A 19th Century Indian Talwar (sword) sold for £3,800 plus buyer’s premium in Tennants Auctioneers’ Militaria and Ethnographica Sale on 28th June, having drawn interest from collectors around the world. With a curved steel blade, and gold koftgari (inlaid) decoration, the sword was sold alongside an Indian Dagger and a Pulwar from the same era.
Further interesting bladed weapons that sold well included an unusual European Pole Axe, with a retractable additional blade (sold for £550), and an Imperial Russian Model 1881 Type Shashka, which sold for nearly ten times the bottom estimate at £1,100. The vendor’s grandfather was a Lieutenant with the Royal Naval Reserve in the First World War, working with the White Russians to protect supplies from falling into German or Bolshevik hands. The Royal Navy seized the Russian cruiser ‘Askold’ in Kola Bay in 1918, which was subsequently commissioned as HMS Glory. The Lieutenant was on board the ship in 1918-1919 and acquired the sword at this time.
Further lots of First World War interest included a Military Cross awarded to Second Lieutenant William Gilbert Dyer of the Durham Light Infantry for conspicuous gallantry and devotion of duty, leading his platoon forward no less than three times and causing heavy casualties to the enemy during very severe fighting in France in 1918 (sold for £900). Originally from West Hartlepool, Lieutenant Dyer was in Canada when the war broke out, and after being rejected from the Canadian Army returned to the UK to enlist. Three First World War Anti-Zeppelin Flechettes or Aerial Darts sold for £400, and a rare First World War Tank Driver’s Leather Helmet by Hobson & Son (London) Ltd sold well at £1,600.
A good Private Collection of Prussian and German Pickelhaubes and other helmets sold well throughout; highlights of the collection included a Prussian Cuirassier’s Lobster Tail Pickelhaube by Schulz & Holdefleiss of Berlin (sold for £600), and a Prussian Garde Pioneer EM’s Kugelhelm (sold for £650).
Also of interest in the sale was a rare inert mortar shell, which was sold alongside three Officer’s Training Corps Swagger Sticks and further items of militaria for £1,300. A large collection of 20th century whistles sold for £900, and a 19th century Fijian I Ula Tavatava (throwing club) sold for £600. Amongst the antique guns in the sale, a mid-17th century German Wheel-lock Sporting Gun sold for £1,800, and a Brace of 19th Century Percussion Travelling Pistols by Kavenagh of Dublin sold for £1150.
Entries for Tennants next Militaria and Ethnographica Sale on 20th September are now invited.
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