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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

militaria item .41 centrefire Colt New Line pocket pistol
- American
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.
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militaria item Westminster truncheon, 18th century
- British
This 24" truncheon is the classic Westminster design, with the pre-1801 Royal Arms. It would have been carried by the local watch officers prior to the establishment of Peel's police force in 1832. It is just possible that this is a George II example, which on the death of that king in 1760 simply had an extra Roman numeral I added for George III.
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militaria item .32 Whitneyville five-shot revolver, single action rim fire
- American
This was made at the Whitneyville Armory, Connecticut, USA, and is marked accordingly on the top barrel flat. It has a 3.25" barrel, stub trigger and lacquered rosewood grips. It fired a rim fire cartridge with a soft lead slug and a black powder load. Some 30,000 were made in various barrel lengths and other calibres, notably .22 and .38.
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militaria item Double-etched K98 dress bayonet, Ernst Pack & Sons
- German
This is a classic Ernst Pack dress bayonet, with no maker's mark, but the 'signature' screw bolts which no other maker used. The original owner must have been in a heavy artillery unit, as suggested by the obverse blade etching. These weapons were normally only worn when off duty, but in uniform.
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militaria item Royal Navy fighting dirk
- British
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.
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militaria item Prussian breast plate (cuirass)
- German
This clean example is marked '2' and 'Hartkopf', very probably a retailer's mark, Hartkopf being an early 19th century firm of arms dealers and sword cutlers. Its construction suggests a date nearer to 1760 than later. They were, in any case, proscribed (specifically forbidden) in 1790 by the Prussian army.
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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.


Received and in superb condition, thank you

A G, UK, 21.03.2012

I received the helmet plate yesterday, very pleased. Thank you.

R C, Ireland, 29.01.2008