MILITARIA AND COLLECTABLES
Lovley M1908 Webley Holster
This is an absolutely superb example of a British officers private purchase holster for the M1908 .32 Automatic pistol.
These pistols replaced the "British Bulldog" type revolver with the Royal Metropolitan Police prior to the first world war.
These handy compact and reliable pistols found another niche with the outbreak of war in 1914, they became popular amongst the office class as private purchase firearms.
They were used instead of (and sometimes alongside as a secondary "last ditch" weapon) the bulky, but exceptionally hard hitting issue Webley .455 revolver.
The holsters for these pistols come in all shapes and sizes as they didn't need to conform to a regulation pattern, Officers had their tailors make up their holsters (or more than likely sub contract to saddlers) to their own specification.
This example has been manufactured to conform with Officers Pattern 1914 Sam Browne belt equipment, it is equipped with the P1914 brass loops and also a simple belt loop.
The condition of this holster is superb, displaying a lovely colour,
the leather is still supple and it retains its full original functionality, with no cracks or missing parts.
Rare P1903 Pattern 90rd .303 Leather bandolier
This is an unusually fine, fully serviceable example of P1903 .303, Mk2 90rd Leather Bandolier.
Manufactured by D.T.J&Co LTD London in 1915 and complete in every detail.
The bandleader displays a beautiful deep patina to the leather and is not missing any of its dividers or rivets, the stitching is also perfect.
This then, really is a truly outstanding example of its type, quite exceptional in fact, to find a mk2 in this condition today is very rare indeed, be the best dressed man on the range!!
Late 19th Nautical Armourers box
This is a lovely late 19th century armourers box, with original rope handles.
Very closely based in design on the Traditional Sailors "Ditty box", this example is slightly longer to accommodate a set of armourers tools.
It is very ruggedly constructed indeed in traditional naval fashion, from pitch pine with dovetail joints and a tar coating to withstand the harsh maritime environment.
The hinges are in very good order and the lock (with key) functions without fault.
The interiour of the box consists of two removable trays and the inside of the lid has a full set of mounting clips/stays for tools and instruments.
The front of the box has a brass inscription plate with "E Charlwood Armourer" inscribed
On the left hand side of the lid there is a deliberate scalloped out dish for reasons unknown, a theory of mine is, it could be to retain the small components of weapons being worked on, as the box would also have double up as a workbench, a dished out area would certainly be useful on a pitching and rolling Warship deck!
Interestingly at the bottom of the box I discovered a badly degraded photograph, after restoration it appears to show an Officer in the Calvary, most likely the Hussars or possibly one of the Yeomanry Regiments, as he is wearing the Austrian braid with knots on his uniform.
What his connection with this box is is unknown, but he could be Mr Charlwood in a later career!
Measurements (All approximate)
Length: 67cm (with handles)
Depth : 30 cm
Width : 30 cm
Very rare Special Forces capture Saddam Fedayeen "Darth Vader Helmet"
This item is one of the most unusual military relics to come my way, it represents both a thoroughly evil regime and tells its own story of its downfall.
The story of this odd looking helmet begins in the aftermath of the first Gulf war in 1991, Saddam Hussein decided he needed yet another layer of personnel defence to guard against foreign and domestic assassination attempts and also to serve as a brutal instrument of intimidation for the long suffering population of Iraq.
The shadowy Paramilitary Saddam Fedayeen "Men of Sacrifice" was formally established in 1995 reaching a strength of around 35.000 and continued until the fall of the regime in 2003.
Though initially a somewhat rag tag force, by the time of the Second Gulf war, they fought tenaciously and fanatically against the British and Americans, proving a very tough nut to crack.
Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday was given the job of establishing the organisation and he took Initial command of the Fedayeen, however after being caught by his father "appropriating weaponry" from the Republican Guard in 1996, he was removed and replaced with Qusay (Saddams other son).
It can't have escaped your notice the very close physical appearance of this helmet to the Helmet worn by Darth Vader in the Star Wars films, there is a very good reason for this, Uday was a huge fan of Western Science fiction films, and Star Wars in particular, so he thought "Lets get the evil Vader look for our men" and this crazy helmet was born, worn along with black overalls, boots and black ski masks......you really couldn't make it up, but no one said no to Saddam's family.....and lived, so his crackpot idea became a reality!!
This particular example was captured by a British "Special forces operative" while attached to 3 Para.
He took part in the battle for Basra and in particular the battle for Basra Collage, this had become a stronghold for the Fedayeen in Basra, the Helmet was picked up by him in the aftermath of a very heavy contact in the grounds of the Collage.
The vast majority of these helmets (unknown number manufactured) were destroyed after the war, because of their association with the very heart of that evil regime.
US forces brought some home and most helmets on the market originate from US Iraqi Freedom bring backs.
The MOD prevented virtually all British Army personnel from bringing these helmets back, it was probably only due to this chaps regimental connection that it made it back to the UK.
This helmet is in very good condition, there are no cracks in the fiberglass (incidentally it offers no ballistic protection whatsoever) it still has it's full original fabric and leather sweatband/ liner and working chin strap clasp, the original finish is all correct with bits of paint chipped off, a real testament to the firefight it was last used in.
The oval badge on the side featuring a profile of Saddam Hussein and bearing the inscription "The Lord, The Homeland, The Leader" has been removed, (this was mandated by Coalition command) and very few survive today with badge intact apart from examples appropriated officially for Regimental and Museum display. (The only UK based example with badge that I know about resides in the Imperial War Museum)
This then is an exceptionally rare piece, representing both a truly evil despotic regime and a highly emotive and controversial war that historians will debate for generations to come.
It comes with the hand written letter of provenance (unsigned for obvious reasons), detailing background information and its capture.
Rare Falklands Campaign capture set
This is rare set of genuine Argentine Falklands war capture Tempex belt equipment and helmet.
Also included is a an MOD 1982 dated Falklands San Carlos sector map (13) and Royal Marine Cyclops Roc pack, that belonged to Royal Marine P Johnson, he served with Z company 45 commando during the campaign and captured the above equipment.
Both items were carried by him during the Falklands war and used during the battle for Two Sisters.
Most of this Argentine equipment was probably captured on Bombilia hill. I say this for two reasons, Bombilia hill lies in 45 Commandos route of advance, there were numerous skirmishes on route to Two Sisters and the sector map has a large red arrow pointing to it....that might just be a clue!
Though I can't find any information regarding Argentine positions on Bombilia hill, logic would dictate they had a troops here because of its strategic location, looking west towards San carlos.
Equipment consists of:
Argentine helmet, complete with liner (strap buckle missing) the helmet still has its Argentine Army stores decal located at the top inside of the shell.
Tempex belt kit, including 4 Fal magazine pouches, water bottle (Argentine marked) and canteen with "Armada" marked spoon, so possibly Marine belt kit?
The inside of one of the fal mag pouches has lots of Spanish writing, difficult to make out , but including it's owners name "Sergeo" and IsLas Malvinas 10-5-82
Also included is a leather fal pouch marked as found on Two sisters.
The Original Cyclops Roc pack has its side pockets removed and one main strap missing, but its a rare survivor of genuine Falklands war Royal Marine kit.
The heavily used sector map is a very interesting item on it's own and was discovered in the top pocket of the pack.
All in all, a very interesting and highly collectable set of equipment, from a very hard fought and bitter war to liberate the Falkland Islanders and restore their way of life.
I wonder if Sergio survived and returned to his family?
19th CENTURY U.S CAVALRY M1885 PATTERN DISPATCH BAG.
This U.S Cavalry dispatch bag was originally part of a M1885 pattern saddle kit. When the saddle wore out it was common practice to carefully cut the bags away and add a strap.
This example is in very good order for it's age, displaying a wonderful rich tan colour that only comes with age.
The leather is still quite supple, with the original buckles, studs and strap still present.
There is a small tear at the top right hand side of the flap and some quite deep cracks in the strap plus the odd mark on the leather, but I feel these doesn't distract from this classic piece of highly collectible U.S Cavalry attributed Americana.
Length: 32 cm
Hight: 30 cm
Width: 9cm (base) 6cm (top)