Latest News Articles by Mark Bridge

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Arms and armour: Prized pistols tempt collectors at auction

28 January 2019

Pistols remain one of the most popular of all categories among gun collectors and the winter sales in London proved a bumper season for handguns, from the earliest wheel-locks of the late 16th century to the semi-automatics which ushered in the modern age at the end of the 19th century.

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Excellent English examples of pistols trigger bidding

28 January 2019

The Thomas Del Mar (24% buyer’s premium) sale in London on December 5 included several excellent pairs of English pistols.

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War shield stars in large Zulu selection

28 January 2019

This rare 1870s Zulu shield or Isihlangu below sold for £1650 at the C&T (20% buyer’s premium) auction of the Mick Woodfield collection of Zulu and other tribal weapons in Tunbridge Wells on January 9.

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Siamese sword in Japanese style points to £42,000 price

28 January 2019

Exotic blades from all parts of the world are making headlines in the salerooms. Recent auctions have produced some interesting results from unlooked-for places, but none was less expected than the £42,000 paid for a 19th century Siamese niello and silver-gilt mounted sword in the Japanese taste at Thomas Del Mar (24% buyer’s premium) in London on December 5.

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‘Battle-scarred’ gun owned by Tipu Sultan fires up Oxfordshire sale

28 January 2019

Following the fall of Seringapatam in India on May 4, 1799, portions of the spoils were variously allocated to senior officers of the British force.

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Ammo ad sign under hammer

28 January 2019

Once breech-loading guns became the norm, the gun itself was only one part of the equation. Ammunition was the great variable, as demonstrated by the advertising display boards produced in large numbers for the gun shops and ironmongers of the United Kingdom.

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Famous battles boost auction fortunes

28 January 2019

Many weapons have to remain silent witnesses to the conflicts in which they took part, so there is always extra interest in arms which can be linked directly to a particular soldier or battle.

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Helmet tomb decoration gains new lease of life in sale

28 January 2019

It was not a vintage season for armour in the salerooms, but in Thomas Del Mar’s (24% buyer’s premium) auction on December 5 this very original English or Flemish close helmet of c.1560 reached £11,000.

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Continental call to arms

28 January 2019

Two suits of armour that emerged in recent auctions at Continental salerooms.

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Auction previews from la rentree - the return to work in Paris

27 August 2018

Dealer events have traditionally dominated the early September calendar in Paris but auction houses are catching up.

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The game gun owned by both Louis XVI and Napoleon

06 August 2018

On the day that the Bastille was stormed Louis XVI famously recorded “rien” (nothing) in his game book.

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Pistol and war hammer highlight at Bonhams

06 August 2018

A rare and early combination of a war hammer and pistol was a highlight of the Bonhams (25/12.5% buyer’s premium) sale in Knightsbridge on May 23, selling for £24,000.

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Cased Colt is top lot in San Francisco sale

06 August 2018

The top lot at Bonhams (25/12.5% buyer’s premium) in San Francisco on June 19 was an exceptional cased example of a specially engraved Colt 1851 percussion revolver with shoulder stock.

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Success for slim and sleek styling at Holts

06 August 2018

The classic English sporting gun is a sidelock, but for many the ‘round-action’ shotguns perfected by John Dickson of Edinburgh in the 1870s are the most elegant of all.

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Pistols display their finery

06 August 2018

It took a bid of €60,000 (£53,100) to secure a pair of flintlock pistols of c.1730 from the armoury of the Princes of Lobkowitz at Hermann Historica (25% buyer’s premium) in Munich in May.

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Eastern weapons create collections on the cutting edges

06 August 2018

Edged weapons from the East dominated the summer sale at Thomas Del Mar (24% buyer’s premium) in London on June 27 and it was an old collection of Indian dress daggers that produced the highest prices.

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Armour that stands out in non-vintage season

06 August 2018

It has not been a vintage season for armour in the saleroom, but some of the recent highlights from London and Munich are shown here.

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Opulent but deadly from Turkestan

06 August 2018

Among the thousands of lots in Hermann Historica’s (25% buyer’s premium) May sales series in Munich, one of the highlights was this gold inlaid karud from Turkestan which sold at €29,000 (£25,665).

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Persian dagger in Bucks

06 August 2018

It was not only in London that Eastern daggers made a big impression in UK auctions this summer.

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Arms and armour auction previews selection

29 January 2018

Focus on lots coming up in sales at four auction houses, two from the UK and two from the US.