A lot of us have modest gun collections, but the Royal Familes of Europe really have nice guns.  There is a huge arms, armor and militaria auction on December 8th, 2010, at the salesrooms of Thomas Del Mar Ltd. in London.  A hundred lots of swords, armor, guns and other items from the Hanoverian Royal Family, and British notables such as George IV, William IV and even the Maharajah of India.

Among the items are an old matchlock from the late 1600's in 70 caliber.  It's a pretty early assault rifle, with thumbhole stock, and even an iron bayonet!  These things were much harder to keep in action than a Lee Enfield, and if it rained you were done for the day.  The auction estimates it will bring £4000 to £6000.

Matchlock from 1600's

Also going is a pair of 15 bore percussian sporting guns made for George IV about 1820.  They're not in perfect shape, but do have engravings, with gold inlays, figured walnut half stocks,  with silver escutcheons adorned with the Royal Cypher.  One gun still  has it's leather sling.  Expected to go for £6000.

pair of percussion rifles

















The Royals even had air rifles, and this rifle billed as a strike pump type, was made for Ernst August, Prince of Great Britain and Ireland, and Duke of Cumberland.  Twas a pretty fancy air rifle, as it has a cypher, figured walnut, engravings, horn fore end cap and checkered grip.  It still has it's steel crank and it's engraved brass knob.  Looking to get £1000 to £1500.







An early German breechloader is also being auctioned.  A .30 caliber carbine by Sempert and Krieghoff from Suhl uses the Werder breech loading system.  Pretty nice looking gun, with an octagonal barrel, case hardened action and some nice carved walnut with lots of staghorn accents to finish it off.  Going cheap possible with estimate of £500 to £700.