Auction of selected exhibits marks change of direction for Stratford Armouries Museum

Ben Gamble, MD and Head Auctioneer of Cuttlestones Auctioneers and Valuers
Ben Gamble, MD and Head Auctioneer of Cuttlestones Auctioneers and Valuers

A major auction of exhibits from the Stratford Armouries Civil War Museum, set to take place at the end of March 2015, marks a change of direction for the arms and armour museum, which is located on the outskirts of Stratford-upon-Avon.

West Midlands auction house Cuttlestones will handle the sale, which will take place on Saturday, 28th March, and is expected to attract an International audience of bidders. The catalogue will include lots derived primarily from arms and armour held within a single, private collection that spans various periods and continents. The museum, meanwhile, will retain its significant collection of items relating to the English Civil War, First and Second World Wars as it re-focuses its objective to tell the story of these three major historic conflicts.

The sale catalogue will include a 19th Century horse armour, which comes complete with knight in full suit of armour and was once housed at The Metropolitan Museum, New York; the world’s largest trebuchet arm, Leonardo da Vinci’s giant crossbow and a collection of Indian and Persian Talwars alongside a host of other fascinating items.

Ben Gamble, MD and Head Auctioneer of Cuttlestones Auctioneers and Valuers, says:

“The diversity of the collection really is astonishing – there’s everything from tribal and oriental armour through to medieval suits of armour, heavy artillery – and even the lots with a Shakespeare connection. This is a once-in-a-lifetime sale of items that will really get specialist collectors hot under the collar. The fact that the items hail from a single, private collection and have been housed in a museum for several years – added to the rarity of many – will mean that global buyers will be out in force, and we fully expect the telephone lines and live internet bidding facility to be incredibly busy.”

James Wigington, Curator and Founder of the Stratford Armouries Museum says:

“While we will be sorry to see these fascinating exhibits go, the sale represents an exciting fresh start for the museum and will allow us to really focus upon The Civil War, WWI and WWII, which are the periods we are truly passionate about – plus, as we are based on a former WWII airfield we have a great local story to tell here on site.  We’ve got some big plans for the future, including a new Churchill exhibition, and aim to make the Stratford Armouries Civil War Museum a real destination for those with a keen interest in these conflicts including more school groups on educational visits.”

The Stratford Armouries Collection Sale will take place on Saturday, 28th March at the museum; with viewing taking place for three full days prior to the sale. The full catalogue will be available to view online at from the beginning of March; with commission, telephone and live online bidding options for those unable to attend the sale in person. For more information, call Cuttlestones on 01785 714905.