click for more images

Original Dunkirk Veterans Medal The Dunkirk Medal Medaille de Dunkerque
Created by the town of Dunkirk to commemorate the defence of the area during the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force, with the applications and distribution being administered by the French Dunkirk Veterans Association.
Initially awarded only to the French defenders of the Dunkirk pocket, numbering about 30,000. In 1970 the qualification for the award was expanded to include most of the British who served in the Dunkirk sector and their rescue forces; including the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Merchant Navy, and the civilian 'little ship' volunteers.*
In patinated bronze, about 44mm vertically at the centre. The design is a circular wreath of laurel with an anchor on the obverse mounted with the arms of Dunkirk. The reverse depicts a burning ancient oil lamp over a tablet inscribed 'Dunkerque 1940'. Two crossed Gallic swords sit under the suspension on both sides. Suspension is by a fixed ring on the medal, intersected by free ribbon rings.

Ribbon: Yellow-orange with two wide and two narrow red stripes, overlain by a pair of thin black tramlines.

Code: 22104Price: 59.00 GBP

click for more images

An Ancient Greek Leaf Shaped Bronze Sword 1200 BC
Around 3200 years old. A Superb ancient Greek bronze age sword blade with fabulous areas of crystallized malachite blue/green patina. From the era of the Mycenaean Greek Trojan Wars. The story of the Trojan War—the Bronze Age conflict between the kingdoms of Troy and Mycenaean Greece–straddles the history and mythology of ancient Greece and inspired the greatest writers of antiquity, from Homer, Herodotus and Sophocles to Virgil. Since the 19th-century rediscovery of the site of Troy in what is now western Turkey, archaeologists have uncovered increasing evidence of a kingdom that peaked and may have been destroyed around 1,180 B.C.—perhaps forming the basis for the tales recounted by Homer some 400 years later in the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey.” According to classical sources, the war began after the abduction (or elopement) of Queen Helen of Sparta by the Trojan prince Paris. Helen’s jilted husband Menelaus convinced his brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, to lead an expedition to retrieve her. Agamemnon was joined by the Greek heroes Achilles, Odysseus, Nestor and Ajax, and accompanied by a fleet of more than a thousand ships from throughout the Hellenic world. They crossed the Aegean Sea to Asia Minor to lay siege to Troy and demand Helen’s return by Priam, the Trojan king. The siege, punctuated by battles and skirmishes including the storied deaths of the Trojan prince Hector and the nearly-invincible Achilles, lasted more than 10 years until the morning the Greek armies retreated from their camp, leaving a large wooden horse outside the gates of Troy. After much debate (and unheeded warnings by Priam’s daughter Cassandra), the Trojans pulled the mysterious gift into the city. When night fell, the horse opened up and a group of Greek warriors, led by Odysseus, climbed out and sacked the Troy from within. After the Trojan defeat, the Greeks heroes slowly made their way home. Odysseus took 10 years to make the arduous and often-interrupted journey home to Ithaca recounted in the “Odyssey.” Helen, whose two successive Trojan husbands were killed during the war, returned to Sparta to reign with Menelaus. After his death, some sources say she was exiled to the island of Rhodes, where a vengeful war widow had her hanged.
Photo in the gallery of an Attic black figure vase that shows Theseus killing the Minotaur of the Cretan labyrinth with an identical pattern of Greek sword. A feminine figure looks on from the right, possibly Ariadne. Late 6th, early 5th century BCE. (Archaeological Museum, Milan). See discussion in Branigan, K. Aegean Metalwork of the Early and Middle Bronze Age, Oxford, 1974, p.8-21. `15.5 inches long overall

Code: 22103Price: 2250.00 GBP

click for more images

Rare Anglo-Saxon Spear from King Offa to King Harold, & Most Rare Scabbard
Used by Anglo Saxon warriors from the 6th century to the 11th century Norman Conquest of 1066. This ancient spear, remarkably, also has part of its original iron scabbard, with traces of line engraving at the throat, and it is the very first spear scabbard we have ever seen to survive. The spaer has matching line engraving at the socket opening. The main weapon the Anglo-Saxons used during war were their spears. They were usually “leaf” or “kite” shaped and had a socket for the attachment of the staff. The usual length of the spear was 6’6”- 8’ (2.00m-2.50m). Spears were used for both hand to hand combat and as Javelins. Anglo-Saxons burials that contained weapons 86% of the time had spears in them. There were also 21 different types of spears the Anglo-Saxons used during war. The group of tribes known by the three names Saxons, Angles, and Jutes all belonged to the Teutonic stock; the Jutes perhaps being nearer akin to the Gothic and Scandinavian branch than to the German. It is doubtful whether there was any real distinction between Angles and Saxons other than the designation of the territory from which they started. The king's power
One of these customs was fighting everyone in sight. A king's power was not hereditary; it depended solely on his ability to win battles and so gain land, treasure, and slaves to give his supporters. He was obliged to fight and keep fighting. If not, he would find himself out of a job or deprived of his life, or both. Succession from father to son was never a foregone conclusion. Any relative of the old king who could muster enough support could make a bid for the throne. This helps to explain why the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms came and went so quickly. The power of any kingdom over its neighbours was only as solid as the strength of its king in battle.

King Offa
Roughly speaking, the 7th century was the age of Northumbrian ascendance, with Mercia playing second fiddle. In the 8th century these roles reversed. The most powerful and well known of the Mercian kings was Offa, who ruled from 758-796. A successful warrior (which is a given for anyone in those days who managed to hold onto power for so long), he defeated kings in Sussex, Anglia, and Wessex, proclaiming himself King of the English. In the 11th century, there were three conquests and some Anglo-Saxon people would live through it: one in the aftermath of the conquest of Cnut in 1016; the second after the unsuccessful attempt of battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066; the third after that of William of Normandy in 1066. The consequences of each conquest can only be assessed with hindsight. In 1016, no-one was to know that whatever cultural ramifications were felt then, they would be subsumed half a century later; and in 1066 there was nothing to predict that the effects of William's conquest would be any greater or more lasting than those of Cnut's. See Swanton, M.J. Spearheads of the Anglo-Saxon Settlements, London, 1973 for discussion. 221 grams,13 inches long overall

Code: 22102Price: 1195.00 GBP

click for more images

A Wonderful Koto Katana with Fine Fittings and Stunning Blade
Made circa 1500, with carved Buddhist bonji horimono on the blade face and a name on the other side. It may well be the name of the blade smith, or, more likely the name of the samurai to whom the blade was given or made. The blade is absolutely wonderful with incredible balance. Bonji were in use since the late Kamakura period [the 1300's]. Before that religious inscriptions were made in Chinese, but with the spreading Shingon-Buddhism Sanscrit became popular.
Sanskrit characters (or rather pictograhs) used on swords are called Bonji or Shuji. They are readings of the various incarnations of Buddha. All the fittings are original Edo period and the tsukaito [hilt binding] is in leather in the battle-wrap form, over superb chisselled large dragon menuki in full relief. It has a most rare form of iron tsuba (ca. 1600) of convex form in iron. The plate is well hammered and formed in a deep cup shape. The relief design is carved from the plate and is not iron on iron inlay.
There is some mystery about this type of tsuba. Does it come from the European cup handguard shape? It might also be a style influence of Chinese or even Persian origin. It still has its original Edo period saya with superb ishime stone lacquer. 26 inch blade from tsuba to tip

Code: 22101Price: 5450.00 GBP

click for more images

Bronze Roman Legionary's Ring Engraved with a Legionary and his Sword
Good encrusted bronze patina. Circa 200 AD. The complete Roman Empire had around a 60 million population and a census more perfect than many parts of the world (to collect taxes, of course) but identification was still quite difficult and aggravated even more because there were a maximum of 17 men names and the women received the name of the family in feminine and a number (Prima for First, Secunda for Second…). A lot of people had the same exact name.
So the Roman proved the citizenship by inscribing themselves (or the slaves when they freed them) in the census, usually accompanied with two witnesses. Roman inscribed in the census were citizens and used an iron or bronze ring to prove it. With Augustus, those that could prove a wealth of more than 400,000 sesterces were part of a privileged class called Equites (knights) that came from the original nobles that could afford a horse. The Equites were middle-high class and wore a bronze or gold ring to prove it, with the famous Angusticlavia (a tunic with an expensive red-purple twin line). Senators (those with a wealth of more than 1,000,000 sesterces) also used the gold ring and the Laticlave, a broad band of purple in the tunic.

So the rings were very important to tell from a glimpse of eye if a traveller was a citizen, an equites or a senator, or legionary. People sealed and signed letters with the rings and its falsification could bring death.
The fugitive slaves didn’t have rings but iron collars with texts like “If found, return me to X” which also helped to recognize them. The domesticus slaves (the ones that lived in houses) didn’t wore the collar but sometimes were marked. A ring discovered 50 years ago is now believed to possibly be the ring of Pontius Pilate himself, and it was the same copper-bronze form ring as is this one

Code: 22100Price: 275.00 GBP

click for more images

Original 1000 Year Viking Battle-Hammer-Axe, the Era of King Eric Bloodaxe
A wonderful bearded Viking hammer-battle-axe, in great order for its age. In recovered yet very good conserved condition, the front has a fine steel blade forged into the iron form, with the reverse made into a flat helmet smashing hammer. Knowledge about the arms and armour of the Viking age is based on archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and Norse laws recorded in the 13th century. According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons and were permitted to carry them all the time. These arms were indicative of a Viking's social status: a wealthy Viking had a complete ensemble of a helmet, shield, mail shirt, and sword. However, swords were rarely used in battle, probably not sturdy enough for combat and most likely only used as symbolic or decorative items. A typical bóndi (freeman) was more likely to fight with a spear and shield, and axe, and most also carried a seax as a utility knife and side-arm. Bows were used in the opening stages of land battles and at sea, but they tended to be considered less "honourable" than a melee weapon.
The warfare and violence of the Vikings were often motivated and fuelled by their beliefs in Norse religion, focusing on Thor and Odin, the gods of war and death. In combat, it is believed that the Vikings sometimes engaged in a disordered style of frenetic, furious fighting known as berserkergang, leading them to be termed berserkers. Such tactics may have been deployed intentionally by shock troops, and the berserk-state may have been induced through ingestion of materials with psychoactive properties, such as the hallucinogenic mushrooms, Amanita muscaria, or large amounts of alcohol. Perhaps the most common hand weapon among Vikings was the axe – swords were more expensive to make and only wealthy warriors could afford them. The prevalence of axes in archaeological sites can likely be attributed to its role as not just a weapon, but also a common tool. This is supported by the large number of grave sites of female Scandinavians containing axes. Several types of larger axes specialized for use in battle evolved, with larger heads and longer shafts.

Vikings most commonly carried sturdy axes that could be thrown or swung with head-splitting force. The Mammen Axe is a famous example of such battle-axes, ideally suited for throwing and melee combat.
An axe head was mostly wrought iron, with a steel cutting edge. This made the weapon less expensive than a sword, and was a standard item produced by blacksmiths, historically.
Like most other Scandinavian weaponry, axes were often given names. According to Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, axes were often named after she-trolls. A bearded 10th century Viking battle axe [that could double as a throwing axe] from the time of the last Viking, English King, Eric Bloodaxe, King of Northumbria. Probably the eldest son of King Harald Finehair [The first King of all Norway]. Eric's name probably derives from the legend that he murdered most of his 20 brothers, exepting Hakon. This was an unfortunate error as, upon Haralds death, Hakon returned to Norway from Britain to claim Harald's throne, and removed Eric from his Kingship. His elder brother Eric then fled Norway to Britain and to King Athelstan, an old friend of his father's, whereupon he took the Kingdom of Northumbria in around 947 a.d. While the sagas call him 'Bloodaxe', one of the Latin texts calls him fratris interfector (brother-killer), but, for whatever reason his name was derived, it was certainly a fine example of the descriptive titles the Viking warriors had, and that we are told of in the Viking sagas. 5 inches across. 400 grams

Code: 22099Price: 1195.00 GBP

click for more images

An Original Rare Roman 1st Century Augur's [Sorcerer's] Bronze Ring
The Ring of an Emperor. Augustus Caeser and Tiberius Caeser both wore the ring of the symbol of a Roman Augur. Augustus Caeser was indeed an auger himself, as was Pompey. The engraved device shows an opposing pair of Lituus, or priest's staffs. These were wands carried, as symbols of office, by ancient Roman augurs and used in carrying out the rituals for the foretelling of future events, what was later called sorcery. An augur was a highly esteemed priest and official in the classical Roman world. His main role was the practice of augury: Interpreting the will of the gods by studying the flight of birds – whether they were flying in groups or alone, what noises they made as they flew, direction of flight, and what kind of birds they were. This was known as "taking the auspices".

The augural ceremony and function of the augur was central to any major undertaking in Roman society – public or private – including matters of war, commerce, and religion. Augurs sought the divine will regarding any proposed course of action which might affect Rome's pax, fortuna, and salus (peace, good fortune, and well-being) We show an ancient Bronze Statue of Tiberius as Pontifex Maximus-[over 8 feet high]-ca. 37 AD-discovered in Herculaneum, in the-Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli. Tiberius is wearing an augur sorcerers ring, also we show a picture from a full original statue of Augustus Caeser, and he too wears his sorcerer's [augur's] ring. A heavy grade good sized bronze ring in very nice condition and fine aged patina. Octavian was also an augur. Haverfield surmises that the choice of "Augustus" as the name might also have meant to overshadow the legend "AUG" on coins issued by his defeated enemy Pompey' – where "AUG" signifies Pompey's status as an augur, defeated with the help of Augustus' superior augury. Augustus chose to be addressed differently during his rise to power and success to accrue nothing less than reverence from the Roman people. He was born Gaius Octavius from his biological father and later expanded to the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, as he was named Caesar’s son and heir by his will in 45 BC. The meaning of the name Augustus, which was bestowed upon him by the Senate on 16th January 27 BC, carried with it ideas of superhuman status, from the Latin ‘augere‘ meaning ‘to increase’, connected also with ‘augurium‘ and the religious connotations of augury, further linking Augustus into the realms of Romulus, the founder of Rome, ‘and elevated him beyond mortal limits’. In 27 BC, the Senate agreed to officially and legally recognise Julius Caesar as a god, cementing the legislative amendments he made in his time as dictator and subsequently condemning objections. In this move, Octavian ‘was now able to describe himself as divi filius – son of a god’, ignoring his adoption into the Caesar family tree, but ‘son of a new god and as such “holy” and venerable himself’. In his Res Gestae Divi Augusti, Augustus describes that laurels symbolic of his adoptive father were placed at his door that day, a shrub which also links to the god of music, Apollo, further cementing Augustus’ belief in his strong connections with the god. Appealing to his connections with Apollo, in October 28 BC, Augustus ‘dedicated a huge new Temple of Apollo on the Palatine Hill near his home’ to give thanks for the god’s assistance in his substantial victory at Actium, which is frequently described by poets as a decisive victory thanks to ‘Actian Apollo’s interventions. Augustus mentions this temple in his Res Gestae Divi Augusti, a signal of his pride in his achievements and a reminder to readers of his connection with the god. The form of this ring is in traditional Roman bronze, and it is more likely Augustus's personal ring would have been gold, unless of course, he wore his original Augur's ring, when title of Augur was bestowed upon him, when he was known as Octavian, long before he became emperor.

Code: 22098Price: 795.00 GBP

click for more images

A Napoleonic Pattern Spanish Dragoons Cavalry of the Line Sword
M1832. In the Napoleonic wars the Spanish heavy line cavalry troopers were equipped with this pattern of sword, based on the French cuirassiers sword, having a hilt of the French heavy cavalry Cuirassiers, An XI pattern, in brass, with knuckle-bow, three curved quillons and pommel. Later this was regularised to create the model 1832 pattern. This sword's blade is maker marked, Toledo 1863. This sword has certainly seen service and evidence of combat use. This is a big, scarce Napoleonic pattern Cuirassier battle sword, and a most impressive and fascinating example, and the first of it's kind we have seen in nearly 10 years, These huge and impressive original 19th century Spanish heavy cavalry swords are very rarely seen to survive and this is a very impressive piece. The Cavalry Regiment El Rey (Spanish: Regimiento de Caballería El Rey is the oldest cavalry regiment in the Spanish Army, distinguishing itself on several occasions during the Peninsular War. They are known bestn for there charge at the Battle of Talavera where they dealt the decissive blow against General Jean François Leval's German Division. The Cavalry Regiment El Rey is Spain's oldest cavalry regiment, founded in 1538 under the reign of King Charles I of Spain, and as such bore the title The King's in the Spanish Army. During the Napoleonic era it was considered as one of the best Spanish regiments and it distinguished itself during the Spanish War of Independence, frequently being commented as performing very well in those years. In 1807 the regiment was assigned to Marqúes de la Romana's Division of the North. In 1808 it joined the fight against France after evacuating from Denmark.

Upon arrival in Cantabria the cavalrymen marched to Extremadura where they were to collect horses, thus avoiding the defeat that fell upon Romana's division at Espinosa de los Monteros. In 1809 the regiment would see much action while serving in Gregorio García de la Cuesta y Fernández de Celis' Army of Extremadura, as part of General José de Henestrosa's 1st Cavalry Division. It would fight at the Battle of Talavera, where they captured four French cannons and would be highly praised in Cuesta's report. During the Spanish War of Independence the unit wore a blue coat with scarlet cuffs, collar, lapels, turnbacks, gold piping and buff breeches. Like all regiments at the start of the Peninsular War they wore a red plume on their hat to show their loyalty to the Bourbon monarch, Ferdinand VII of Spain, instead of the "hated foreigner" Joseph Bonaparte. In 1870 the regiment wore a blue coatee with scarlet cuffs, collar and lapels, white turnbacks, and yellow piping and had brass buttons, they also wore blue breeches. The troopers wore a black bi-corn hat with gold lace and a red cockade with a gold cockade loop.

In 1898 the regiment had a uniform of a light blue dolman with black Austrian loops and white metal buttons; red collar and cuffs, and red trousers with a light blue stripe. They had also, after the Napoleonic Wars adopted the use of a cuirass and helmet, of steel with brass ornamentation. However, in the colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Las Carolinas Islands and the Philippines they wore the Rayadillo colonial uniform with red collar and cuffs and Leopoldina shakos with the Spanish red and yellow cockade 95 cm blade

Code: 22097Price: 935.00 GBP

click for more images

A Fabulous 19th Century City of London Lord Mayor's Sword, Crest & Crown
A finest Victorian Lord Mayor's sword of the City of London. With a finest gilt and silver hilt, bearing the ancient crest of the City of London, and A Royal Crown pommel. The blade is fully etched, dark patinated. Maker marked from Chancery Lane. The form of sword as was worn by the former Lord Mayor of London in the 19th century. A sword very rarely seen today, and an absolute beauty. The office of Mayor was instituted in 1189, the first holder of the office being Henry Fitz-Ailwin de Londonestone. The Mayor of the City of London has been elected by the City, rather than appointed by the Sovereign, ever since a Royal Charter providing for a Mayor was issued by King John in 1215. The title "Lord Mayor" came to be used after 1354, when it was granted to Thomas Legge (then serving his second of two terms) by King Edward III. The residence of the Lord Mayor is known as Mansion House. The creation of the residence was considered after the Great Fire of London (1666), but construction did not commence until 1739. It was first occupied by a Lord Mayor in 1752, when Sir Crispin Gascoigne took up residence.

In each of the eighteen courtrooms of the Old Bailey, the centre of the judges' bench is reserved for the Lord Mayor, in his capacity of Chief Justice of the City of London. The presiding judge therefore sits to one side.

It is sometimes asserted that the Lord Mayor may exclude the monarch from the City of London. The legend is based on the misinterpretation of the ceremony observed each time the sovereign enters the City. At Temple Bar the Lord Mayor presents the City's Pearl Sword to the sovereign as a symbol of the latter's overlordship. The monarch does not, as is often purported, wait for the Lord Mayor's permission to enter the City. When the sovereign enters the city, a short ceremony usually takes place where the Lord Mayor symbolically surrenders his or her authority to the monarch by presenting the sword to them. If the sovereign is attending a service at St Paul's this ceremony would take place there rather than at the boundary of the City for matters of convenience.

The importance of the office is reflected by the composition of the Accession Council, a body which proclaims the accession of new Sovereigns. The Council includes the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, as well as members of the House of Lords and Privy Counsellors. At the coronation banquet which followed, the Lord Mayor of the City of London had the right to assist the Royal Butler. The same privilege is held by the Lord Mayor of Oxford; the Mayor of Winchester may assist the Royal Cook. Such privileges have not been exercised since 1821, when the last coronation banquet (celebrating the coronation of George IV) was held. No Scabbard.

Code: 22096Price: 1235.00 GBP

click for more images

Original Roman 'Key' Ring 1st to 3rd Century A.D.
Ancient Roman bronze key ring, Fantastic bronze key-ring For lack of pockets in their togas, the ancient Romans often wore keys to important boxes, etc. on their fingers. The most intriguing items of Roman security hardware seem to be keys and lock bolts. Keys were used mainly for doors, chests, boxes, caskets, cupboards and padlocks. Less often they were used for ceremonial or decorative purposes, such as matron keys, jewellery items and votive offerings.

It is alleged that some ring keys were worn by women as symbols of household authority, as "keeper of the keys". This is probably true, but such are difficult to identify as having served that purpose. The wooden Egyptian pin tumbler locks were over two thousand years old by this time. Roman engineers modernized them and other lock constructions by replacing the wooden parts with corresponding parts made of metal.

The clumsy Egyptian pin tumbler locks were transformed into elegant Roman pin tumbler locks of steel, fitted with an ingenious Roman invention, steel springs. The locks were often tiny masterpieces in terms of both precision and design. All Roman door locks can only be opened from one side. There were illustrations in Le case e monumenti di Pompeii, four volumes by Fausto and Felice Niccolini, printed in Naples in 1854–96. Another author, Albert Neuburger, used the same images in his book on ancient technology, Die Technik des Altertums, printed in Leipzig in 1921. The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried in ash when the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, and were eventually forgotten.

Code: 22094Price: 165.00 GBP

Website designed & maintained by Concept500