News & Insights

Preview: Militaria & Ethnographica

18th November 2021.

Tennants Auctioneers’ Militaria and Ethnographic Sale on 3rd December will be led by a good Pair of Late 18th Century Flintlock 28 Bore Duelling Pistols by Wogdon and Barton (estimate: £11,000-12,500 plus buyer’s premium). Robert Wogdon began making flintlock firearms in the 1760s and was renowned for making high quality duelling pistols. In 1794 he formed a partnership with John Barton, and the pair made fine weapons from their London premises until Wogdon’s retirement in 1803.  The pistols are signed, and sold with a mahogany, baize lined case fitted with accessories.

Also on offer in the sale is a Rare 17th Century Hounslow Broad Sword by Johann Kinndt, which was made circa 1640-1650 (estimate: £1,500-2,000). Hounslow became a centre of sword manufacturing from the early 17th century, populated by highly skilled craftsmen from Germany. The area became known for high quality blades. The present lot has been inspected by Philip Lankester of the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London and John Tofts White, who was a renowned expert on Hounslow sword manufacturing in the 17th century. Hounslow broad swords by Kinndt (sometimes anglicized to John Kennett) are rare, but two examples are held in the collection of the V&A.

Another rarity on offer in the sale is an 19th Century Burmese Combination Dha (knife) and Percussion Pistol, in which the steel barrel pulls out of the wooden stock to reveal a 39cm curved steel blade (estimate: £4,500-5,000).

A Private Family Collection of Militaria in the sale includes items that belonged to Neil Douglas Findlay (1859-1914), who was the first British General to be killed in the First World War. Findlay was known as one of the British Army’s best artillery officers, having served in action on the Hazara Expedition and the Second Boer War. At the outbreak of the First World War, he was promoted to Brigadier General and appointed Commander of the Royal Artillery 1st Infantry Division. He was killed during the First Battle of the Aisne when he was hit by shrapnel from a German Shell. Now up for auction are his Royal Artillery Officer’s Cocked Hat by Hawkes & Co., London (estimate: £100-200), and his Sabretache and Shoulder Belt Pouch to the Royal Horse Artillery (estimate: £400-600).

From the same collection comes an Interwar and Second World War Period Extensive Uniform to Lieutenant Colonel Sir Arthur Pelham Heneage (1881-1971) of the Royal Horse Artillery, who was the son-in-law of Brigadier General Neil Douglas Findlay (£600-800), and a Late 19th Century North American Indian Bandolier Bag, which was collected by Captain Frederick William Heneage before 1881 (£400-600).

Also of note in the sale is a George V Distinguished Flying Cross, and M.B.E. (MILY) Badge and Miniature Group of First/Second War Medals thought to have been awarded to Lieutenant Sydney Bull (estimate: £2,000-3,000), and a Second World War Royal Canadian Air Force Casualty Group of Six Medals awarded to Pilot Officer Eric Joseph Monk of 156 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force who was killed in action in 1943 (estimate: £300-500).


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