Thomas Del Mar to Auction Important Arms and Armour

Thomas Del Mar Ltd’s auction of Fine Antique Arms, Armour & Militaria on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at Olympia Auctions, 25 Blythe Road, London W14 will include a fascinating selection of items from several important collections including a number of elements from the Spanish armoury of the Duke of Infantado.

Among 13 lots from an Important Private Collection will be a Mid-16th Century 54 bore South German breech-loading self-spanning wheel-lock holster pistol, made in Augsburg and later part of the Collection of Lord Astor of Hever. As stated in the Hever catalogue of 1983, ‘this pistol displays exceptional technical innovation for the period. It can be loaded at the breech with a removable cartridge that is complete with a pan, thus allowing the user to insert a preloaded and primed cartridge into the chamber. Furthermore it can be used as a self-spanning wheellock or primed with a key. No other pistol of this early date displays so many refinements.’ It is estimated at £25,000-30,000. Two other items from the same Collection, include a rare large Central European decorated sporting crossbow, dating from late 16th/17th century, and possibly Bohemian which is estimated at £6,000-8,000, and also once part of the Hever Collection is a rare German combined halberd and 80 bore wheel-lock pistol, dating from the first quarter of the 17th century (Est: £4,000-6,000).

From the nine lots from the Property of a Gentleman, is a fine pair of 22-bore silver mounted flintlock holster pistols by John Cosens, circa 1690. Bearing the crest of Philipson, which is believed to be Christopher Philipson (1646-1709), of Crook Hall, Member of Parliament for Westmorland in 1679. Philipson served as a Royalist militia officer and assisted Daniel Fleming in breaking up a Quaker meeting at Windermere in 1675. He replaced Sir John Lowther III as the honourable member for Westmorland in the second Exclusion Parliament. For his efforts he was rewarded with a knighthood by Charles II in 1681 as ‘a person of known loyalty and affection’, he was foreman of the grand jury which presented a loyal address after the Rye House Plot. It is estimated at £20,000-30,000. Among the Asian items in the sale, and from the same collection is a fine Malaysian gold-mounted dagger of presentation quality, dating from the second quarter of the 19th century, probably Sumatra. Otherwise known as a Kris, it carries an estimate of £8,000-12,000.

15 lots will be included from the Estate of Patrick Kelly. These include a fine North Italian close-helmet for field use with etched decoration, circa 1555-60, probably Milanese, which is expected to fetch £7,000-10,000, while a rare English collar made in the Royal Workshops at Greenwich, circa 1610 is estimated at £2,000-2,500.

11 lots from a Central European Collection include a very rare Saxon decorated combined gun rest and spear, dating from circa 1730 and almost certainly by Johann Tobias Graefenstein carries an estimate of £4,000-6,000.

Items there were originally in the Armoury of the Princely house of Hohenlohe-Langenburg include two 32-bore German officer’s long wheel-lock holster pistols, intended for use as a pair, circa 1640-50, which are estimated at £5,000-7,000, and a rare early flintlock Wender pistol, Dutch or North German, circa 1655-60 that is estimated at £4,000-6,000.

As Thomas Del Mar explains: “In these unusual times, we are very pleased to be offering such a wide variety of remarkable objects. The breech-loading wheel-lock pistol, the gold-mounted Kris and the silver-mounted English pistols by Cosens are particular highlights and each displays an outstanding level of quality, condition and rarity. Having discussed the format of our sale presentation with a number of clients we have decided to continue with printed catalogues in contrast to many other auction houses. The buying experience is central to our business and our clients have made it clear that a printed catalogue is a key part of this.”

Thomas Del Mar Ltd, 25 Blythe Road, London W14 0PD, Tel. +44 (0) 20 7602 4805, [email protected]