Latest News Articles by Mark Bridge

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Pick of the pistol hammer highs

12 August 2019

Fine sets of pistols, preferably nicely cased, have long been the mainstay of London arms and armour sales. This season’s crop were not as plentiful nor so eagerly contested as we sometimes see, but there were some gems on offer and a selection of them are illustrated here.

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Stopping power to halt an angry tiger

12 August 2019

In the days of the British Raj there was no shortage of would-be shikaris hoping to bag a tiger in India. At the same time plenty of London gunsmiths were ready to supply them with all the fire-power they could persuade them to buy.

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Eager for Hever armour as suit from famous collection reappears

12 August 2019

In May 1983 the eyes of arms and armour bidders were fixed firmly on the £6m sale of the Hever Castle collection at Sotheby’s in London.

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Siamese sword has eastern edge

12 August 2019

The huge variety of exotic arms brought back to Europe from the East during colonial days is becoming an increasingly lucrative area of business for auction houses.

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Sikh tulwar in Italian saleroom

12 August 2019

Edged weapons from the East were also an important part of the sale held by Czerny (20% buyer’s premium) in Sarzano, Italy, on June 16.

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Household Cavalry blades in demand

12 August 2019

The collecting of English military swords is a science in itself.

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Tanto tantalises bidders at Special Auction Services

12 August 2019

Special Auction Services’ (17.5% buyer’s premium) sale in Newbury on July 9 included a wide selection of edged weapons which was topped by a mid-19th century Japanese short sword or tanto estimated at £200-300.

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German game guns boast royal pedigree

12 August 2019

Fine German sidelock ejectors do not feature often in the London salerooms but Gavin Gardiner’s 25% buyer’s premium) May 1 sale of sporting guns at Sotheby’s in London produced a pair that not only scored on quality but had a history to back it up.

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Arms fair now in 52nd year

12 August 2019

The 102nd staging of the London Antique Arms Fair is on Saturday, August 24.

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Munich auction house makes move

12 August 2019

After more than 20 years in the heart of Munich arms and armour specialist auction house Hermann Historica has moved to bigger premises in the suburbs.

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Arms and armour: Prized pistols tempt collectors at auction

28 January 2019

Pistols remain one of the most popular of all categories among gun collectors and the winter sales in London proved a bumper season for handguns, from the earliest wheel-locks of the late 16th century to the semi-automatics which ushered in the modern age at the end of the 19th century.

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Excellent English examples of pistols trigger bidding

28 January 2019

The Thomas Del Mar (24% buyer’s premium) sale in London on December 5 included several excellent pairs of English pistols.

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War shield stars in large Zulu selection

28 January 2019

This rare 1870s Zulu shield or Isihlangu below sold for £1650 at the C&T (20% buyer’s premium) auction of the Mick Woodfield collection of Zulu and other tribal weapons in Tunbridge Wells on January 9.

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Siamese sword in Japanese style points to £42,000 price

28 January 2019

Exotic blades from all parts of the world are making headlines in the salerooms. Recent auctions have produced some interesting results from unlooked-for places, but none was less expected than the £42,000 paid for a 19th century Siamese niello and silver-gilt mounted sword in the Japanese taste at Thomas Del Mar (24% buyer’s premium) in London on December 5.

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‘Battle-scarred’ gun owned by Tipu Sultan fires up Oxfordshire sale

28 January 2019

Following the fall of Seringapatam in India on May 4, 1799, portions of the spoils were variously allocated to senior officers of the British force.

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Ammo ad sign under hammer

28 January 2019

Once breech-loading guns became the norm, the gun itself was only one part of the equation. Ammunition was the great variable, as demonstrated by the advertising display boards produced in large numbers for the gun shops and ironmongers of the United Kingdom.

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Famous battles boost auction fortunes

28 January 2019

Many weapons have to remain silent witnesses to the conflicts in which they took part, so there is always extra interest in arms which can be linked directly to a particular soldier or battle.

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Helmet tomb decoration gains new lease of life in sale

28 January 2019

It was not a vintage season for armour in the salerooms, but in Thomas Del Mar’s (24% buyer’s premium) auction on December 5 this very original English or Flemish close helmet of c.1560 reached £11,000.

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Continental call to arms

28 January 2019

Two suits of armour that emerged in recent auctions at Continental salerooms.

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Auction previews from la rentree - the return to work in Paris

27 August 2018

Dealer events have traditionally dominated the early September calendar in Paris but auction houses are catching up.