welcome to antique militaria!
I have been a military antiques dealer (based at Grays Antique Market in London's West End until Christmas 2008) for over 45 years: antique swords, weapons, guns, uniforms, helmets, equipment, medals, belt buckles, bayonets and almost all other items of general militaria. British, German, European and worldwide items... I have provided all kinds of arms and armour and military collectibles to both private customers, trade and museum clientele all around the world!
featured antique military items
Triple bar cavalry trooper's helmet
This is the classic English Civil War helmet as used by both sides. The hinged visor is struck with the maker's marks 'H' and 'IH'. The mark 'H' was used by William Harrison (flourished 1626-48) and 'IH' by John Hill and John Holloway from 1631 onwards (see The London Armourers of the 17th Century by Thom Richardson, Royal Armouries, 2004).
.41 centrefire Colt New Line pocket pistol
This weapon came off Firearms Certificate (FAC) requirement in 2014. Only a limited number of these were made, as Colt gave up making them due to the serious competition from much cheaper look-alikes. It has London proof marks on the chamber, indicating that it was sold through Colt's London agency at Pall Mall.
Nicholas II naval dirk
This is the last, and possibly rarest, of the Russian naval dirks from the Imperial era. They were introduced sometime around the Crimean war, generally with rather longer blades and plain gilt brass fittings. This type continues with identical fittings, except that the pommel has the emperor's monogram embossed on it.
Tank crew assault badge
This die-struck badge was awarded by the Weimar Republic to WW1 tank crews who had served in three assaults or been wounded in the course of one. The soldier had to apply for the badge and, once he had received the award document, would privately purchase the badge. Sepp Dietrich, commander of the LAH, wore this in 1940 photos.
59th Scinde Rifles crossbelt and pouch, hallmarked silver
- British Empire
This unit was raised in 1843 as the Scinde Camel Corps. At the Mutiny it became the 6th Punjab Infantry until 1903 when it became the 59th Scinde Rifles (Frontier Force). The metalware is hallmarked silver throughout for Birmingham, maker B&P; they are all dated 1904, except for the bugle horn which is hallmarked 1900.
Royal Navy fighting dirk
This is likely to have been made towards the end of the American Revolutionary War (Peace of Paris, 1783) or during the early part of the Napoleonic Wars (starting 1793). This would have been carried by an RN officer or HEIC naval officer, and this example is interesting in having a particularly long (approx 26") blade.
a little history on my antiques interest
I have been a collector of military antiques since the age of 12, starting with bayonets and moving gradually on to swords, finally entering the broader military antique dealing arena in about 1970. At that stage, I rapidly started to learn about antique English pistols and revolvers.
In about 1980, I broadened my dealing coverage from mainstream militaria to include English campaign medals. The arrival of powerful auction houses in this field drove me back to my original interest in general militaria (swords, bayonets, dirks, guns, pistols, etc).
However, I still maintain a lively interest in all military objects, especially the rare and exotic, eg Imperial Russian and Austrian.
Throughout my dealing career, I have built up my personal collection of antique military prints and drawings and a substantial selection of early military photographs up to 1945, principally German and English. To aid both my dealing and collecting, I have a huge library covering all military aspects of antiques going back to the Middle Ages, and many aspects of antiques in general, especially early English silver.