Blueprint to Success

The Tank Museum Behind the Scenes

The majority of The Tank Museum’s exhibits are donated, but occasionally we are alerted to items of significance on the militaria market

It was January when The Tank Museum was made aware of the auction of a May 1916 blueprint and patent specification of a Mark I tank.

The items had been held privately and the auction was due to take place at Laidlaw Auctioneers and Valuers in Carlisle. The availability of these two rare pieces of World War One heritage had naturally attracted considerable interest, and as a result, there was an expectation that The Tank Museum would be eager to purchase them.

But with the blueprint and patent specification expected to fetch between £10,000 to £20,000 and £5,000 to £10,000 respectively, it wasn’t a shoo-in.

There were a number of questions we had to answer first, starting with an appraisal of what we already had in order to determine where these items sat in terms of their historical significance.

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