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Given the numbers of fake weapons on the market, buyers were reassured by this UK collection's provenance, as most entries had been bought at auction over a period spanning the late 1920s to the 1970s. Top right: the collection's pièce de resistance was the Spanish cup-hilt rapier and matching left-handed dagger dating to c.1660. Stamped Hortuna Aguire en Toledo, the finely worked sword had pierced matching hilts, twisted quillons and rope borders. Bought at Christie's Geneva in 1977 for £5000, it sold here at £12,500 to a UK telephone bidder.

Proving a better investment was the small 16/17th century hand-held steel crossbow, bottom right, decorated with rabbits, hounds and a coat of arms. Purchased at Sotheby's in 1977 for £1800, it took £6300 at Crewkerne.

UK buyers bought the lion's share of the collection with specialist dealers and collectors battling for a late 16th century Munich Town Guard's riding sword. In particularly good condition, and with the makers mark of Wolfgang Stantler, it had originally been bought from the WM Goodwin Renwick sale in 1973 for £950. Thirty years on, it fetched £6300 from a UK buyer in the room.

Also showing a good return on outlay was a Flemish bollock dagger dating to c.1500. Not to be handled by the faint-hearted, this long, slender dagger had a spirally fluted grip and a copper guard. Acquired for a few hundred pounds from a Sotheby's auction in 1975, it realised £280