The Armourer

Huge auction at Hermann Historica


The European auction house recently wrapped up no fewer than seven auctions over a five day spell, covering everything from classic arms and armour, to Viennese binoculars and post 1919 militaria. Let’s start with the classics though and an Ottoman mace, c. 1600. This featured an iron head with nine, slightly chiselled and partially gilded surfaces and a short, square punch. Some of the gold plating had been rubbed off but it still sold for €2,500 (includes Buyer’s Premium of 25%).

There were lots of daggers up for grabs, so here was a coralstudd­ed Ottoman yatagan, c. 1800. The blade featured narrow fullers on both sides on the back with (worn) silver inlays on both sides. Handle and blade setting made of formerly gilded copper set with seven coral cabochons. Riveted, patinated grip scales made of walrus ivory. It sold for €1,500.

If daggers are a bit lightweigh­t for your tastes though, then take a look at this Persian full metal axe from the 19th century. Cartouches carved in relief on both sides, semi-circular axe head with square and carved hammer head. The strong and slightly conical octagonal shaft made of welded Damascus steel. Length 75cm. This chopped its way to €1,062.50.

To fend off an attacker, how about a silver and gold shield, 19th century, from Lahore. This was a slightly curved iron shield with a reinforced edge and remains of ornamental gold and silver inlays. In the centre were four screwed shield bosses surrounded by a snake entwined in a knot. Brass parts in the form of flowers screwed around the outer edge. Diameter 35cm. It also sold for €1,062.50.

Not sure how effective the following lot would be against a blunt instrument. It was a

Chinese helmet and armour from the 18th-19th century. Featuring a two-piece skull brazed on the sides, with riveted edge. The slightly tapered, riveted crest with long socket and inserted red horsehair plume. Came with a slightly reinforced jacket of blue silk with linen lining and densely set with brass rivets. Height of helmet 50 cm, length of jacket 70 cm. The pair sold for €3,625.

Also from China, a recurve bow and nine arrows, from the 19th century. The bow was made from wood and horn, the paper cover with original painting. Bone tendon supports, limbs covered with ray skin. tendon missing. In addition, a leather quiver with nine arrows, seven of them with iron square points. The lot sold for €7,250.

Let’s have some serious armour now, with a blackened Flemish or English, pikeman’s armour, c. 1600. The skull forged in two pieces with a narrow, turned comb. The iron plume socket riveted at the nape. The gorget opening on a hinge with pauldrons sliding on three lames. Deeply ridged breastplat­e, the bulging flanges struck inwards. This sold for


Next, a Polish cuirass and lobster-tailed burgonet from the mid17th century. The skull forged in one piece. A border of six narrow ribs, the riveted crown plate with a ring loop. The riveted, tapering peak with a turned edge. The letter ‘L’ struck at the top, the movable nasal bar engraved ‘IM’. Attached cheek pieces each with six pierced openings for hearing, the neck guard sliding on three lames. Remnants of the original leather lining on the inside. The cuirass breastplat­e sliding on six lames, the backplate on seven lames. The edges all delicately lobed, turned and roped. This went for an eye watering €16,250.

Topping that though, a very attractive, etched and gilded officer’s morion of a German cooper’s guild from Cologne, dating around 1580. The heavy skull forged in two pieces, with a tall, toothed comb. Continuous lining rivets with brass rosettes.

The entire surface with finely etched decorative tendrils on a gilt background. The guild sign of the coopers guild on the comb, both sides of the skull with a representa­tion of the guild sign, flanked by two goats. It went for €21,250.

Let’s finish with a real rarity, a Scandinavi­an Viking sword with inscribed Damascus blade, 10th century. With a sturdy, double-edged blade and core forged of two twisted rods and separate edges. Shallow fullers on both sides with a signature ‘SIGUINT’.

The short quillons angled toward the blade, with remnants of the original fine, lavish bronze inlays. It sold for €20,000.

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