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.


A wing and a prayer

27 May 2004

SALES of Victoria Cross groups continue to set new auction records.

Mickey goes to war

26 May 2004

Despite the important nature of many items being sold to militaria and weapons specialists at the Marlow rooms of Bosleys (15% buyer's premium) on March 10, there were, as usual, a number of more domestic objects included.

A downed Fokker takes off again

19 May 2004

Pictured right is a Fokker cylinder from a WWI German triplane that made £3600 at Bonhams Oxford (17.5% buyer’s premium) sale of arms and militaria on April 13.

Binnacle bidders solve Enigma

19 May 2004

MOVING just South of the Border to Jack Dudgeon (10% buyer's premium) in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, and echoes of one of the key incidents of the Second World War provided keen specialist interest at their April 19 sale.

Sharpe’s the word: TV exposure and changes in rules raise sights of arms buyers

31 March 2004

NOT every auctioneer, and certainly not every dealer, is happy with the coverage given to the antiques trade on television, but Norfolk auctioneers Holts (15% buyer's premium), who hold their specialist sales of antique and sporting guns in the suitably militaristic Duke of York’s Headquarters in Chelsea, have cause to be grateful for one TV series.

£14,000 bidding duel shows that Colts are still a top draw

09 March 2004

FOR arms collectors, there is a magic to the name Colt and when a rare model in fine condition comes on to the market success is almost given.

High level bidding for low level flyers

05 February 2004

Immortalised on the silver screen by the 1954 film The Dam Busters, Operation Chastise is remembered as one of World War II’s most spectacular and daring air raids.

Schotten gunning for the country set

09 October 2003

WHEN it comes to the traditional English country house nothing is more redolent of the look of the Victorian and Edwardian periods than the old tack and gun rooms of the country lodge, replete with saddles, whips, boots and mounted trophies such as perch and stag.

Arms and arcana

20 August 2003

Craft and Conflict: Masonic Trench Art and Military Memorabilia by Mark JR Dennis and Nicholas Saunders, published by Savannah Publications in association with The Library and Museum of Freemasonry. ISBN 1902366166. From bookshops or from the Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ at £8.75 including p&p. Phone orders on 020 7395 9329 (Mon-Fri).

US welcome in Quimper

15 July 2003

Quimper collectors will no doubt recognise this plate as quite a rarity. Manufactured by Henriot, c.1917, the design depicts Uncle Sam offering his support to the French people within a Stars and Stripes border.

Turnabout for Nelson and a Voltaire face…

30 June 2003

There has been considerable reportage on the subject of commemorative medals at auction recently, and the considerable museum participation in auction sales. So spare a thought for the dealer who issues fixed-price lists. Two fine English fixed-price catalogues have recently thudded through my letterbox.

On the eve of the battle of Trafalgar

11 June 2003

Greg Martin is a name synonymous with the finest and the most spectacularly expensive of American firearms. In this respect the June 16 Greg Martin Auctions sale will live up to expectations with a rare 1849 Colt revolver, but most British attention will be focused on a group of Nelson memorabilia which includes Vice Admiral Collingwood’s copy of Nelson’s standing orders for battle, drawn up on the Victory on October 9-10, 1805 and signed Nelson & Brontë.

A strong sense of place helps lots top their high estimates

21 May 2003

ONE of the highlights of Bonhams & Langlois' (15% buyer's premium) March 26 Channel Islands theme sale was a collection of uniforms and associated ephemera and family history relating to three senior members of the Jersey Militia.

Designs with a far broader appeal

08 May 2003

PARIS expert Alain Weil must be a busy man as he was also the expert for Pierre Bergé & Associés general sale on April 3 that included a 76-lot section devoted to médailles artistique, to use the French expression.

Call to arms in Mayfair

28 January 2003

FOR one day only on Sunday, February 16 the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square will be a magnet for serious collectors of antique arms and armour when The London Park Lane Arms Fair celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Small arms of the law

18 December 2002

Those Entrusted with Arms by Frederick Wilkinson, published by Greenhill Books/Royal Armouries ISBN 1853675237 £19.95 hb

Duke’s uniform success

22 October 2002

This full dress uniform of an officer from the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding regiment, right, was an important diversion from the main proceedings at Duke’s auction in Dorchester. Under normal circumstances this would have been a standard lot of textile militaria for the trade, but this uniform actually belonged to the sixth Duke of Wellington and had passed by descent to the vendor.

Nelson’s crest on a farewell wave

17 October 2002

Shot by a sniper when aboard HMS Victory at the crowning moment of his career, Admiral Lord Nelson is without doubt Britain’s finest maritime hero. When news of his death, after triumping at the Battle of Trafalgar, reached London George III made the decision to break with tradition and give Nelson a state funeral.

Wellington’s other heroic duke who gave his life in battle…

23 September 2002

THE heroic exploits of the first Duke of Wellington in defeating Napoleon at Waterloo must be among the best recorded events in British military history.

Coming up in Swindon

29 August 2002

Inherently rare – in occupied France you wouldn’t want to be caught with a copy – this flimsy sheet of propaganda issued by the maquis at the height of WWII comes up for sale at Dominic Winter Book Auctions in Swindon on August 28.

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