Thomas Del Mar's sale to include items to benefit The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Thomas Del Mar's sale to include items to benefit The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A Composite German Full Armour, circa 1500/10. Estimate: £20,000 - £30,000.

LONDON.- A composite German full armour, circa 1500/10, from an European Collection which is estimated at £20,000-30,000 is among a number of lots that are being sold to benefit the Arms & Armor Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It will be offered for sale in Thomas Del Mar’s forthcoming sale of Fine Antique Arms, Armour & Militaria which will be held on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at Olympia Auctions, 25 Blythe Road, London W14.

As Auctioneer and Expert in Charge Thomas Del Mar commented: “The Arms & Armor Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York comprises approximately 14,000 objects, of which more than 5,000 are European, 2,000 are from the Near East, and 4,000 from the Far East. It is one of the most comprehensive and encyclopaedic collections of its kind. This continues Olympia Auctions’ successful fundraising initiative over the last year with part of the proceeds and some commission from various owners being donated to the department’s acquisition fund.”

Within the section devoted to firearms is the 16-bore percussion-sporting gun of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) by Joseph Lang of London which dates from around 1840 and is estimated at £1,500-2,000 with all proceeds will be donated to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. The Duke of Wellington's success on the battlefield was apparently not matched by his ability as a sportsman. Lady Frances Shelley recalled a shooting party at Maresfield Park, Sussex in October 1819 where '…..the Duke shot far better than he had done in the morning. Bad was the best, however; for he had contrived to empty two powder horns and a half, with very little to show for it. If truth be told, the hero of Waterloo was a very wild shot.”

Other notable firearms include a fine and rare pair of 18-bore silver-mounted flintlock over-and-under double trigger holster pistols made for Alexander Montgomerie, Tenth Earl of Eglinton (1723-1769) by Griffin of Bond Street (London) around 1750 which is estimated at £20,000-30,000. Alexander Montgomerie, Tenth Earl of Eglinton (1723-1769) was a politician, reformer and close friend of James Boswell who records his time with Doctor Johnson in his London Journals of 1762-1767. Eglinton took considerable interest in national and local affairs, particularly in the welfare of his tenants, and was described as the reviver of agriculture in Ayrshire. In the family archives there is a letter to his brother stating that a duel took place between him and a Mr Bathurst with apparently no consequence of note. His life, however, came to an untimely end when he was accidentally shot by Mungo Campbell, an excise officer on Ardrossan beach.

Elsewhere, a rare pair of 20-bore flintlock long holster pistols by Robert Harvey of London, circa 1710 carry an estimate of £15,000-20,00; while a 20-bore French silver-mounted flintlock shotgun for presentation by Boutet who was Directeur Manufre a Versailles, Paris between 1798-1809 is expected to fetch £10,000-15,000 and a pair of .500 calibre bohemian percussion rifled target pistols by Anton Vincent Lebeda of Prague, circa 1850 carry an estimate of £10,000-14,000.

The sale will include a large amount of Japanese objects with one of the most visual being a four plate Yokohagi-Dômaru Japanese armour which is expected to fetch £3,000-4,000. As the expert notes: “The armour was possibly reassembled around 1700-1750 using earlier components such as the helmet and iron cuirass. Armour at that time was purely decorative and used for parades and Sankin Kôtai, a system under which all provincial daimyô (regional rulers) had to travel from their domains to attend the Shôgun's court in Edo (modern day Tokyo). The size and splendour of the daimyô's procession were an indication of his status and were frequently grand and dazzling affairs.”

Among the European Edged weapons and armour is rare Irish basket-hilted backsword dating from the second quarter of the 18th century which is estimated at £4,000-6,000, and a rare late 17th century Scottish basket-hilted broadsword carries an estimate of £5,000-7,000. From another Private Collection is an early 17th century composite North European cuirassier's armour, which is predominantly Dutch and is expected to fetch £8,000-12,000, and a selection of Civil War and Commonwealth pamphlets range in estimate from £200 upwards.

Elsewhere in the sale, are several notable collections such as the Edward Radcliffe Collection of swords – many of which were loaned to Birmingham Museum where they stayed until this year, with an early 19th century Ottoman sword estimated at £3,000-4,000. 50 lots from Part III of the Edward McEwen Collection of Archery and Associated items include a finely painted late 18th/19th century Persian composite reflex bow which is estimated at £2,000 - 3,000. And within Part II of the Anthony Dove Collection is a rare 15th century Ottoman arm defence, stamped with the mark of the Ottoman Court Arsenal at Hagia Eirene, which carries an estimate of £400 – 600.

Thomas Del Mar, Olympia Auctions, 25 Blythe Road, London W14 0PD
Tel: 0207 602 4805

Olympia Auctions, formerly known as 25 Blythe Road, was founded in 2007. Conveniently located at London's Kensington Olympia, the auction house has sold more than twenty-nine thousand lots over the last decade. Over twenty specialists and consultants enables the company to offer the highest possible level of service to clients. The auction house sells good quality low value lots to open up the doors to all collectors, starting at £50, going up to many tens of thousands. Curators, collectors and dealers from around the world buy from the various fields of expertise. Online bidding is available for free via the new platform Olympia Live at and bidding is also available, with charges, via the- and
Thomas Del Mar founded his specialist company, in association with Sotheby’s in 2005. Thomas was formerly Head of Sotheby's Worldwide Department of Arms, Armour and Militaria and assisted Sotheby's with sales in London, New York, Denmark, Zurich, Billingshurst and Hanover. The sale of works of art from the Royal House of Hanover included arms and armour which sold for £4,764,004 ($8,392,610) which continues to stand as a World Auction Record for an ancestral collection in this field. Thomas continues to work as a Consultant to Sotheby's on valuations and sales of major collections. The sales are now held at Olympia Auctions, founded by Thomas Del Mar.
For further information about this sale, as well as images please contact:
Rachel Aked
Tel: +44 (0)7790 732448

For all other press enquiries regarding Olympia Auctions please contact Antonia Grace at

June 2022

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