Imperial Russian Garde du Corps helmet, made circa 1900-1917, brings $17,050 at Mohawk Arms' auction An Imperial Russian Garde du Corps officer’s helmet, made circa 1900-1917 and in overall excellent condition, sold for $17,050 at Mohawk Arms’ Auction #70, held Dec. 6th-7th in Bouckville, N.Y.
News-Antique.com - Jan 14,2014 - (BOUCKVILLE, N.Y.) - An Imperial Russian Garde du Corps officer’s helmet, made circa 1900-1917 and in overall excellent condition, with a gilt finish skull and an upswept lobster tail, sold for $17,050 at Mohawk Arms’ Auction #70, a live and internet sale that went online in early November and ended Dec. 6-7. The auction was held in Bouckville, in upstate New York.
The helmet was the top achiever of the more than 1,500 lots of militaria and weaponry that came up for bid. Only about 40 people attended the auction in person, but virtually every one was an active buyer. Online bidding was extremely busy, too, with more than 700 bidders registered through LiveAuctioneers.com and the Mohawk Arms website (MilitaryRelics.com).
In addition, more than 200 absentee bidders and over 50 phone bidders participated, in an auction that grossed in excess of $200,000. “We attracted a fair number of new bidders, both U.S. and foreign, and bids poured in from Europe, Asia and elsewhere,” said Raymond Zyla, the owner of Mohawk Arms. “It was a great sale, and a true testament to the health of the market.”
Zyla said categories that did particularly well included daggers, bayonets, embroidered insignias (American and German), medals, badges, swords, uniforms and exotica. “Plus there were the usual surprises,” he added, “like the set of German shoulder boards that we estimated at $75 and ended up selling to a collector from Japan for $2,115. We didn’t see that one coming.”
The Russian helmet was a hit with bidders for many reasons – the plum patina on the silvered eight-pointed starburst that held an enameled double-headed eagle with the Cross of St. Andrew, the words “For Faith and Loyalty” in gold Cyrillic lettering surrounding the center, the shield bearing the emblem of St. George slaying a dragon and a front visor lined in black velvet.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a sliding scale buyer’s premium, which ranged from 10-17.5 percent.
Two other helmets realized identical selling prices of $9,000. One was similar in shape to the Russian top lot. It was a Prussian Garde du Corps helmet with Tombak body, having nickel trim and dome studs on the lobster tail back visor. The large, age-toned silver frontplate bore an outer ribbon dated 1860, and the inner band had a separately affixed black eagle in the center.
The other was a Saxon Garde Reiter officer’s helmet on a Tombak body, with double-stepped visor having nickel trim. The piece also boasted an age-toned gilt brass crowned Saxon coat of arms on a large silver starburst frontplate, plus both large officer rosettes (Saxon and national colors). The skull, despite some minor dents and wrinkles, retained a fairly bright finish.
An important grouping from World War II for German Army Gen. Lt. Dr. Franz Beyer, commander of the 44th “Hoch u. Deutschmeister” infantry division in 1943, went for $10,012. The trove included a four-pocket, quality doeskin tunic with breast eagle and collar tabs, a Soldbuch