Maharajahs bomber spreads its wings again

#1
#2
That's just excellent. I'm fascinated by WW1 aircraft and the outrageous lunatics who flew them. I mean, sticks and string and nobody quite sure how it all worked, but they bolted machine-guns to them and went up to fight each other. Amazing they could fit their balls into their cockpits, frankly.
 
#3
Guy and Aero Vintage do some fantastic work , would love to see some more rare beasts restored.

Or even some Hawker Harts, (Once the area is de-mined) :D

Anyone been to the Al Abied racing circuit? Strong rumours of a Nsir and other interesting bits knocking around there
 
#4
Splendid story!

And a fine-looking aircraft.

GOK what else may be unearthed from those Indian princelings' palaces. Holland & Holland of London made a fortune in the '70s-'80s buying back incredibly fine old London-made sporting guns that were languishing in Indian princes' armouries.

What a shame the whole glorious link between the UK and India was severed in 1947.
 
#5
Fantastic story with a truly happy ending.

I really must clean out my elephant stable just in case.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#6
What a shame the whole glorious link between the UK and India was severed in 1947.
worst of all we now as a race tend to view them all as Indians, Asians or god forbid "Pakis!" when in reality as a sub continent it has produced some hard and martial tribes that furnished our forces with backbone when needed and never let us down (INA excluded!) Damn lying and thieving politicians!
 
#7
ugly said:
What a shame the whole glorious link between the UK and India was severed in 1947.
worst of all we now as a race tend to view them all as Indians, Asians or god forbid "Pakis!" when in reality as a sub continent it has produced some hard and martial tribes that furnished our forces with backbone when needed and never let us down (INA excluded!) Damn lying and thieving politicians!
Well said!

If you don't already know it, I warmly recommend Sir Compton Mackenzie's Octave Nine of his memoirs.

It describes a long, 1947 visit to every significant battlefield of the glorious old Indian Army in WW2 - all done on the eve of the dissolution of the British Indian Empire, and the horrors that were to follow.

It is very fine writing, and at times it made me weep for the loss of the glorious army which we abandoned in '47. And for the subsequent fortunes of the peoples of India, Pakistan and Burma.
 
#8
caubeen said:
Splendid story!

And a fine-looking aircraft.

GOK what else may be unearthed from those Indian princelings' palaces. Holland & Holland of London made a fortune in the '70s-'80s buying back incredibly fine old London-made sporting guns that were languishing in Indian princes' armouries.

What a shame the whole glorious link between the UK and India was severed in 1947.
I bet that there are more than a few vintage Rolls-Royce and Daimler motors lurking out there as well. I think that both firm’s did some really good business with the Maharaja’s and Princes in the 20/30’s.

This makes interesting reading:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maharaja_Bhupinder_Singh
 
#9
Rumrunner said:
caubeen said:
Splendid story!

And a fine-looking aircraft.

GOK what else may be unearthed from those Indian princelings' palaces. Holland & Holland of London made a fortune in the '70s-'80s buying back incredibly fine old London-made sporting guns that were languishing in Indian princes' armouries.

What a shame the whole glorious link between the UK and India was severed in 1947.
I bet that there are more than a few vintage Rolls-Royce and Daimler motors lurking out there as well. I think that both firm’s did some really good business with the Maharaja’s and Princes in the 20/30’s.

This makes interesting reading:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maharaja_Bhupinder_Singh
There are undoubtedly Rolls, Daimler, Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza and GOK what other lovely motorcars there - all, we trust, preserved by the climate (thop' in some places it can be very adverse).

Classic cars are not my thing - owing to poverty and the incessant cost of maintaining the caubeens' ancestral shebeen - but I'd be surprised if some of the experts haven't been out there sniffing around years ago.

The Maharajahs of Jamnagar had some wonderful cars/guns/aircraft IIRC, and the present Prince is ex-RAF; so perhaps those will have been preserved.

Damn' shame about losing India, tho' . . . . .
 
#10
Being old and festered, classic cars are my thing, and there are many fine and forgotten examples in India. However, the Indian Government have a law that forbids their export as they are considered works of art, so many continue to languish.

With the increasing wealth of India, I hope that many of these cars will be rescued by Indian enthusiasts and preserved for the future.
 
#11
FluffyBunny said:
Being old and festered, classic cars are my thing, and there are many fine and forgotten examples in India. However, the Indian Government have a law that forbids their export as they are considered works of art, so many continue to languish.

With the increasing wealth of India, I hope that many of these cars will be rescued by Indian enthusiasts and preserved for the future.
Ah! Dibnah!

Interesting about cars as art. VMT for that.

I wonder how H&H got all those guns out - since many had very artisitc engravings and/or inlays.

I do hope most of those cars will come to a happy ending in the hands of India's soon-to-be-very-rich.

Cars ain't my thing - but I recognise excellence when I see it.
 
#12
caubeen said:
FluffyBunny said:
Being old and festered, classic cars are my thing, and there are many fine and forgotten examples in India. However, the Indian Government have a law that forbids their export as they are considered works of art, so many continue to languish.

With the increasing wealth of India, I hope that many of these cars will be rescued by Indian enthusiasts and preserved for the future.
Ah! Dibnah!

Interesting about cars as art. VMT for that.

I wonder how H&H got all those guns out - since many had very artisitc engravings and/or inlays.

I do hope most of those cars will come to a happy ending in the hands of India's soon-to-be-very-rich.

Cars ain't my thing - but I recognise excellence when I see it.
How many did they get out?

My Bold
 
#13
Wow! Incredible find and outstanding restoration! :)
 
#14
Rumrunner said:
caubeen said:
FluffyBunny said:
Being old and festered, classic cars are my thing, and there are many fine and forgotten examples in India. However, the Indian Government have a law that forbids their export as they are considered works of art, so many continue to languish.

With the increasing wealth of India, I hope that many of these cars will be rescued by Indian enthusiasts and preserved for the future.
Ah! Dibnah!

Interesting about cars as art. VMT for that.

I wonder how H&H got all those guns out - since many had very artisitc engravings and/or inlays.

I do hope most of those cars will come to a happy ending in the hands of India's soon-to-be-very-rich.

Cars ain't my thing - but I recognise excellence when I see it.
How many did they get out?

My Bold
Not sure offhand. Scores, anyhow. Possibly 100s.

H&H would know. Their former CEO, Malcolm Lyell, was the key bloke.

A lot went through Sotheby's and Christie's. And very exquisite some of them were, although the extravagant engraving and lavish gold inlays wouldn't be to most British tastes. I think a great many ended up in US collections.

And a Midlands outfit brought back thousands of (less distinguished) muskets and rifles from princelings' armouries, for use in films etc. and later for sale as "off certificate" collectables. World-Wide Arms, I think it was.
 
#15
caubeen said:
Rumrunner said:
caubeen said:
FluffyBunny said:
Being old and festered, classic cars are my thing, and there are many fine and forgotten examples in India. However, the Indian Government have a law that forbids their export as they are considered works of art, so many continue to languish.

With the increasing wealth of India, I hope that many of these cars will be rescued by Indian enthusiasts and preserved for the future.
Ah! Dibnah!

Interesting about cars as art. VMT for that.

I wonder how H&H got all those guns out - since many had very artisitc engravings and/or inlays.

I do hope most of those cars will come to a happy ending in the hands of India's soon-to-be-very-rich.

Cars ain't my thing - but I recognise excellence when I see it.
How many did they get out?

My Bold
Not sure offhand. Scores, anyhow. Possibly 100s.

H&H would know. Their former CEO, Malcolm Lyell, was the key bloke.

A lot went through Sotheby's and Christie's. And very exquisite some of them were, although the extravagant engraving and lavish gold inlays wouldn't be to most British tastes. I think a great many ended up in US collections.

And a Midlands outfit brought back thousands of (less distinguished) muskets and rifles from princelings' armouries, for use in films etc. and later for sale as "off certificate" collectables. World-Wide Arms, I think it was.
Some serious money made I suspect?

I think that there is a bit of skulduggery when it comes to arms amnesties as well. I remember my father telling me of a matched pair of H&H’s handed in during an amnesty in Africa in the 50’s. The Inspector General of Police knew his stuff and appropriated them!
 
#16
Rumrunner said:
caubeen said:
Rumrunner said:
caubeen said:
FluffyBunny said:
Being old and festered, classic cars are my thing, and there are many fine and forgotten examples in India. However, the Indian Government have a law that forbids their export as they are considered works of art, so many continue to languish.

With the increasing wealth of India, I hope that many of these cars will be rescued by Indian enthusiasts and preserved for the future.
Ah! Dibnah!

Interesting about cars as art. VMT for that.

I wonder how H&H got all those guns out - since many had very artisitc engravings and/or inlays.

I do hope most of those cars will come to a happy ending in the hands of India's soon-to-be-very-rich.

Cars ain't my thing - but I recognise excellence when I see it.
How many did they get out?

My Bold
Not sure offhand. Scores, anyhow. Possibly 100s.

H&H would know. Their former CEO, Malcolm Lyell, was the key bloke.

A lot went through Sotheby's and Christie's. And very exquisite some of them were, although the extravagant engraving and lavish gold inlays wouldn't be to most British tastes. I think a great many ended up in US collections.

And a Midlands outfit brought back thousands of (less distinguished) muskets and rifles from princelings' armouries, for use in films etc. and later for sale as "off certificate" collectables. World-Wide Arms, I think it was.
Some serious money made I suspect?

I think that there is a bit of skulduggery when it comes to arms amnesties as well. I remember my father telling me of a matched pair of H&H’s handed in during an amnesty in Africa in the 50’s. The Inspector General of Police knew his stuff and appropriated them!
H&H will have behaved entirely honorably, I'm sure. Certainly on Malcolm Lyell's watch. I couldn't vouch for the French perfumiers who have owned it latterly - but they didn't have Lyell's entree to the palaces of India.

Arms amnesties may have been abused, but although there are a lot of stories flying about, very little of it seems to be verifiable. I do know that amnesties in NI and RoI yielded some exquisite stuff, all of which apparently went to the smelter. One could weep . .

There was a crooked employee of Purdey's in the '60s, who purloined and sold some wonderful guns kept by them in long-term storage. It was all kept very quiet; but a pal of mine lost a silver-plated Colt 1911 with ivory grips, a presentation piece to his grandfather, and also a Purdey double rifle. They were never recovered.

More tears!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#17
A similar event cleaned out some rare articles from the NRA museum, not to mention private stuff in storage, he was quietly let go I believe!
 
#18
Talking of reclaiming heritage, following the defeat of the Taleban Peter Jouvenal, former army officer and TV cameraman, set up a business trading in the antique weaponry in Afghanistan. As a Flashman fan he also set up his own Gandamack Lodge, a hotel and bar in Kabul. He gets good coverage in David Loyn's book 'Frontline' and comes across as a colourful and enterprising character.
 

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