Excitement reigned throughout the day at a Knightsbridge auction house as modern and antique items went under the hammer. The morning was devoted to sporting guns and paraphernalia associated with them, from shooting balls, through knives, to life-sized sculptures of dogs with pheasants.

The stand out sales were probably a pair of 12-bore self-opening sidelock ejector guns which went for £31,000, beating their sales' estimate by £5,000-8,000, and a 12-bore over-and-under sidelock ejector gun, pipping its £10,000-15,000 estimate at £16,000. All were in impressive condition.

The afternoon session was devoted to antiques with great long katanas (Samurai longswords) and tiny, matchlock pistols.

Some, like a silver-hilted Omani Jambiya knife, with a short, curved, broad blade and a sheath that looks like a child's sock, are impossible to take your eyes off.

The notable sales here included a fine 1650 Dutch bronze cannon, selling appropriately for £16,500, (triple its estimate) thought to have been created by Johannes Burgerhuys.

It is over a metre long with dolphin lifting handles, and could make an excellent centrepiece in a militaria collection (or startle the owner's neighbours if left outside). 


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