Polish Market of Antique Arms – part 1

ARTICLE
Polish Arms

POLISH MARKET OF ANTIQUE ARMS & ARMOUR

part 1

 


 

Polish market of antique arms is quite small, if we compare it to the west European sellers. There are no such established auction houses like Hermann Historica, Czernys or Sothebys, where are world renowned specialists in this matter.

There are few auction houses and a bunch of antique shops where, from time to time, one can find weapons, but the best pieces are sold outside of main market between collectors and it’s really hard to find breathtaking objects officially on sale. Some pieces you can find also on the internet auctions, but hardly ever good one. These are mostly from the 20th century. And there are also fakes…

The period that seems to be in the biggest interest of collectors, is a military history of the 20th century. There are thousands offers of bayonets, elements of the uniforms, badges, modern sabres etc. On the other hand there are a lot of people that are interested in medieval history and in the history of Polish hussars in the 16th-18th centuries. Unfortunatelly the objects from these times are almost impossible to get. The armaggeddon of the two world wars and over 100 years of partitions between Prussia, Russia and Austria left Poland destroyed and plundered. Even after I World War many priceless relics were taken to US, Russia and other countries, sometimes by the world’s renowned curators!

The lack of Polish relics caused also the rise of the prices. Now karabela sabres, hussars armaments are amongst the greatest rarities. You won’t find any older uniforms elements from 17-18th centurties. Even 19th century uniforms are impossible to find. Enough to say that the oldest Polish military attire preserved in Poland is just from 1768.

All of these caused that some fake makers appeared. This is inevitable, but is also quite scary when this fakes are getting better and better. For example: in previous years many sabres of Hungarian-Polish type appeared on Austrian auctions – from where so suddenly?; many typical, cheap sabres are “improved” with gold inlays – very hard to recognize, and so on. Anyway – caveat emptor.

I’m starting this cycle on Polish market to show what is going on around. You’ll find here also western and eastern arms as I would like to give a bigger picture of Polish market. The rest you can judge on your own.

 

Legal Note:

The courtesy of presented pictures are mostly to Rempex, Desa auction houses

I’m not a seller of objects listed below. The prices given in US dollars are in the approx. currency. This were also starting not sell prices

DESCRIPTIONS are from auction catalogues. BE AWARE SOME MISTAKES ARE MADE THERE!


PANOPLY
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Panoply with firearms and edged weapons on the board covered with red plush; at the top two crossed hussar officer sabres from France (1st half of the 19th c.) and Austria (18th/19th c.). Above percussion cavarly pistol, French, model 1822; below round, brass, richly decorated Balkan powder flask, 19th c. Below crossed edged weapons with sheaths: Prussian dragoon officer pallash model 1889 and cavalry sabre; infantry officer sabre from Czechoslovakia, 20th c., and Russian shashka of the cavalry, model 1881/1927; Belgian cavalry sabre from the 19th c. and Japanese cavalry sword from the 20th c.; French infantry officer sabre, m. 1845 and Austrian cavalry sabre, m. 1877; below two flintlock pistols from Balkans, 19th c., and German powder flask from the 19th c. In the middle below Indopersian round shield made of steel, with four buttons and brass floral decoration running around the edge – in the background Indian tulwar with sheath.

Dimensions of the board: 175×106 cm.

Starting price was: 15 500$


 auctions009 SWORD

Made of forged iron, straight blade with centrical fuller; crossguard, triangular pommel.

Lenght: 110 cm

Width of the hilt: 15 cm

Pomerania (?), 11th c. (?)

Starting price was: 14 000 $

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 auctions012 POLISH “PARLIAMENT” SABRE (?)

Steel blade with wide groove on both sides and small fuller near the back of the blade; on both sides engraved inscriptions: PRO GLORIA ET PATRIA and floral decoration; crossguard joint with the brass hilt decorated with rococo motifs; the pommel of arched shape, decorated with two carnelian cabochons;

Lenght of the blade: 78 cm; curvature: 5 cm; overall lenght: 90 cm; Poland, c. 18th c.

Starting price was: 14 000$

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 auctions014 ORIENTAL SABRE

Persian blade made of steel, smooth; steel crossguard, with arms ended with oblate buttons; grip of the handle and pommel Turkish, with horn facings and with brass, gilded border on the edge, decorated with floral design; at the bottom of the handle a brass wire.

Lenght of the blade: 71 cm; curvature: 9 cm; overall lenght: 85,5 cm;

Persia and Turkey, 18th c.

Starting price was: 2300$

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 auctions017 WAR KARABELA SABRE

Steel blade with distinguished yelmen, with wide back of the blade and three fullers. On one side of the blade sickle marks. Crossguard with short arms, hilt with horn facings decorated with stripe cuts and three brass buttons. Around the hilt brass plate attached. Scabbard made of wood pieces covered with leather, with two steel lockets, and with chape and mouthpiece made of brass. Mouthpiece with long crack.

Lenght of the blade: 77 cm; curvature: 7 cm; overall lenght: 90 cm, lenght in the scabbard: 91 cm

Poland (?), 17th c.

Starting price was: 13 700 $

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 auctions020 KARABELA SABRE

Steel blade with wide groove, on both sides, at the forte part, engraved decoration (panoplies and foral). Crossguard made of steel, arms with flattened, angular ends, facings on the hilt made of wood, stud with small, brass nails, around the hilt brass plate attached.

Lenght of the blade: 71,5 cm, curvature: 2 cm, overall lenght: 85,5 cm

Hungary or Poland, 18th c.

Starting price was: 4500 $

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more to come…

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