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Thomas Del Mar Ltd to auction antique arms, armour and militaria in London
The sale will be held at Thomas Del Mar Ltd. December 7, 2011.

LONDON.- A fine and rare Scottish Backsword, dating from the mid 18th century is among the highlights of the auction of Antique Arms, Armour and Militaria in London on Wednesday, December 7, 2011. The sale will be held at midday by Thomas Del Mar Ltd (in association with Sotheby’s) at their saleroom at 25 Blythe Road, W14.

Estimated to fetch £30,000-40,000, the extremely rare sword has a silver basket hilt and is almost certainly by Walter Allan of Stirling. While another rare Scottish Broadsword with a finesigned basket hilt by John Simpson the Elder of Glasgow, dating from 1700-1716 is estimated at £12,000-18,000 and a rare early 16th century two-hand sword, probably from Lowland Scotland or England carries an estimate of £16,000-20,000. 15 pikes from the Strathspey Fencibles, dating from the 19th century is estimated at £1,200-1,800. The Strathspey Fencibles were raised by Sir James Grant of Grant in 1793 and spent their entire existence in Scotland and, having not volunteered for service outside of there, were disbanded in 1799. The regiment was notable in mutinying twice in two years.

Other objects with Scottish connections include a silver-mounted Drum Major’s mace presented by Lieutenant Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap of Eilean-Donan to the 11th BN, the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), dated 1914. Macrae-Gilstrap had acquired the ruined castle of Eilean-Donan, two years earlier, at the northern end of Loch Duich and appointed himself its constable, devoting the next two decades to its meticulous refurbishment (est: £250-350), while a fine and rare Officer’s ‘Regency’ pattern shako (tall, cylindrical military cap) probably Kirkcudbright and Wigton Militia, circa 1816-22 is estimated at £2,500-3,500.

Among the firearms is a fine cased pair of 54-bore percussion duelling pistols by London maker J. Purdey, dating from 1830 that belonged to Christopher Hampden Nicholson, the second son of Christopher Armytage Nicholson DL JP MA (1768-1849) of Banrath Burry, Co. Meath, and his wife Catharine, daughter of Dr William Newcome, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland is expected to fetch £15,000-20,000. An Ottoman gilt-metal-mounted flintlock blunderbuss, of presentation quality and dating from the early 19th century is expected to fetch £10,000-15,000. The blunderbuss is ornately pierced and chased with an elaborate pattern of interlaced ribbon foliage. A rare Indian military flintlock blunderbuss from the late 18th century, engraved with the tiger mask cypher of Tipu Sultan and similar to type that Tipu Sultan armed the troops of his Camel Corps with is estimated at £7,000-10,000. A cased pair of .44 calibre Colt Army model 1860 percussion six-shot revolvers, dated 1862 is estimated at £7,000-9,000. Also of note is a pair of 48-bore Russian flintlock pistols, circa 1780, which is estimated at £5,000-8,000.

The Armour Section includes an early 17th century composite North European Cuirassier’s armour that is expected to fetch £8,000-12,000, as is a heavy field example in the German ‘Maximilian’ style of circa 1520, probably originating from South Germany and dating from the 19th century.

Two important cannon will be included in the auction. A rare Chinese Bronze example, dated 1862 is estimated at £7,000-10,000, while of a similar estimate is a fine bronze Portuguese ‘Mountain Gun’ from the Battle of Nivelle, 1813, presented to the father of Lieutenant W L Rose by the Earl of Mulgrave.

The sale comprises almost 400 lots such as helmets, axes, spears, daggers, stirrups, mailshirts, quivers, bows, shields, powder-flasks, clubs, manacles and crossbows from countries allover the world such as Japan, Mongolia, Malaysia, India, Sudan, Turkey, Papua New Guinea, America, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, England, Poland and Holland.

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