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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Militaria: Bismarck’s visor cap leads auction selection of military uniforms

22 June 2020

Military uniforms reached their ornamental peak in the 19th century Western Europe – with the leaders of the day sharing in their ostentation

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Collector interview: Longcase launched my interest

22 June 2020

Devon artist’s first buy is still his most precious – but joined by tables, militaria and much more

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Tomahawk tempts a buyer at $540,000

22 June 2020

The highlight of Morphy Auctions’ (23% buyer’s premium) sale of historical militaria from the independence struggle and War of 1812 era was a rare and extensively provenanced presentation pipe tomahawk.

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Bidding contest for Nelson letter from HMS Victory and medal group from Battle of the Nile

22 June 2020

A signed memorandum letter sent by Nelson from HMS Victory to one of his captains sold for a mid-estimate £3200 at a recent TW Gaze (18% buyer’s premium) auction in Diss in Norfolk.

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Medal awarded to Victorian soldier wounded at Rorke’s Drift sells to doctor at auction

22 June 2020

A Zulu War medal awarded to a Victorian soldier severely wounded while fighting in the hospital building at Rorke’s Drift has been bought at auction – by a doctor.

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Georg Jensen brooch offered at Philadelphia auction

22 June 2020

This Danish silver, amber and agate brooch from c.1915 by Georg Jensen will feature in the art and design sale to be held by Freeman’s of Philadelphia on June 26.

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The other evacuation at the time of Dunkirk

22 June 2020

The 80th anniversary of Operation Dynamo, aka the Dunkirk evacuation in May-June 1940, has been in the headlines recently. However, less well known is the fate of the British 51st Highland Division almost 100 miles further along the French coast.

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American collector secures original Second World War RAF ensign flag

22 June 2020

An American collector bought this original Second World War RAF ensign flag at a recent East Bristol Auctions (18% buyer’s premium).

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Raid on eBay seller's 'fake medal factory' run from garden shed leaves market reeling

15 June 2020

A trading standards investigation has unearthed a ‘medal factory’ in Derbyshire, sparking the fear that thousands of fake military awards and badges could be in circulation.

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Rare spy camera disguised as pocket watch from 1905 brings bidding battle between two museums

15 June 2020

A rare ‘pocket watch’ sold by East Bristol Auctions (18% buyer’s premium) was more surveillance device than timekeeper.

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Auction house Spink helps Captain Tom remount medal collection

06 June 2020

Captain Tom’s full medal set has been remounted and re-presented to him following work by auction house Spink.

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Collector Interview: Take cover – Great War dust jackets

26 May 2020

Alan Hewer of Seaford, Sussex, is a book collector who has turned a personal collection into a resource for others. Interview by Jeremy Carson

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Pick of the week: Into battle armed with bagpipes

18 May 2020

As the Scottish regiments went over the top on July 1, 1916 – the fateful First Day of the Somme – they were led into battle by the wail of bagpipes.

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The 18th century silver-mounted tomahawk that became a British war trophy

18 May 2020

This rare and well-provenanced silver mounted and quillworked presentation pipe tomahawk is billed as a highlight of Morphy Auctions’ three-day May 27-29 sale in Denver, Pennsylvania.

First Empire small sword

Légion d'honneur sword and early ventriloquist's doll are among five auction highlights that caught bidders’ eyes

08 May 2020

ATG’s selection of hammer highlights this week includes a rare French First Empire sword for a Légion d'honneur recipient that made over 35-times estimate.

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Purdey & Sons rifle made for a royal tour of India sells at Gavin Gardiner

04 May 2020

A Purdey & Sons double-barrel hammer rifle built in 1875 for the Prince of Wales’ Indian tour of 1875-76 sold for £8000 at the Gavin Gardiner (25% buyer’s premium) live online auction of Modern & Vintage Sporting Guns on April 22.

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A collection to fire the imagination

04 May 2020

Norfolk auction house sells 11 guns with provenance to one of the most renowned enthusiasts

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Sharp eyes spot top blade at Grantham auction

27 April 2020

Ken tanto, distinguished by double-edged blades, are one of the rarer styles of Japanese sword. Most were made as Buddhist ritual implements rather than weapons and are decorated accordingly.

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Childhood scrapbook of double Victoria Cross winner Noel Chavasse sells to his old school

22 April 2020

A childhood scrapbook including tales of valour written and illustrated by double Victoria Cross winner Noel Chavasse and his twin brother has been bought by their old school in Oxford.

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Waterloo prints in medal form

20 April 2020

Among the most successful printing projects marking the Napoleonic Wars were the series of aquatints by Thomas Sutherland (1785-1838) after watercolours by the young William Heath (c.1795-1840) titled The Martial Achievements of Great Britain and Her Allies from 1799 to 1815.

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