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Simon Rosbottom


Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 287
Location: London, UK
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Here's the website.

The MH is the third item down in the "Antiques Arms and Militaria" department. It's even gone up 100 now it's a media celebrity!

http://www.thelanesarmoury.co.uk/shop/shop.php

I'm not sure how they would know that it was made specifically in November 1874? Neil?

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clive dickens


Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 162
Location: REDDITCH WORCESTERSHIRE
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Bosley's the military auctioneers have just sold Four Martini's for various amounts but none anywhere near a thousand pounds
Clive
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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 289
Location: Loughborough
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Simon
The only way to tell exactly is remove the forend wood, on Mk1's (and that is an upgraded Mk1,) the date stamp is under the barrel just in front of the knoxform. In that instance 11/74, is correct for the gun,sometimes the stock has a small date stamp too.

Neither is the date on the receiver a good indicator for precision. Enfields product year ran from March to March, so a 1878 date piece could have been made in 1879.

I can say for sure that isn't some Maiwand treasure... if so why has it got the Rawul Pinda Arsenal roundel? That's post 1890 clearance, not hidden in some Afghan hut in Helmund. Also, no unit markings, I would expect at least a three digit number over 66.

I know of 100s of Martinis coming from Afghanistan, the squaddies have now been stopped bringing them back I hear, it's like anything, because a Martini comes from South Africa, does that mean its an Isandlwana pick up? Take a look at the following article...... it might just take a few quid off the price!. @ 1200 thats 500 over the going rate.

http://www.king-emperor.com/article5-armstrade.htm


I sold a superb Mk1 3rd pattern 1872 dated yesterday, that was clearly marked 2/HLI, I would love to think it was used at Tel El Kebir..but who knows?
Neil

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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 289
Location: Loughborough
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To support the last posting, in 1898 the authorities in British India found that Afridi Tribesmen owned the following quantities of rifles, of which 90% originated from Arsenal spares, gifts for good behaviour?? and stolen.

280 Lee Metfords
4335 Martini Henrys
3079 Sniders
Thats just Afridi tribes,.... so thats another 100 off Mr Lanes Armoury somewhat cuckoo prices. Wink

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Northbriton


Joined: 22 Aug 2007
Posts: 3
Location: Inverness
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Good old British press, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
I'm just glad that the independant didn't take an anti gun ' Legal loophole floods britain with weapons of death' stance - which is usually the British media line.

Did anyone notice the 1890's MkII carbine covered in native doodles that Lanes is passing as a MkI "same model as used by the 10th Hussars at the Battle of Futtehabad April 2nd 1879". A snip at 825
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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
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It's also important to recognize the fact that any vintage firearm purchase is also a sound financial investment. As already pointed out, it's a question of supply and demand, and the demand is steadily increasing while the supply remains fixed (the Natal cache was obviously an anomaly). Ergo, you've got to "save your pennies" pretty quickly to outstrip inflation and offset skyrocketing values on MH's and the like. Twenty years ago or so I saw two lovely MH's at a local gun store for $75 each. Did I buy them? No! ! Do I still kick myself? Sure! And I'm sure Neil and others can tell sadder stories of smoking deals missed while they were saving. One would be hard pressed to go too far wrong buying a Martini at a fair price anytime.
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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 289
Location: Loughborough
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A little perturbed by the arcticle I actually e-mail the correspondent from the Independent Newspaper, Keith Howitt. To my surprise he e-mailed a very nice note back, most interestingly he was contemplating getting in touch with me directly as a result of the RDVC postings, .. Alan you'd like that!),

Here's what I sent
Sir
May I draw your attention to an article by Keith Howitt which appeared in the June 8th edition of the Independent. The article was entitled "Soldiers Unearth British Rifles Lost in 1880's massacre", the artiicle whilst being very interesting is not entirely correct. The article claims that a dealer of antique militaria has stumbled upon several Martini Henry rifles that have been returned from Afghanistan via troops on active service in Hellmand, that had been captured from the bodies of men from the 66th (Berks) regiment at the battle of Maiwand.

It is highly unlikely that these two rifles are indeed what they claim to be, as they contain markings of the Rawul Pinda Arsenal, these clearly show they eminate from the British run arsenals that were dotted around India and the North West frontier in the 1890's, these included Allahabad, Fort William, Kirkee, Firozpur and Bombay. These arsenals bacame the clearing house for British military rifles well until 1910 and were responsible for arming local and nation state militias and armies in the region. Also, the markings do not have the expected regimental numbering, normally stamped into the stocks which would be proof indeed of their lineage.

In 1898 report claimed that Afridi Tribesment on the NWF had in their possesion 280 of the latest Lee Metford .303 rifles, 4335 Martini Henrys 450/577 calible and 3079 .577 Sniders, 90% of which had been issued as gifts for tribal leaders, stolen or made up of condemned British service rifles. In 1910 Panthan tribesmen were estimated to own in excess of 63,000 breech loading rifles, most of which were British made Martini Henrys and Lee Metfords.

For the benefit of prospective purchasers of these weapons as antique collectables, the article is a little misleading, especially as the aformentioned items have gone up 100 in value each.

Regards

Neil Aspinshaw

here's some of his reply
Dear Neil,

Thanks for your letter about the Martini article, which has been forwarded to me.

Obviously, there is every chance are that the rifles in question are NOT relics from Maiwand, but I felt that the story was of sufficient interest to proceed.

I was expecting come-back from Martini buffs (I had come across your name in my research, by the way, particularly on the Rorke's Drift forums), but I hope that you appreciate that my article was more about trying to encourage an interest in the subject rather than any intention to deceive.

While this area of collecting is well known to enthusiasts such as yourself, I think the general public is not aware of how fascinating the subject can be.

Anyway, don't hesitate to get in touch if you hear any more on this matter.

Best wishes

Keith Howitt


Very pleasing to see that Keith is very pro the history and militaria, I have invited him to come and have a go with a Martini to really get his teeth into history, Alan? what price getting my picture in a national paper inan RDVC.com shirt?

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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1415
Location: Wales
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Neil,

do you have a polo shirt? If not, I've only a few left. Anyway, if they saw the slogan, you'd be facing away from the camera. On second thoughts, what a good idea.

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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 896
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Interesting that the rifles reportedly came back from Afghanistan via UK service personnel. Very strict regulations for the importation of weapons from any operational theatre.

It would be interesting to know who the individuals were who sold these wpns.

AMB
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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 289
Location: Loughborough
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AMB

Normally the Martinis are held in customs at RAF Brize Norton, until they are verified antique. There are lost of squaddies who are attempting to bring back trophies, normally by breaking down an AK47 into bits and binging them back in odds and sods. The RAF police are cute to this now I hear. I have a cousing serving in the Grenadier Guards who tells me the checks are now very thorough.
Martini Buyer beware though I have seen dozens of dodgy fake modern made or tribal made pieces recently and the quality is very good, even to proof marks and stamps.
Neil

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i want a Martini Henry
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