Fighting knife scores highly

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The Coorg fighting knife The Coorg fighting knife

A brace of militaria items at Gildings Auctioneer’s Fine Art sale brought home impressive prices in September.

The Fine Art & Antiques auction was held at Gildings Auctioneers in Market Harborough on 22 September. The sale, which usually takes place separately on a bi-annual basis, as rescheduled due to the pandemic. However, as has been the case since auctions resumed online at Gildings in May 2020 with a 70% increase in bidders, the recent sales are further proof that successful auctions with standout results continue, despite Covid-19.

There were two militaria items, including a Coorg fighting knife, which sold for £8,000 against an estimate of £400-£600. It was an Indian cleaver-shape knife, ferrule of rectangular section, shaped and carved horn handle, 52cm overall, bespoke morocco case labelled: ‘Coorg Fighting Knife/A present from the Rajah Coorg to Col. Geo. Mackenzie Stuart, who commanded a column of the Madras Army at the taking of Coorg, and afterwards, when commandant at Vallore had charge of the rajah, when prisoner in that fortress.’

Gildings Director, Will Gilding, commented, “The high price achieved for The Coorg fighting knife follows the sale of a tribal spear for £18,500 back in January, further showing the high demand for unique militaria with a fascinating provenance."

The other item was a 1796 Pattern cavalry sabre. This featured a 76cm broad steel blade, brass guard with horn grip, in a brass scabbard with two suspension rings. The horn handle was, presumably, originally wire bound; the scabbard a little bent, bruised and scratched. It sold for £1,300.


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