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Duelling for antique firearms


A pair of late 18th century flintlock duelling pistols were the top lot in the Arms, Armour, Militaria & Ethnographica sale held at Tennants Auctioneers on Wednesday 10 April 2013.

The pistols reached a hammer price of £6,000 against a £2,000-3,000 estimate and Oonagh Drage (specialist cataloguer) attributed the success to their good, original condition and to the well-known maker Robert Wogdon of London. As always, there was a huge following on the internet; over 220 people registered to bid with to battle it out with those at the auction for the 465 lots on offer.

Two further lots caused a bidding duel, a pair of early 19th century flintlock officer’s pistols by Clark of London sold for £3,800 and a pair of late 18th/early 19th century pistols by Thomas Cartmell of Doncaster sold for £2,400, both being ‘won’ by buyers in the room.

Other top lots of the sale came from the ethnographica section and this time bidders from across the globe had success, including Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and France. Three Andaman island wood bows surpassed the £600-800 estimate, eventually selling for £5,800. A Songye fertility figure of a woman also went way over estimate, selling for £2,500. Oceanic and African tribal artefacts have grown in popularity over recent years and with internet bidding platforms there are no global boundaries when buying at auction.

Two other ‘top ten’ lots were German Third Reich daggers; an RAD Officer’s dagger sold for £2,000 and the 2nd model RLB Leader’s dagger sold for £1,700. Oonagh commented that not only are these two rare pieces of Third Reich memorabilia, they are also in un-touched, good condition, free from alterations. Across the twelve distinct categories in this sale this was the common thread of success – any items in good, original condition overall sold well.

The next sale is scheduled for Wednesday 14th August 2013.

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