Rare 16th century Spanish or Italian infantry helmet brings $7,675 at Mohawk Arms' Auction #77

  • BOUCKVILLE, New York
  • /
  • July 26, 2017

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Rare, 16th century Spanish (or Italian) combed morion, or tall dome-shaped infantry helmet, profusely etched ($7,675).
Mohawk Arms, Inc.

BOUCKVILLE, N.Y. – A rare, 16th century Spanish or Italian combed morion (tall dome-shaped infantry helmet featuring a rim and upswept front and rear peak) sold for $7,675 to take top lot honors at Militaria Auction #77, a catalog and internet sale held June 16-17 by Mohawk Arms, Inc., online (via LiveAuctioneers.com) and in the firm’s gallery along Route 20 in Bouckville.


The body, brim and comb of the morion were profusely etched with floral designs to go with a rope pattern along the brim’s edges. A large etched panel on one side included a coat-of-arms, a drummer and a male figure playing the flute. The tall comb depicted a male figure and two large mythological birds amidst foliage. The reverse showed male and female figures in period dress.


In total, approximately 1,500 lots of militaria came up for bid in an auction that attracted around 600 registered online bidders (200 of which posted winning bids, through LiveAuctioneers.com and the Mohawk Arms website, www.militaryrelics.com). In addition, about 50 people bid by phone, many others bid via fax and mail, and a handful of about 25 people attended in person.


The auction was packed with collectibles that encompassed multiple conflicts and generations. These included Victorian medals, World Wars I and II posters, Civil War items (“Minute Man” medals, letters, uniforms and accessories), a German aviation collection, French WWI abdominal armor and uniforms, Third Reich items, Imperial German steins, walking canes, books and more.


Personality items were a big hit with collectors. These featured the personal silver cigarette case of Princess Hermine Reuss of Greiz, second wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II. It sold for $2,440. Also offered were Manfred ‘Baron’ von Richtofen photos and porcelains, documents signed by Hitler, a Goring presentation dagger and silver fork, and a Himmler presentation Dachau photo album.


“We were very pleased with the results of the auction, and I attribute that to the continuing strength of the economy and a robust market for the hobby as a whole,” said Ray Zyla of Mohawk Arms, Inc. “Daggers and swords did especially well, which came as no surprise, but we were surprised that so many swords sold to overseas bidders. That we were not expecting at all.”


Zyla said other categories that met or exceeded expectations included canes and walking sticks (“those were new for us but because they did so well we plan to feature them again in future sales”), medals and badges (both US and foreign), Civil War photos (“normally soft, but even they did well”), and miscellaneous combat and field gear items (canteens, wire cutters, etc.).


Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.


The runner-up top lot was a German Nazi High Leader’s bronzed round form dress belt buckle, with an “SA” emblem on an eagle and the words “Unser Fuhrer-Unser Glaube” between a pair of swastikas ($4,320). Also sold was a rare Third Reich mechanical wind-up toy of an SS standard bearer on horseback, wearing a brown shirt with a Nazi armband, in working condition ($2,700).


The silver victory cup of German World War I flying ace Lt. Hermann Frommherz, celebrating his fifth aerial victory (he had 32) over a Nieuport 28 while flying with Jasta 2, fetched $1,650; while a rare and colorful German Imperial Navy Reservist stein, named to “Reservist Schmidt” for service between 1909 and 1912, with scenes of the battleship SMS Schlesian, brought $580.


An Austrian model 1907 7th Uhlan Regiment Officer’s “tschapka” (classic type helmet), with a patent leather body and dark green cloth extended skull, with a red silk lining and quality leather sweatband, rose to $3,300; and an officer’s dress helmet of the Imperial Austrian Lifeguard Cavalry Squadron of 1906, having a black lacquered body and visor, with brass trim, hit $1,830.


A German SS officer’s chained dagger with a black wood grip and an age toned silvered eagle-swastika insignia, a well-made example with a nickeled throat and nicely aged patina, garnered $3,600; and a German SS eight-year-long bronzed round service medal bearing relief SS runes within an oak leaf wreath on a stationary swastika, in the original cardboard box, reached $1,160.


A World War II poster stating “Americans Always Fight for Liberty,” presented in dramatic fashion, with US combat soldiers marching past a reviewing line of Valley Forge and Rev-War soldiers below the dates “1778” and “1943”, measuring 40 inches by 28 ¼ inches, made $366.


Mohawk Arms’ next big auction is planned for either late November or early December. Already consigned is an unusually made and all original 15th century jousting lance, Imperial German swords, five Samurai swords (all by good, early makers), a Civil War Union artillery jacket, named Civil War photos, a Confederate sword and a collection of various bayonets and swords.


One group that’s expected to attract keen bidder interest is an interesting collection of items from a World War II German submariner, to include uniforms and other articles of apparel, and photo albums showing the sailor with the renowned Nazi Admiral Karl Donitz and other dignitaries. Mohawk Arms, Inc. typically holds two major auctions a year. For info visit MilitaryRelics.com.


Mohawk Arms, Inc., is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single item, a collection or an entire estate, you may call them at (315) 893-7888; or, you can e-mail them at Mohawk@MilitaryRelics.com. To learn more, please visit www.MilitaryRelics.com.


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Ray Zyla
Mohawk Arms, Inc.
(315) 893-7888

Mohawk Arms
Route 20
Box 157
Bouckville, New York
(315) 893-7888
About Mohawk Arms

Mohawk Arms conducts two live and Internet auctions per year, always dedicated to militaria spanning multiple wars and generations. The firm is based in Bouckville, New York, in the central portion of the state. The website is www.militaryrelics.com.

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