Full Details for Lot 255

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Fine Modern & Antique Arms - December 2021

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Sale A1221 Lot 255

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** GARRY CILLIERS, SOUTH AFRICA

A BOXED HAND-MADE RHODESIAN LIGHT INFANTRY PRESENTATION BOOT-KNIFE WITH BONE HANDLE,
presented to Colour Sergeant A.H. Coom for services to the Rhodesian Light Infantry, with polished straight double-edged 3 1/2in. blade, integral stubby cross-guard signed 'CILLIERS KNIVES', plain kudu-bone scales held via four pins, the front scrimshawed with an oval panel featuring a standing infantryman above the legend 'THE SAINTS' and in turn above the R.L.I.. regimental badge, the reverse with a scrimshawed depiction of an F.N. S.L.R above 723733 C/SGT COOM A.H.' together with a depiction of the 3rd Company R.L.I. patch, complete with a tooled leather sheath and presented in a custom made wood box, the lid embossed with the R.L.I. regimental badge

Provenance: Much has been spoken of the more `glamorous' Selous Scouts, the SAS and the Rhodesian Air Force, but very little about the Rhodesian Light Infantry, often underrated, but arguably one of the most effective counter-insurgency units of all time. This was the unit that brought the `Fireforce' concept to the world's attention, the devastatingly ruthless airborne envelopment and annihilation of a guerrilla enemy. Dubbed "The Killing Machine" by Charles D. Melson, chief historian of the US Marine Corps, the RLI was a veritable `foreign legion' with over 20 diverse nationalities serving in her ranks. The RLI, a truly international airborne battalion, fought the bitter Zimbabwean `bus war' for 15 years, against the overwhelming tide of communist-trained guerrillas. Kill rates don't win wars, but during its brief 19-year history, it is estimated that the RLI accounted for between 12,000 and 15,000 enemy guerrillas, for the loss of 135 men. RLI soldiers were recipients of four Silver Crosses and 42 Bronze Crosses of Rhodesia, and it is an RLI trooper who holds the world record for operational parachute descents, a staggering 73 operational jumps, most under 500 feet!

** Please note this item is subject to 20% VAT on the hammer price (UK Buyers only).

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Estimate £200-300

This bladed product is not for sale to people under the age of 18. By bidding on this item you are declaring that you are 18 years of age or over.
Please be aware that we are unable to send edged weapons or bladed products by postal courier to a UK residential address (Offensive Weapons Act 2019)




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