Weaponry: Premium Positioning
The inspiration behind our weaponry auctions is that our experts share the same passion, seek the same excellence, and appreciate the same skilled craftsmanship as our loyal customers do.
This approach has enriched our auctions with nothing but the best quality of weaponry and ensures that our buyers will have the best selection of authentic, exclusive and rare collectable weapons to satisfy every level of collector.
At Catawiki we take the responsibility of keeping our auctions inline with our collectors’ passions very seriously. That is why our in-house experts select the items for our auctions, ensuring that they are displayed properly and presented in the best possible way.
This ensures that our bidders are constantly engaged, excited and most importantly ‘successful’ in all of our auctions, which also ensures that our sellers’ experience is just as engaging and successful in each and every auction here on Catawiki.
At our weaponry auctions you will find weapons that are rare and sometimes of historical value, but all are of premium quality and appealing to the passionate weaponry enthusiasts and collectors of all levels.
For our auctions we seek and select:
- decorative weapons and collections
- authentic antique and rare weaponry of all sizes and calibres encompassing a wide selection of weapon types, including:
- authentic firearms
- classic hunting weaponry
- edged weapons
- air guns
- items that comply with all Dutch Gun & Ammunition laws
- items that comply with all European Deactivation requirements
- items that range from mint to fair condition and are complete (no parts of weapons will be sold)
- lots that have a minimum value of €50
1. Proven premium material quality
Types of Decorative Weapons & Collections
We seek a wide range of complete, decorative weapons that were only meant to be used for parades, shows, ceremonials, or to hang on the wall - from all periods.
- Swords, daggers or spears that may or may not have an edge or that are decorated with engravings, gemstones or other materials and meant purely for decoration
- Selected ceremonial and parade weaponry
- Model firearm collections that have a scale of 1:25 or smaller
- Antique pin knives or pocket knives or whole collections of such knives
- High end current period pocket knives such as William Henry, Chris Reeve or C. Gray Taylor knives for example
- Any weapon that is known, or found to have, fakes/reproductions in circulation, where these were made to deceive and not made simply for decoration, will not be accepted in our auctions
Decorative Weapons & Collections That Are Not Permitted
|Loose parts, such as sword blades, spearheads or axe heads are not suitable for our dedicated weapons auctions - must be a complete weapon or knife|
|Model firearms/replicas of a 1:1 scale cannot be auctioned as they fall under the Dutch ‘look-a-like’ law and are not legal - this also applies to artworks made of or including replica or 1:1 scale model firearms|
|Folding knives that when folded out have an overall length of 28 cm or more - folding knives must include one photo showing it unfolded, laying next to a measuring tape or stick so that we can clearly see the total unfolded length|
The Dutch ‘Look-A-Like’ Law Explained
By adhering to these laws, we are not only protecting ourselves but also our valued customers.
Art. 2, sub 1, Category I, sub 7 WWM, of the Dutch Gun and Ammunition laws state that ‘any object which has an exact or close resemblance (look-a-like) to a specific (brand/model) of a real firearm, can be used or deemed as a threat to others, anything the Minister, Police officer or other state officials deems as a threat to others, is illegal to possess, sell or distribute.’
Unfortunately there are no legal specifications in the Dutch Gun and Ammunition Law, so we have to rely on jurisprudence. In that respect this jurisprudence, originating from courts of justices and even the Dutch High Courts, has upheld this law on many occasions. It states that a ‘look-a-like’ is categorised as:
- the object must have an exact or close resemblance to a specified (brand/model) real firearm
- there are non-functional parts of the object that have no other intention as to make it look like a firearm
Those non-functional parts can be anything: a fake barrel, a fake ejection port of a pistol, a fake magazine, ribs on the back to represent ones on a real gun slide, or anything a police officer decides is relevant.
Antique Firearms & Hunting Weaponry
We seek a wide selection of weapon types including:
- classic hunting weaponry; weaponry that consists of any weapon that pertains to hunting, e.g.:
- crossbows and archery
- hunting knives (Bowie knife, Antler grip knives, German hunting club knives and daggers)
- any antique firearm that was made before 1870
- signal, flare, starter and blank guns made before 1945
- firearms such as Black Powder Rifles and handguns, incl. Matchlock, Wheellock, Flintlock, Percussion, Pinfire, etc.
Any firearm of propellant type NITRO (Smokeless Powder), needs to comply with European deactivation requirements, as explained on the following section.
Deactivation Requirements for Weapons
Deactivated weapons are weapons that have been deactivated in accordance with the New EU deactivation regulation, EU DEACTIVATION REGULATION 2015_2403.
This new EU reg. started on 16th April 2016, so any and all guns that have been deactivated prior to that date are not legal for us to auction.
Deactivated weapons are one of the easiest to deal with both legally and acceptability. All deactivated weapons have been issued 2 certificates that prove that they have been deactivated. One for the owner, and one that always stays with the weapon.
So, as long as the seller supplies one certificate with the lot photos and the date on the certificate is prior to 16th April 2016, the serial number and model of the gun can be matched, then it is allowed in our auctions.
Examples of Unsuitable Firearms & Hunting Weaponry
Not all types of firearms are suitable for our auctions. Some items are strictly prohibited by law.
- Combination weapons that are a combination of a firearm and a knuckle duster (brass knuckles) or folding knife cannot be accepted for legal reasons.
- .22 LR (Long Rifle) calibre are not permitted, .22 S (Short) calibre are allowed.
- No Ammunition of any kind is allowed, which includes percussion caps, blanks or any explosive materials such as Black Powders, ignition powders, etc.
- Any item with a WW2 German Wehrmacht waffenamt proof mark that was produced after December 1944 is not legal to sell in most EU countries and therefore not allowed in Catawiki’s auctions.
- Certain firearms that Catawiki perceives that would shed a negative light on our auctions will not be accepted. These include, but are not limited to, the AK47 and M16.
- Incomplete weapons or parts of weapons are not suitable for our auctions.
Overview of Dutch Firearms Laws That Pertain to Catawiki’s Auctions
Since Catawiki is a Dutch based company, we must always follow and abide by the Dutch Gun and Ammunition laws. This also includes any EU wide weapons regulations.
Please be aware that the Dutch Gun and Ammunition laws are the only laws that apply to Catawiki. Catawiki cannot provide any information about other countries’ laws and legislation related to the sale or purchase of weapons.
Catawiki cannot give any details or information regarding other countries’ weapons laws. Therefore all customers (buyers and sellers) that live outside of the Netherlands must contact their own local police and/or customs authorities to determine if the weapon(s) that they intend on selling or buying is legal for them to buy, own, possess and ship to the country in which they reside.
Below you will find a link to the CAFA (Catawiki Firearms Acceptance) chart. This helps in determining if a specific firearm meets the Dutch Law criteria for Catawiki to accept it in our auctions.
Link: CAFA chart
Antique & Classic Air Guns
We seek a wide selection of air guns that were made before 1970.
Air guns are any kind of object that use air (pneumatic), be it human, compressed or other gaseous propellants, to launch a projectile. This includes:
Not suitable for Air Gun auctions:
- air guns that look exactly like a real gun
- air guns made after 1970
These ribs alone make this air gun illegal!
Rare & Antique Edged Weapons from Various Periods
We seek a wide range of edged weapons that:
- are military or have a military connection
- were made for practical purposes:
Asian edged weapons made before 1900 are not suitable for our Militaria & Weaponry auctions. You may however offer these up for the Asian Art & Antiques auctions.
Any item with a WW2 German Wehrmacht waffenamt proof mark that was produced after December 1944 is not legal to sell in most EU countries and therefore not allowed in Catawiki auctions.
Incomplete or parts of edged weapons will not be auctioned.
No replicas are allowed.
2. Proof of Authenticity/ Certification Requirements
Buyers are more likely to bid on your lot if they know it’s certified as being authentic, particularly for lots of higher value.
In case of doubt, our in-house experts may ask for proof of authenticity in the form of:
Such certificates can be obtained by the seller from a number of the trusted external experts:
Unissued/like new - unused, but may not have a box or factory accessories. May have been sold at retail before, but never used.
Firearms related - unissued surplus guns are unused, but are still often several decades old, and thus may sometimes show small handling marks. Bluing/Nickel Finish 99-100% intact.
Used but in like new condition - may have been used slightly, but shows no signs of wear - perfect condition. May show very minor scratches with no patina and no defects.
Firearms related - Bluing/Nickel Finish 99-100% intact.
Excellent - may show slight signs of use but little to no wear. May show scratches and minor dings, minor patina - no defects. Grip/handle and pommel are intact and also in excellent condition.
Firearms related - minimal bluing wear, mainly slight signs at edges and muzzle, little scratches on wood or metal. Shiny bore. Bluing/Nickel Finish 80-90% intact.
Very good plus - completely intact. Shows slight signs of wear, only minor defects, dings or scratches. Grip/handle and pommel are complete and in very good condition.
Firearms related - nice looking bluing/nickel but worn at edges and muzzle. Bluing/Nickel Finish 70-80% intact.
Very good - some wear on finish and surfaces, minimal or no corrosion, but maybe some light freckling or streaking. Could have minor dents and scratches. Grip/handle is intact and no missing or loose wire. Pommel is intact. Markings still intact and readable.
Firearms related - everything works, some wear on finish and working surfaces, minimal or no corrosion, but maybe some light freckling. Could have minor dents and scratches. Bore may not be shiny but should not be dark. Bluing/Nickel Finish 60-70% intact.
Good - finish or surface may be quite worn from sustained use or carry. Could have some pitting or light corrosion, freckling, dings or scratches. Grip/handle may have loose wire but intact, may have some very small missing pieces but still intact. Pommel is intact. Markings may be light but still readable.
Firearms related - working condition, but finish or surface may be quite worn from sustained use or carry. Wear on working surfaces. Could have some pitting or light corrosion/freckling, and dings or scratches, but they should not interfere with function. May have dark, worn bore. Bluing/Nickel Finish 30-60% intact.
Fair - Well-worn finish or surface. May have corrosion or pitting that does not render the item unusable. Still complete with only small pieces missing. Grip/handle may have leather missing or tie wires missing. Pommel may be damaged or missing.
Firearms related - considered working usually, though minor adjustment may be needed Well-worn finish, perhaps no finish left. May have corrosion or pitting that does not render the gun unusable. Bore may be shot smooth and be dark. Wood may have cracks but is usually still usable. Bluing/Nickel Finish 1-30% intact.
Poor - rusted, brittle, blades over 50% gone or broken, usually short. Grip/handle may be completely gone. Pommel may be missing, blades lazy, tang mark unreadable or just barely readable.
Firearms related - usually not working, no finish left, rusted, pieces missing.
Suggestion for trusted experts providing third party certification
Catawiki will accept the opinion from the following weapons expert, and if they concur that the weapon is indeed authentic, they can provide a digital COA (Certificate of Authentication). They typically provide a certificate within 7 days. The price depends on the time and research that must be done and is between the seller and the company listed below.
Business Manager/Armourer at D & B Militaria Ltd. Private Firearms Consultant
Over 35 years of experience in weapons collecting. Business Manager of D & B Militaria Ltd. Private Firearms Consultant for Law Enforcement, Film Industry and Media. Chairman of the DWA. General Council and Technical Committee of the BSSC. His opinion is highly regarded in the UK and around the world.
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