Arms & Armour sale at Olympia Auctions ends the year with strong prices

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Arms & Armour sale at Olympia Auctions ends the year with strong prices
A Karabela marked for the reign of Sultan Mehmet IV (1648-87). It was being sold by a private collector and fetched £40,000 against an estimate of £12,000-18,000.

LONDON.- A wide variety of swords, firearms and armour from important collectors achieved strong prices in Thomas Del Mar’s sale of Fine Antique Arms, Armour & Militaria which was held on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at Olympia Auctions, 25 Blythe Road, London W14.

The highest price of the sale was for a fine Ottoman silver-gilt mounted sabre otherwise known as a Karabela, which was marked for the reign of Sultan Mehmet IV (1648-87). It was being sold by a private collector and fetched £40,000* against an estimate of £12,000-18,000 was bought by a Private collector [lot 161].

More than 100 lots from the third part of the Roy Elvis Collection of Indian Arms & Armour were offered with the highest price being paid for a fine 16th/ 17th century South Indian dagger or katar from Tamil Nadu that sold for £12,500 – more than 8 times its pre-sale estimate of £1,000-1,500 to a private collector [lot 36]. The collection was sold for £116,787.

The sale also included 56 lots from the Bernard Dickens Collection of fine English firearms with a fine and rare 10-bore flintlock duck gun by London-maker James Barbar dating from circa 1755 and almost certainly made for William Constable (1721-91) of Burton Constable selling for £25,625 against an estimate of £7,000-9,000 to a Private Collector. An invoice from James Barbar of 1755/56 survives for three ‘very large bore steel mounted’ William Constable guns at £8.13.0 each and it seems likely this gun was one of them [lot 394]. The collection fetched £181,450.

Also from the Dickens Collection, a fine cased pair of 36 bore flintlock duelling pistols by Durs Egg with the London proof marks for circa 1816-20 fetched £25,000 against an estimate of £14,000-18,000 and sold to a private collector [lot 421], while also by Egg, a fine cased pair of 32 bore flintlock duelling pistols with London proof marks for 1790 sold for £12,500 also to a private collector [lot 422] and a rare 11 bore silver-mounted flintlock sporting gun by London-maker Edward Newton dated 1743 realised £10,625 against an estimate of £4,000-6,000 [lot 395].

16 lots from the second part of the David Hayden-Wright Collection included an exceptional gold and gilt-brass mounted miniature penknife for Royal Presentation by Joseph Rodgers & Sons of Sheffield dating from the third quarter of the 19th century which sold for £13,750 against an estimate of £3,500-5,000. The penknife had an “A” beneath a British Royal coronet which suggested that it was a presentation piece by the makers to one of Queen Victoria’s children: Princess Alice (1843-78), Prince Alfred (1844-1900) or Prince Arthur (1850-1942). It comprised over 48 folding blades and accessories including a saw, corkscrew, fork and picks, many are signed, and some elements are in gold [lot 230]. The collection fetched £27,387.

Among the highlights of the armour was a late16th century composite North Italian corselet (a piece of armour covering the trunk) with etched decoration partly by the ‘Master of the Castle’ of Milan which realised £23,750 against an estimate of £10,000-12,000 to a private collector [lot 309].

Following the sale, Auctioneer and expert in charge, Thomas Del Mar said: “We were very pleased with the sale result, some notably high prices, selling to new collectors in addition to our well- established broad client base of buyers. There was a significant increase in internet activity, and our bidding platform ‘Olympia Live’ was busy for much of the sale. We are looking forward to our next sale on 26 June 2024 and will also be holding an arms fair at Novotel, Hammersmith on 3 February 2024.”

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