This transatlantic association continues to pay dividends to the London specialist auctioneers, but not always in the manner one might expect. The top prices in their sale on June 28 were not paid for fine suits of armour but for a suite of 34 lots from the Higgins Armory of early 20th century stained glass windows created by the Zettler Studios of New York (which were pictured and discussed in News Digest, ATG No 2301).
Despite this unprecedented enthusiasm for Zettler glass, Del Mar’s reputation for armour was not entirely eclipsed.
Another US source provided a composite German field armour of c.1550-60 which was bought by a collector for £24,000. Acquired by the Metropolitan Museum, New York in 1923, this suit was de-accessioned in 1953 to the Denver Art Museum, which was the vendor here.
Not all the top lots in Del Mar’s sale made a transatlantic journey to the London saleroom.
A beautiful little 16th century German carbine was discovered in Cheshire during a valuation evening by independent valuer Mark Littler.
Recognising the weapon’s quality, he advised the owner to consign it to the London saleroom where it sold for £24,000.
After the sale, Littler said: “I am really pleased that the carbine did so well, almost three times its top estimate. I immediately thought ‘this is a great gun’ and I knew it wasn’t very likely to make this much money in any of the local auction houses.”