Militaria collector Peter Binfield is co-organiser with dealer Cliff Fuller. He is pleased to report that there are over 160 tables booked for the upcoming fair on Sunday September 30 – with a waiting list now in place. Ten of the stallholders are new and roughly 20 per cent of the exhibitors are private collectors rather than professional traders.
One enthusiastic exhibitor at Kempton is specialist dealer Dominic Vincent. “It’s a great fair,” he says. “It’s fairly new to the scene but is picking up where Bisley left off. The great thing is that you get people there selling everything from accessories for £5 to cased duelling pistols by Manton, Durs Egg or Mortimer for £30,000. The fair is all under one roof and it just has a good buzz to it.”
Vincent himself will bring an intriguing and rare pair of early 19th century 20-bore flintlock ‘overcoat’ pistols by Mortimer, probably made for a Royal Mail inspector.
Armed inspectors, often ex-soldiers accustomed to the discharge of firearms, each carrying blunderbusses and a pair of flintlock pistols were hired by the Post Office to protect the mail coaches as they travelled the highways in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The fastest run from Bath to Bristol eventually took less than 12 hours rocketing along at ten miles per hour.