Early Machine Gun Used During Anglo-Egyptian Conflict Set for Auction

December 1, 2016 5:00 am
Nordenfelt Machine Gun Auction
(Courtesy of Bonhams)
Anglo-Egyptian War
The massacre of Europeans in Alexandria, Egypt, following the bombing of the city by the English fleet and the occupation of Egypt by British troops in 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War (adoc-photos/Corbis via Getty Images)


If you’re a history buff and firearms enthusiast, Bonhams’ “Daedalus Collection of Antique and Modern Firearms,” which takes place on Dec. 1 in London, will be a veritable goldmine for you—with a number of ultra-rare items set to cross the auction block.

Topping the sale is a Nordenfelt .43 center-fire 10-barreled machine gun from around 1884. One of the first-ever examples of a machine gun, there are just two other Nordenfelts known to exist, both of which are on display in museums. Directed around a battlefield via those spoked wheels, it was capable of shooting up to 1,000 rounds per minute, depending on the reload speed of the gunner behind it.

Nordenfelt Machine Gun Auction
(Courtesy of Bonhams)


Designed by a Swedish designer Heldge Palmcrantz circa 1873—and named for the gun’s financier, a Swedish banker and steel importer—the machine gun was used by the British Navy in 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War and Gen. William Hicks’ forces during an expedition to the Sudan in 1883. The guns were still in service as of the Battle of Toski in Egypt six years later, but according to the auction house, by that point, had garnered a reputation for jamming. Nordenfelts were finally retired from service in 1891.

The Nordenfelt has a pre-auction estimate of $62,000–$87,000. For more information on the gun, click here. Below, browse a few other highlights from the auction, along with their pre-auction estimates.


1873 Winchester Rifle Associated With the Battle of Little Bighorn

Firearms Auction
A .44 Winchester 1873 late first model lever-action repeating rifle – pre-auction estimate: $2,500–$3,700 (Courtesy of Bonhams)


Borchardt Patent Self-Loading Pistol

Firearms Auction
A 7.65x25mm Waffenfabrik Loewe C-93 system Borchardt patent self-loading pistol – pre-auction estimate: $19,000–$22,000 (Courtesy of Bonhams)


1874 Sharps Sporting or ‘Buffalo Rifle’

A .45 (2⅞in.) center-fire Sharps 1874 model breech-loading sporting or buffalo rifle – pre-auction estimate: $2,500–$3,700 (Courtesy of Bonhams)

To browse the other lots in the auction, click here.

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