It’s military bargain hunt at the Argylls’ Auction

This one's not for sale - but a number of similar regimental drums are up for auction.
This one's not for sale - but a number of similar regimental drums are up for auction.

A unique auction of militaria linked to a regiment in which countless Bairns once served is offering specialist collectors a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Dozens of collectable items, from sporrans and plaids to regimental drums, will be under the hammer at the special event on October 26.

The regimental museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Stirling Castle recently closed, but only pending a relaunch next summer as a £4million visitor attraction and heritage centre.

In preparing the transformation from old to new museum the organisers have been carrying out a major tidy-up of assets, and have hit on the idea of shedding items they already have in multiple copies - or which in some cases won’t be needed for the new museum.

The result is an auction of assets that will have some collectors’ eyes popping.

There are dozens of collectable military prints from various eras, including one very rare watercolour of Scots fighting in the 1857 Indian Mutiny.

Pipe band associations will also be interested in the large assortment of bagpipes impedimenta on offer - all linked to the regiment.

Then there’s what might be billed as “the ultimate sporran” - the magnificent “Swinging Six”, possibly dating to the Great War but in good condition.

It has a reserve price of just £175, and is expected to raise around £200.

Meanwhile an early black and white photograph by Craig Annan of a gateway at Stirling Castle is a serious collectable with a reserve price of £350, and is expected to raise up to £600.

Other unusual items up for auction include two beautiful Georgian (possibly 1830’s) plates, and a series of boxed dioramas of model soldiers depicting some of the Argylls’ famous battles - the Thin Red Line, and the Relief of Lucknow (Indian Mutiny).

Other dioramas show stop and search patrols being carried out in Aden during the anti-terrorist operation famously carried out by Lt Colonel Colin “Mad Mitch” Mitchell - which could be of great interest to serious collectors of niche militaria.

However some other items, including attractive paintings, have no special military connotation and could be picked up for a few pounds.

Proceeds from the sale will be channelled into the museum’s resources, as it gears up for a new era as a visitor attraction set to rival the military museums of Edinburgh Castle.

The auction is at Stirling Castle at 6.15pm on October 26, but email bids are also being accepted (with specific terms on how bids can be made and accepted) for those unable to attend.

There’s full information on the sale, with a link to the catalogue, at https://www.argylls.co.uk/