Collecting Military Campaign and Gallantry medals is very popular currently. With many of the armed forces records now being available for soldiers from WW1 and before, this has added to the buzz in the market, as now you can find out where the recipient served and if he was wounded or killed in action. Medals from the Great War are very sought after as are those from famous well documented campaigns such as the Napoleonic Wars, Crimea, Indian Mutiny and Zulu Wars of 1877-79. More recent campaigns such as the Falklands War, first Gulf War and even current Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq are sought after.
Medals to men or women who have fought in famous military actions can also command heavy prices at auction. Medals given for the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 can achieve anywhere from £1,500 – £12,000 depending on who they were awarded to. An original medal to a member of the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimea could fetch £2,000 – £8,000. The Zulu wars of 1877-79 saw two of the most famous actions in British military history, the battle of Isandhlwana and the Battle of Rorkes Drift, medals to men who served in these actions can fetch between £7,000 – £40,000. 20th century campaigns, such as 1st day of the Battle of the Somme casualties during the First World War and medal groups awarded to those who fought in the Battle of Britain during WW2, also command high prices. During the Falklands war of 1982, the Battles of Goose Green and Mount Tumbledown are of great interest to collectors, with medals awarded to members of the Parachute Regiment, Scots Guards and Welsh Guards highly sought.
Without doubt medals awarded for bravery and gallantry are treasured most by collectors. Gallantry medals can range in price from a Victoria Cross at £80,000 – £250,000 to a British Empire Medal at £100 – £350. Medals such as the Distinguished Service Order, Distinguished Flying Cross, Military Cross are also very popular. Awards for Gallantry for conflicts post WW2 are very rare as fewer awards have been granted in the Post WW2 era.
Although some people treasure medals awarded to family members and proudly display them in their homes, many people have them stuck in a shoe box in an old cupboard, we always feel that it is no shame in selling a family members war medals, often you will have no recollection or memory of the person who was awarded them. It is better that these are in the hands of a collector who will treasure them and keep the memory of your family members war time exploits. If you wish to have your family members medals valued please contact us.
Badges & Insignia
Collecting of Military regimental badges and insignia has been happening since the Victorian period. The most popular item with collectors is Helmet Plates and Cap Badges. Other items which are collected are shoulder belt plates and waist belt clasps. Cloth insignia worn on battle dress uniforms, known as formation or divisional signs can command high prices at auction depending on which unit they relate to, some examples were worn for a very short time.
If you have military badges that you wish to get valued please call or email us and we can advise you.
Photograph Albums & Paperwork / Ephemera
In recent years collectors have been searching for original photograph albums and single images of campaigns from the Victorian era all the way up to WW2 and the early post war years. Early photograph albums, with images of the Victorian campaigns in Egypt, India and North West Frontier are proving to be highly contested by collectors and institutions at auction. Early photograph albums containing images taken in pre revolution China are also commanding extremely high prices with many collectors in China seeking to purchase items from their history, in January 2014, we sold a group of Photograph albums taken by a German doctor in China, circa 1900 for £7,000.
Original paperwork and ephemera also is proving to be very popular at auction. Many people over the years when clearing houses or moving threw away old military documents away, as a result, this has made some items very rare and extremely sought after by collectors. One of the most popular items are original letters and diaries sent or kept by a soldier during his time at war. These original accounts give collectors and historians a insight into what it was like for soldiers serving in the Trenches on the Western Front or on a Battle Ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean during the Battle of the Atlantic in WW2.
If you have an old photograph album or paperwork from a relative who served in the armed forces of any nation, please contact us for a valuation.
Military Headdress & Uniforms
The collecting of Military Headdress and Uniforms of combat nations is one of the most popular genres by militaria collectors, from the ceremonial dress uniforms of British regiments to the field grey uniforms worn by the German soldiers in WW1. Uniform items from the early Georgian and Victorian periods can fetch anywhere from £100 – £3,500 depending on type and condition. Uniforms from WW1 and WW2 are also very sought after by collectors, items such as WW1 Officers cuff rank tunics can fetch £300 – £1,000, tunics worn by German soldiers during WW1 can achieve £300 – £1,500. Uniforms from WW2 also are well collected, items relating to the British Airborne forces and Royal Air Force lead the way, original Dennison smocks can fetch £200 – £400 depending on type and condition. If a uniform can be attributed to a person and has some history, this can make a difference to the overall price. In June 2014 we sold a grouping to a member of the Ox & Bucks air landing forces who was wounded at D-Day for £2650.
Military ceremonial headdress from the Georgian and Victorian periods is very popular at auction, as is peaked caps and combat helmets worn by military forces during the first and second world wars. Prices for military headdress is dictated by rarity and condition. British steel helmets worn in WW1 can range from £100 – £600, similar examples worn in WW2 range from £25 – £300, steel helmets worn by British paratroopers in WW2 range from £200 – £1500.
If you have a Military Uniform or item of Headdress please contact us for a valuation.
Swords & Weapons
Swords and Weapons have remained a steady part of our auctions and have always been popular with bidders both here in the UK, Europe, USA and the East. The most popular examples being those carried by British, French, German, Japanese and Russian soldiers during campaigns from the Napoleonic wars up to World War Two. As with all collectables, condition and rarity plays a major factor in the prices which can be achieved. Swords as well as being an issued item of combat equipment, were often for ceremonial wear and also presented as prizes for military events or as a token of gratitude for an officers service with a regiment. Examples are also known, especially in the Napoleonic period, awarded for Gallantry such as the famous Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund swords.
Bayonets and Fighting Knives used by armies from around the world during conflicts dating from the Napoleonic wars up to WW2 always sell well at auction.
Early examples of guns are also popular at auction, be it flintlock dueling pistols or carbine rifles. Later period pistols and machine guns used during WW1 and WW2 also are popular with collectors, famous guns such as the German MP40 Schmeisser and the American Thompson Submachine gun, made famous by the gangster movies set in 1920’s and 1930’s America, often achieve high prices at auction.
WW2 German / Third Reich Militaria
Items relating to the Third Reich have been collected, even during the conflict. It was popular for British and American soldiers to collect what is known as “War Booty”. American soldiers were allowed to send home foot lockers of items that they collected during their service. British soldiers were not so fortunate, and it was said that any soldier caught returning to the UK with war booty at the end of the war in 1945 would have to continue service, as a result many men disposed of souvenirs in the English Channel. Those who did bring items back, often brought back small items such as flags, badges, insignia and daggers.
Third Reich items have always been a popular items of militaria collecting with a German Paratrooper helmet being worth more money than a helmet worn during the English civil war.
Items relating to the Third Reich have been heavily copied over the years. We at C&T Auctioneers and Valuers guarantee all items we sell as authentic, we will not offer any items we believe to be reproductions in our auctions.
Due to the nature of items relating to the Third Reich, C&T Auctioneers and Valuers only sell items of a historical nature and do not entertain any political views or ideologies.