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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Previews: issue 2562

03 October 2022

A selection of eight upcoming lots from auctions taking place around the UK.

VC medal

Pick of the week: Kavanagh VC takes auction record sum

26 September 2022

The first civilian Victoria Cross of just five to be awarded has sold for an auction record hammer price of £750,000 at London saleroom Noonans.

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Trio sought after in specialised areas

26 September 2022

The sales at Stride & Son (21.6% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Chichester on September 1-2 included a trio of avidly contested items, each a rarity in three highly specialised collecting areas.

Nurse's cape

Soldiers’ thanks to nurse Esme: cape with military badges brings demand at auction

05 September 2022

This scarlet and navy woollen cape sold in an Essex auction is sewn with the numerous cloth regimental badges that were given to Esme Kathleen Robinson (d.2017) by the soldiers she treated in Oxfordshire as a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) during the Second World War.

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First Victoria Cross awarded to a civilian comes up at auction

29 August 2022

The first Victoria Cross awarded to a civilian is coming up for auction at Noonans on September 14.

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Call to arms: fairs in Bristol and Birmingham

29 August 2022

Organised by Tricorn Fairs, the biannual Bristol Fine Antique Arms Fair returns on Sunday, September 11, at a new venue: the Aztec West Hotel and Spa.

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Calm head in face of mutiny

15 August 2022

Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Kelly (1871-1936) had a decent wartime career in the Royal Navy but it was a peacetime crisis that also showed his skills: the Invergordon Mutiny.

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Internet research now a huge influence on a buoyant medals market, says Spink's department head

15 August 2022

To get an idea of the healthy nature of the medals market at the moment, consider the Victoria Cross sold at Spink (20% buyer’s premium) this summer.

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Life lost when saving others

15 August 2022

Unique medal combinations will always catch a collector’s eye, particularly when accompanied by a highly emotive backstory.

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Buyer goes deep into Gulley

15 August 2022

This cased pair of English flintlock duelling pistols by Joseph Gulley, London, c.1810-15, sold for £8600 at Halls (20/12% buyer’s premium) in a timed online sale that ended on August 2.

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London armour sale helps New York museum

15 August 2022

A composite German full armour, c.1500-10, from a European Collection was one of the highlights of Thomas Del Mar’s (25% buyer’s premium) sale of Fine Antique Arms, Armour & Militaria held at Olympia Auctions on June 29.

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Auction lot reveals the remarkable Rake’s progress

15 August 2022

The autobiography title Rake’s Progress: The Gay and Dramatic – Adventures of Major Denis Rake MC, the Reluctant British War-Time Agent perfectly sums up the story behind a group of medals on offer in East Sussex.

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Tunic displays all the signs of a brave soldier in battle

15 August 2022

Although the wearer of a First World War tunic sold by Kent auction house C&T (22% buyer’s premium) on July 26-28 was not listed, it gave plenty of clues to his service.

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Elegant Zouave uniforms underline the French connection

15 August 2022

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the French military could feel pretty proud of itself. The dashing style and spirit of their forces in the 19th century often inspired other nations to create copycat units.

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An Unbroken run of success

18 July 2022

A ‘Jolly Roger’ or pirate flag that records the Second World War exploits of a British submarine flew once more in a militaria sale earlier this summer.

Bruun Rasmussen

Bonhams closes coins and medals department

11 July 2022

Bonhams has closed its coin and medals department in London and specialist John Millensted will now work as a consultant to the firm.

ATG letter: End of medals and coins sales at Bonhams also means end of Glendining’s

11 July 2022

You reported on the front page of the ATG (No 2550) that Bonhams has added another auction house to its expanding stable.

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Logbook records bravery of a top RAF fighter pilot

27 June 2022

The highlight of a Cornish auction on June 10 was an RAF logbook from Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot Flying Officer Arthur Peter Pease (1913-40).

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Mr Derbyshire, a sword and an Armenian mystery

13 June 2022

Whatever Mr Derbyshire, The Worthy Representative of Freedom Loving Great Britain was doing in the Caucasus in 1920, the Armenians of Karabach were obviously pretty pleased about it.

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Brave as a lion, proud to be a guinea pig

13 June 2022

Flight Lieutenant Maurice ‘Mark’ Mounsdon was one of only four remaining members of Sir Winston Churchill’s ‘The Few’ when he died in 2019 aged 101.

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