A Nordenfelt .43 mechanical gun – one of the very first machine guns – was the starof The Daedalus Collection sale held by Bonhams in London on Dec. 1. It sold for £81,250. The auction made a total of £449,200, ($565,666) and more than 90 percent of the lots were sold.
The Nordenfelt .43 mechanical gun was designed by the Swedish engineer, Helge Palmcrantz, in around 1873. It was used by the British Navy in Egypt in 1882, and during General Hicks’ expedition to the Sudan the following year, before being phased out in favor of the Maxim gun.
An 1873 Winchester First Model rifle, said to have been used at the Battle of The Little Bighorn, outstripped its estimate of £2,000-3,000 when it sold for £16,250. It came from the family of a gold miner, blacksmith and engineer named Moses A. Welch (d.1913) who acquired the gun while working at the Blackfoot Indian Reservation in Montana Territory. According to family tradition,’it was surrendered by an Indian warrior that helped kill Gen. Custer and his men’.
Other notable lots included:
- A .56 Percussion Colt 1855 Model ‘British’ Five-shot Revolving Carbine sold for £15,000 (estimate £3,500-4,500)
- A .44 Percussion Colt Paterson Improved Second Model Ring-lever Eight-shot Revolving Rifle which made £15,000 (estimate £10,000-15,000)
- A cased Presentation .36 Percussion Colt 1862 Model Police Revolve
Antique Arms and Armor
Bonhams Antique Arms and Armor sale in London on Nov. 30 made £679,300 with 90% of lots being sold. Among the highlights were a Mamluk Helmet, which sold for £50,000, and a cased pair of Highland 28-bore Flintlock Belt Pistols presented to the Marquess of Breadalbane by the electors of Perthshire in 1836. The pair sold for £21,500.