A rare Scottish backsword dating from the mid-Eighteenth Century was the highest selling lot at an auction of antique arms, armor and militaria conducted December 7 by Thomas Del Mar Ltd, in association with Sotheby’s. The 401-lot sale totaled $860,000, and was 93 percent sold by lot.
Realizing $45,000, the extremely rare sword has a silver basket hilt and is almost certainly by Walter Allan of Stirling. Other rare Scottish broadswords offered included a signed basket hilt sword by John Simpson the Elder of Glasgow, dating from 1700‱716, which sold for $14,000, and a rare early Sixteenth Century, two-hand sword, probably from Lowland Scotland or England that fetched $28,500.
Among the firearms offered, a cased pair of 54-bore percussion dueling pistols by London maker J. Purdey, dating from 1830 that belonged to Christopher Hampden Nicholson, brought $25,000.
Bringing $18,800 was a rare Indian military flintlock blunderbuss from the late Eighteenth Century, engraved with the tiger mask cipher of Tipu sultan and similar to type that Tipu sultan armed the troops of his Camel Corps.
An Ottoman gilt-metal-mounted flintlock blunderbuss, of presentation quality and dating from the early Nineteenth Century, ornately pierced and chased with an elaborate pattern of interlaced ribbon foliage, also finished at $18,800.
The armor section included an early Seventeenth Century composite North European cuirassier’s armor, a heavy field example in the German Maximilian style of circa 1520, probably originating from South Germany and dating from the Nineteenth Century. It sold for $13,000. Also, two cannons were included in the auction, one of which was a bronze Portuguese “Mountain Gun” from the Battle of Nivelle, 1813, that was presented to the father of Lieutenant W.L. Rose by the Earl of Mulgrave. It took $13,000.
Rounding out the sale’s top ten lots, a pair of highly decorated German wheel-lock holster pistols in Seventeenth Century Silesian style, Suhl, realized $13,000.
Prices reported have been converted from British pounds to US dollars and include the buyer’s premium.
Following the sale, auctioneer and expert-in-charge Thomas Del Mar commented that he was very pleased with the sale’s strong result an noted that the Eastern section of the sale saw a number of high prices, indicating that the Indian and Islamic market remains buoyant. “I look forward to my next sale on June 29, 2012,” he said.
For additional information, www.thomasdelmar.com or +44 207-602-4805.