FOCUS ON RARE SWORD SALE; TREASURE HUNTERS.
Instant expert SWORDS fall in the collectable category known as militaria and antique arms and armour. Almost every country has produced them through the ages and Britain in particular has a long history of producing fine swords.
Basics A COLLECTION from Gary Bates - a leading Canadian collector of militaria - included 150 Victorian and Georgian swords, one of which was once owned by Lord Grenville, who served as British Prime Minister from 1806-1807. His sword, a Georgian Agate Hilted Mameluke presentation sabre made by Salter & Co, has two large panels originally containing inscriptions, which have now been removed. It would appear that the inscription has been deliberately removed to hide the identity of the recipient.
How Much? THESE superb collectable swords were sold on July 31 at Bonhams in Oxford. The former Prime Minister's sword was bought by a British collector in the room for pounds 7,500, more than twice the upper pre-sale estimate of pounds 2,500 to pounds 3,500. The final overall result of pounds 242,350 exceeded estimates. A broadsword dating from 1705, with a far older Scottish blade from the 14th Century, was once sold by the same auctioneers.
It had been passed down through the Douglas family to Sir Alec Douglas Home of the Hirsel, another Prime Minister. It sold for pounds 10,800. A few years ago, Tipu Sultan's sword from India fetched an astonishing pounds 505,250 at an auction by Sotheby's - its initial estimate was pounds 50,000-pounds 70,000.
Real Deal THE second half of the Gary Bates collection will be offered for sale by Bonhams on December 5, 2012. The Head of Arms and Armour at Bonhams Oxford said: "Many of these wonderful rare items had been off the market for 20 to 30 years, so the sale offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to serious collectors. The result is a real tribute to the collecting eye of Gary Bates."
Lord Grenville's sword sold for pounds 7,500