Featured: WWII US Military half-track vehicle, USS Arizona life ring, Civil War swords, Third Reich weaponry
DENVER, Pa. – Morphy Auctions invites collectors of edged weapons, armor and militaria to take a trip back in time on November 7 and 8 at their central Pennsylvania gallery with a 950-lot sale that ranges from suits of armor to flags, daggers, swords and historical relics of the Civil War and World War II.
Fascinating examples of antique body armor will be offered, including a 19th-century copy of a mid-16th-century German fluted (partial) suit of armor likely from the atelier of the famous master armor dealer Ernst Schmidt. The neck lame of the helmet is struck with a Nuremberg mark. Auction estimate: $25,000-$35,000. Also, one of the most attractive full suits of armor to be offered in some years features a finely formed escot breastplate with articulated lance rest, winged pauldrons, mitten gauntlets, and a helmet of extremely well crafted hammered steel. The helmet likely dates to the16th century. It has a complex visor, well-cut breaths and a roped border. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000
The extensive selection of swords and edged weapons includes Nazi German, English, Japanese, French, African and American examples, with a specialty grouping of Civil War items, including Confederate. An especially well documented Confederate Civil War officer’s sword is accompanied by a 2011 letter from a direct descendant of the weapon’s original owner, Capt. J.F. Smith of Company K, Eutaw (Alabama) Volunteers and the 20th Alabama Infantry. Smith’s initials, “J.F.S.,” are inscribed on the throat mount. The auction estimate is $15,000-$25,000.
There are many other extremely rare swords. Among them are a fine Ames 1833 dragoon officer’s sword, one of only five or six known to exist and the only one with its original scabbard; and a Third Reich sword designed and authorized in 1938 for use by German diplomats in formal attire. “This exact sword is featured in John Angolia’s book titled ‘Swords of Germany, 1900/1945,’” said Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions. In all, there are well over 100 lots of Third Reich swords, daggers, flags, pins, hats and other items of apparel.
Some may dream of yachts or sports cars, but military vehicle enthusiasts like the rumble of rocky terrain below them. For those collectors, Morphy’s offers an extremely desirable World War II US Military M3 half-track in good running order. “These personnel carriers saw widespread use by American forces during World War II in North Africa, Italy, and then during and after landings at Normandy,” Dan Morphy noted. Equipped with a dummy-display .50 caliber machine gun on ring mount and two .30 caliber Browning 1919A4 machine guns mounted on either side of the cargo compartment, this great find is expected to attract a winning bid of $40,000-$60,000.
A sobering reminder of World War II and the infamous bombing of Pearl Harbor is the life ring recovered after the attack on Dec. 7, 1941. “Only a few other rings of its type are known to exist, and they are held in institutional collections,” said Morphy. “The ring displayed at the Pearl Harbor museum came from one of the Arizona’s 50-foot launches, but the one we are selling actually came off the ship.” Emblazoned “U.S.S. Arizona BB 39,” it is one of the most historically important objects in the sale. It is estimated at $20,000-$25,000.
The November 7-8 Edged Weapons, Armor & Militaria Auction will start at 9 a.m. Eastern Time at Morphy’s gallery in Denver, Pa. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live. Questions: call 877-968-8880, email firstname.lastname@example.org Online: www.morphyauctions.com.
U.S. Army Model 1872 cavalry officer’s dress helmet of “lobster tail” shape, complete and all original with yellow horsehair plume and braided gold cords. Ex Ray Bentley collection. Est. $4,000-$6,000
World War II U.S. Military M3 half-track vehicle in good running order with dummy display .50 caliber machine gun on ring mount. Est. $40,000-$60,000
19th-century copy of a mid-16th-century German fluted armor likely from the atelier of the famous master armor dealer Ernst Schmidt. Neck lame of helmet struck with Nuremberg mark. Est. $25,000-$35,000
USS Arizona life ring recovered after Pearl Harbor attack, Dec. 7, 1941. One of very few of its type known to exist. Est. $40,000-$60,000
18th/19th-century Indian talwar with 33-inch blade of finest Damascus steel, signed, hilt Damascened with gold flowers and leaves, parasol mark of blade maker whose work was usually reserved for royalty. Est. $6,000-$12,000
Identified Confederate Civil War officer’s sword accompanied by letter from direct descendant of Capt. J.F. Smith, Company K, Eutaw (Alabama) Volunteers and 20th Alabama Infantry. Initials “J.F.S.” inscribed on throat mount. Est. $15,000-$25,000