First world war memorabilia sales mark centenary

paulfrasercollectibles

2015-06-26 13:49:45

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First world war memorabilia sales mark centenary

Upcoming first world war memorabilia sales feature a set of diaries and a German machine gun

Two important pieces of first world war memorabilia will sell at separate auction houses in the coming months, as the centenary is commemorated.

First upis a battle damaged Maxim MG 08 with the original trench mount, which will cross the block at Dreweatts& Bloomsbury on July 31 with a 5,000-7,000 ($8,469-11,856) estimate.

WW1 gunThe Maxim MG 08 was the standard issue heavy machine gun for the German infantry

The machine gun was standard issue for the German army and was capable of firing 400 rounds a minute with a range of up to 3,600m.

This example was looted at some point during the war and returned to Britain. It was reactivated in 1939 for use by the home guard in the event of a Nazi invasion, and deactivated again in the 1990s when it was bought by an antiques dealer.

On October 1, a set of diaries written by British armourer staff serjeant WW Lesslie, who served in Italy and on the western front, will auction at Bonhams London with an identical estimate.

Lesslie diariesThe account was written by armourer staff sergeant W. W. Lesslie

He relates the horror of the trenches, the incompetence of the officers and his disillusionment with the war.

"There is no hope for us poor devils," he writes.

"May God curse the men responsible for it with every curse that is possible, and after this the glorious & free nation of Briton deserves to lose... for I am disgusted and ashamed to be an Englishman after this..."

Matthew Haley, Bonhams' head of books, comments: "It is extremely unusual to find a series of diaries covering the entire war.

"Lesslie is a passionate and frank guide not only to the horrors of the western front but also to the fluctuating emotions of people caught up in a kind of warfare never seen before."

We have this strand of first world war flying ace Baron Von Richthofen's hair available, click here to take a look.

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