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Wallis & Wallis Auction Report

We start with the medal section and there were a number of lots that created considerable interest including a good collection belonging to a single owner. A group of four: Ashantee 1874, no clasp (Surgeon J F Beattie, 1873-4), Afghanistan 1878-80, 1 clasp Kandahar, Egypt 1882, 1 clasp Tel-El-Kebir, (both Surgn Maj., A.M.D.), Khedive’s Star 1882 (unnamed as issued). Generally VF (although with a small flaw to Ashantee obverse, ribands detached and worn). The group sold for £780. Another fascinating item was a French Decoration du Lys. It is a crowned fleur de lys on an oval band, set onto a white riband suspended by a circular medallion showing Louis XVIII with motto “Vive le Roi” and enclosed within blue and green enamelled laurel wreath. The award was mounted with its original award document, printed and completed in ink in favour of “Le Chevalier Richard Marshall, Doctor in Medicine, Totnes, Devon, Grande Bretagne”, 25cm x 20cm. The reverse was inscribed “Decoration du Lys Bestowed by King Louis XVIII 1815 on Richard Marshall MD in recognition of his kindness and attentions to the French Prisoners at Dartmoor during the Peninsular War”. It made £620. (Note: French Prisoners of War were housed in Dartmoor Prison from 1809 and American Prisoners from the War of 1812 soon joined them. Those surviving the wars were repatriated and the prison lay empty until rebuilt in the mid 19th Century. In 2009 the prison, reputed to be the most severe in England, ‘celebrated’ its bicentenary.)

Waterloo 1815 medals are often fitted with replacement straight bar suspenders because it was common for the original steel ring to rust and stain the jacket. This example was named to John Barlow, Gunner, Royal Foot Artillery and was VF (bright polished). It sold for £1300. A pair of Crimea with 3 clasps Alma, Inkerman., Sebastopol (officially impressed George Matthews 1st Bn Rifle Bde); Turkish Crimea, British issue (un-named as issued) in GVF condition although the Crimea had a minor edge bruise and made £420.
An Indian General Service medal 1854, with 1 clasp Persia (W Cox, 2nd Bombay Eur LI), GVF, sold for £580. An Indian Mutiny 1857-58, with 2 clasps Defence of Lucknow, Lucknow (L. Holmes, 90th Lt Infy), VF (minor edge bruising), made £500. Another Indian Mutiny 1857-58 with 2 clasps, Relief of Lucknow, Lucknow (Hy. McLeod, 93rd Highlanders), VF, went for £400.

A group of three: Queen’s Sudan (3542 Pte J Roach 2/ Lan Fus); QSA with 4 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek (3442 (sic) Pte J Roach Lanc Fus); Khedive’s Sudan with 1 clasp Khartoum (3542 Pte J Roach 2nd LF), GVF-EF, made £400. A pair of Army General Service 1902, 1 clasp Somaliland 1902-04 (A W Spurling, Sergt RM, HMS Perseus); and Messina Earthquake 1908 (un-named as issued), were in VF condition and sold for £230. Service details were included with the lot. A Tibet 1905 medal, with 1 clasp Gyantse (script engraved 7210 Gunr. A. Lucy, 7th Mtn By R.G.A.), GVF, sold for £550.

Now we move on to badges with an officer’s enamelled star helmet plate of The 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, red, green and pale blue enamel centre which made £340, and an officer’s silver-plated glengarry of the Scots Company, Bombay Volunteer Rifles, by J R Gaunt & Sons which made £280. Next we move on to Axis awards with a Third Reich German Cross in silver, the reverse with broad flat pin and four flattened domed rivets. It was a little worn and needed a clean, but still fetched £350. Finally a scarce Third Reich Spanish Cross in bronze with swords, the reverse stamped with small “L/16”, with tapered flat brass pin. There were quite a few bidders trying to add it to their collection but as always only one could win and he bought it for £380.

Edged Weapons

Now we go on to edged weapons with this mid 17th century English rapier. The hollow ground wedge section blade measuring 37½-inches in length, the hilt with shallow dish guard, pas d’ane rings with out turned ends and flattened button finials, two large ring guards, knucklebow with curled side loops, and spherical pommel. Sadly the wooden grip lacked a binding but retained its Turks’ heads. It seemed in average condition for its age although pitted overall, and made £900.

Here is an Imperial Russian sword shasqua, curved, 34-inches long fullered blade, dated 1908 at the forte with Tula arsenal stamp, brass hilt with ring quillon, knucklebow and forward sloping cap pommel (dented), regimental stamps above the forte, ribbed wooden grip, in its brass mounted black leather scabbard. It was a good clean example and went for £520.

A good scarce 1821 pattern heavy cavalry trooper’s sword of the 5th Dragoon Guards, with curved and fullered blade, 36-inches long, marked Enfield 1848 with small crown VR on the backstrap, and inspector’s stamp at the forte. Steel bowl guard with line border, marked 5/ DG/H/ 80 behind the quillon, forward sloping pommel, plain backstrap with ears, leather grip. It was a clean example and several bidders took it up to £510.

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A Japanese sword Katana, not in particularly fine condition but nevertheless drew several bidders. It had a long blade measuring 36-inches, signed Hidenao and dated 1869. There were two holes in the tang and it came with a wood saya, hilt-binding missing and made £1100.

This shows an old Italian dagger of cinquedea form, with broad tapering blade measuring 20-inches long and 3-inches at its widest span. It had one central fuller for most of its length and a downturned iron crossguard with monster head finials, brass cap with diced engraving, bone two piece grip with two circular foliate brass discs on each side with brass beaded edging. It went for £620.

Next we have a Georgian naval dirk with a tapering shallow diamond section blade 10-inches long, etched with vines and blued and gilt for three quarter length, gilt stylized leaf crossguard and lower band to the turned ivory grip with plain cap pommel. It was in its gilt scabbard with two rings, the front engraved overall with vines and sheaf devices in panels. The blade retained approximately 85% blueing and gilding, the hilt and scabbard approx 85% gilding. It sold for £1150. Another navel officer’s dirk but this time from Japan of WWII vintage. The blade measured 8½-inches long had a back fuller, gilt reinforce at forte into hilt with sharkskin grip, polished shagreen scabbard, the gilt hilt and scabbard mounts with flowers and foliage en suite in panels, opposing rings and hilt spring catch to locket. In excellent condition it made £600.

Here is a Third Reich 1936 pattern SS dagger, the blade devoid of maker’s or RZM marks, the hilt with plated mounts, in its anodised sheath with hanging chains, and with shortened portepee. There were small patches of verdigris to the hilt and some light surface rust to the sheath but it was a good untouched item and drew much bidding. It finally went for £1850.

Militaria and Collectibles

Also of WWII vintage was a single decal Luftwaffe Paratrooper’s helmet, the skull with roughened finish and almost obliterated Luftwaffe eagle decal. It had later type alloy bolt heads, the leather lining had the liner size and manufacturer’s name “Baumuster: Heisler, Berlin, C2, Eersteller: F W Muller Jr”, with leather chinstrap. It sold for £1000. Wallis & Wallis have a reputation for getting excellent prices for tribal and Oceanic art and this Sale drew a number of items, including a good 19th century Gilbert Islands triple bladed wood dagger, the blades with small sharks teeth inserts. It was mounted on a hardwood stand and made £800.

Cook Islands objects are in great demand and an adze caused great interest before the Sale. It had a black stone blade and a 24-inch wooden haft, which was geometrically carved along its whole length. After much bidding it finally sold for £1900. Moving away from tribal art we have a 17th Century German staghorn powder flask, the front well carved in high relief depicting the Three Kings presenting their gifts to the infant Jesus seated on his mother’s knee, all within a scroll bordered panel with guardian angels above and below, the reverse side had a simple low relief carving of the head and shoulders of the adult Christ in a circle within panels of stylised foliage. It was sold for £1400.

Firearms

First of the firearms is a good Belgian 6-shot 11mm pinfire open frame double action revolver, with bayonet type Bowie knife attached to the 6¼-inch round barrel stamped at the breech with “E Lefaucheux Invr Brevete”. The frame was numbered 6154 and 188152; Liege proved; gilt overall and chiselled with panels of vines and flowers, and engraved near the muzzle “Schmacht a Colmax” in gothic script. It was not originally made to take a bayonet but has been later adapted and is now mounted with a large Bowie type knife with broad 8-inch blade, the crosspiece sympathetically chiselled and gilded in a similar style to the revolver. It went for £1900.

Next we have an unusual 6-shot .36” Savage Patent percussion Navy revolver, the 7-inch octagonal barrel with patent dates to 1860, walnut grips. It was in good condition although had a slight burring to the nipples and there had been some refinishing. It sold for £950. A scarce pair of 30-bore German flintlock holster pistols, made circa 1675, went for £1450. Measuring 20½-inches overall, they each had slender two-stage barrel with octagonal breech and plain rounded lock with unbridled bulbous frizzen; each slender stock had plain steel mounts and they were both in reasonable condition although the cocks had been replaced and the metalwork had been pitted and cleaned. Finally in the Sale was a pair of officer’s 16-bore flintlock holster pistols, by J Probin, circa 1815. Each with 7-inch flat topped round barrels, Birmingham proof marks and engraved on top flat “24 Lisle St, London”, the stepped bolted lock with raised pan and roller on frizzen spring. Each walnut fullstock had a chequered butt and oval silver escutcheon engraved with initials “R.H.R” in gothic script. They had steel mounts, including engraved trigger guards and swivel ramrods. There had been some restoration and the barrels had been re-engraved. They came in a later green baize lined mahogany case with reproduction trade label of W Smith, London, and accessories. The set sold for £2400.

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