The Collectors Club of Great Britain Logo
Advertisement Picture
Advertisement Picture
Advertisement Picture

CCofGB - Features

Marking your militaria collection

Bill Harriman

Posted on 22 May 2012

Enlarge image

Insurance companies are tough and sceptical at the best of times. In times of economic downturn, they become harder than the flint in a musket lock.

Equally if you are to stand any chance of having stolen property recovered then it needs to be both carefully documented and uniquely marked to foil any attempt to sell it on. It goes further than mere inventory keeping. There is something very satisfying about looking back over the history of the creation of a collection.

Those of us who enjoy collecting arms and armour tend to be passionate about it. We invest a great deal of our hard earned cash in our hobby.

Whilst the joy of owning historical artefacts is generally our prime motivating force, carefully chosen pieces can also prove to be a better and safer investment than the banks and building societies.

We don’t just invest our money in our collections; we also invest a great deal of ourselves in them too.

It can be quite an emotional business ranging from the deep satisfaction of nabbing a bargain to the thrill of the chase by tracking down that important item which fills the gap.

Having put so much into building a collection, it is common sense to document and mark it properly.

Here are some key tips to protecting your collection:


  • Create a detailed database of every item in your collection. Describe it fully and add a selection of photographs.
  • Write your name and address on a piece of paper, roll it up and pop it into the barrel.
  • Use self-adhesive labels stuck under the buttplate and barrel.
  • Use a permanent marker or pen that shows up under UV light to write in an inconspicious area of the item.
  • Consider the pros and cons of inserting microchips in items.
  • Use a high-tech solution such as Smartwater to mark your items.

This is a small excerpt taken from an article in the June/July 2012 issue of Classic Arms & Militaria. To read the full article, order your copy easily and securely by clicking here.

Your Comments

Tell us what you think...

You must be logged in to leave a comment. You can log in here.
If you don't have a user account please register.

You may also like these other recent features...

Austro-Hungarian rifles of World War I

Posted: 27 Dec 2012
Additional images and specification tables for Part 2 of Paul Scarlata's article on the Austro-Hungarian rifles of the First World War, published in The Armourer January/February ...

Swiss Connection

Posted: 27 Dec 2012
Swiss Machine Guns - An overview of Solothurn developments and technical data of the most important Solothurn weapons.

Israeli Accoutrements

Posted: 27 Dec 2012
Part 1 of R.J Dennis's article on wartime Israeli accoutrements which featured in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of The Armourer.

Armourer logo

007 facts about James Bond creator Ian Fleming

Posted: 23 Oct 2012
Everyone has heard of Ian Fleming, author and creator of the most well-known spy in films history. Few people, though, know that Fleming was quite a character himself, and that ...

Armourer logo

Lest We Forget: World War I memories from the Front

Posted: 23 Oct 2012
A personal account from Bill Harriman of his grandfather's wartime service, with a dog-eared photo of a young NCO, two medal ribbons, two postcards and a cheap clasp knife.

World War Two postal history collection

Posted: 12 Oct 2012
The collection of World War Two postal history recently acquired by the British Library Philatelic Collections provides an evocative record of wartime events and a personal diary ...

To Top