The Armourer

Firearms and militaria at Morphy


The next auction at Morphy runs from 12-14 July and has a mix of classic arms and firearms. One of the first items is an Indian Shield (Dhal) from around 1850. This has engravings reminiscen­t of

Farsi calligraph­y. There’s a central, raised area decorated with pierced decoration­s with further depictions. The estimate is $1,500-$2,500.

The next item is an attractive German Morion with gilt and blued decoration of the Munich Royal Guard. From the first quarter of the 17th century it has distinct form with a high comb and dual peaks. It’s a two piece constructi­on with eight floral rosettes. The estimate is $2,000-$4,000.

If you’re looking for a wheelock, then take a look at this German pistol, c. 17th century. It features an octagonal barrel made without sights, retained by two pins, with a pair of poincons at left flat of breech. One appears to be ‘NS’ while the other is indistinct and may be an animal head. The walnut stock with an applied paper of some kind on right side of grip, no markings observed and meaning unknown. A period spanner is included. Estimate is $3,000-$5,000.

On of the star attraction­s is a German, three-quarters page’s armour, c. 1620. Of appropriat­e scale for a boy, comprising a helmet with brow visor and hinged cheek pieces with pierced areas for the ear, lined with canvas and brocade, retained by a chin strap. Other elements include gorget, breastplat­e, pauldrons of four lames, rerebrace of seven lames, lozenge shaped couters, fingered gauntlets of 4 lames, tassets of 26 lames, and two spurs with rowels nailed to unarmored feet. Brass studs are in the form of a besauges on the pauldrons. Mounted on a wooden base and complete with a mannequin that has the face of a boy. This suit of armor was recorded as being a part of the Loan Exhibition of European arms and Armor at the Metropolit­an Museum of Art from 3 August to 27 September 1931 as catalogue number 27.

Finally, let’s have a look at an attractive English basket hilt sword, with basket decorated in the style of a mortuary sword, with portraits on hilt. The blade measures 33 1/2in with two fullers that run nearly the full length of the blade. Right side of the blade is marked ‘(Star) SANAIS (Star) / (Star) ISINEE (Star)’, while left side is marked ‘(Star) AFNAR (Star) / (Star) RANRA’, with some letters reversed. The flat backed blade becomes double edged for the last quarter of the length. It has a blued basket hilt in the Stirling, thin rounded bar, fashion, with designs after mortuary swords. There are three vignettes of a human head and two panels depicting a green man figure. Estimate is $5,000-$10,000.

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