Second Boer War collection realises $5,000

A collection of items linked to the Second Boer War (1899-1902) achieved an exceptional result at Hansons Auctioneers yesterday.

The archive, consisting of uniforms, equipment and rare photographs, sold for £4,000 ($5,209) against a £600 ($781) estimate.

Boer War Hansons

The lot was a fascinating memorial to the Second Boer War (1899-1902)

It belonged to Sergeant Robert Oliver, a British military policeman.

There’s an ammunition belt, a pair of hats and a number of medals as well as a selection of other pieces.

But it’s the 180 photographs that were the real draw.

They’re an extraordinary record of the conflict, offering everything from a comic shot of a dog in a hat to fields of dead bodies.

Portable photography was in its infancy at the turn of the 19th century, making photos from the war very rare.

Auctioneer and founder Charles Hanson explained prior to the sale: “The Boers were well armed and these guerrilla fighters carried out surprise attacks on the British, as, without uniforms, they blended easily into the farmlands which also provided hiding places for supplies and horses.

“The archive, which is almost 120 years old, provides a fascinating record of these battles.

“Lasting two years and eight months, the Boer War resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, with 22,000 British lives lost…

“The images, objects, ephemera, uniform and equipment really highlight the difficulties of war carried out long before technology came to the fore.”

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