Traditional military guns – both rifles and pistols – used widely during the 19th century will be sold in the Antique Arms and Armour sale at Bonhams in Knightsbridge on April 30th.
Chances are that if you were an infantryman or a cavalryman serving your king and country at anytime during the 1800s you would have been armed with one of these 84 weapons as these were the guns which saw action on the battlefields of Europe, India and Africa.
All the great names of weaponry are represented: Martini-Henry, Mauser, Westley Richards amongst others.
During the Martini-Henry's service life the British army was involved in a large number of colonial wars, most notably the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879. The rifle was used in the Battle of Isandlwana, and by the company of the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Rorke's Drift, where 139 British soldiers successfully defended themselves against several thousand Zulus. This battle was celebrated in the 1964 film Zulu. The Zulu attacks on Rorke's Drift came very close to defeating the garrison. No fewer than 11 Vicroria Crosses were awarded to the defenders along with other decorations and honours.
Lot 261 is a .577/.450 Martini Henry Mark I Service Rifle dated 1873, a rifle that may well have seen action with British forces during the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer wars. It is valued at £350-450. And Lot 242, a Mauser 11MM Centre-Fire 1871 Model Breech-Loading Cavalry Carbine dated 1876, may well have done service with the Boers. It is estimated at £300-450.
A fascinating weapon is lot 273 a very rare .577 percussion breech-loading Mont Storm Patent Naval Rifle And Cutlass Bayonet.This rifle made in London around 1858-60, and estimated at £2,200-2,500 was made by William Mont Storm who received a U.S. patent for his 'self-sealing-chamber system' in July 1856. It was tried by the British Army and the inventor was awarded a silver medal at the International Exhibition of 1862. He also invented the so-called 'Mont Storm Cartridge'- in fact made of translucent animal intestine bound with silk cord and fully combustible, leaving the chamber empty for the next round.
Lot 291 is .451 Percussion Breech-Loading Westley Richards Patent 'Monkey-Tail' Pistol dated 1867 with Birmingham proof marks, estimated at £1,500-1,800.
Lot 324 is a rare 22-Bore Flintlock Pistol for The 1st Regiment Of Horse, Later The Royal Horseguards (The Blues) dated 1761. It is estimated to sell for £1,800-2,200
Lot 326 is a rare 16-Bore Flintlock 1756/81 Pattern Land Service Pistol
Circa 1780 at £2,500-3,500
Lot 265 is a 22-Bore Percussion Service Carbine of The 2nd Staffordshire Militia dated 1857 is estimated at £300-450
Lot 269 is a .577 Percussion Volunteer Short Rifle by George H. Daw, 57 Threadneedle St., London, Circa 1865. Estimate £800-1,200.
Lot 270 is a 30-Bore Terry's Patent Percussion Breech-Loading 2nd Pattern Cavalry Carbine. Estimate £600-800
Lot 276 is a 10-Bore Flintlock East India Company Service Musket
By Mortimer Of London, Dated 1796. Estimate £800-1,200
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com