Sale to feature hundreds of years of military history

Neal Auctioneer Manager Russell Cole is preparing for their next auction that includes machine guns

Neal Auctioneer Manager Russell Cole is preparing for their next auction that includes machine guns and all things military. - Credit: Su Anderson

An amazing private collection of guns, swords and militaria, representing hundreds of years of history, is for sale at the next Neals auction in Woodbridge.

James Neal and manager Russell Cole are preparing for Neal Auctioneers next auction that includes ma

James Neal and manager Russell Cole are preparing for Neal Auctioneers next auction that includes machine guns, swords, helmets and all things military. - Credit: Su Anderson

Around 60 lots, including Vickers and Bren maching guns, cavalry and Japanese swords, and African tribal spears and axes, will be on sale at the Theatre Street showroom on Wednesday May 20.

The auctioneers stress that the guns have all been de-activated, and so are museum and collectable pieces, rather than working weapons.

It is a real departure from the usual range of art, ceramics, silver and other collectables usually sold at these regular auctions - and there is plenty in this sale.

James Neal of Neals said: “It is an absolutely amazing collection and the largest we have ever had. We have had a limited amount of militaria, from time to time, which has always sold very well.


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“The last time it mostly went to Russia.

“There are some important historical items and we expect a lot of bidding on the internet.”

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Sale room manager Russell Cole added: “We have had individual Bren guns before, but nothing quite like this.”

The collection included a Finnish World War II Maxim gun and various Vickers, Bren, Breda, Browing and Lewis guns.

He said there had been a lot of advance interest in the machine guns, especially Lot 369 a Lewis .303 light machine gun, which had a guide price of £2,000 to £3,000.

There is also a naval cannon bearing the crest of the New Zealand Artillery Regiment, on a wooden trolley.

Russell said he personally liked some of the earlier pieces, including helmets, such as the Bavarian NCO’s pickelhaube, with a white metal spike (guide price £50 to £70).

He stressed the guns had all been de-commissioned, so were available to be bought by private collectors.

The collection includes medals, daggers and bayonets up to World War II. There are swords from armies around the world, Portugal, the USA Marines, Russian cavalry, a George V officer’s sword and a Japanese Katana sword.

There is a 21st Empress of India’s lancers helmet (guide £30 to £50), and a brass-plumbed cavalry officer’s helmet of the Fifth Dragoon Guards (guide £40 to £60).

There are weapons too from across Africa, a Zulu skin shield with mounted spear, brush and club, Masai spears, ceremonial axes and tribal spears.

The special auction takes place on Wednesday May 20 from 10.30am. There is viewing on Saturday May 16 and Tuesday May 19, prior to sale day.

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