Lyon & Turnbull

Sporting and Arms & Armour

Lyon & Turnbull’s Sporting and Arms & Armour specialists offer a range of fine guns, armour, blades, fishing and hunting lots at auction throughout the year, selling both through our Scottish auction house in Edinburgh, and internationally via online auctions.

Weaponry and armour collections are popular in Scotland, and the long association of Scottish country homes with hunting and fishing means Lyon & Turnbull regularly win consignments of exceptional examples, including notable collections such as the contents of Midmar Castle which sold for just under £300,000 in 2010.

Lyon & Turnbull’s penetration of the USA, UK and European markets ensures that the world’s most serious collectors are always aware of forthcoming lots. However, arms and armour is an emotive and evocative field, and by embarking on press and PR campaigns to tell the stories behind the object we routinely generate prices far above estimate, often selling to clients without a firm interest in weaponry and armoury but who have been enticed by romantic tales of courage from past eras.

An excellent example of this process is the sale of ‘the walking stick made from the spear which killed Captain Cook’. This compelling story about the famous captain’s life and demise travelled around the world, appearing in print and online. The campaign led directly to sixty potential buyers competing at auction, from as far afield as Alaska, Louisiana, Hawaii and South Island, New Zealand. The fierce competition culminated in a Louisiana Vs. London bidding battle eventually resulting in a sale of £150,000 (twenty times the estimate).

Our Sporting and Arms & Armour department also handle a variety of golfing and fishing items, such as a Victorian golfing medal for Kingsbarns Golf Club, by James Nasmyth, Edinburgh 1839-40, which sold for £17,000 against an estimate of £4,000-6,000.

Other items of sporting interest include a number of riding and hunting paintings and accoutrements, such as James Lowe’s The Last of the Leith Races, a large painting full of raucous Victorian characters and racehorses, and a collection of ceramic and metal stirrup cups which were in regular hunting use in the grounds of Blair, Ayrshire. Also from Blair came a pair of matching silver greyhound collars, a reminder of the days of competitive dog racing.

For a free, no-obligation valuation, or to tell us how we can assist building your collection, please contact us. 

All prices inclusive of premium.

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