From rare pistols to firearms presented by a Dutch King to gem-set swords and intricate panels, through to highly important helmets and a Collection of Archery and associated items, Thomas Del Mars rich and varied auction of Fine Antique Arms, Armour & Militaria will be held on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at Olympia Auctions
, 25 Blythe Road, London W14.
An extremely rare .31 calibre Colt Paterson pocket revolver, dating from 1837-40 will be among the highlights of the David Jeffcoat Collection and is estimated to fetch £40,000-60,000. David Jeffcoat (1945-2020) whose lifelong passion as a collector started early and by the age of six he was acquiring bayonets and cap badges. He joined the Arms and Armour department at Sothebys Bond Street in the early 1960s where he was to remain for over 20 years working on some of the most significant auctions of the second half of the 20th century. The diverse collection of more than 180 items ranges from a pair of duelling pistols by Joseph Manton through to a rare silver encrusted early 17th century English rapier and a pair of horsemans boots.
Also included is the McEwen Collection of Archery and associated items. Notable pieces include a rare Chinese quiver from the Qing dynasty, dating from 18th/ 19th century which is estimated at £800-1,000, while a fine 19th century Indian reflex bow is expected to fetch £400-600.
Among the armour is one of the finest pieces to come onto the market for a decade. An important South German etched, gilt and embossed closed burgonet is estimated at £40,000-60,000. From a private European Collection, the helmet was made in Augsburg and dates from circa 1555-60, with the etching attributed to Jörg Sorg the Younger. This previously unrecorded helmet belongs to an elaborate garniture including a close helmet, gauntlet for the left hand, breast and backplate, now preserved in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Another important item in the sale is a finely decorated iron plaque from a drop-front cabinet, decorated with an architectural scene in gold and silver damascene, which is estimated at £22,000-28,000. Believed to originate from Milan, the plaque dates from 1560-70 and is similar to one in the Wallace Collection.
From an English Noble Family is a very fine and rare North Indian sword with gem-set jade hilt and gem-set gold mounts dating second half of the 19th century that is estimated at £15,000-20,000, while among the firearms a rare pair of 54 bore German wheel-lock belt pistols of exceptional length formed entirely of steel, Nuremburg, circa 1570-80 is estimated at £35,000-40,000. An exceptional cased set of 38 bore, 54 bore and 120 bore Adams Patent 1851 model self-cocking five-shot revolvers of exhibition quality by Deane Adams & Deane, makers to H.R.H Prince Albert, presented by King William III of Holland (1817-99) to Mr. Van Hoytena, winner of the student shooting match held in Utrecht, 13th November 1868 carries an estimate of £30,000-40,000.
As Thomas Del Mar explains: We are delighted to have such a remarkable range of fine objects from all over the world. The sale includes two important collections and a number of pieces with distinguished provenance. Two hundred and ninety one lots have been consigned with part (and in some cases all) proceeds to be given to the Wallace Collection and ten have been consigned with part (and in some cases all) proceeds to be given to Westminster Abbey, two institutions that have been dramatically impacted in the wake of the pandemic. The Colt Paterson is an outstanding rarity, one of the earliest firearms made by this famous maker. Notably it survives in excellent condition, with many early features of engineering and clear engraving showing this distinguished gunmaking dynasty at its very beginning. Such revolvers are very rarely offered at auction. The South German closed burgonet is another great rarity and represents one of the more important pieces of armour offered at auction in recent years. Matching pieces from the same garniture are preserved in three museums around the world, a tantalising insight into what must have been a spectacular assembly for a member of the Hapsburg court or a senior member of its entourage. There are a number of other outstanding highlights and I look forward to welcoming people back to Olympia Auctions over the coming weeks.