Hundreds of military items to go under the hammer in Diss
Hundreds of military items including 19th century swords, second world war uniforms, medals, and firearms are set to go under the hammer for one of the largest sales of its kind.
Military enthusiasts will descend on a Norfolk auction house tomorrow when more than 700 artefacts from various conflicts go on sale.
Officials at TW Gaze in Diss are expecting huge interest in the special auction, which has come in response to a growing interest in military memorabilia.
However, auctioneers behind the sale said that some lots will divide opinion, including world war two Nazi flags, German SS uniforms, and copies of Mein Kampf.
The lots have come from a host of private and business collectors and mostly from the East Anglian area.
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Some of the highlights of the auction are set to be a Kings Own Norfolk Imperial Yeomanry helmet dating from the early 1900s, valued at �600, and a set of medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross awarded to a pilot during the second world war, which is set to sell for around �2,000.
Edward Taxil-Webber, auctioneer and valuer at TW Gaze, said the auction was generating a lot of interest from new collectors and people wishing to extend their military collection. The militaria auction has been arranged for a Saturday to accommodate the high number of lots that have been entered into the sale.
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'This is the first of its kind. There is so much interest in militaria at the moment and we are just responding to that. The volume of lots makes it one of the largest sales of its type.'
'The world wars are now quite distant and is just in living memory and the items are being classed as antique and become more interesting. There is so much in the media about Afghanistan and Libya, it makes people look back,' he said.
A host of historic firearms are also being sold, which have either been deactivated or are so old that live ammunition no longer exists.
Mr Taxil-Webber said that whilst some online auction sites place a ban on selling items with the Nazi emblem, auction houses had not.
'There are some people that are not in favour of it and there is always divided opinion. You can learn an awful lot from handling artefacts rather than reading about it in a book,' he said.
'When we are getting lots in, we always say to the sellers that if there is sentimental value, that has to be taken into account in the valuation and they should place a higher reserve. It is going up in value so much and the value may outweigh the sentimental value,' he said.
The sale starts from 10am tomorrow. For more information, visit www.twgaze.com