Military & Sporting 

Militaria has always been a strong department within SAR, with a huge following of collectors, dealers and enthusiasts from across the world.

Research is key when dealing with military items, especially medals for which the provenance can greatly increase the auction results, and our dedicated team of valuers curate the specialist Military auctions to ensure the best possible prices for your items.




Notable items that have been under the hammer at SAR include this rare British Military Army issued Omega Seamaster 300 gentlemans wristwatch, baton dial, circa 1967, the back engraved W10/6645/99/923/7697, A/043/67. the watch having belonged Staff Sergeant Roland Alan Blackburn, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, 23244281, together with various photographs of Sgt Blackburn and military vehicles, paperwork of his time in the army, his dress jacket and trousers and his bugle, with a pre-auction estimate of £14,000-16,000. Not only does Omega wristwatch hold significant value, but the related items add to the history and provenance of the watch which always has a positive effect on the auction result, particularly when it comes to militaria.




A British 1796 pattern heavy cavalry trooper's sword with disc shaped guard, the knuckle bow stamped 6D, 88.6cm blade length, with steel scabbard, Hammer £1,100

Swords and bayonets come in many forms depending on the origin, use and age, and can vary drastically in value. The example above was an early British example, which was in remarkably good condition for its age and this may have played a part in the hammer price that was acheived on the auction day. 


This 16th century Koto Wakazashi Samurai sword is circa 1520, with Edo period laquer saya, the tsuba is very impressive and is on a hand struck nanako ground with gold decoration of takebori shishi and flowers, with a 41cm blade which adds a great deal of value to the sword with a pre-auction estimate of £4,000-6,000. 

Factors that affect the value are age, origin, style, condition, provenance, historical interest, and whether a piece is signed by a maker.




“Of no Military Importance” An album of artwork and ephemera pertaining to Robert L Souter who served during WWII, some of the drawings were done whilst he was a prisoner of war.

This album contains sketches of a soldier drawing in Anzio, soldiers training in Kent, sketches made ashore at Cape town, camel and Kite hawk in Basra, soldiers washing whilst being held prisoner in Laterina Italy, Prisoners at Stalag VII, painting of allied bombers and fighters of Stalag 383 in 1945, a painting of Russian prisoners of war searching for food whilst at Stalag VII, a diary which details his landing in Anzio on the 2nd of February 1944, his being taken prisoner on the 27th February and going all the way through to May 2nd 1945 when he was freed together with many more sketches and ephemera., In 1953 The Imperial War Museum accepted sixty-three war time sketches by Robert Souter, and was brought to Stamford Auciton Rooms by a local family who was related to Souter.

We also put together the WWII Miniature medal group awarded to Robert Souter comprising of Africa Star with 1st Army clasp, 1939-1945 Star, Italy Star, Defence medal, 1939-1945 campaign medal and a Territorial for efficient service medal alongside a London Scottish regiment military photograph album belonging to Robert Souter containing photos of A Company entering Stirling Castle 1933, Corporals in camp, Invergordon 1937, various pictures of soldiers during the 1930s including Robert, drums at practice, No 3 platoon marching into camp 1938, The Battalion returning from Buckingham palace after being inspected by the Queen, Burley Camp 1939, Bren Carrier, Arras in 1939, 56th London Division Field Maintenance centre, Bombay 1942, Iraq 1943, various dinner menus for the London Scottish and other photos, and the group sold for £800 + buyers premium to a private collector.

An International Watch Co. gentleman's military wrist-watch with a black signed dial with solid arrow twelve point, Arabic numerals and rare hooked '7', with batons and seconds markers, arrow above centre, and 'T' mark below, with jewelled manual wind signed movement, number 1266489, the screw back with arrow above 6B/346, with 1929/52 below, with unmarked inner dust cover, all on black Nato strap.

This rare watch saw multiple bidders battling to win on the auction day, with competing telephone and online bidders eventually seeing the staggering £5,000 final bid as the gavel went down.



This WWI medal group awarded to 2nd Lieut E.F Tomlison 3375 comprising of the Military Medal, 1914-1915 Star, 1914-1918 War medal and the Victory medal is an example of the many medal groups that are brought to SAR for valuation and sale through our specialist military auctions. The rarer the medals are, and the more interesting the history behind the wearer, the more we are likely to acheive. We encourage you to bring your medals to appraise, even if you are unsure about whether or not you wish to sell them because we understand that often there is great sentimentality to families who own them. This particular group acheived £300. 


This group of Victorian and later military cap badges included Royal Suffolk Hussars, Royal Military Police, Leicestershire Hindoostan, Artists Rifles, Royal Engineers and many other examples. Often we group buttons and badges together in this way to create a better overall result, which in this instance was a hammer price of £330



We often see the military appearing in paintings, particularly portraits, which provides us with a direct link to our early military history, and always attract a great deal of interest at auction. Here are a few examples of recent pieces we have sold for our clients. Value largely depends on the sitter, but also the artist that painted them as well, and in the case of miniatures the setting itself, for example the one below was in a gold setting.

Attributed to Alfred Edward Chalon (British, 1780-1860): A Portrait Miniature of a young Officer of the 33rd Regiment, wearing a military uniform with gold epaulettes, unsigned, watercolour on ivory, oval, 6cm x 5cm, set within a gold oval frame with brown silk back. Hammer £420

A 19th century portrait miniature of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Seton (1814-1852) of the 21st Fusiliers, lost during the sinking of HMS Birkenhead, set inside a leather covered case. Hammer £2,100

This was a portrait of a fine Officer who controlled the men aboard the ship so that the women and the children would get away first, he also delayed the men from swimming for their lives, until the life boats had rowed well away from the side of the ship. This disaster started the protocol of "women and children first!", which became a standard evacuation procedure in maritime disasters, although the phrase was not coined until 1860. The history of the sitter in this instance played a huge roll in the remarkable hammer price acheived for the vendor. 


If you would like to speak to one of our experts, for valuations and advice, then feel free to contact us and one of our team will book an appointment for you.

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