Arms, Armour & Militaria

Arms and armour stretches from ancient times to modern conflicts, with weapons ranging from swords and clubs to firearms, armour including helmets and shields, and militaria such as medals, uniforms, flags and ephemera.

Medals and militaria are often sold at auction as specialised categories, with arms and armour sales also held.


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Pevsner name builds auction appeal for architectural medallion

19 April 2019

Estimated at just £50-80, an Alice Davis Hitchcock medallion sold for £3000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) at a Spink auction in London on April 10.

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Rare Middle Eastern dagger points to a debut auction

19 April 2019

A late 19th century gold bone-handled Arab dagger was hammered down at £4100 at the inaugural sale of Knightsbridge auction house Kings Russell (22% buyer’s premium).

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Sinking the Tirpitz

08 April 2019

The largest battleships ever constructed in Germany posed a huge threat to the Allies. A rare medal group sold in London tells the remarkable story of how one of them was disabled.

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Saleroom glory for the 17th Lancers

08 April 2019

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the British were clearly impressed by the French lancer regiments they encountered during the Napoleonic Wars. The first British lancer regiments were established in 1816, just a year after Waterloo.

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Snaring the Scharnhorst

08 April 2019

Once the Tirpitz had been damaged by midget submarines (see main story this section), the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst was left to tackle British convoys to Russia alone. A trap was set by the Royal Navy in December 1943.

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Penning an escape from the Battle of Arnhem

08 April 2019

A 23-year-old paratrooper’s account of escaping the Battle of Arnhem sold for £3200, over 10 times the top estimate at 1818 Auctioneers (20% buyer’s premium inc VAT) of Milnthorpe, Cumbria, on March 5.

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Eyewitness sketches of the Indian Mutiny emerge at Olympia Auctions

08 April 2019

A 2m (6ft 7in) pen and ink drawing, estimated at £5000-7000 in Olympia Auctions on April 17 in west London, forms an intriguing eyewitness view of the final moments of the Indian Mutiny.

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The special ops striptease

08 April 2019

When British Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents were parachuted into occupied Europe in the Second World War speed was vital. Not only did they have to jump from sub-radar altitudes as low as 400ft, hitting the ground within 10-15 seconds, but they also had to make a quick getaway.

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Tiny 'Protector’ palm pistol offered in Pennsylvania

08 April 2019

This Chicago Firearms Co ‘The Protector’ palm pistol is estimated at $800-1200 in the Pook & Pook auction in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, on April 13.

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Field marshal Chetwode’s baton consigned to Spink

08 April 2019

To this day every Indian officer swears the ‘Chetwode motto’ as they commission into the army: The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.

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Protecting the monarch since the days of Henry VIII

08 April 2019

Until March 17, 1834, Her Majesty’s Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms was known as The Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners.

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Vice Admiral's medals to be sold at Lawrences

08 April 2019

Lawrences of Crewkerne’s militaria auction on May 16 will include an important set of awards and medals to Vice Admiral Sir HT Walwyn.

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The clasps that make the difference for the NGSM

08 April 2019

Factors dictating the pricing of Naval General Service Medals were clearly demonstrated in the March 6 sale at Bosleys (20% buyer’s premium) in Marlow. Ten NGSMs were offered as part of a large single-owner medal collection.

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Bids for Albert Ball VC’s crash landing

08 April 2019

Captain Albert Ball (1896-1917) is remembered as one of Britain’s greatest heroes of the skies. At the time of his death over Arras in the First World War, aged just 19, he had shot down at least 44 German planes and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

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Private Trickett’s very lucky penny

08 April 2019

A collection of First World War memorabilia relating to British army Private John Trickett – including an 1889 copper penny apparently bent when a bullet hit his breast pocket – brought a multi-estimate sum at Hansons (20% buyer’s premium) of Etwall on March 22.

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Pick of the week: Suffragette bravery medal heading to Australian museum is latest in a string of impressive auction results

01 April 2019

A hunger strike ‘Fed By Force’ medal awarded to Suffragette Selina Martin (1882-1972) has been snapped up at auction by an Australian museum.

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Tipu Sultan battlefield spoils dispersed at Oxfordshire auction

01 April 2019

A rifle from the personal armoury of Tipu Sultan sold for £60,000 in Oxfordshire last week.

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Arms fair roll call shows dealers are out in force

01 April 2019

Historic military specialist Michael D Long offers this Victorian Royal Artillery officer’s sabretache and pouch for £785 at the London Antique Arms Fair.

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Medal fair includes rare 1920s Iraq honours

11 March 2019

Specialist auction house Dix Noonan Webb bought the dedicated Britannia Medal Fair in 2018 from the event’s previous owner, Mark Carter.

All tables booked at Kempton specialist arms fair

11 March 2019

'The Vintage and Classic Arms Fair' will run at Kempton Park Racecourse in Sunbury, Middlesex, on Sunday, March 24.

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