World War One items in demand

With the centenary marking the end of World War One, an online antique marketplace has announced the most valuable antique items and memorabilia from the period currently in demand among today’s collectors.

A Victoria Cross Medal tops the list, with examples commanding prices up to £200,000.

The Victoria CrossThe complete list, compiled by antique website and military historian Mark Smith, includes:

  1. Victoria Cross Medal – up to £200,000
  2. ‘She died for freedom’ memorial plaque, accompanied by medals – up to £14,000
  3. PH Hood Gas Mask – over £1,500.
  4. Other ranks uniform jacket or boots – from £1,000
  5. Other ranks uniform trousers – up to £800
  6. The Graves Registration WWI Grave Marker – from £600
  7. Brody Shrapnel steel helmet – up to £500
  8. 1914 Christmas tin with contents – £200
  9. 1914 Christmas writing set – from £150
  10. Home Front badges – £80.

The full list includes tips for collectors, as well as details about which items command the highest price. military historian, Mark Smith who helped to compile the list, said, “The Great War involved millions of men. That’s millions of uniforms issued, millions of items of equipment, millions of medals and, alas, millions of crosses to mark the graves of the fallen during the four and a half years that the War to End all Wars was fought.

“As the years have gone by the items they wore, used and brought home have been lost, discarded, thrown away or passed on to museums. This means that the millions of objects have now been whittled down to, in some cases, just a rare few – it is these objects that the Militaria Collector will be looking for. If you are lucky enough to find any of these truly historic items from the War in the loft or back of the drawer, you could be walking away with a pretty penny.”

Will Thomas managing director at added, “An antique is classified as an object that is 100+ years old, so items from the entirety of the First World War can now be classified as antiques.

“Even without this ‘official’ status, the period has long held a fascination and romanticism for collectors of antiques and war memorabilia alike and we’ve had items from this important time period sold through the site for a number of years. As you might expect, we’ve seen an unsurprising increase in demand around the centenary celebrations, as they officially become antiques.

“It will be fascinating to see what other items we see on the market in the next 12 months, as well as the prices they command. We hope this list will help both avid collectors and members of the public, who may have items on the list in their home that have been passed down through the generations.”


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