Over 500 lots of arms, armour, militaria and ethnographica will go under the hammer at Tennants Auctioneers on Friday 22 June (viewing on Thursday 21 June), and is expected to be another record breaking sale in this specialist field.
This thrilling sale has already attracted media attention due to the eclectic mix of exceptionally rare and wonderful lots that will be included. One piece in particular, (drawing attention from both the UK and America) is an unusual 19th century vampire slaying kit, which almost complete and in good condition, can be dated to after Bram Stoker wrote the famous Dracula novel, which popularised the vampire character and possibly started the trend of vampire slaying kits. The mahogany casket, complete with percussion cap pistol, steel bullet mould, mallet and stakes, Rosary beads, glass bottles, prayer book dated 1857 and crucifix, which was found in the cellar of the vendors deceased uncle, is in good condition and expected to make £1500-2000. It will certainly be exciting to see where the casket ends up; perhaps with many scenes of Bram Stokers novel being set in the Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby, the vampire slaying kit might only make a short journey after the sale. With live internet bidding on the day however, and already genuine international interest, it could end up overseas!.
Another exciting lot is a 19th century Fiji Island Wasekaseka, or necklace, of thirty-four fine carved sperm whale teeth, strung on a vegetable fibre band. These necklaces are seen as a symbol of wealth and political power among Fijian men and therefore were often buried with the owner when they died. To have one is such spectacular condition is very rare indeed. It is estimated to make £2000-3000.
Also in the ethnographic section is a 19 century Maori Whalebone Wahiaka, or hand club, which is finely carved with the head of a mythological figure and on the tapered blade a relief of a Tiki figure with abalone shell eyes inlaid with red sealing wax. This impressive lot is also estimated to make between £2000-3000. (Lot 341).
A Japanese Daisho of a Chise Katana and a Wakizashi, Late Koto or, more commonly, a pair of Samurai swords are expected to make £2500-3500 due to the intricate details of dragons and fruit on the mounts and the good condition of the blades. As they are 17 century they would have actually been used by the Samurai, who carried one long sword (Katana) and one short sword (Wakizashi) as part of their daily dress. (Lot 210).
This militaria sale also includes a large section of top quality shotguns, firearms and gun accessories. A pair of 18th century Flintlock over and under Overcoat Pistols by Bourne & Hawkins are expected to make £3000-5000, and an Asprey ‘Cartridge’ place finder, in the form of a 12 bore shotgun cartridge in gilt and brushed silver metal is estimated to make £300-500, to name just two interesting lots. One particularly exceptional lot is a 26 bore single barrel Percussion cap big game rifle by Joseph Harkom with intricate engraving, fitted in its original mahogany case. Oonagh Drage, specialist in charge of the sale explains that the estimate of £4000-6000 is due to the impressive collection of original accessories that are still in their correct place within the fitted case, including an ebony mallet, brass cap dispenser and ramrod to name just a few.