overall, the 42-inch barrel with Tower proofs, the rounded lock with swan neck cock, plate re-engraved with crowned ‘GR’ and ‘Grice 1762’. Fullstocked with regulation brass mounts, sling swivels and replacement steel ramrod. It had moderate pitting and some filling to the stock. It made £1500.

Big game rifles are highly sought after and this type of shooting is an expensive pastime. A good Holland & Holland double barrelled 10-bore x 3¼” underlever big game hammer rifle, number 7776 was successfully sold. The rifle measured 41-inches overall, the 25-inch barrels with doll’s head extension, partly chequered top rib and single fixed sight, the breeches engraved ‘Holland & Holland, 98 New Bond Street, London’ and ‘Winners of all the Field Rifle Trials, London, 1883’. It needed a little tender gunsmith work, but sold for £4400.

A five-shot .32” rimfire Forehand & Wadsworth single action revolver, measuring 6½-inches overall, the 2½-inch long octagonal barrel number 8745, the barrel marked ‘Forehand & Wadsworth, Mass’, the frame strap marked ‘Russian Model –32’. Nickel plated with sheath trigger and plain ivory grips. In good condition overall there was some flaking to the plating and it was contained in its rosewood case, with cleaning rod and dummy cartridge packet. It went for £600.

Next was a scarce fiveshot .32” rimfire Cone single action revolver, number 2855, measuring 10-inches overall, the octagonal 5-inch barrel marked ‘D D Cone Washington DC’, the steel frame with sheath trigger and detachable sideplate, plain rosewood grips. It was in good order, the cylinder numbered 2766. It made £675.

Finally a five-shot 54- bore Tranter’s Patent double action percussion revolver was offered for sale. It measured 11½-inches overall, the 6-inch barrel engraved on the top strap ‘B Cogswell, 224 Strand, London’, with London proofs, the frame and rammer engraved with scrolls, the frame also engraved ‘No 2074T’, the frame and rammer stamped ‘W Tranter’s Patent’ in ovals, with a chequered walnut butt. In good order but in a well made modern fitted oak case with reproduction Cogswell & Harrison trade label and various accessories. It sold for £825. GM

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