Military Museums of London
Military Collectors Guide to London
What would a visit to London be if you couldn’t bring some of this rich history home? In addition to having some of the very best museums in the world, London is also a shopper’s paradise with numerous antique markets and specialty stores.
While many of the old shops have since closed up, and gone online there are still plenty of opportunities to browse for that special something. Buyers should watch for the exchange rate, and inquire about authenticity before making any purchase (the author assumes no responsibility for any items bought or sold from any of the listed examples).
A premier dealer in militaria from the late Middle Ages to the modern day.
Chelsea Antique Market
After a visit to the National Army Museum, head up to the Chelsea Antique Market, located on King’s Road. This arcade of antique dealers features several specializing in militaria, including British medals, badges, bladed weapons and headgear.
Every Saturday morning there is usually a gathering of military dealers in the antique district just off the Angel Street tube stop on the Northern Line. The small, yet crowded, gathering features dealers specializing in militaria from both World Wars.
Since 1837 this has been the largest antique market in London, and perhaps the world. More than a half mile of street vendors, along with dozens of permanent arcades – each with dozens of dealers – offer antiques from all periods. While visitors will have to search to find it, there are plenty of militaria sellers mixed in with the vendors of old records, pottery and other “junk.” More than an antique fair, Portobello Road is an institution.
Peter Suciu writes the Badges of Honor department in ARMCHAIR GENERAL magazine and has covered military history for more than a decade. His work has also appeared in Military Heritage and Military Trader. He has been an avid collector of helmets for nearly 30 years.