Important Turkish shield fetches £210,000 at auction

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29 July 2011
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imports_MIL_rareturkishsheldsteals_55272.gif Rare Turkish sheld steals the show at auction
A very rare gilt copper Ottoman Tombak shield from the late 16th century sold for £210,000 in an auction of Antique Arms, Armour and Militaria in London last month. The sale was held by Thomas Del Mar Ltd (in association with Sotheby’s). ...

A very rare gilt copper Ottoman Tombak shield from the late 16th century sold for £210,000 in an auction of Antique Arms, Armour and Militaria in London last month. The sale was held by Thomas Del Mar Ltd (in association with Sotheby’s).

The circular Turkish ribbed shield was decorated with stylised tulip flowers. It was estimated to fetch £40,000-60,000 and was bought by a Private Collector. Known as a Kalkan, very few of this type of shield is recorded and therefore it is assumed that they were intended for individuals of high rank.

This example is believed to have been taken from the Turks at the Siege of Vienna in 1529 and it was loaned to an exhibition in 1890 from a European Private collection. It is made of Tombak (gilt copper) – a prized material among Turkish people.

Following the sale, Auctioneer and Expert in Charge, Thomas Del Mar commented: “The sale was remarkably well attended with a very strong presence in the room, on the telephones and with our new online bidding. There were a significant number of new online bidders many of which underbid key lots.

"The Ottoman Turkish tombak shield was the major highlight, while Japanese swords also sold very well, as did Russian edged weapons, with the Murchison sword being a particular success.

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"There was keen competition for many of the English and Continental firearms, including George IV’s rifle. This was the last sale in a highly successful summer season at Blythe Road, and we look forward to further successes at the end of the year in this and the other specialised fields.”

See our Auction Reports in the magazine for details of further lots of interest.

 

Find this news story and more in the August/September 2011 issue of Classic Arms & Militaria