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A Rare WW1 Russian Romanov Era Poster of Czar Nicolas IInd Period

With stunning artistry. Showing a monoplane crashing into a Zeppelin and the men jumping for their lives. Published date of 1914. Early Russian posters are now becoming extraordinarily collectable. Another poster for the Battleship Potemkin Russian movie, designed by the Stenberg brothers in 1925, sold in November 2012 for 103,250 Pounds Sterling at Christies Auction in London. It arranged class elements into a powerful design of revolutionary upheaval. Approx 21 inches x 15.75 inches sold unmounted, but shown framed

Code: 18204

475.00 GBP

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Rare Pre War Russian Communist Propaganda Poster "We Were Born to Make the Fairy Tale to Come True" by P Karachentsov 1937

A most rare opportunity to acquire a beautifully designed and executed, original and rare Russian USSR propaganda poster by the renown Peter Karachentsov. Published in 1937. A multicolour lithograph published in Moscow and Leningrad in 1937 by OGIZ-IZOGIZ . Karachentsov, Peter Y. Was born in 1907 in St. Petersburg.
From 1927-1931 - he studied in Vhuteine - the Moscow Institute of Fine Arts
In 1920 - it was the beginning of his work on posters.
In the 1930s to 1980s - he was working in the newspapers "Pravda", "Komsomolskaya Pravda", "Izvestia", "For Industrialization"; in "30 Days" magazine, "Height", "Foreign Literature", "Youth", "Ogonyok" (the magazine received numerous prizes for the best pictures of the year). Author of campaign posters on topical issues of his time - anti-bourgeois, anti-religious, anti-fascist; posters on the theme of socialist labour and sports. It illustrates and prepares books for Military Publishing, publishing "Young Guard", "Soviet writer", "truth" and others. He created works in easel graphics - portraits, landscapes, drawings, executed in ink, brush, gouache, watercolor, pencil.
During 1941-1945 - the Soviet Union being at war, he creates a number of front-line sketches and drawings.
From 1944 he worked in the studio of military artists named after M. Grekov.
In the 1940-1950-s - he was drawing postage stamps and stamped envelopes.
In 1967 - he was the Honoured Artist of the RSFSR.
He died in Moscow in 1998. Approx 26.5 inches x 39 inches sold unmounted. Would look stunning with a fine quality frame.

Code: 19887

1200.00 GBP

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Inert WW1 German 1915/1916 Stick Grenade

Inert WW1 German 1915/1916 Stick Grenade, an interesting transitional period example with the head section being the early 1915 type and the haft being the later pattern with the porcelain ball to the inside of the wood. Haft nicely stamped “5 ½ SECONDE” and a Berlin makers mark. The Stielhandgranate (German for "stick hand grenade") was a German hand grenade of unique design. It was the standard issue of the German Empire during World War I, and became the widespread issue of Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht during World War II. The very distinctive appearance led to it being called a "stick grenade", or "potato masher" in British Army slang, and is today one of the most easily recognized infantry weapons of the 20th century Germany entered World War I with a single grenade design: a heavy 750-gram (26 oz) ball-shaped fragmentation grenade (Kugelhandgranate) for use only by pioneers in attacking fortifications. It was too heavy for regular use on the battlefield by untrained troops and not suitable for mass production. This left Germany without a standard-issue grenade and improvised designs similar to those of the British were used until a proper grenade could be supplied.

The "stick grenade" first appeared in the midst of World War I; it was introduced in 1915 for use by the German Empire's armed forces. As time went on, the design further developed, adding and removing certain features. Aside from its unique and unusual appearance, the Stielhandgranate used a friction igniter system, a method very uncommon in other nations but widely used in German grenades.

During World War I, the original design of the Stielhandgranate, under the name M1915 (Model 1915), was in direct technological competition with the British standard-issue Mills bomb series. The first design model of the Mills bomb – the grenade No. 5 Mk. 1 – was introduced the same year as the German Model 1915, but due to delays in manufacturing it was not widely distributed into general service until 1916. (There was a small period of time where German troops had large supplies of new Model 1915 grenades, while their British opponents only had a very small number.)

As World War I progressed, the Model 1915 Stielhandgranate was further improved with various changes. These received new designations corresponding for the year of introduction, such as the Model 1916 and the Model 1917. Old glue marks / residue towards the top of the haft and grenade head. Old collectors label attached. This item is empty and safe, legal to own within the UK. The thread to attach the bottom cap to the handle is not present, but the cap is original and complete with pulling cord and porcelain ball.

Code: 23341

595.00 GBP

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A Very Good German WW2 Iron Cross Ist Class Breast Badge Bravery Award

In very good condition, and the front and rear is completely untouched and shows 70 odd years of natural aging.The German Iron Cross medal for heroism came in two grades, Second Class and First Class. This example the Iron Cross First Class could only be awarded for an act of outstanding bravery and also to one who had previously received the Iron Cross Second Class. Hence, the First Class was more restricted and more highly prized. When the Iron Cross First Class was awarded, the Iron Cross Second Class was signified, when worn on the uniform, with a small ribbon attached across the tunic lapel attached to a button. Even when in combat the iron Cross first class was worn in the soldiers tunic on the left breast. Adolf Hitler was awarded his identical type of 1st Class Iron Cross in WW1, dated 1914, and always wore it throughout WW2 with pride. Next to the Victoria Cross, it is the most famous medal in the world. The Iron Cross was awarded for bravery in battle as well as other conspicuous military contributions in a battlefield environment. In order to receive the Iron Cross 1st Class the men of the Heer and Waffen SS would have had to perform three to four further acts of courage from the one that earned them the Iron Cross 2nd Class; The Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine had the following criteria; the award was regularly awarded to U-boat Commanders upon sinking 50,000 tons and to Luftwaffe pilots when they achieved six or seven confirmed
kills; Of course these were only guidelines, and a single act of great importance or a long steady career could earn the individual the Cross. The Iron Cross 2nd Class came with a ribbon and was worn in one of two different methods: When in formal dress, the entire cross was worn mounted alone or as part of a medal bar. For everyday wear, only the ribbon was worn from the second hole in the tunic button.
The Iron Cross is a black four-pointed cross with white trim, with the arms widening toward the ends, similar to a cross pattee. It was designed by the neoclassical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and reflects the cross borne by the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century.

Initially the Iron Cross was worn with the blank side out. This did not change until 1838 when the sprig facing could be presented.

Since the Iron Cross was issued over several different periods of German history, it was annotated with the year indicating the era in which it was issued. For example, an Iron Cross from the First World War bears the year "1914", while the same decoration from the Second World War is annotated "1939". The reverse of the 1870, 1914 and 1939 series of Iron Crosses have the year "1813" appearing on the lower arm, symbolizing the year the award was created. The 1813 decoration also has the initials "FW" for King Frederick William III, while the next two have a "W" for the respective kaisers, Wilhelm I and Wilhelm II. The final version shows a swastika. A cross was the symbol of the Teutonic Knights (a heraldic cross pattee), and the cross design (but not the specific decoration) has been the symbol of Germany's armed forces (now the Bundeswehr) since 1871.

Code: 23366

345.00 GBP

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Superb & Rare Spanish Fascist Nationalist Volunteer Award of the Spanish Civil War Awarded to Edward Hoton

Detailed in relief with a Fascist soldier giving the fascist salute, and the symbol of the fascist Falange [a group of arrows]. There were numerous foreign volunteers to both sides of the Spanish Civil War, in fact for many, especially the German Condor Legion, it was the rehearsal for WW2, and this was awarded to a fascist supporting foreign volunteer called Edward Hoton. A most high quality plaque medallion. Awarded to Edmond Hoton, by the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (FET y de las JONS) the Traditionalist Spanish Phalanx of the Committees of the National Syndicalist Offensive. It was the sole legal party of the Francoist dictatorship in Spain. It emerged in 1937 of the merger of the Carlist Party with the Falange Española de las JONS. With the eruption of the Civil War in July 1936, the Falange fought on the Nationalist side against the Second Spanish Republic. Expanding rapidly from several thousand to several hundred thousand, the Falange's male membership was accompanied by a female auxiliary, the Sección Femenina. Led by José Antonio's sister Pilar, this latter subsidiary organization claimed more than a half million members by the end of the war and provided nursing and support services for the Nationalist forces.

The command of the party rested upon Manuel Hedilla, as many of the first generation leaders were dead or incarcerated by the Republicans. Among them was Primo de Rivera, who was a Government prisoner. As a result, he was referred to among the leadership as el Ausente, (the Absent One). After being sentenced to death on November 18, 1936, Primo de Rivera was executed on November 20, 1936 (a date since known as 20-N in Spain), in a Republican prison, giving him martyr status among the Falangists. This conviction and sentence was possible because he had lost his Parliamentary immunity, after his party did not have enough votes during the last elections.

After Franco seized power on 19 April 1937, he united under his command the Falange with the Carlist Comunión Tradicionalista, forming Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS (FET y de las JONS), whose official ideology was the Falangists' 27 puntos—reduced, after the unification, to 26. Despite this, the party was in fact a wide-ranging nationalist coalition, closely controlled by Franco. Parts of the original Falange (including Hedilla) and many Carlists did not join the unified party. Franco had sought to control the Falange after a clash between Hedilla and his main critics within the group, the legitimistas of Agustín Aznar and Sancho Dávila y Fernández de Celis, that threatened to derail the Nationalist war effort.

None of the vanquished parties in the war suffered such a toll of deaths among their leaders as did the Falange. Sixty per cent of the pre-war Falange membership lost their lives in the war.

However, most of the property of all other parties and trade unions were assigned to the party. In 1938, all trade unions were unified under Falangist command. The Conservative government of the UK maintained a position of strong neutrality and was supported by elites and the mainstream media, while the far left mobilized aid to the Republic. The government refused to allow arms shipments and sent warships to try to stop shipments. It became a crime to volunteer to fight in Spain, but about 4,000 went anyway. Intellectuals strongly favoured the Republicans. Many visited Spain, hoping to find authentic anti-fascism. They had little impact on the government, and could not shake the strong public mood for peace. The Labour Party was split, with its Catholic element favouring the Nationalists. It officially endorsed the boycott and expelled a faction that demanded support for the Republican cause; but it finally voiced some support to Loyalists.

Romanian volunteers were led by Ion Moța, deputy-leader of the Iron Guard ("Legion of the Archangel Michael"), whose group of Seven Legionaries visited Spain in December 1936 to ally their movement with the Nationalists.

Despite the Irish government's prohibition against participating in the war, around 600 Irishmen, followers of Irish political activist and Irish Republican Army leader Eoin O'Duffy, known as the "Irish Brigade", went to Spain to fight alongside Franco. The majority of the volunteers were Catholics, and according to O'Duffy had volunteered to help the Nationalists fight against communism. The medallion bears at the base, engraved and cast, Al Senor Edmond Hoton, Bruselas II Ano Triunfal [We believe this translates to, Mr Edmond Horton, Brussels, two triumphant years]. We have traced it to Edmond Hoton who was an author, living in German occupied Belgium during the war. We have shown some scenes from one of his books. If he was the medal winning nationalist volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, by the look of his cartoons, he may well have 'changed his colours' so to speak after experiancing the German occupation first hand from 1939 to 1944. 2.75 inches x 2.75 inches

Code: 20105

495.00 GBP

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A Beautiful Band of the Welsh Guards Hand Painted Tenor Drum With Battle Honours

The Welsh Guards came into existence on February 26, 1915 by Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order to raise the regiment had been given by the King to Earl Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, on February 6 1915." They were the last of the Guards to be created, with the Irish Guards coming into being in 1900. Just two days later, the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards mounted its first King's Guard at Buckingham Palace on 1 March, 1915 - St David's Day.One way to distinguish between the regiments of Foot Guards is the spacing of buttons on the tunic. The Welsh Guards have buttons arranged in groups of five.

On March 17, 1915 the 1st Battalion sailed for France to join the Guards Division to commence its participation in the First World War. Its first battle was some months after its initial arrival, at Loos on September 27, 1915. The regiment's first Victoria Cross came two years later in July 1917 awarded to Sergeant Robert Bye.The regiment was increased to three Battalions during the Second World War. The 1st Battalion fought valiantly in all the campaigns of the North-West European Theatre. The 2nd Battalion fought in Boulogne in 1940 whilst the 1st fought in Belgium as part of the British Expeditionary Force. In May 1940 at the Battle of Arras, the Welsh Guards gained their second Victoria Cross by Lieutenant The Hon. Christopher Furness who was killed in the action. The Welsh Guards were subsequently part of the legendary Evacuation of Dunkirk that saw over 340,000 British and French troops return to the UK against all odds. In 1943 the 3rd Battalion fought throughout the arduous Tunisian North African Campaign and Italian Campaigns.
Welsh Guards in action near Cagny 19 July 1944

While they battled on in those theatres the 1st and 2nd joined the Guards Armoured Division, with the 1st Battalion being infantry and the 2nd armoured. The two battalions worked closely, being the first troops to re-enter Brussels on September 3, 1944 after an advance of 100 miles in one day in what was described as 'an armoured lash unequalled for speed in this or any other war'.

Code: 19559

750.00 GBP

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Incredible & Unique Historical Artefact, Autographed by 3 Field Marshals and 4 Generals. A Unique Copy of "They Led Us To Victory, Grand Pictorial Souvenir" 1945 Published by Bear, Hudson Ltd., 1945 Personally Autographed at The War Office in 1945

The regular unsigned version is now scarce and difficult to find, but this example must likely be unique in the world. For it was collected by the commissionaire at the War Office in London after V.E Day and has the personal autographs of seven the Allied commanders, 3 Field Marshals and 4 Generals, General Slim, Field Marshal Montgomery, Field Marshal Alexander, Field Marshal Alan Brooke, Lt Gen Dempsey, Lt General Freyberg of New Zealand, Gen. Crerer of Canada, an amazing and unique collection and simply unheard of. This brochure was issued to celebrate those Principal National Figures of Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, USA, and the USSR who led us to victory in WW2 numbered 527. a original 1945 booklet of 30 portraits of British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Russian, & American leaders grand pictorial souvenir. Superb whole page black and white portraits of Churchill, Eisenhower, Patton, Roosevelt, Leigh-Mallory, Harris, Tedder, Portal, Cunningham and many more. Considering its age this is in fine collectable condition. And it comes with a the amazing and unique autographs bonus, some individually can be priced at £400 plus each. A superb keepsake.

Code: 23364

1895.00 GBP

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German WW2 Combat Engineer's Short Wire Cutter's

Combat Pioneer personnel, (Engineers), were issued assorted specialized equipment designed to meet their needs as the spearhead troops tasked with destroying enemy obstacles and creating forward defensive positions for their own troops in the face of the enemy. Each Division in the German Army and the Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), had an organic Pionier, (Combat Engineer), battalion that consisted of personnel specially trained in destroying enemy obstacles, creating forward defensive positions, bridging and assault tactics.
As the spearhead troops the Engineers were issued with assorted specialized equipment including assault packs, pick axes, saws, long handle shovels, wire cutters, explosive tool kits and other construction and demolition equipment. The Combat Engineer's equipment also included a wide variety of assorted demolition charges, anti-personnel and anti-vehicles mines along with the appropriate detonators, igniters and timers. The Combat Engineers were utilized two, different models of wire cutters enabling personnel to cut through barbwire entanglements. The wire cutters came in both a short and a long model and both were issue with a specific carrying case that was to be worn on the load carrying waist belt.

Code: 23360

150.00 GBP

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WW2 Kriegsmarine U-Boat War Badge by Funcke & Bruninghaus Ludenscheid,

being variation 2 by this maker. Zinc with just remains of the finish to the obverse and reverse. Reverse of the award has the original pin and the catch is soldered to a rectangular plate. See page 156 & 157 of “The Kriegsmarine Awards – Volume 1” by Webber & Skora, for attribution to this make. Excellent The U-Boat War Badge was instituted by Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine und Großadmiral, (Commander in Chief of the Navy and Grand Admiral), Erich Raeder on October 13TH 1939 for award to all ranks of U-Boat personnel who had served on at least two sorties against the enemy or were wounded in action. The badge was to be worn on the lower left breast of most uniforms. The Kriegsmarine began the war with just 56 U-boats, but over the course of the war they would build 691 type VII U-boats alone. At the beginning of the war, the commander of the German U-boat fleet, Karl Dönitz, said that if he had 300 U-boats, "he could strangle Britain and win the war." "The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril," British Prime Minister Winston Churchill reportedly said while reflecting on the second world war. By the end of the war, Hitler's Kriegsmarine, the navy of Nazi Germany, had built 1,162 U-boats, which is short for the German word "Unterseeboot," or undersea boat. The U-boat was not a true submarine in today's sense of the word. It was more of a submersible craft. The diesel engines required air, so while underwater, the craft was powered by 100 tons of lead-acid batteries, meaning it had to surface every few hours when air and battery power were exhausted. The battery power made the U-boats exceptionally slow underwater, clocking in at 8 knots (9.2 mph), compared to 17.2 knots (19.8 mph) above water on the VII-B models. The boats were manned by up to 44 men With the outbreak of the Second World War the U-boat Arm found the success of the pre-war trials had created some complacency; when these tactics were first tried in October 1939 (Hartmann's wolfpack) they were a failure; Hartmann found he was unable to exercise any tactical control from his boat at sea, and the convoy attack was unsuccessful, while three U-boats were lost in the operation. A second attempt the following month also failed. A further attempt in June 1940 following the Norwegian campaign (Rösing's wolfpack) also failed, leading to a re-think of German tactics.

The revised approach saw Dönitz micromanaging the operations at sea from his headquarters in occupied France, relying on the supposedly unbreakable Enigma code to transmit and receive orders and co-ordinate movements. U-boat movements were controlled by U-boat Command (BdU) from Kerneval. Accordingly, U-boats usually patrolled separately, often strung out in co-ordinated lines across likely convoy routes to engage individual merchants and small vulnerable destroyers, being ordered to congregate only after one located a convoy and alerted the BdU, so a Rudel (pack) consisted of as many U-boats as could reach the scene of the attack. With the exception of the orders given by the BdU, U-boat commanders could attack as they saw fit. Often the U-boat commanders were given a probable number of U-boats that would show up, and then when they were in contact with the convoy, make call signs to see how many had arrived. If their number were sufficiently high compared to the expected threat of the escorts, they would attack. This proved a success, leading to a series of successful pack attacks on Allied convoys in the latter half of 1940 (known as "the Happy Time" to the U-boat men). Toward the end of the war, the U-boats were death traps. Of 40,900 men who manned U-boats, some 28,000, or 70%, were killed.

Code: 23344

495.00 GBP

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Weimar Period, Reichswehr, German Cavalry Officer's Sabre

German Army Freikorps period, for an officer of cavalry. Near mint condition, hilt with lion's head pommel, black celloloid grip with triple wire binding, crossed sabres langet, fancy emebellishments throughout the hilt including a lion's head quillon, and geometric patterning to the knucklebow. Mint superbly bright blade.The Weimar Republic was Germany’s government from 1919 to 1933, the period after World War I until the rise of Nazi Germany. It was named after the town of Weimar where Germany’s new government was formed by a national assembly after Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated. From its uncertain beginnings to a brief season of success and then a devastating depression, the Weimar Republic experienced enough chaos to position Germany for the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. At the end of World War I, the forces of the German Empire were disbanded, the men returning home individually or in small groups. Many of them joined the Freikorps (Free Corps), a collection of volunteer paramilitary units that were involved in suppressing the German Revolution and border clashes between 1918 and 1923.

The Reichswehr was limited to a standing army of 100,000 men, and a navy of 15,000. The establishment of a general staff was prohibited. Heavy weapons such as artillery above the calibre of 105 mm (for naval guns, above 205 mm), armoured vehicles, submarines and capital ships were forbidden, as were aircraft of any kind. Compliance with these restrictions was monitored until 1927 by the Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control.

It was conceded that the newly formed Weimar Republic did need a military, so on 6 March 1919 a decree established the Vorläufige Reichswehr (Provisional National Defence), consisting of the Vorläufiges Reichsheer (Provisional National Army) and Vorläufige Reichsmarine (Provisional National Navy). The Vorläufige Reichswehr was made up of 43 brigades.

On 30 September 1919, the army was reorganised as the Übergangsheer (Transitional Army), and the force size was reduced to 20 brigades. About 400,000 men were left in the armed forces, and in May 1920 it further was downsized to 200,000 men and restructured again, forming three cavalry divisions and seven infantry divisions. On 1 October 1920 the brigades were replaced by regiments and the manpower was now only 100,000 men as stipulated by the Treaty of Versailles. This lasted until 1 January 1921, when the Reichswehr was officially established according to the limitations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles (Articles 159 to 213).

The Reichswehr was a unified organisation composed of the following (as was allowed by the Versailles Treaty):

The Reichsheer, an army consisted of:
seven infantry divisions, and
three cavalry divisions.
General Command 1 at Berlin supervised 1st Division (Königsberg), 2nd Division (Stettin), 3rd Division (Berlin), and 4th Division (Dresden) as well as 1st and 2nd Cavalry Divisions (Frankfurt an der Oder and Breslau).
General Command 2 at Kassel supervised 5, 6, 7 and 3rd Cavalry divisions (Stuttgart, Münster, Munich, and Weimar).
The Reichsmarine, a navy with a limited number of certain types of ships and boats. No submarines were allowed.
Despite the limitations on its size, their analysis of the loss of World War I, research and development, secret testing abroad (in co-operation with the Red Army) and planning for better times went on. In addition, although forbidden to have a General Staff, the army continued to conduct the typical functions of a general staff under the disguised name of Truppenamt (Troop Office). During this time, many of the future leaders of the Wehrmacht – such as Heinz Guderian – first formulated the ideas that they were to use so effectively a few years later.Freikorps were the brainchild of Major Kurt von Schleicher. The Freikorps were also called the "Black Reichswehr" (Black Army) for they were a 'secret' army outside the bounds of the Versailles Treaty. The idea was developed after the failure of an army unit to quell a small rebellion in Berlin at the Battle of the Schloss. The army unit, when confronted by a socialist group with women and children, threw down their weapons and either ran away or joined the protest group. This led Major von Schleicher to conceive an alternative to using Reichswehr units to quell "red" ( or communist) uprisings. He suggested to his superiors to form volunteer units recruited from the old Reichswehr and commanded by former Imperial officers under governmental control. This way the Reichswehr would avoid the stigma of having to fire on civilians and the government would be financially supporting these freikorps, leaving the Reichswehr to concentrate on training for real battle. Men who joined these units were called "Freebooters", and they often held strong national socialist political views. The central Berlin government thought along with the central Reichswehr command that by paying and arming these 'black' soldiers, they might be able 'to tie them to the crib' and thus render them harmless.

The first organizer of a Freikorps unit was General Ludwig Maercker. His unit, the "Maercker Volunteer Rifles", were soon called to rush from city to city stamping out socialist uprisings. Because his unit was called upon to every corner of Germany, he hit upon the idea of forming Einwohnerwehren, local citizen militias to keep the peace. Later on, these groups grew into the Orgesch, (Organization Escherich) reserve militia units for the German Wehrmacht. They were under the command of Dr. Georg Escherich. The only issue is the rear facing base of the scabbard by the chape has deep pitting, likely due to its being stood against a damp wall during the last 70 years or so.

Code: 23353

550.00 GBP

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