A Hollow Victory Christmas…

The war might have finished in time for Christmas 1918 but the mood in Europe was sombre. As this postcard of the time shows, even something as simple as putting up a stocking was a stark reminder of just how hard the previous four years had been on people.

Hoping the ‘Ol’ Rotter’ does get round to visit the homes of all our dealers, visitors and friends of the Market! Merry Christmas!

PS Don’t forget we’re closed on Christmas Eve, open New Years Eve!

Grim Reminder of a Terrible History

Insignia from elite military units of any country is always highly sought after but none more so than that of Hitler’s ‘death’s head’ force, the Waffen SS. Michael Burroughs of Anything Militaria will have these on sale at the Market this Saturday and has passed on details which attest to their authenticity.

The smaller Totenkopf are collar patches worn by other ranks or non-commissioned officers. They are machine embroidered on black doe skin and would be worn oppposite a collar patch showing the soldier’s rank.

The larger full size patch has the traditional buckram backing while its smaller counterpart may have been removed from a summer tunic shirt. It has the white inner backing cloth normally found on insignia made in occupied Belgium and France.

The Thrill of the Old

Whether it’s a bric a brac shop, a house clearance or a corner of the loft in your new house, it’s always worth a rummage to see what you might find.

In this case, it’s a stamp collection – a bit worse for wear thanks to the attention of some mice by the looks of it but once, clearly, a labour of love for someone keen on all matters philately. Whether recording the postage of Malta, former British colonies or obscure parts of distant continents the world over, the former owner took great care to record the date and perforation count of each one.

That person may no longer be here but their obsession is. We may only be the temporary curators of our collections but we’re an essential link in the chain between past and present.