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'I've never known a sale this important' - rare militaria set to go under the hammer

PUBLISHED: 16:21 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:21 12 March 2019

Hundreds of militaria items dating back to the First World War are set to be auctioned off at Durrants in Beccles. A ‘new land model’ cavalry Flintlock pistol. Picture: Durrants Auction Rooms

Hundreds of militaria items dating back to the First World War are set to be auctioned off at Durrants in Beccles. A 'new land model' cavalry Flintlock pistol. Picture: Durrants Auction Rooms

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Hundreds of militaria items dating back to the First World War are set to be sold at one of the biggest auctions of its kind.

Hundreds of militaria items dating back to the First World War are set to be auctioned off at Durrants in Beccles. A First World War era ‘Concertia’ type trench periscope. Picture: Durrants Auction RoomsHundreds of militaria items dating back to the First World War are set to be auctioned off at Durrants in Beccles. A First World War era ‘Concertia’ type trench periscope. Picture: Durrants Auction Rooms

Already attracting global interest, the auction is part of a unique collection from a private militaria museum and will feature uniforms, helmets and swords of considerable historical significance.

The sale, being held at Durrants Auction Rooms in Beccles, will begin at 10am and collectors are expected to visit the Suffolk town from all over the country.

Hundreds of militaria items dating back to the First World War are set to be auctioned off at Durrants in Beccles. A German First World War 9mm Luger S/A pistol. Picture: Durrants Auction RoomsHundreds of militaria items dating back to the First World War are set to be auctioned off at Durrants in Beccles. A German First World War 9mm Luger S/A pistol. Picture: Durrants Auction Rooms

Mark Whistler, militaria and firearms expert at Durrants, said: “I’ve been involved in militaria since I was a young lad and I’ve never known of a single sale of this importance in terms of items available.

“We will have bidders online from across the world. We already have potential buyers and collectors travelling down from Scotland to be with us and collectors from the Midlands booked into local B&Bs.”

Hundreds of militaria items dating back to the First World War are set to be auctioned off at Durrants in Beccles. A Thompson S.M.G. 50 round drum magazine. Picture: Durrants Auction RoomsHundreds of militaria items dating back to the First World War are set to be auctioned off at Durrants in Beccles. A Thompson S.M.G. 50 round drum magazine. Picture: Durrants Auction Rooms

One of the highlights among the 500 lots is an exceptionally rare full uniform from around 1902, belonging to a Suffolk Regiment Brigadier. Estimated to be worth £1,200 to £1,500, it is complete with a dress sword, Home Service helmet and all accessories.

Also being auctioned is an original rare ‘splatter’ mask issued to First World War tank crew to help protect their faces during the pioneering days of the armoured vehicle. It is estimated to be worth between £500 and £750.

Saturday’s auction is also being shown worldwide via a live webcast on the Durrants website, where you can also view the full catalogue of items and make a bid in advance.

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