A very rare 9mm (Mars) self-loading pistol by Mars, retailed by Charles Lancaster, no. 37T  With original magazine

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 44S58
A very rare 9mm (Mars) self-loading pistol by Mars, retailed by Charles Lancaster, no. 37T
With original magazine

Sold for £ 26,312 (US$ 34,362) inc. premium
A very rare 9mm (Mars) self-loading pistol by Mars, retailed by Charles Lancaster, no. 37T
Barrel with blade foresight and flat sighting-rib engraved Mars 9mm, with u-notch rear sight, the left side of frame engraved Charles Lancaster 151 New Bond St, London, keeper loop, ribbed trigger, two-piece chequered wooden grips
7¼in. barrel, Birmingham nitro proof
With original magazine

Footnotes

  • The Mars was invented by Hugh Gabbett-Fairfax, a civil engineer and small arms designer. The design was highly unusual, incorporating a rotating long-recoil system whereby the barrel and bolt moved together after firing, and the spent cartridge was ejected directly backwards as the new one was loaded.

    It was initially contracted to be produced by Webley & Scott in 1898, however by 1900 the partnership had split. Gabbett-Fairfax then began personally funding the production, which began in 1901, but after producing approximately 56 pistols by the end of 1903 he had become bankrupt. A consortium of creditors came to his rescue and took over his patents and continued to fund the production. By 1907 the syndicate was also declared bankrupt and production ceased, for a total output of only around 80 examples. The Mars was produced in four proprietary calibers: the .335/8.5mm Mars, .360/9mm Mars, .45 Short Mars and .45 Long Mars, which was for a time the most powerful handgun cartridge in the world.

    Gabbett-Fairfax had intended the Mars to replace the British Army's Webley & Scott revolver, however after a series of military tests it was rejected by the British War Office, mainly due to its large recoil, considerable muzzle flash and mechanical complexity. This was despite its impressive accuracy, penetration and stopping power.
Contacts
A very rare 9mm (Mars) self-loading pistol by Mars, retailed by Charles Lancaster, no. 37T  With original magazine
A very rare 9mm (Mars) self-loading pistol by Mars, retailed by Charles Lancaster, no. 37T  With original magazine
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine, Whisky and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
S58 Section 58 obsolete calibre

Lots are obsolete calibres and no licence is required unless ammunition is held.