The smell of cordite was in the air as international trade and private buyers battled it out for the 382 lots at Bonhams
Fine Arms & Armour Sale yesterday (29.4.10). The result was an explosive £1.13m total with 94 per cent of lots sold and few prisoners taken.
Head of Fine Antique Arms & Armour at Bonhams, David Williams, who is now hurriedly preparing his next sale for July 21st said after this April sale: The result is a reflection of the buoyancy of the market for fine antique weapons of all sorts.
He was particularly pleased for the private collector, Per T. Norheim whose array of edged weapons and antique firearms, mainly flintlock and wheel-lock guns, collected over 50 years, did exceptionally well in the sale.
Top lot 214, a fine Lloyds Patriotic Fund sword and belt awarded to Lieutenant William Howe Mulcaster of H.M.S. Minerva made £60,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £35,000 to 45,000.
A pair of model field guns estimated at £8,000 to £10,000 sold for the very strong price of £26,400.
One of the trends evident in this sale was the usual interest created by a fine collection coming to the market and the particular interest in wheel-lock and flintlock weapons.
David Williams added: It is very encouraging to see how well fine antique arms and armour is performing despite the rather grim economic situation we are currently in. This market has never been stronger.