Militaria in demand at Gildings

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An East-Midlands-based auction house achieved excellent results for many items of militaria at a recent auction, demonstrating that demand for such items remains high.

The bi-annual sale at Gildings auctioneers in Market Harborough included a wide range of collectable items from various periods of military history. Standout lots included a medal given to those holding high office in the military in territories of the British Empire, several fine examples of antique pistols and a unique naval log dating from the mid-19th century.
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George; Knights Commanders (KCMG) Star and Neck Badge, circa 1914 sold for £1,300.
“Nothing evokes military history quite like the physical objects associated with famous military campaigns of the past,” explained Gildings Director and in-house militaria expert, Mark Gilding. “The fact that this medal came complete with its ribbons and original case from Garrard & Co and that it was in very good condition with no damage to its original enamel makes it a highly covetable item for collectors. Saint Michael and St George are both military saints and this award, which is still given today to those who demonstrate an extraordinary level of service abroad, originated in the Napoleonic Wars.”
Other medals sold at the auction included examples from the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, World War I and World War II.
Among the weapons up for auction, a consignment of antique pistols proved to be the most coveted items on the day. Two notable sales were a Percussion 5 shot pistol manufactured by T Conway of Manchester which sold for £1,200 and a Percussion pistol by W J Rigby, Dublin which realised £1,500.
“Percussion caps are a type of ignition introduced around 1820 and are still in use today,” explained Mark. “Antique firearms are a hugely collected area, in particular pistols and revolvers which don’t take up a huge amount of space. As with most categories there are sought after makers and periods and the Conway and Rigby pistols were examples of these points and in great condition too.”
Another item that attracted a huge amount of interest from online bidders and those present on the day was a naval log of the proceedings of Captain Sir Edward Belcher dated between 1843 and 1845. The log was kept by Joseph Henry Marryat, who was only 12 when he joined the Royal Navy for what became a distinguished career culminating in a promotion to Rear Admiral.
“Although this log has heavy staining, the ink remains legible on every page, meaning it is easy to read the almost daily recordings of position, bearings and employed duties in areas including Hong Kong, Manila, Victoria Bay and Sooloo Bay,” says Mark. “Sir Edward Belcher is also a figure of significant historic interest as the first British naval officer to make a survey of Hong Kong Harbour in 1842, where his name is commemorated to this day in various street names.”
There will be a second Gildings militaria sale later this year.

 

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Catch up on militaria news, order a back issue of The Armourer, or pick up the latest issue, in either print or digital format. Like what you see? Why not take out a subscription, save money and have it delivered to your door.

 

IT'S HERE! A Guide to Collecting German Militaria is the new bookazine from the publisher of The Armourer and is now on sale. This 132 page, perfect bound magazine is your guide to collecting Imperial and Third Reich militaria, from medals and cuff titles, to uniforms, weapons, personal gear and civic awards. We cover rare awards, how to spot fakes and include current prices. There's limited stock of the print version on our website so if they've sold out either head for your local branch of WH Smith, as the main stockist, or buy a digital version.

Don't forget, 100 Years of the RAF, a commemorative bookazine celebrating 100 years since the formation of the RAF, is now on sale. Order your copy by clicking on 100 RAF.

Catch up on militaria news, order a back issue of The Armourer, or pick up the latest issue, in either print or digital format. Like what you see? Why not take out a subscription, save money and have it delivered to your door.