Boy grenadier's hat worth a bomb

Bonhams held a sale of a range of military collectibles in the city of Oxford, UK on Wednesday (April 21), 426 lots in total.

Much of the sale concentrated on knives and swords of the world, and an impressive range of dhas (Burmese single edged swords), jambiyas (curved daggers, commonly found in Yemen) and katanas (Japanese longswords) went under the hammer.

However, the lots which most excited the audience were none of these and came late in the day.

Hanover Boy Grenadiers Mitre cap
'Boy' Grenadiers Mitre cap with embroided horse of Hanover

An historic grenadier officer's embroidered mitre cap from around 1750 would have been worn by a member of Prince George William Frederick's 'Boy' Regiment (created for his amusement when young) and was originally expected to bring £4,000-6,000.

The red and blue cloth hat, with silver lace embroidery including the white horse of Hanover and fused grenade decoration at the back is stiffened with cane, card and whalebone. It was finally taken home by a happy bidder for £8,800.

That was not quite the top lot however, which was a Third Reich period badge and award maker's sample box. Some of the finest carefully preserved and rare pieces included:

A hallmarked silver knight's cross of the iron cross with ribbon, iron cross 1st class, bar to the iron cross 1st class, iron cross second class, German cross in gold, war merit cross with swords 1st class and a war merit cross 1st class.

Third Reich Badge collection
Well-preserved Third Reich Badge collection

Likewise offered at £4,000-6,000, the completeness and condition of the pieces impressed the audience and the lot was finally taken home for £10,800.

Collectors interested in valuable militaria, whether for interest or investment, might like to know that several fine pieces are currently on the market.




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