Items from Important European Familes to be sold in Arms, Armour and Militaria Auction

HIGHLY IMPORTANT pieces from many of the most influential Noble families in European history will be offered by Thomas Del Mar (in association with Sotheby’s) in his auction of Antique Arms, Armour and Militaria in London on Wednesday, December 9, 2009. The sale will be held at his saleroom at 25 Blythe Road, W14 and starts at 12 noon.

Represented in the sale will be objects associated with the King of Greece; the Dukes of Brunswick; Louis XIV of France; the Counts of Bohemia; the Marquess of Bath (Longleat House) and the Doges of Venice through to items linked to the Royal Goldsmith immortalised in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

Thomas Del Mar, said: “This is the most distinguished sale that I have had for many years. I am delighted to be offering so many pieces of such exceptional quality, including a number of pieces with connections to some of the most important European Royal houses.”

long holster pistolsThe sale will include a number of firearms by some of the most notable makers in the history of the subject. A very fine and rare pair of 22-bore French flintlock long holster pistols, dated 1697, by Bertrand Piraube arguably the most important figure in the development of French firearms between 1670-1724 and maker to Louis XIV is estimated at £50,000-70,000 [Lot 266] (See illustration) .

A fine pair of 25-bore Bohemian flintlock pistols by Paul Poser – maker to the Imperial Court in Prague and decorated with the crest of the Counts of Bohemia and Hungary is estimated at £15,000-20,000 [Lot 276]; while a fine pair of 28-bore French flintlock pistols by Bletterie, decorated with silver mounts which include the arms, and almost certainly the portrait profiles on the pommels, of Count Jan-Karol Mniszech and his wife Countess Katarzyna of Poland who married in 1741, is also estimated at £15,000-20,000 [Lot 272] (See illustration below).

A very fine German manufacturer’s model cannon by Alfred Krupp presented to King George I of Greece, dated 1864 is expected to fetch £20,000-30,000 [Lot 263] (See Illustration).

One of the many highlights among the eastern arms and armour is a very fine gold-mounted enameled and gem-set dagger with lapis lazuli hilt, which is expected to fetch £25,000-35,000. Lapis is well known for its rarity and the enamel, gems and gold have been worked in a manner reminiscent of 17th Century examples in Topkapi Palace in Turkey and others seized from the invading Turkish forces in Europe during the period of the second siege of Vienna in 1683 [Lot 53] (See illustration on page 3).

The sale also includes an exceptional group of edged weapons and ironwork from the Lamble Collection – also with noble and Royal Connections. The Lambles, who lived in Gloucestershire, collected items dating from the so-called dark ages to the late 18th century. A North German Sword Rapier, dating from 1560 and associated with the armoury of the Dukes of Brunswick is estimated at £6,000-8,000 [Lot 123], while a rare 17th century Italian hand-and-a-half sword with a hilt identical to those in the armoury of the Palazzo Ducale, Venice carries a similar estimate [Lot 127]. A fine and rare garniture of a cup-hilt rapier from the third quarter of the 17th century and originating in either Italy or Spain, and is also of the quality found in a royal collection is estimated at £15,000-20,000 [Lot 147].

Several items made for Ernst August, Crown Prince Of Hanover will be offered elsewhere in the sale. These include a composed pair of sporting guns, dating from 1878 that is estimated at £3,000-3,500 [Lot 308]; while a rare 11-bore English lock musket, dating from 1650, and from the collection of the Marquess of Bath of Longleat House in Wiltshire carries an estimate of £4,000-6,000 [Lot 313].

The edged weapons in the sale also include a collection of 15 highly decorated small swords that represent the height of the steel chisellers art in Paris and equally the work of some of the finest gold and silversmiths. Among these is an exquisite enameled silver sword presented to Captain Gooch by the East India Company in London, which is expected to fetch £35,000-50,000 [Lot 230] (See illustration left).

Also part of the collection is an English Small-Sword with a cut-steel hilt by Thomas Gray, Sackville Street, London dating from the late 18th century, which is estimated at £500-700. The connection between Matthew Boulton, who probably made the hilt, and Thomas Gray, is well documented. The hilt of the present sword has a number of elements that are illustrated in Boulton’s pattern sheet datable to the 1780s. Gray was a prominent Royal retail jeweller, cutler and goldsmith, who was immortalized in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility as it was Gray’s of Sackville Street where the Miss Dashwoods went to negotiate an exchange for a few old-fashioned jewels of their mother (Chapter XXXIII) [Lot 216].

Among many horse-related items is a rare German horse muzzle dating from 1560-70, which used to be in the collection of Baron Guy de Rothschild and is estimated at £7,000-10,000 [Lot 164], while a fine pair of early 17th century gold damascened spurs, that once belonged to Viscount Astor at Hever Castle are estimated at £4,000-6,000 [Lot 166].

Also with a ‘Nobel’ connection is a bronze bust of Alfred Nobel by Swedish Sculptor Erik Lindberg, identical to that which is displayed at the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm. It is expected to fetch £8,000-10,000 [Lot 253] (See illustration).

Sunday, December 6
12 noon to 4pm
Monday, December 7
10am to 7pm
Tuesday, December 8
10am to 5pm

For further details of the sale please visit
or call 0207 602 4805

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Please contact Rachel Aked
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 07790 732448