Extraordinary single-owner lifetime collection of vintage weapons, militaria will be sold Oct. 8 in Miss.
“The highlight of this auction will be the weaponry in the Bragg collection, which consists of hundreds of historical armaments from the 11th and 12th centuries, plus weapons from modern conflicts like World Wars I and II,” said Dwight Stevens of Stevens Auction Company. “This is a rare opportunity to see and then bid on weapons dating as far back as the Crusades.”
One of the quieter aspects of the sale will be Mr. Bragg’s extensive library of hundreds of books. Included are early volumes of poetry, books on philosophy, war journals and firearms references. Mr. Bragg had many passions in his long and fruitful life. These included artistry, jewelry design, music (he once played bass for Charlie Rich) and rebuilding E-type Jaguar cars.
But first and foremost, he was an avid collector of historical military weapons, armor and paraphernalia. His collection included a significant number of Indo-Persian edged weapons and armor he acquired from Fagan Arms, Inc. of Michigan. Fagan purchased them from Sir Frank H. Bowden (1909-2002), the famous British arms collector and heir to the Raleigh Bicycles fortune.
Shields and body armor will feature a Dahl – the Indian shield with a spike in the center and brass, decorated with applied Katar, 15 ½ inches in diameter – and a French curass body armor with French dragon helmet. There will also be a rare and unusual three-barrel hand cannon and a highly collectible mid-19th century vampire killing kit in a wood case, with all accessories.
Axes will include a battle axe from central India with a carved wooden shaft, 30 inches long with a six-inch blade; and a large Persian double-headed battle axe with extraordinary decorations. Two rifles worth noting are an Arab plain stock flint lock rifle with a migulet dog lock; and a German Wheelock rifle. Also sold will be a 19th century Imperial Russian helmet.
Swords and knives will be offered in abundance, and many are rare, historical one-of-a-kinds. Expected top lots will include a Katar (the oldest of Indian knives), 18 inches long, with all-metal construction; a Scottish basket hilted broadsword, 46 inches overall; and an Indian Talwar (an unusual type straight blade with serrated edge) measuring 42 inches in overall length.
Other examples will feature a Kabyle Snaphaunce Lock (5 feet 1 inch long, made in North Africa); an Indian Shamsir with cast brass lion head hilt and 37-inch-long scabbard; a silver mounted Burmese Dha (the national sword of Burma), with two-handled grip; and an Indian two-handled Firangi with two shallow grooves and metal hand guard, 48 inches long.
Also offered will be an early Ceylonese Kastane, 25 inches long, with dragon head pommel and wooden grip; an Indian metal Shamsir with etched Kris type blade (ca. 1800), 33 inches long; a Nepalese Kora, with engraving on the blade; a German two-handled sword with leather covered grip and cross guard; and an Indo-Persian Firangi with curved blade and wooden grip.
James Larry Bragg, Sr., was born in Covington, Tenn., on March 3, 1941. He was a self-employed porcelain dental lab technician in the Memphis area for 45 years. He enjoyed attending gun, coin and Civil War shows with friends, and frequented antique shops whenever he could. He passed away in February, leaving behind a wife, Audrey, a son, James, and twin grandsons.
Mr. Bragg’s collection can be seen at an open house preview on Friday, Oct. 7, from 1-6; and on Saturday, auction day, from 8-10 a.m. Stevens Auction Company’s air-conditioned gallery is located one block north of the historic Adams-French Mansion in Aberdeen, a town in northeastern Mississippi, not far from Tupelo. To order a free auction catalog call 662-369-2200.
There will be no online bidding component for this auction, but phone bids will be taken with advance arrangements. Many of the items to be offered may be seen on the Stevens Auction Company website, at www.stevensauction.com. Refreshments will be served on auction day.
Terms of the auction will be cash, major credit cards and pre-approved checks. All sales will be final, with no warranty expressed or implied. A 12 percent buyer’s premium will be charged on each total purchase price, with a 2 percent discount for cash, business and personal checks with proper ID, or wire transfers. A 7 percent sales tax will apply to most purchases.
Stevens Auction Company is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you may call them directly, at (662) 369-2200; or, you can e-mail them at email@example.com. To learn more about Stevens Auction Company and the Oct. 8 James L. Bragg auction, please log on to www.stevensauction.com.
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Stevens Auction Company is a full-service auction firm based in Aberdeen, Miss.
Stevens Auction Company
609 No. Meridian Street
Aberdeen, MS 39730
Press Contact: Dwight Stevens
Ph: (662) 369-2200
Fax: (662) 319-8864
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