Arms, hunting weapons and military mementoes make up the martial sector of the Drouot Digital market: the auction speciality where the art of war is practised.
It starts with a purchase of tin soldiers before moving on to the "real" arms, the collectors' items: hand-to-hand weapons (bayonets, sabres, daggers, etc.) and firearms (rifles, pistols and cannons) together with assorted military equipment like helmets and uniforms. Medals, insignia, flags and trophies also evoke the feats of arms of leading dignitaries and military men, and the historical memories attached to them.
This disparate collection of relics once belonging to famous figures – generals, heads of state and aristocrats – can range from a lock of Napoleon's hair to a pair of Marie-Antoinette's silk slippers, sold in 2012 at the Drouot saleroom…
As we remember, that unfortunate lady lost her head to the guillotine – an object has been known to appear into this auction category… "Aux armes, etc!", to quote Serge Gainsbourg's Marseillaise. We can add that these online sales of Arms, hunting weapons and military mementoes also feature portraits, clothes, hunting weapons (shotguns and rifles) and sports guns (pistols and revolvers).