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Friday, July 27, 2012

Auction Catalog is Online

Rock Island Auction’s Premiere Collector’s Firearms Auction Catalog is now online.

Absentee bids are being accepted now. In the event of a tie absentee bid, the first bid received will win the item.

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British Bearskins
British Death Or Glory Head Gear & Items
British Dragoon Helmets
British Lancer Caps
British Military Drums
British Military Medals-Africa, WWI, WWII, More…
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Premiere Collector’s Firearms Auction: September 7, 8 & 9, 2012

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Monday, July 16, 2012

17th Duke of Cambridge's Own Lancers Officer's Czapka

17th Duke of Cambridge's Own Lancers Officer's Czapka
17th Duke of Cambridge's Own Lancers Officer's Czapka
Seen here is a 17th Lancers Officer’s czapka.  In 1822 the 17th Light Dragoons became the 17th Lancers at the request of the Duke of York who wanted regiments modeled after the successful Polish Lancers at the Battle of Waterloo.  Over the next 30 years the 17th performed garrison duties in England and Ireland.  It was during this time that the 17th gained the title Duke of Cambridge’s Own after the Duke became colonel of the regiment in 1842.  During the Crimean War the 17th participated in the famous Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava.  The overall commander Lord Raglan had ordered the brigade to retake guns captured by the Russians from the Causeway Heights.  However the order was vague and confusion resulted in the brigade charging a Russian battery at the end of the valley.  Heavy casualties were inflicted in a battle that ended with no decisive gains.  The Russians inflicted heavy losses on the 17th

6th The Carabiniers Dragoon Guard 1847 Pattern Officer's Helmet

6th The Carabiniers Dragoon Guard 1847 Pattern Officer's Helmet
Seen here is a 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers) 1847 Pattern Officer’s helmet. Taking the throne in 1685, King James II immediately faced opposition from the Duke of Monmouth, Charles II’s illegitimate son.  James II raised several regiments including the 9th Horse.  The 9th Horse fought with distinction during King William’s Irish campaign of 1691 and earned the title The King’s Carabiniers.  Three times the regiment deployed to Flanders before returning to Ireland in 1713.  Stationed in Ireland meant that a majority of the ranks were filled with Irish Protestants and the regiment was therefore attached to the 3rd Irish Horse.  When the regiment returned to England in 1788, the regiment become the 6th Regiment of Dragoon Guards and would again see action against the French in the Low Countries before returning to Ireland to

42nd Highland Regiment of Foot The Black Watch Officer's Feather Bonnet

42nd Highland Regiment of Foot The Black Watch Officer's Feather Bonnet
Seen here is a 42nd Highland Regiment of Foot Officer’s feather Bonnet.  Known as “The Black Watch” which derives from the color of the uniform tartan and the original role of watching over the Highlands, the 42nd was originally the 43rd before being renumbered in 1748. This Scottish infantry regiment has a long and distinguished history.  The regiment was at the Battle of Ticonderoga in 1758 during the French and Indian Wars and during the American War for Independence participated in the successful action against General Washington at Brooklyn in 1776.  During the Napoleonic Wars the 42nd captured the colors of Napoleon’s Invincible Legion in the Battle of

Natal Carabiniers Officer's Field Service Helmet

Natal Carabiniers Officer's Field Service Helmet
Seen here is a Natal Carabiniers Officer’s field service helmet from the Victorian era. The Natal Carabiniers was raised in 1855 and has the distinction of taking part in all campaigns in KwaZulu-Natal, a province in South Africa. The infantry regiment first saw action during the Langalibalele Rebellion in 1873 and would later suffer heavy casualties at the Battle of Isandlwana during the Anglo-Zulu War.  The Battle of Isandlwana occurred on January 1879 and was the first major battle between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom of the Anglo-Zulu War.  The badly led British were overwhelmed by the Zulus who were equipped mainly with the iron spears and cow-hide shields.  It was a crushing defeat for the British at the hands of an inferior force that would result in the British Empire taking a much

Saturday, July 14, 2012

17th Light Dragoons Officer’s Bell Top Shako

17th Light Dragoons Officer’s Bell Top Shako
Pictured here is a Regency era (1811-1820) officer’s shako with a large silver skull over crossed bones badge of the 17th Light Dragoons.  The origin of the 17th Light Dragoons can be traced back to the British victory over French forces at Quebec, Canada, on September 13, 1759.  During the battle the British General Wolfe was mortally wounded but before dying he directed Colonel Hale to return to England with news of the British victory at Quebec.  For bringing good news to England, the King rewarded Hale with land in Canada and the authority to raise a regiment of light dragoons from his home county of Hertfordshire.  This regiment became the 17th Light Dragoons.  During the American War for Independence the 17th participated in the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Long Island campaign before being detached to Tarleton’s Legion that was fighting in the southern

Light Dragoon Officer’s Tarleton Helmets

10th Light Dragoon Officer’s Tarleton Helmet
 9th Light Dragoon Officer’s Tarleton Helmet
With its flashy fur crest and feather plume the helmets pictured here are eye catching pieces of Georgian era military headgear that remained popular with British cavalry units until circa 1812.  The helmet is known as the Tarleton helmet and is named after Banastre Tarleton who led a British legion through the southern colonies during the American War for Independence.  The historical record shows no indication that Tarleton had anything to do with the design of the helmet.  It is known that Tarleton wore this type of helmet while serving with the 16th Light Dragoons and is the same type of helmet the members of Tarleton’s Legion worn.  It is plausible that he personally incorporated the helmet into the legion uniform.  The helmet became

Rare 2nd Light Horse Lancers of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard Czapka

Rare 2nd Light Horse Lancers of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard Other Ranks Czapka
Pictured here is a rare 2nd Light Horse Lancers of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard other ranks czapka. Known as the Dutch Red Lancers, the 2nd Light Horse Lancers was formed in 1810 after Napoleon annexed Holland and was the former hussars of the Dutch Royal Guard.  This elite unit was essentially Napoleon’s personal guard and tactical reserve.  Although suffering from huge losses, the Red Lancers managed to survive the ill-fated 1812 invasion of Russia.  The Red Lancers would again clash with the Russians in 1813 and 1814 and it was the Red Lancers who escorted Napoleon from the battlefield after his army was defeated at Waterloo.  The Red Lancers wore handsome uniforms of scarlet red
with blue collars, lapels, turnbacks and cuffs.  Seen here this czapka matchers perfectly with scarlet

Friday, July 13, 2012

September Auction: 21st Empress of India's Lancers Officer's Czapka & Sudan Medals

21st Empress of India's Lancers Officer's Czapka
Sudan Medals Awarded to a 21st Lancer
When the British government took control of its army units from the East India Company the 3rd Bengal European Light Cavalry was renamed the 21st Regiment of Hussars in 1862 and would become a Lancers regiment in 1897.  A year after becoming a Lancers regiment, the unit would charge at the Battle of Omdurman during the Mahdist War in Sudan.  Three members of the 21st Lancers received Victoria Crosses and the battle would earn the regiment the title of Empress of India’s. The title is connected to Queen Victoria who was the Empress of India.  The battle was a victory for the British as well as a turning

September Auction: Saxon Heavy Cavalry Helmet

Saxon Heavy Cavalry Helmet
 Raised in Dresden in 1860, the Saxon Heavy Cavalry or Sachsischen Schweren Reiter was the elite cavalry unit of the Saxon Army. Disbanding in 1919 the unit saw action during the Battle of Vienna, the Nine Years’ War, the War of the Spanish Succession, the Silesian Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, The Austro-Prussian War, the Franco-Prussian War and World War I.  During the Napoleonic Wars, for instance, the unit fought with the Latour-Maubourg’s IV Cavalry Corps to take part in the Battle of Borodino. The Battle of Borodino occurred on September 7, 1812 and has the distinction of being the largest and bloodiest single day battle of the Napoleonic Wars.  In 1907 the unit introduced its now iconic officer parade helmet with the lion crest.  Secured to the helmet by a series of large washers and

September Auction: Imperial Russian Garde du Corps Officer’s Helmet

Imperial Russian Garde du Corps Officer’s Helmet
The Garde du Corps or Russian Imperial Guards was the personal guard of the Imperial Russian monarchy.  The type of helmet seen here was worn by an officer of the Garde du Corps between 1846 and 1914.  The lobstertail style helmet based on the Prussian pattern retains the parade top of the Romanov double headed eagle and the helmet plate is that of St. Andrew.  Beginning in 1613 the House of Romanov was the second imperial dynasty that ruled Russia and would be that last Russian dynasty as the crown was abolished in the 1917 Revolution.  Established in the 1680s by Tsar Peter I in order to seize power from Sophia Alexeyevna, the Guard was comprised of two regiments: Preobrazhensky and

September Auction: Prussian Garde Du Corps Officer's Helmet

Prussian Garde Du Corps Officer's Helmet

Raised in Potsdam in 1740 at the request of Frederick the Great, the Prussian Garde de Corps was the personal guard of the king and after 1871, the Kaiser. The unit participated in a successful cavalry charge in the first land battle of the Seven Years’ War, the Battle of Lobositz. Actions taken by the Prussians resulted in the defeat of a 34,500 Austrian force on its way to relieve their Saxon allies held up in city of Pirna.  Two weeks after the Battle of Lobositz the Saxons at Pirna surrendered.  The combat record established during the Seven Years’ War gave the Guard and other Prussian cavalry units a reputation known throughout Europe which caused Napoleon Bonaparte to warn his men to stay away from Prussian cavalry in 1806.  The Guard would also participate in the Austro-Prussian War and would see action in the battles of Skalitz, Schweinschadel and Koniggratz. The King Wilhelm era helmet seen here is of a lobstertail design that would be copied by other nations of the period.  The helmet has a finely detailed Imperial Eagle parade top and an eight-pointed star plate.  The eagle was only worn during special occasions; otherwise the helmet had a spike.  

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September 2012 Auction : Inniskilling Dragoons Officer’s 1834 Pattern Helmet

Inniskilling Dragoons Officer’s 1834 Pattern Helmet

Presented here is an Inniskilling Dragoons Officer’s 1834 pattern helmet which will be sold in our September auction.  The impressive fur crest was removable and could be replaced with a well modeled lion finial.  The regimental title covers the front peak and the rayed helmet plate has the Royal Arms of Great Britain with the Waterloo honor. There are large Tudor rose bosses suspending chin scales with paw clasps.  The helmet is considered to be on of the most beautiful of all British helmets.  The linage of the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons is linked to the political unrest of 1688 which lead to the Williamite-Jacobite War in Ireland after the protestant King William deposed the Catholic King James II. Protestant citizens of Inniskilling declared their loyalty to King William and actively sought out pro-King James II forces known as Jacobites.  The Inniskillings had several victories against the Jacobites and once King William forces arrived in