News & Insights

Militaria & Ethnographica – sale results

29th March 2018.

The Militaria and Ethnographica Sale on 28th March saw strong prices for ethnographica from the south seas, with a late 19th/early 20th century Samoan war club selling for £1,300 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £180-250, and a group of Australian Aboriginal items including a 18th century throwing club selling for £950 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £300-400.

However, the top lot of the sale was a pair of 19th century officer’s percussion belt pistols by William Parker of Holborn, London. Fitted in a smart mahogany case complete with accessories, the pair of pistols sold for £1,600 (plus buyer’s premium). Second World War German U-Boat binoculars have become particularly sought after recently, and a pair by Zeiss sold for £1,500 (plus buyer’s premium).

As always, bidders were keen for unique items with a story behind them. Selling for £700 (plus buyer’s premium), over ten times the estimate, was an autographed menu card for a 1916 dinner held at the Mansion House, Newcastle in honour of William Leefe Robinson. Robinson, who signed the menu, was a 21-year old member of the Royal Flying Corps, and was the first airman to shoot down a German airship. The Schütte-Lanz SL 11 was shot down over Cuffley, Hertfordshire, and the incident propelled the dashing airman Robinson into an instant national hero. Robinson sadly died of Spanish flu in 1918.

A fascinating archive of prisoner of war memorabilia, which shed light into life in Stalag 383 during the Second World War, sold for £600 (plus buyer’s premium). The archive was compiled by Bombardier Bernard W.T. Cockcroft R.A. during his internment in the Bavarian camp between 1942-1945, and comprised not only highly personal items such as family correspondence and his regimental and prisoner of war dog tags, but annotated and autographed theatre programmes, sports programmes, newsletters, and carol service programmes relating to events in the unusually liberal Stalag 383. As well as carol services, sporting events and concerts, the camp had a particular interest in the theatre and prisoners converted a barn into the ‘Ofladium’ Theatre and put on regular productions of a very professional nature, bartering with their German guards for props and costumes and even smartly printed programmes

The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £79,440 for 401 lots, with an 88% sold rate.

We are currently accepting lots for the next sale of Militaria and Ethnographica on 13th June, please contact us on 01969 623780 or for details.

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