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A Most Scarce WW2 German Luftwaffe-Falshirmjager Parachute Log Book
Issued in 1944 used until 1945. Kept with the luftwaffe parachute that this signed passport type log referred to. Everytime a German parachute was packed and inspected it was stamped in its own book like this one, with the name of the packer and inspector signed and dated alongside. This was in case if the pilot or paratrooper's parachute failed to open, the high command knew exactly who was to blame. Very few of these such books survived the war. This log book shows its parachute, that was a 9.5 kilo parachute, tested to 400 kph, was last packed and inspected in June 1945.

Code: 21337Price: On Request

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A Superb Napoleonic Cuirassiers 'Giberne' Grenade
Four inch grenade that was affixed to the front flap of the cuirassiers cartridge pouch or giberne. The giberna was created in 1620 by King Gustav II Adolphus of Sweden to replace the previous "ball bag". First worn on the shoulder, it was fixed under Louis XV belt before returning to its place around the body in the mid- eighteenth century . Originally being intended only for bullets, it was also used to support the bayonet. The giberne was carried by the soldiers of the monarchy, the Revolution and the Empire before being replaced in 1845 by the cartridge belt. The Cuirassiers Heavy Cavalry Regiments used the largest men in France, recruited to serve in the greatest and noblest cavalry France has ever had. They fought with distinction at their last great conflict at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and most of the Cuirassier souvenirs that survive in England [such as swords, pistols and uniform parts] very likely came from that field of conflict, recovered after the battle, as trophies of war. Every warrior that has ever entered service for his country sought trophies. The Mycenae from a fallen Trojan, the Roman from a fallen Gaul, the GI from a fallen Japanese, the tradition stretches back thousands of years, and will continue as long as man serves his country in battle. In the 1st century AD the Roman Poet Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis [Juvenal]
wrote; "Man thirsts more for glory than virtue. The armour of an enemy, his broken helmet, the flag ripped from a conquered trireme, are treasures valued beyond all human riches. It is to obtain these tokens of glory that Generals, be they Roman, Greek or barbarian, brave a thousand perils
and endure a thousand exertions".
.The cuirassiers were the greatest of all France's cavalry, allowing only the strongest men of over 6 feet in height into it's ranks. The French Cuirassiers were at their very peak in 1815, and never again regained the wonder and glory that they truly deserved at that time. To face a regiment of, say, 600 charging steeds bearing down upon you mounted with armoured giants, brandishing the mightiest of swords that could pierce the strongest breast armour, much have been, quite simply, terrifying. This is the first example of a cuirassiers pouch [giberne] grenade we have had since the 1980's. Photograph of original Cuirassier kit and the giberne courtesy of Tradition Magazine issue Julliet-Aout 1991

Code: 21336Price: 595.00 GBP

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A Superb Ancient Early Koto Samurai Sword Katana
Around 700 years old, from the Genko Wars, a stunning blade with most attractive hamon. Original Edo period silver hilt mounts [fushi kashira] Koto period pierced sukashi iron round tsuba with sakura mon. Ishime [stone finish] lacuer saya with carved buffalo horn kurigata. The blade is in original Edo polish and shows small defensive hand to hand combat cuts to the sides. The Genko War (1331–1333) also known as the Genko Incident was a civil war in Japan which marked the fall of the Kamakura shogunate and end of the power of the Hojo clan. The war thus preceded the Nanboku-ch? period and the rise of the Ashikaga shogunate. Genk? is the name of the Japanese era corresponding to the period 1331–1334.

Throughout much of the Kamakura period, the shogunate was controlled by the Hojo clan, whose members held the title of shikken (regent for the shogun), and passed it on within the clan. The Emperor was little more than a figurehead, holding no real administrative power.

In 1331, Emperor Go-Daigo plotted to seize power and overthrow the shogunate in Kamakura. However, he was betrayed by a trusted adviser Fujiwara Sadafusa. The Emperor fled Kyoto with the Sacred Treasures and sought refuge in a secluded monastery overlooking the Kizu River, called Kasagi. The monastery was attacked by Bakufu troops in the Siege of Kasagi. The emperor managed to escape, but only temporarily, and was subsequently banished to the Oki Islands. The shogunate then enthroned Emperor Kgon.

The Emperor's son Prince Morinaga continued to fight, leading his father's supporters alongside Kusunoki Masashige.

Emperor Go-Daigo escaped Oki in the spring of 1333, two years after his exile, with the help of Nawa Nagatoshi and his family, raising an army at Funagami Mountain in Hoki Province

Meanwhile, Ashikaga Takauji, the chief general of the Hojo family, turned against the Hojo and fought for the Emperor in the hopes of being named shogun. Takauji entered Kyoto on 19 June and Go-Daigo entered the Palace at the end of July 1333. Simultaneously, Nitta Yoshisada led his army on a campaign through Kozuke and Musashi provinces culminating in the siege of Kamakura, setting fire to the city, and destroying the Kamakura shogunate

Code: 21334Price: 5850.00 GBP

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An Excellent Original WW1 'Princess Mary Box' Christmas 1914
With original gilt lacquer finish. They were sent to the British troops in the frontline trenches in WW1 at Christmas 1914. In original condition, that once would have contained tobacco or chocolate etc. During World War One King George V and Queen Mary got very involved in active war work. The King mainly visited battlefields (as recorded on the ‘King at the Front’ postcards) while the queen organised clothing drives, visited hospitals and other welfare organisations. Princess Mary, then 18, often accompanied the Queen and according to the book ”Princess Mary, Viscount Lascelless“ became intensely concerned, with Christmas looming, about the well-being of the soldiers and sailors serving far from home. With her parents consent the following letter of appeal was published in November 1914.

” For many weeks we have all been greatly concerned for the welfare of the soldiers and sailors who are so valiantly fighting our battles by land and sea. Our first consideration has been to meet their more pressing needs and I have delayed making known a wish that has long been in my heart, for fear of encroaching on other funds, the claim of which have been more urgent. I want you all to help me send a Christmas present from the whole nation to every sailor afloat and every soldier at the Front. On Christmas Eve, when, like the shepherds of old, they were wont to hang out their stockings, wondered what the morrow had in store. I’m sure that we should all be happier to feel that we had helped to send our little token of love and sympathy on Christmas morning something that would be of useful and permanent value, and the making of which may be the means of providing employment for trades adversely affected by the war. Could there be anything more likely to hearten them in their struggle than a present received straight from home on Christmas Day? Please will you help me Mary“.

In support of this appeal many periodicals of the day published or referred to her letter.

The following example appeared in the Illustrated War News of 4 November 1914 ”Princess Mary is appealing for help to send a Christmas present, from the Nation, to ”every Sailor afloat and every Soldier at the front“. Remittance should be addressed to H.R.H. the Princess Mary, Buckingham Palace, S.W., the envelopes marked ”Sailors and Soldiers Christmas Fund“. The appeal was very successful for it had reached 131,000 Pound by 16 December .It was initially decided that the ”Gift“ would be received by every sailor afloat and every soldier at the Front wearing the King’s uniform on Christmas Day 1914. The difficulty for the committee was deciding how many to get manufactured. They calculated that 145,000 sailors including Royal Marines and 350,000 soldiers including the Indian Contingent qualified. It was therefore calculated that between 55 and 60,000 pounds would be needed to cover the cost of nearly 500,000 gifts. The final Fund total was reported by the Committee on 30 June 1919 as 193,667 pounds 4s and 10d. Monies from the fund is also reported as having been used, to buy War Bonds and, in War Loans. The funds that remained at the end were apparently transferred to Queen Mary’s Maternity Home founded for the benefit of the wives and children of sailors, soldiers and airmen of the newly formed Royal Air Force. Abridged from an original article by Grahame Barber. 2nd Lieutenant R C Leach of the 1st Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment wrote to his mother describing Christmas 1914:
“I think we must have had a decidedly more cheerful Christmas than you at home. For a start on getting into billet I found 15 parcels waiting for me. They had a special Post Office bag for them. Well on Christmas morn I spent till about 1.30 issuing presents to the men; both yours which were very welcome and those sent in bulk to be divided amongst the troops, each regiment getting a certain share. There were also Princess Mary’s presents which consisted of a packet of cigarettes, a pipe, a packet of tobacco and a Christmas card from King and Queen.” Also in the gallery a photo [for information only] of a soldier opening his Princess Mary Gift Tin, Christmas 1914.

Code: 21333Price: 135.00 GBP

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A Good Original WW2 Third Pattern FS Commando Knife
Near needle pointed stilletto'd blade. A standard issued knife and blade of WW2 but some combatants would re-shape the blade to be almost needle pointed to suit their particular style of combat. In November 1940 there was a meeting between W. E. Fairbairn, E. A. Sykes and Robert Wilkinson Latham at Wilkinson Sword Company.

Fairbairn and Sykes described the type of knife they envisioned and the purpose for which it was intended. As discussion continued, preliminary sketches were drawn up and modified time and time again. As Robert Wilkinson Latham tells it: 'In order to explain exactly their point, the two men rose to their feet and one, it was Fairbairn my grandfather mentioned, grabbed the wood ruler from his desk and the two men danced around the office in mock combat'. W. E. Fairbairn had also brought with him an example of a suitable fighting knife.

The system they devised utilised techniques drawn from Jiu Jitsu, Gatka, Kung Fu and 'Gutter Fighting'. It proved extremely effective. They were natural choices for the job. Both had served in the Shanghai Municipal Police Force, facing death daily in the dark, narrow streets and alleys of the city against armed thugs and organised gangs. In Shanghai they had made some fighting knives out of bayonets. The meeting resulted in the Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife, that was manufactured, firstly, into the 1st pattern FS Knife, it was to then evolve, briefly, into the 2nd pattern FS Knife [in August 1942] and eventually into the 3rd pattern, in around October 1943.

Code: 21332Price: 325.00 GBP

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A Very Good Late Koto Katana, Full Suite of Higo Mounts
Circa 1590. All original Edo period koshirae and a leather bound tsuka over bird menuki on a giant rayskin covered hilt, ishime stone lacquer finish saya in bull's blood [sang de boeuf] lacquer. Very fine Higo mounts including a sayagaki. Fine blade with suguha hamon. A great sword in very nice condition. Made and used in the time of the greatest battle in samurai history. The Battle of Sekigahara Sekigahara no Tatakai) was a decisive battle on October 21, 1600 that preceded the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate. Initially, Tokugawa's eastern army had 75,000 men, while Ishida's western army numbered 120,000. Tokugawa had also sneaked in a supply of arquebuses. Knowing that Tokugawa was heading towards Osaka, Ishida decided to abandon his positions and marched to Sekigahara. Even though the Western forces had tremendous tactical advantages, Tokugawa had already been in contact with many daimyo in the Western Army for months, promising them land and leniency after the battle should they switch sides.

Tokugawa's forces started the battle when Fukushima Masanori, the leader of the advance guard, charged north from Tokugawa's left flank along the Fuji River against the Western Army's right centre. The ground was still muddy from the previous day's rain, so the conflict there devolved into something more primal. Tokugawa then ordered attacks from his right and his centre against the Western Army’s left in order to support Fukushima's attack.

This left the Western Army's centre unscathed, so Ishida ordered this unit under the command of Shimazu Yoshihiro to reinforce his right flank. Shimazu refused as daimyos of the day only listened to respected commanders, which Ishida was not.

Recent scholarship by Professor Yoshiji Yamasaki of Toho University has indicated that the Mori faction had reached a secret agreement with the Tokugawa two weeks earlier, pledging neutrality at the decisive battle in exchange for a guarantee of territorial preservation, and was a strategic decision on Mori Terumoto's part that later backfired.

Fukushima's attack was slowly gaining ground, but this came at the cost of exposing their flank to attack from across the Fuji River by Otani Yoshitsugu, who took advantage of this opportunity. Just past Otani's forces were those of Kobayakawa Hideaki on Mount Matsuo.

Kobayakawa was one of the daimyos that had been courted by Tokugawa. Even though he had agreed to defect to Tokugawa's side, in the actual battle he was hesitant and remained neutral. As the battle grew more intense, Tokugawa finally ordered arquebuses to fire at Kobayakawa's position on Mount Matsuo to force Kobayakawa to make his choice. At that point Kobayakawa joined the battle as a member of the Eastern Army. His forces charged ?tani's position, which did not end well for Kobayakawa. Otani's forces had dry gunpowder, so they opened fire on the turncoats, making the charge of 16,000 men mostly ineffective. However, he was already engaging forces under the command of Todo Takatora, Kyogoku Takatsugu, and Oda Yuraku when Kobayakawa charged. At this point, the buffer Otani established was outnumbered. Seeing this, Western Army generals Wakisaka Yasuharu, Ogawa Suketada, Akaza Naoyasu, and Kutsuki Mototsuna switched sides, turning the tide of battle

Code: 21331Price: 5450.00 GBP

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A Beautiful Coastal Yemeni-Omani Janbiya Dagger with Amber and Ducat Hilt
Carved amber hilt decorated with early Florentine renaissance style Ducats in gold but likely traditional Arab facsimiles. Silver metal scabbard, decorated with tradition patterning and is dated with Islamic date 1380 AH, but this may be a later dated scabbard. Just returned from 10 hours conservation cleaning in our workshop. The khanjar or janbiya is curved and sharpened on both edges. It is carried in a sheath decorated in silver, on a belt similarly decorated in silver filigree. A khanjar appears on the flag of Oman, as part of the national emblem of Oman. The release of the Khanjar from its sheath before the 1970s was considered a social taboo and men would only do that if they sought revenge or assassination. Lawrence of Arabia had several very similar ones presented to him, they were his favourite dagger, and he was frequently photographed wearing them. One picture is a photo of T.E. Lawrence and Prince Faisal at the Versailles Conference after the end of WW1, with his silver Jambiya, most similar to this one. Like many edged weapons in other cultures, the jambiya has acquired a history of magical thinking. There are stories of jambiya’s used to treat snakebites, and others that are helpful in recovery from traffic accidents!

There is a long history of the janbiya. Evidence of the oldest janbiyas show they were worn in Sheban times, in the Himiarite kingdom; a statue of the Sheban king dating from 500 B.C. includes a janbiya. Today, the janbiya is the main customary accessory to the clothing worn by traditionally garbed Arab men. A man’s janbiya is carefully protected and worn for life; almost an indispensable part of their personalities. It is said that no man is complete without his janbiya.

The janbiya is worn around the waist, either vertically in front (as with the Yemeni 'aseeb janbiya) or angled (as with the Yemini tuza jambiya), or horizontally at the waist in front (e.g., the Saudi-Yemeni dharia). The name “janbiya” is from “jamb” which in Arabic means “side”. The man in this photo has his turned towards the front, typical of those who carry this type of jambiya, called a "Dharia".

He who abandons his janbiya, whatever the conditions, would be defamed by his peers and acquaintances. Furthermore, tradition says the janbiya should never come out of its sheath except in extreme cases … or when it is used in ceremony, for example, the khanjar in the famous Yemeni dance called “bara’a”.

Code: 21327Price: On Request

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A Truly Ancient Samurai Tanto, Almost 800 Years old
In original Edo period fine mounts [Edo 1603 to 1868]. The mounts are in iron and patinated copper decorated with dragon, a tiger and birds near sea nets. The lacquer on the saya is also decorated with a flight of geese over a jetty and small building. Likely used in the two great Mongol sea invasions of Japan that were defeated by the all powerful samurai. Made in the Kamakura period, in Japanese history, the period from 1192 to 1333, during which the basis of feudalism was firmly established. It was named for the city where Minamoto Yoritomo set up the headquarters of his military government, commonly known as the Kamakura shogunate. The samurai, members of a powerful military caste in feudal Japan, began as provincial warriors before rising to power in the 12th century with the beginning of the country’s first military dictatorship, known as the shogunate. As servants of the daimyos, or great lords, the samurai backed up the authority of the shogun and gave him power over the mikado (emperor). The samurai would dominate Japanese government and society until the Meiji Restoration of 1868 led to the abolition of the feudal system. The triumphant leader Minamoto Yoritomo–half-brother of Yoshitsune, whom he drove into exile–established the center of government at Kamakura. The establishment of the Kamakura Shogunate, a hereditary military dictatorship, shifted all real political power in Japan to the samurai. As Yoritomo’s authority depended on their strength, he went to great lengths to establish and define the samurai’s privileged status; no one could call himself a samurai without Yoritomo’s permission.

Zen Buddhism, introduced into Japan from China around this time, held a great appeal for many samurai. Its austere and simple rituals, as well as the belief that salvation would come from within, provided an ideal philosophical background for the samurai’s own code of behavior. Also during the Kamakura period, the sword came to have a great significance in samurai culture. A man’s honour was said to reside in his sword, and the craftsmanship of swords–including these most skillfully hammered blades, decorated with fittings of copper or iron, some decorated with gold and silver inlay and rayskin bound tsuke [hilts]–became an art in itself. The strain of defeating two Mongol invasions at the end of the 13th century weakened the Kamakura Shogunate, which fell to a rebellion led by Ashikaga Takauji. The Ashikaga Shogunate, centered in Kyoto, began around 1336. For the next two centuries, Japan was in a near-constant state of conflict between its feuding territorial clans. After the particularly divisive Onin War of 1467-77, the Ashikaga shoguns ceased to be effective, and feudal Japan lacked a strong central authority; local lords and their samurai stepped in to a greater extent to maintain law and order.

Despite the political unrest, this period–known as the Muromachi after the district of that name in Kyoto–saw considerable economic expansion in Japan. It was also a golden age for Japanese art, as the samurai culture came under the growing influence of Zen Buddhism. The tsuke binding silk [ito] appears very good but is in fact crumbling with age so we will be replacing it with original Japanese silk ito. Small picture in the gallery is The Mongol Invasion, tapestry by Kawasaki Jimbei II.

Code: 21326Price: 3995.00 GBP

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Wonderful High Grade Samurai Koto Tanto By Kanesada Of Takeda Shingen Clan
Probably for a high ranking retainer in service of the great samurai commander of legend Takeda Shingen. Armour piercing koto blade circa 1530, with superb original Edo period fittings 'koshirae] including silver copper alloy mounts and a gilt dragon saya ornament. Hammered gold over copper alloy oval tsuba, and silver clan mon menuki within the tsuka [hilt wrap] of the four interlocking diamonds of the Takeda clan. The saya is decorated in superb cinnabar lacquer, the favoured colour and symbol of Takeda Shingen [his armour was entirely based on this colour] and the tsuka wrapped in black silk over Takeda kamon on giant rayskin. In 1548, Shingen defeated Ogasawara Nagatoki in the Battle of Shiojiritoge and then took Fukashi in 1550.
After conquering Shinano, Shingen faced another rival, Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo. The feud between them became legendary, and they faced each other on the battlefield five times in the Battles of Kawanakajima. These battles were generally confined to controlled skirmishes, neither daimyo willing to devote himself entirely to a single all-out attempt. The conflict between the two that had the fiercest fighting, and might have decided victory or defeat for one side or the other, was the fourth battle, during which the famous tale arose of Uesugi Kenshin's forces clearing a path through the Takeda troops and Kenshin engaging Shingen in single combat. The tale has Kenshin attacking Shingen with his sword while Shingen defends with his iron war fan or tessen. Both lords lost many men in this fight, and Shingen in particular lost two of his main generals, Yamamoto Kansuke and his younger brother Takeda Nobushige. In 1563, allied with Hojo Ujiyasu, he captured Matsuyama Castle in Musashi Province. Takeda Shingen then took Kuragano in 1565 and Minowa Castle. He then moved against the Hojo by attacking Hachigata Castle then engaged in the Siege of Odawara (1569). He successfully withdrew after Hojo Ujiteru and Hojo Ujikuni failed to stop him in the Battle of Mimasetoge.Shingen and Tokugawa Ieyasu "came to terms" and occupied the "former Imagawa territory." They both fought against Yoshimoto's heir, Imagawa Ujizane. After defeating the intervention forces commanded by Hojo Ujimass of Sagami, Shingen finally secured the Suruga, formerly base of the prestigious Imagawa clan, as a Takeda asset in 1569.
Upon securing Takeda control over Suruga, northern Shinano, and western Kozuke, Shingen moved to challenge the Oda-Tokugawa alliance, leading a formidable force of over 30,000 into the latter's territories in Totomi, Mikawa, and Mino in 1572.

Code: 21324Price: 6995.00 GBP

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A Good WW2 RAF Royal Air Force Cap Badge
For ranks below Warrant Officer. In brass with twin retaining loops. King's crown over RAF within a laural wreath. “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” said Prime Minister Winston Churchill in a speech to Parliament on 20th August 1940 as the Battle of Britain raged overhead.

It was not long before the press and radio of the day seized on the epithet as the collective noun for the RAF’s Fighter Command pilots and others who were struggling against almost insurmountable odds to claim victory over Germany’s Luftwaffe.

In order to launch Operation “Sealion”, Hitler’s planned invasion of Britain across the English Channel that would remove the last democratic obstacle to his domination of Europe, he had to destroy the RAF’s ability to attack his forces. Conquering or subduing Britain would also prevent the re-supply of Russia, his next intended target.

The average member of the British public in the Spring of 1940 probably thought of the typical RAF pilot as carefree, out for a good time, doing a bit of flying within a club setting and able to impress the ladies on a Saturday night with the lads.

In reality nothing was further from the truth, but as the Fleet Street adage goes: “never let the facts get in the way of a good story”. Wartime flying, piloting a 350 mph fighter daily to within an inch of your life, was in fact a deadly serious business requiring a cool head and a steady, calculating nerve. Only a fool would treat it casually as, if he did, he would soon be bounced by an Me 109 and become another name on a war memorial.

The average age of an RAF pilot in 1940 was about 20 years. Some were as young as 18 and there were others over 30. In those days, with the age of majority set at 21, many of the RAF’s Battle of Britain pilots were not old enough to vote but not too young to lay down their lives in the face of a life and death struggle to save Britain from coming under the tyranny of the Nazis.

Not all were British – in fact Fighter Command was a cosmopolitan mix. There were Poles (141), Czechs (87), Belgians (24) and Free French (13) who swelled the ranks along with those from the British Commonwealth and other nations who answered the call for pilots wanting to defend freedom.

Roughly two-thirds of the 3,000 or so RAF pilots who flew in the Battle of Britain were officers, the other third being sergeant and flight sergeant pilots.

Code: 21323Price: 25.00 GBP

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