Auction 142 Highlights

Welcome to Smalls Auctions Sale 142.

In this auction we have on offer some exciting items of Militaria. The major collection is of Helmets Caps and Berets worn by soldiers in the fields of conflict or on parade.

Military weaponry progressed in leaps and bounds through the decades but the collection of MI Helmets dating from WWII issue through the Korean and Vietnam Wars to later conflicts in the 1980s shows little attention was paid to the primary piece of armoury meant to protect the infantryman. Frontline troops were described as cannon fodder in the First World War, and it appears nothing much had changed.

One of the intriguing items on offer is a Bayonet of Scandinavian origin. The maker’s mark on the ricasso shows the blade at least was made at the foundry of Swedish Company Eskilstuna Jernmanufaktur but the spelling of “Bayonet” on the Grip jars with the Swedish “Bajonett.” A possible explanation is that it was produced for one of its neighbours because we also have on offer a WWII Danish Helmet pressed from a single piece of Swedish Steel.

There is also a small selection of military medals including a WWII pair presented posthumously to the family of 404717 Trooper A. Jackson who was killed in action in France on the 22nd of May 1940. It comes with the standard printed acknowledgement from the Under-Secretary for War that “the Council share your sorrow (type in name of recipient) in respect of whose service these Awards are granted did not live to receive them.” Cannon fodder indeed.

These items are a poignant reminder of war between nations and their allies which comes inexorably from the rise and fall of empires. Currently anxious eyes are focusing on the rise of China and the waning influence of the US with countries shoring up their military weaponry and jockeying for new alliances. Hopefully diplomacy will prevail but if not let’s hope they give some thought to the helmets.

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