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Book Review: The Grand Old Lady of No Man’s Land

I got an email from a fellow a few days ago asking if there is a good book out there on the Vickers gun, so I figured it would be a good time to do a review of Dolf Goldsmith’s gold standard work, The Grand Old Lady of No Man’s Land. The good news is that it covers pretty much everything you would want to know about the Vickers in all its iterations…

The bad news is that it’s very difficult to find these days. Any price under $200 is very good, and worth buying at. Just for laughs, here’s what it’s going for on Amazon right now:


15 comments to Book Review: The Grand Old Lady of No Man’s Land

  • It took a while, but thanks to a grand old gentleman I finally got a copy.
    Yes, about US$200 even about three years ago!

  • Chris Brosnahan

    ANY of the Collector’s Grade series is a good book to find and ALL are ‘expensive’ but no better books exist on these subjects although many come close and are highly recommended by myself (For Collectors Only Series comes to mind). I purchased the CG Pubs volume on the FAL back in the mid-90s for around $100 from Dave Salvaggio of DSA, and bought the volumr on the Garand and the first volume on the AR from William Douglas of Florida at a Tampa show…you might want to check out his museum – he has the only existing Thompson (a tool room sample) in .30-06…YES you read that correctly – .30-06!!!

    CB in FL

  • Keith


    who owns the copyright?

    Dolf? or Collectors Grade?

    would the owner be amenable to you producing and distributing a decent quality .PDF/ebook for a suitable consideration to cover your time and to help fund your site?

  • eric

    same idea here. i own a cdrom on the vetterli and other swiss weapons (mostly army manuals). impossible to find. the vetterli book is probably out of print for a century or so. why not digitize it, if the owner of the right does nothing with it?

  • Chris Morton

    Absolutely indispensable, along with “The Devil’s Paintbrush”. They’re two of the best BOOKS I’ve ever owned, and probably the best firearms books.

    There used to be a book dealer who used to come to the Berea, Ohio gunshow at the Cuyahoga Country Fair Grounds. He always had a lot of the Collector Grade books. I haven’t seen him in over a year. I love their books, but I’m just not up for spending $100+ on a book, sight unseen, even if it is Collector Grade.

  • Arnie

    Thanks Ian! Now I just have to find one.

  • Scott

    Hi Ian
    I have copy no’ 39 of the Special Author’s Edition, Limited to 300 copies.
    My copy also has the inscription
    ” To Ian Skennerton,
    many thanks for your help,
    Sincerely ( has Dolf’s Goldsmith’s signature ) may 31, 1994 ”

    I purchased it off Ian Skennerton, himself mid 2013!
    A great addition to my collectors reference library

    It’s a great book highly recommended for all collectors.

  • Matthew

    have a used- like new – copy of No Man’s land available for USD 250,- (postage not included).


    The Netherlands

  • Will


    Just wondered if that copy of “The Grand Old Lady” is still for sale.


    Bill in Canada

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