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Troostwijk Auctions presents world's largest militaria auction

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Unique auction of military memorabilia and collector's items from WWI and WWII

Lot 82. 1777 Flint lock pistol, with brass fittings.

Lot 82. 1777 Flint lock pistol, with brass fittings.

THE NETHERLANDS – Some 150,000 items from the First and Second World War are set to be auctioned on 22 and 23 July in the biggest militaria auction of all time. Troostwijk Auctions will be selling the enormous collection of antique military objects, which come from more than eighteen countries. Sorting the items, which are displayed across some 5,000 square metres, has taken more than 2,300 man-hours. Top items include a complete German field kitchen from the First World War, submarine and aircraft components, around 2500 uniforms, generators, over 600 complete (still edible) meals etc.

The collection, which is the property of collector Jan van Gelder, will come under the hammer over two days. Arno Feenstra, managing director of Troostwijk Auctioneers Netherlands: "Over the years Jan van Gelder has built a collection of unprecedented size. However, his retirement means that he needs to bring the curtain down on his work and hobby, and he has decided to dispose of the collection. We soon discovered that an auction on this scale had never taken place. We expect interest from all over the world for this sale."

Undesirable Nazi items and weapons

Troostwijk Auctions has carefully screened the collection for offensive or illegal items, particularly from Nazi Germany. Feenstra: "In order to be sure, we contacted the Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israël (Israel Information and Documentation Centre) in order to discuss what we should and should not offer for sale. Naturally we are also complying with the legislation which does not allow us to actively sell offensive Nazi items. In consultation with the vendor we have therefore decided to exclude these from the auction."

Troostwijk Auctioneers is still examining whether items can be donated to organisations and museums which can include them in their collections in the social and historical context. Feenstra: "In addition, a number of items which are covered by the Weapons Act have not been included but have been handed in, in consultation with the police."

The viewing day is on 19 July. The auction in Geldermalsen closes on 22 July and the auction in Dodewaard closes on 23 July.

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