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Rare Sword Sells for £3,500

23rd March 2023.

A rare 16th /17th Century English Basket Hilt Backsword sold for £3,500 in Tennants Auctioneers’ Militaria and Ethnographica Sale on 22nd March (all figures exclude buyer’s premium). The sword was sold with a plan of the field of battle of the Battle of Culloden, the final showdown of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1746 in which the Jacobite Army of Charles Edward Stuart was defeated by a British government force. The map, which was possibly a book plate, detailed the clans and leaders of the rebel forces.

Amongst a good offering of edged weapons in the sale, further notable results were seen for an 18th Century Scottish Basket Hilt Broadsword (sold for £1,700), a Third Pattern Fighting Knife by Wilkinson Sword Ltd (sold for £1,000), a Falklands War Argentinian Modelo AB-0200 Fighting Knife (sold for £480), and a rare Second World War RAF Servicing Commando Fighting Knife by W & S Butcher of Sheffield (sold for £650).

Guns sold well too, led by a Pair of 19th Century 40 Bore Flintlock Pocket Pistols by Joseph Manton of London (sold for £2,800), and a U.S. Colt Model 1851 Navy Six Shot Single Action Percussion Revolver (sold for £2,700). A Deactivated US Model 1928 Al Thompson .45 Sub-Machine Gun sold for £1,700, an American Civil War Sharps New Model 1863 Carbine sold for £1,200, and a Starr 1858 Double Action .44 calibre Six Shot Percussion Army Revolver sold for £850.

Interesting medal groups with good provenance continue to perform well, such as a Military General Service Medal, awarded to Thomas Webber of the 28th Foot for his service in the Peninsular Wars (sold for £2,000). The medal, which had clasps for Talavera, Albuhera, Vittoria, Pyrennes and Toulouse, came with provenance from Alice Pudner, granddaughter of Webber and nanny of a relative of the vendor. Further interesting medal groups included a First World War Trio awarded to Private A Rodgers of the Durham Light Infantry, which were sold together with a First World War Pair awarded to Private H Hudson of the Scots Rifles (sold for £1,500, and a Second World War Group of Five Medals awarded to Sergeant George Nattrass of the 7th King’s Own Scottish Borderers for his part in the Battle of Arnhem (sold for £750).

Further good lots in the sale included A First World War Inert 112lb Air Drop Bomb (sold for £1,100), a French Louis Philippe Model 1814 Elite Carabiniere’s Brass Faced Steel Cuirass and Back Plate (sold for £850), a George III Illuminated Grant of Arms (sold for £550), and a Rare Queen Alexander’s Household Division 1914 Christmas Tin (sold for £900).


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