Marlows, Stafford
Ravon Court
Stafford, Staffordshire
ST16 3HJ
07789 628030
01785 214100


The company, formed by the partnership of long term LAPADA member Steven Bosley and Sally Bosley, has long established itself as one of the leading international specialist auction houses dealing with every aspect of military antiques, be it a humble soldier's uniform, a group of medals or a fine piece of Georgian campaign furniture. From its onset it has been their aim to provide both the buyer and seller with the best possible confidential service. To vendors, who often send unidentified and unresearched items, they are provided with a free service that often rectifies this; on a recent occasion a quantity of swords with long forgotten histories arrived on the doorstep. One of them, which was estimated at £300 before any research, was to prove a real gem. After painstaking work in the saleroom's extensive reference library the identity of the original owner of the sword was discovered and that he had carried this sword through the Campaigns of 1812 in the Peninsular and later when wounded at the ill fated Battle of New Orleans in the Americas. This research service gave the delighted vendor a surprise when the hammer fell at £1,600! The added attraction of a fixed commission rate with no hidden lotting, photographic or unsold charges attracts a wonderful selection of items which arrive from all over the world. Recently a small box of rather insignificant badges arrived, at once Bosleys spotted a real gem and gave it the right type of pre sale publicity, placed it on the front cover and achieved a world record price of £4978 for a humble cap badge much to the vendor's shock and delight!

The purchaser can also reap the benefits by knowing that all items are vetted for authenticity and are accurately described in the large format colour illustrated catalogues. Great lengths go into ensuring that photographs are of the finest clarity and a true representation of each individual item. Should more information about a particular lot be required, then all it takes is a telephone call to receive more information from a person familiar with the subject. There can be no single expert on all the extensive fields of military collectables but Bosleys are most fortunate to be able to call on its army of consultants, many considered to be the leading authority in their particular specialist field.

The sales are held in our Ravon Court Saleroom Stafford and attract buyers from all over the world; often overseas clients incorporate a sale date within their business trip or holiday. From the start Bosleys policy has been to give due respect to the historic offers they are entrusted with and offer lots at their best, uniforms fitted onto mannequins, headdress on hat stands, each carefully handled with respect by a team of knowledgeable porters. A bonus for their clients is the ability to actually view during the sale; this service enables one to view, buy and clear in the least possible time.

Bosleys also hold quarterly miltary badgel auctions of military cap badges, shoulder titles, collar badges, lapel badges, formation signs etc.

The last 25 years have provided a number of surprises, one following a telephone call from a gentleman who had found in a chest what he described as an old red hunt jacket with sequins on the collar, in due course a rather battered parcel arrived containing an important scarlet coatee worn by an Officer of the Life Guards circa 1820, the hammer was to fall at £5,600 ! It has also shown the dark side of collecting, the partners told me that often after a death a family are confronted by a mass of badges, helmets, uniforms, swords etc, their values unknown and often thought worthless, they are disposed off at a fraction of their true value in a local auction or to so called friends. It was after one such case that Bosleys introduced a service where by details could be lodged with solicitors and family on what to do after a collector's demise to provide the best return for the family. This service resulted in the saleroom acquiring a mass of cloth insignia from an elderly widow who was approached by a local friend and collector of the deceased and offered £200 for the collection; he should be ashamed as the final price achieved by careful lotting in Bosleys postal auctions was in the region of £10,000.

What of the next few years? Who can tell, it is the Partners aim to continue giving the best possible service to their clients, be they vendors or buyers and to continue to uncover previously forgotten military splendours. Bosleys are pleased to have recently completed a really fascinating valuation of The Sandhurst Collection for RMA Sandurst. The Partners continue to help and advise regiments, museums, including the National Army Museum, charities, the Royal British Legion, film and television companies, collectors, deceased collectors' families and widows as well as the General Public through the medium of radio. In recent years, they have undertaken regular "phone-in" valuations and advice programmes on LBC with Therese Birch, BBC Radio Oxford with Jonathan Hancock and the late Alison Booker, BBC Radio Berkshire with Andrew Peach and BBC Three Counties with John Pilgrim. Recent radio interviews have taken place with the BBC in Scotland, Ireland's RTE and Dublin's 4FM. Bosleys have also assisted the BBC's television series "Cash in the Attic" and several of the programs featuring Bosleys are regularly shown both here

Any person, body or organisation who participates in this auction is bound by the following Conditions which are subject to English Law. Please read them carefully.

BOSLEYS/MARLOWS act as an agent for the Seller at public auctions. The contract for the sale of any lot will be between the Seller and the Buyer.

TITLE. The highest bidder will be the Buyer and no person may retract any bid. Tendering a bid is a legal offer to buy. Upon the fall of the hammer, the successful bidder enters into a legally binding contract subject to English law and the lot becomes the sole risk of the Buyer however legal title of any lot shall not pass to the Buyer until the lot is paid for in full including the Buyer’s premium and any other charges although at no time do Bosleys warrant such title.

BUYER’S PREMIUM. 22% plus VAT (at the currect rate) on the hammer price. Please note there is no VAT on the hammer price. There is also a 4.9% fee on the hammer price for items bought live online.

BIDDING & REGISTRATION. All bidding is by paddle numbers. Every prospective Buyer must complete and sign a registration card before viewing and being issued with a bidding number. All lots purchased in the room must be paid for and cleared on the day of sale - any purchased lots uncollected will be removed to safe storage at a minimum fee of £10 per lot.

NEW CLIENTS attending the sale must provide proof of identity and of their permanent place of residence and may be required to undergo a credit check.

PAYMENT AT THE SALE. Acceptable methods of payment are Bank Transfer

EXAMINATION OF LOTS. Bosleys / Marlows warrant all items to be genuine, however prospective buyers are strongly advised to personally examine any lots on which they intend bidding and are responsible for satisfying themselves concerning the condition of the items, any faults or imperfections and the matters referred to in the catalogue.

CATALOGUE DESCRIPTIONS. Whilst Bosleys / Marlows make every effort to ensure the accuracy of their catalogue and descriptions as well as the authenticity and genuineness of all lots, most lots are of some considerable age and buyers should note that condition stated in a description is relative to an item’s age. The condition given is the cataloguer’s considered opinion but should not be relied on as a statement of definitive fact. No sale can be rescinded on grounds of condition.

VGC indicates Very Good Condition for an item of its age or type; GC indicates Good Condition for an item of its age or type;
AF indicates At Fault.

(i) Each lot as set out in the catalogue is sold by the Seller with all faults, imperfections and errors of descriptions.

(ii) Bosleys/Marlows do not accept responsibility for the attribution, condition or quality of any lot.

(iii) Catalogue illustrations are provided purely for the guidance of prospective buyers and are not to be relied to determine the colour or condition of any item. Occasional errors in applying the correct lot number to an illustration may occur however the description will take precedence over any illustration in identifying any lot.

(iv) Estimates are often prepared long in advance of the sale and are maybe subject to revision. They are provided purely for the guidance of prospective Buyers and are not to be relied on as a statement of fact.

FORGERIES. Notwithstanding the preceding condition (8), if within 14 days of the sale, the Buyer returns any lot giving notice to Bosleys, in writing, that the item is a deliberate forgery and that the lot is in the same condition in which it was sold; Bosleys are authorised to rescind the sale. It is Bosleys’ policy to require the Buyer to obtain, at the Buyer’s expense, the written opinion of two recognised experts in the field, mutually acceptable to the Buyer and Bosleys, before Bosleys determine whether to rescind the sale. Should Bosleys decide to rescind the sale and the proceeds have already been paid to the Seller, Bosleys will approach the Seller for the return of the proceeds. This guarantee applies only to the original Buyer named on the original invoice and is not valid if the Buyer has sold or disposed of the lot to a third party at any time.

The Buyer’s claim is limited to a refund of the hammer price, puchaser’s commission and any VAT paid; it does not extend to any other expense, loss or damage suffered by the Buyer.

AGENTS. Any person acting as an agent for a Buyer should be aware of the fact that the sole responsibility for payment rests with the agent, that payment must be made on the day of sale and that lots must be cleared on the day of sale. Any agent should also be aware that all items purchased through an agent in the room will be considered “as viewed”.

AUCTIONEER’S DISCRETION. The auctioneer has the right at his absolute discretion to refuse any bid, to advance the bidding in any such manner as he may decide, to rescind a sale, to withdraw or divide any lot, and in the case of any dispute or error, put the lot up for sale again.

ADMISSION. Admission to all public sales is by catalogue only (each catalogue admits two people) however Bosleys have the right at their complete discretion to refuse admission or attendance at any of their sales whether on their own premises or on premises over which they have control for the sale.

VIDEO SCREENS. At some sales a video screen displaying lot numbers will be used for the convenience of those attending. Errors may occur and Bosleys cannot be liable to any Buyer that the number being displayed is that of the lot being sold.

COMMISSION / POSTAL BIDS. Bosleys are pleased to execute commission bids for clients unable to attend the sale and will use all reasonable efforts to secure lots as cheaply as permitted by other bids and/or reserves if any and subject to their Conditions of Business. This is a free service and is undertaken subject to Bosleys other commitments during the sale. Bosleys cannot accept any liability for failure to execute any commission bid. Prospective Buyers are strongly advised to attend personally to be certain of bidding. All commission bids should be received 24 hours before the sale and should be written on the bidding form provided in each catalogue. Bosleys are not responsible for wrong lot numbers entered against descriptions. Commission bids cannot be accepted from a Post Office box address. In order that Sellers are paid on time, all overseas clients are required to pay by Visa or MasterCard.

Minimum bidding increments/steps (at the sole discretion of the Auctioneer) £5 up to £100, £10 up to £200, £20 up to £1000 and £100 etc. thereafter. Out of step bids will be rounded down. “Plus one bid” instructions are quite acceptable.

PAYMENT. All invoices must be paid in full within seven days of the sale. Goods will not be released to any Buyer, unless specifically agreed to the contrary in writing, until all amounts due have been received. Items purchased and still in Bosleys’ possession will be covered by their insurance for a period of seven days after the sale, or if collected before the seven days, up to the time of collection.

(i) Any amounts still outstanding 14 days after the sale will be subject to interest at a rate not exceeding 5% above Coutts & Co. Base Rate. Bosleys reserve the right to exercise a lien on any of the Buyer’s property in Bosleys possession for any purpose and to arrange the sale of such property to recover any outstanding amounts due to Bosleys.

(ii) If the Buyer fails to pay within by the end of the month in which the sale is held, Bosleys may take any of the following actions

a. Issue proceedings against the Buyer on behalf of the Seller to recover the full amount due including commission, storage charges, interest etc.

b. Resell the lots either by public sale or private treaty to recover the full amount due including commission, storage charges, interest etc.

c. Cancel the sale of the relevant lots.

SUCCESSFUL COMMISSION BIDDERS. Please note, Bosleys regret they do not offer a collection facility. All items purchased by absentee bidder will be sent via MAIL BOXES ETC., Windsor at the Purchaser’s cost. See 17. below

PACKING AND SHIPPING. Bosleys do not have the facilities for postage, packing or shipping however a professional packing company, MAIL BOXES ETC., Windsor ( will attend the sale and remove all lots purchased by absent bidders.

SELLING AT AUCTION. Bosleys offer the following attractive terms to sellers.
Only 20% commission on the hammer price.
No fees for unsold lots as long as the reserve was agreed by Bosleys, in writing, prior to the auction.
No lotting fees.
No charge for photography.
No minimum commission per lot.
No fees for online bidding.
Any charges attract VAT at the current rate.
The Seller will bear all costs relating to transporting items for sale to Bosleys together with any insurance fees, import duty or charges by HM Customs.

RESERVES. If any lot carries a reserve which has been agreed between the Seller and Bosleys, the lot will be sold subject to this reserve. the Seller automatically gives Bosleys 10% discretion on any reserve agreed. By law, no reserve can be higher than the lower estimate published in the catalogue. The Seller may not bid, or employ any agent to bid, on lots which the Seller has put up for sale although Bosleys may bid on the Seller’s behalf.

PAYMENT TO SELLERS. Payment for lots sold, less relevant charges, will usually be paid to the Seller within 14 working days of the sale as long as payment for such lots has been received by Bosleys. Please note that Bosleys will not pay the proceeds to the Seller until payment has been received from the Buyer. Should payment still be outstanding from the Buyer 30 days after the sale Bosleys have right to rescind the sale. Bosleys have no liability to pay the Seller if the lots have not been paid for by the Buyer or the sale of the lots have been rescinded.

DESCRIPTIONS. Bosleys have complete discretion as to the manner in which items described, whether to illustrate any item or to combine it in a lot and whether or not further expert advice or research should be sought. They also have complete discretion to withdraw any lot from auction should they have any doubt concerning its authenticity or attribution.

WITHDRAWAL OF LOTS. A Seller may not withdraw any lot from the sale without Bosleys’ permission. If either Bosleys or the Seller withdraw a lot, the Seller will be charged a fee equal to 30% of lowest estimate or highest bid received, plus any photography, advertising, publicity and research charges incurred with a minimum fee of £50 per lot.

UNSOLD LOTS. All unsold items remaining uncollected 14 days after the sale , unless agreed with Bosleys in writing, will be liable to storage charges of £3 per lot, per day plus insurance. The goods will not be released to the Seller until any such charges have been paid in full. The Seller will also bear all costs, including insurance, of returning unsold items. If any lots remain uncollected 90 days after the date of the sale, Bosleys may dispose of the items as they see fit in order to recover any outstanding charges. For a period of 14 days after the sale, the Seller gives Bosleys complete discretion to accept late bids or other offers in order to obtain an amount for the Seller equal to the net proceeds had the lot sold at its reserve or for a lesser amount agreed between the Seller and Bosleys. All such transactions are subject to the same conditions as if the items had sold at auction.

PHOTOGRAPHS AND ILLUSTRATIONS, for which no charge is made, are solely produced at Bosleys’ discretion. The Seller gives Bosleys the full and absolute right to photograph any item consigned to auction and to use or publish such photographs at any time in connection with the sale or in any way they see fit. All rights of these images will belong to Bosleys.

ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ITEMS. All such items or items which include such parts are sold as historical items only and are not recommended for use.

IVORY, OTHER CITES ITEMS AND GUNS. Any item made of ivory, in full or part, other prohibitive CITES items or guns cannot be exported by MailBoxes.

© Bosleys. All rights reserved. No part of this catalogue may be reproduced, photocopied, scanned, stored in a retrievable system, or transmitted in any form by any means electrical, mechanical or otherwise without the written permission of Bosleys.

Bosleys / Marlows are unable to offer an in-house packing service, however for Marlows, our Ravon Court Saleroom now offers collection facilities, by prior arrangements. Postage is handled by the professional firm, MailBoxes Etc of Windsor, who we have enjoyed a 20 year partnership and who’s MBE shipping rates remains among the lowest in the UK.