MAXimum Show Time 2011

An instant collection of World War II rifles was available for purchase, with some nice examples of the Springfield ’03, M1 Garand, K-98, SVT-40 and even a spot on G-43 for sale

By Peter Suciu 

Despite gray skies and weather that truly suggested that summer was in the past the MAX (Military Antiques Xtravaganza) show shined for another year at the Monroeville Convention Center, just outside of Pittsburgh, PA. This annual last fall classic remains one of the biggest shows of the year, and continued to attract collectors from around the world.

In fact, this year the point was brought home as the National Geographic Channel was on hand to film the purchases of Christian and Alex Cranmer of International Military Antiques, who also brought out some heavy firepower to display.

“It has been a good show for us,” said Alex Cranmer, who noted that he and his father, company founder Christian Cranmer were in full buying mode.

Joachim von Ribbentrop’s tunic was among the items for sale from Craig Gottlieb Militaria – sadly a case of vintage case of champagne was not offered with purchase

Stand out items included a collection of beer steins from Steve Donohue, who noted that visitors could always toast their purchases! Try that with a helmet with uniform! Also on display was a uniform owned by Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop, the champagne importer and former figure skater turned German Foreign Minister under the Nazi regime.

The tunic was one of several standout items for sale from Craig Gottlieb Militaria, with Craig Gottlieb noting that this year’s show was as good as ever. “What can I say,” said Gottlieb, “it’s the MAX!”

How are you fixed for blades? Here were enough Japanese swords to allow visitors to make their own samurai film

The fall rains didn’t dampen spirits, and even with the lackluster economy still a concern, many collectors were in a buying mood. This year’s MAX Show featured a true gamut of collectibles for sale, with items from the American Civil War to the modern day for sale, and with IMA and company rolling in some fairly heavy artillery this year’s MAX presented quite a bang!

Scott Benedict of Pre98 Vintage Military & Collectible Firearms had a table full of military handguns

Alex Cranmer of IMA-USA shows off his recent purchase, an early German skullcap often known as the “Gaede helmet, after Army Group Gaede, which saw its development

The main hall of the MAX show complete with the tail section of a German Me109 fighter airplane

Enough “Tommy Guns” for a St. Valentine’s Day massacre – but of course these are the later M1A1 versions and are non-firing, but unlike most of the items at the show credit cards were accepted for purchase!

IMA-USA’s offerings of 19th century firearms including such “British Empire guns” as the Brown Bess and Martini Henry

Some “heavy” artillery from IMA-USA. Who doesn’t need a cannon for their front lawn?

There was a house, or at least a room, of the rising sun at the MAX this year as this display of Imperial Japanese Navy flags and ordnance made it clear

Some truly “vintage” firearms were on display at the MAX

There are groupings dedicated to individuals, but this really takes up the concept of “groupings” to a new level

Steve Donohue’s collection of beer steins were there to toast the show!

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