Collecting military objects is a passion that requires time, patience, modesty and reliable sources. Being demanding is all the more important, as with time, objects become more rare and are increasingly more difficult to obtain. However, military objects are a collection theme which still enables people, according to their possibilities, to find high-quality historical objects at reasonable prices.
I always feel enthusiastic when, after carrying out some historical research, I realise that an apparently insignificant, yet history-laden object, turns out to be sometimes more telling than a prestigious object that has only few copies in the world ! This is a unique opportunity for potential collectors, or for those who would rather not have a costly passion, to develop an interest in military curios.
Unlike what current trends may suggest, militaria still offers some subjects accessible to a majority of collectors, provided we know how to walk off the beaten tracks of highly valued periods or objects. The July Monarchy brass items ; the military buttons of the second part of the 19th century ; the Third Republic uniforms ; the National Guard headgear ; the miniature portraits of the reigns of Louis-Philippe and of Napoleon III ; military photographs ; some brass items of the National Guard during the French Revolution ; epaulettes from the Restoration to the Third Republic ; regimental souvenirs, some town swords of the Louis XVI era, are all subjects in which it is possible to make up series of authentic, interesting, aesthetic and historical objects with usual means.
The objects I present are carefully described, they are authentic (unless any mistaken appraisal was made), their condition is objectively stated (only the parts that can be dismantled could be checked).
The terms of sale are available on request.
I practice 4 types of activity, in France or abroad.
1 – Trade of ancient objects on catalogues or via internet.
2 – Expert assessment, design of catalogues, organisation of auctions and collaboration with exhibition organisers.
3 – Production of articles meant to various European journals.
4 – Publishing
Trade of ancient objects.
I set a rule for myself which is to supplement the meticulous expert assessment of objects with the in-depth study of archives and texts of the concerned periods.
The selection of objects and books available for purchase on my website and in my catalogues are based on 20 years of professional experience and on 25 years of passion for military art.
See the website : www.bertrand-malvaux.fr and the 2006 and 2009 sales catalogues ''L'Histoire par les objets''.
Not every piece is of utmost rarity, yet every single military object or historical souvenir, expensive or modest, is an authentical testimony of a glorious or unfortunate past which can leave no one indifferent. You need only to acquire them, should you so desire.
Expert assessment, design of catalogues, organisation of auctions and collaboration with exhibition organisers.
Certified by ''La Chambre Nationale des Experts Spécialisés en objets d'art et de collection CNES'' in 2016, that I have been chairing since July 2019, and by ''L'Union des Experts UFE'' since 1991, consultant for the auction house Christie's, I participated in the expert assessment and the estimate of the collection Charles Bremner Hogg Jackson, which is one of the constituent elements of the National Museum of American History 's collection of the Smithsonian Institution's of Washington.
I have been instructed by Christie's to expertise the French Militaria of the Russel B. Aitken collection, and to write the corresponding part of the sales catalogue (New York, 4th April 2003).
I led the expert assessment of the collection of the Military Museum of Bourbon-Lancy Gabriel Cimetière for the purpose of the auction on the 17th and the 18th of May 2003 in Angers.
I organised at Deouot with Maître Alexandre Giquello, in April 2010 on two days, the sales of the famous Pierre Benoit collection ; and then in June 2012, in collaboration with my colleagues Philippe Missillier and Jean-Christophe Paltey, of important souvenirs of the Marshall Ney, duke of Elchingen and prince of Moskowa.
Developing a common project, the Lambinet Museum and the ''Fondation de la Maison de la Chasse et de la Nature'' chose me to select the objects of the Laminet Museum's exhibition (Versailles, 23rd November 1993 – 6th March 1994) and included my study of weapons of reward and weapons of honour in a book called ''La Manufacture d'armes de Versailles et Nicolas Noël Boutet''.
Production of articles meant to various European journals.
Since 1988, I promote my studies' results on military objects (XVII°, XIX° and XX° century) in the main European journals, as well as in national museums' publications : Tradition magazine (France), Militaria magazine (France), Revue des Amis du Musée de l'Armée (France), Revue des Amis du Musée Royal de Bruxelles (Belgium), INFO (Germany), IMME (Germany), Military Illustrated (Great Britain), Uniformi (Italy).
I have created in 1997 ''Les Éditions du Canonnier'', which publishes recent books as well as republication of ancient work. ''Les Éditions du Canonnier'' deal with military history, uniforms and armaments of men at arms.
Éditions du Canonnier - 22 rue Crébillon - 44000 Nantes - tél 02 40 73 36 00
• Catalogue of Les Éditions du Canonnier :
1997 - « Le Hausse-Col Français », by Michel Pétard and Bertrand Malvaux (sold out).
1998 - « Le bouton d'Uniforme », republication of three books in one : 1. A book from Louis Fallou (1997), 2. Regulation « Tracé descriptif de divers objets d'habillement et du harnachement à l'usage de l'Armée Française, 1828 » and 3. A book from Félix Hecquet Hecquet (sold out).
1999 - « Des Sabres et des Épées, de Louis XIV à nos jours - Troupes à cheval », volume one and two, by Michel Pétard (sold out).
2000 - « La Garde Impériale de Napoléon III ». A reference work enthusiastically received by the public, result of five years of study. Authors : Louis Delpérier, André Jouineau, Bertrand Malvaux (sold out).
2004 - « Lettres de Guerre », by Pierre Charrié et Bertrand Malvaux. Book on the history of the First French Empire Revolution seen through letters from soldiers of the French army, fully illustrated with 123 original documents including 110 hitherto unseen.
2005 - « Ordre de Chevalerie, décorations et médailles de France ». A reference work by Jean-Pierre Collignon, commercialised since january 2005.
2005 - « L'Armée Française sous la Restauration (1814-1815) », by Auguste de Moltzheim. The unfailing support from several passionate amateurs ensured the republication of this rare book of 656 pages and 612 uniforms plates of a very high documentary value, which was only initialy printed in 400 copies (sold out).
2005 - « Des Sabres et des Épées, de Louis XIV à nos jours - Troupes à pied », third volume, by Michel Pétard (the last copies are available).
2006 - « Jean-Louis de Crabbé, colonel d'Empire, laissé pour mort à Waterloo », by François Hue.
2006 - « Le Sabre d'Abordage, Histoire du sabre de bord français de Louis XIV à la Troisième République », by Michel Pétard.
2006 - « La Cavalerie Légère de 1845 à 1916, Chasseurs à cheval et Hussards », by Louis Delpérier. Full-colour book (two volumes in box set) which gathers a never-seen documentation of more than 1200 illustrations : objects, old photographs and iconography of that time.
2007 - « Costumes Militaires de l'Armée Française 1902-1907 d'après les aquarelles d'Alphonse Lalauze » by Alphonse Lalauze and Louis Delpérier for historical records. Republication of 60 watercolour of the famous painter along with 60 photographs of that time.
2008 - « Martinet, les uniformes du Premier Empire - Galerie des enfants de mars, offrande à sa Majesté l'Impératrice et Reine », republication gathering more than 1 000 etchings of that time Premier Empire published in Martinet.
2010 - « Les Sabres de Hussards - l'histoire des sabres des Hussards de Louis XIV à nos jours », by Michel Pétard.
Books are available on sales on the website www.bertrand-malvaux.fr in the section Books
• Forthcoming Books :
« Les Gardes d'Honneur », by Pierre de Hugo and Bertrand Malvaux. This volume, forthcoming end 2020, will be the first volume of a new collection of books dedicated to La Grande Armée uniforms. The second volume « Les Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde Impériale », is scheduled for 2018. The third volume will deal with « Les Chevau-Légers Lanciers Polonais de la Garde Impériale ». The fourth volume will deal with « L'Infanterie de Ligne ». « Boucles et plaques de ceinturons de la Révolution et du Premier Empire », by Bernard Croissy and Bertrand Malvaux. « Épaulettes et dragonnes des armées napoléoniennes », by Bertrand Malvaux. « L'histoire du képi militaire français des origines à nos jours », by Louis Delpérier. « Les dagues allemandes de 1933 à 1945 », by Alain Taugourdeau by Bertrand Malvaux.