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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Polar Medals sold at auction are believed to be the only father and son combination ever awarded

22 July 2021

What is believed to be the only father and son Polar Medal group to be awarded more than doubled the top estimate at Warren & Wignall (17.5% buyer’s premium) on July 14.

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Ottoman sword is swell buy in Munich

19 July 2021

The prize lot sold at a recent Hermann Historica (25% buyer’s premium) sale in Munich was this 19th century Ottoman kilij of characteristic form with a curved blade swelling towards the tip.

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Sought-after Colt now on way home to US

19 July 2021

The outstanding lot in the arms and armour sale held in London on June 30 by Thomas Del Mar (25% buyer’s premium) was the £96,000 16th century Augsburg close helmet illustrated on the front page of last week’s ATG (No 2501).

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McEwen collection of bows generates interest at Thomas Del Mar sale

19 July 2021

Among the properties included in the June Thomas Del Mar sale was the McEwen collection of bows and associated items which proved unexpectedly popular raising £30,000, around four times its top estimate.

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Pistol trio pack the punch of Keith Neal provenance

19 July 2021

Three pistol lots came to the fore at a recent sale at Bonhams (27.5/25/20/14.5% buyer’s premium) in London.

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German Maxim machine gun makes five times low estimate in Ipswich sale

19 July 2021

The German Maxim machine gun was used to devastating effect on Allied troops during the First World War.

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Tula pistols take £27,000

19 July 2021

A premium-inclusive total of £1.5m was achieved at Holts’ (25/20% buyer’s premium) summer auction in Norfolk, the third consecutive sale held with no one bidding in the room because of Covid restrictions.

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Pepperbox revolvers add zest at Antony Cribb auction

19 July 2021

Two lots from the March 30 live online auction held by Antony Cribb (22% buyer’s premium) of Newbury are shown here.

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Airguns shoot up the rankings

19 July 2021

Once the humble playthings of boys the world over, airguns now attract a keen collector following.

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Repeat performance: early examples in the quest for workable rapid-fire weapons

19 July 2021

Very soon after the gun was invented men were trying to find ways of speeding up the process of reloading powder and shot to obtain a superior rate of fire.

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Guns belonging to American statesman Alexander Hamilton make $1m

19 July 2021

London-made flintlocks with a solid provenance to Alexander Hamilton took to the stage at US sale

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Pick of the week: Helmet heads to Philadelphia

12 July 2021

A Renaissance helmet sold at a London auction will be reunited with its garniture (set of armour) after being bought by Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA).

Henry VIII gold medal

Henry VIII gold medal takes six-figure sum in Swiss auction

15 June 2021

A gold medal proclaiming Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church of England – the only known example in private hands – has sold in Switzerland.

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New museum planned for Battle of Britain medals

14 June 2021

A Battle of Britain medal group sold at Gloucestershire auction house Dominic Winter will go on display at a new museum in London, it has been revealed.

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Pick of the week: The Kitchener call to arms that inspired a classic poster design

07 June 2021

The stern face, luxurious moustache and pointing finger are instantly familiar – but the message below Kitchener’s intense gaze not so.

Medals

Battle of Britain medal groups hit six figures

07 June 2021

Two impressive Battle of Britain medal groups offered a day apart at separate auctions both took six-figure sums.

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Victoria Cross awarded for heroic defensive feat 'ranking alongside Rorke's Drift' comes for sale

05 June 2021

A unique Victoria Cross group of medals for “a feat that probably ranks alongside Rorke’s Drift in the history of famous defences against overwhelming odds” is estimated at £300,000-400,000 at London auction house Dix Noonan Webb on June 23.

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Art market: The bidding battle of Cape St Vincent

24 May 2021

Trio of family paintings depicting Jervis’ finest hour bring £90,000 result for marine specialist Charles Miller

Napoleon

Remembering Napoleon 200 years after his death as demand rises for relics

10 May 2021

The bicentenary of Napoléon Bonaparte's death boosts demand for relics

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Unique piece of the action

10 May 2021

How letters related to wars bring a connection that history books cannot match

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