The history of firearms is one of continuous evolution and
development. The centuries-long arms race which started in earnest
in the 16th century has left the modern collector
with a wealth of material to choose from.
The earliest collectors of firearms were probably monarchs
intent on amassing armouries to demonstrate their wealth and power.
They also became patrons, employing expert craftsmen to create
better and more powerful weapons, as well as commissioning
elaborately decorated guns that are rightly considered works of art
in their own right.
Such weapons are among the most eagerly sought by collectors
today, but this is a field where even the crudest military weapons
will have their devotees and rare examples of special technical
interest can command high prices.
Written by Mark
From the ATG Archive
11 October 2012
Fine and unusual English guns made for Indian princes formed the most lucrative sub-section of Holt’s latest London sale.
18 August 2012
To most people air guns are the low-powered toys that little boys play about with in the back garden, but the air rifle has a surprisingly long history and at one time they were among the most feared weapons on the battlefield.
28 December 2011
Old collections are the lifeblood of the arms and armour market, bringing carefully selected items with cast-iron provenance back to the market.
ATG Site Search
20 August 2015
Dealers, collectors and auctioneers of antique firearms are being invited to a meeting in London to discuss proposed changes to the law governing the sale and ownership of such weapons.
02 April 2013
This exceptional Spanish flintlock sporting gun is dated 1739, but both the gun and case bear the arms of Pope Pius VII, whose papacy was dominated by the Vatican’s troubled relationship with France during the Napoleonic period nearly a century later.
27 July 2015
The antiques industry is being called on to take part in a consultation to reform the law governing the sale and ownership of antique firearms.
04 March 2013
At the end of the Second World War, this 18th century flintlock repeating carbine was thrown onto a huge heap of weapons confiscated from German citizens.
08 August 2014
In the days when muzzle-loaders were the only choice for shooters, the one essential accessory was a flask for the powder. Many a battle or huntsman’s quarry has been lost through poorly kept powder.
26 November 2012
New rules could “virtually kill the movement of historic arms” between countries “stone dead” and have a drastic impact on military collections, according to the Museums Association (MA).