LONDON.- Thomas Del Mar
threw down the gauntlet to arms and armour collectors worldwide with a tempting combination of two old American Collections (Lattimer Family and Angela Stern), a group of books on the subject from a London Museum and a collection from a European Nobleman by direct descent from the Grand Duke of Baden to do battle with in his auction on the 4th December. From America objects ranged from highly decorated European small swords, a highlight from which was the studded English small sword with an etched and gilt blade on blued panel, which sold for £6,600, to an exceptionally rare combined English musket and grenade launcher from 1687 which sold for £22,800. There were also duplicate books from the Wallace Collection which sold over the top estimate at £9,684, the presale estimate of the group was £3,720- £5,640. But it was really the Baden collection that stole the show. Full of rare guns by makers to Kings and Emperors, the Baden section was 100% sold with the main highlight being a French presentation carbine, circa 1800 - 1805 by Frances most well-known gunmaker Nicolas-Noël Boutet selling for just under £70,000. The estimate was £30,000-£40,000.
This section also comprised of a fine garniture of Bohemian flintlock firearms by Leopold Becher, circa 1740 which sold for £36,000. (Estimate £15,000-£20,000) Two silver-mounted flintlock sporting guns made for Prince Frederick of Baden (1756-1817) by Durs Egg, London 1789 sold for £24,000, estimate £12,000-£18,000.
Elsewhere in the sale, among the Asian weapons an early 19th century Chinese decorated sword (Dao) Qing Dynasty soared to £16,800, against an estimate of £2000-£3000, and in the armour section, a composite cap-a-pie armour,circa 1530 sold for £14,400. (Estimate £10,000-£15,000).
Thomas Del Mar said We were delighted with the sales success, selling close to the upper estimate and a sold rate of 89% by lot. The pre-sale exhbition was well attended by collectors from the United Kingdom, United States, Central and Eastern Europe, the middle and Far East. We were particularly pleased with The Property of a European Nobleman, by direct descent from the Grand Duke of Baden that was entirely sold for over the top estimate. The books from the Wallace Collection were also sold for over the top estimate and the two American collections, those of Lattimer and Stern were sold for very close the top estimate. It was a pleasure to see a number of familiar bidders and also to welcome some new collectors to this latest sale at Blythe Road, and we look forward to the coming year.