Great News!! The Re-Opening of Our Brighton Shop on 15th JuneAll our stock will be returning to our shop in time for our planned re-opening on June 15th [according to government recommendations and guidelines]. We will likely be operating a partial appointment only basis for current health awareness issues. Please call or email for details, or for any appointments if needed. Meanwhile the 25% 100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY DISCOUNT IS STILL RUNNING***
Code: 23006Price: On Request
An Edwardian Royal Artillery Undress Pouch and Bullion Dress Cross BeltGold bullion crossbelt with gilt bronze fitting of traditional finest quality. A leather undress pouch with gilt brass swivel mounts. Reverse of leather pouch with old score marks. The undress pouch is in patent leather with gilt Royal Artillery badge and motto. The belt has superb original bullion with gilt bronze mounts, embellished finely cast acanthus leaves and the flaming canon ball. The design of the full dress pouch followed that of the full dress sabretache in that the royal arms were central over the battle honour, UBIQUE, latin for 'everywhere'. Laurel leaves are on the left and oak leaves on the right. Below UBIQUE is a metal gun badge, and below that is a three part scroll with the regimental motto QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT - Where Right and Glory Lead. This pouch was worn for special occasions. Mostly the full dress pouch belt was worn with the undress black leather pouch. A vintage photo in the gallery show a Royal Artillery officer wearing his cross belt and pouches [however, the pouches are worn across the back and not visible from the front in this photo
Code: 23005Price: 685.00 GBP
A Superb Edo Period Original Tokugawa Clan Katanakake Twin Sword StandLate 18th to early 19th century, in good condition for age. With twin hiramaki-e low relief lacquer Tokugawa aoi mon of pure gold, on a black naturally aged lacquer ground. The aoi leaves are so finely accomplished that the minutely thin raised gold veins are clearly defined within every leaf. The veins are barely the width of an ant's leg, the skill it required to achieve this minute definition, and by free hand, is simply remarkable. An original antique samurai sword stand, for either katana and wakazashi, or a 'twin' daisho pair, or an exposed blade with its mounts and fittings above, as would be displayed in a museum. A most distinctive and low set stand that can either be set upon a cabinet, mantlepiece or as a centrepiece, that can be viewed all around, both from the front side and back. Original Edo period Japanese samurai sword stands are most rarely found today, and although some are very decorative, some are simple and most discreet just as this this beautiful example. It is a symbol of the finest, subtle, Japanese fine art workmanship, called shibui. A Japanese word which refers to a particular aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty. The art of unobtrusive décor for a samurai sword stand display, that's aim is to show a work of art of the finest quality, but not to detract in any way from the importance and look of the swords that it displays. Tokugawa clan mon of Aoi hollyhock leaves. The Tokugawa clan ( Tokugawa-shi or Tokugawa-uji) was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa (850–880) and were a branch of the Minamoto clan (Seiwa Genji) by the Nitta clan. The early history of this clan remains a mystery. Members of the clan ruled Japan as shoguns from 1603 to 1867. The Tokugawa's clan crest, known in Japanese as a "mon", the "triple hollyhock" (although commonly, but mistakenly identified as "hollyhock", the "aoi" actually belongs to the birthwort family and translates as "wild ginger"—Asarum), has been a readily recognized icon in Japan, symbolizing in equal parts the Tokugawa clan and the last shogunate. 18 inches wide, x 7.5 inches high, x 4.5 deep inches deep. Fine quality original Edo period lacquer katankake stands are so highly prized as they very normally are valued in the thousands of pounds, and some can be into 5 figures. The triple Aoi leaf Tokugawa mon are decorated on both the front and back side.
Code: 23002Price: 2495.00 GBP
Arrived Today 60+ Fabulous Early Samurai Swords, Daggers & AccoutrementsThis is a sample photo of another 'six figure' collection of 60 plus, Fabulous, Early Samurai Swords, Daggers, Accoutrements and Fittings that have just arrived. Including; a Katana by Tamba no kami Yoshimichi, two Katana by Father and Son Swordsmiths, Bizen Osafune Yokayama Sukenaga and Bizen Osafune Yokayama Sukekane, a Wakazashi by Nobukuni, and a Fabulous Tanto By Naomasa [a student of the great Naotane]. Plus, some beautiful tsuba, including Soten, and Goto school, and sukash tsuba including a pair of beautiful daisho tsuba, and tsuba for katana, wakazashi anf tanto. Plus sword mounts such as menuki, fushigashira, & kodzuka, and a stunning pair of silver inlaid samurai's horse stirrups, and two single stirrups. We are preparing these for our coming new Post Centenary Anniversary 'Summer Season'. They will all be assembled photographed and added to our site [once our sale has finished] over the next few months, hopefully then lock-down has freed us all up, and we all enter into to our 'new normal' life of mid 2020 and beyond.
Code: 23001Price: On Request
Colonel-General Ancestral Officer's Samurai Sword With A 700 Year Old BladeFrom the ancient Kamakura period of Japan, around the time of the attempted Mongol Invasions of Japan. This fabulous historical and partly ancient sword was last used and thus mounted in it's WW2 pattern, deluxe quality, high ranking officer's shin gunto wartime fittings, with a most unusual and fine brown deluxe grade army type polished and brown giant ray skin covered saya. Probably made for a WW2 Japanese Colonel or even General, serving in the Pacific Theatre. This is most rare as 99% of this deluxe type of polished rayskin saya were made in black, for the use of officer's in the Imperial Japanese Navy. We have always specialised in ancient samurai blades, and many have been last mounted in WW2 officer's sword fittings, but this example is truly exceptional for it's age, beauty and condition. Although this sword was made during the period of the Nambokochu wars, it would have been used continually another 650 years right up to and including WW2 [until it was brought to England in around 1946], during which time it would simply have been used in too many conflicts and wars to count or list here. It would also have likely been carried with pride by as many as 30 generations of samurai during these centuries, and revered as the most important possession of every man that ever carried it, and used it in battle in the service of their Daimyo [Lords]. To put the age of this sword into European perspective, in equivalent English period terms, when this dagger was being used by a samurai in Japan, Robert the Bruce was King of Scotland and Edward 'The Black Prince' was made Prince of Wales by Edward IIIrd. Robert I (11 July 1274 – 7 June 1329), popularly known as 'Robert the Bruce' was King of Scots from 1306 until his death in 1329. The Kamakura period was the era when the shogun stayed in Kamakura without much power while deputies of him were located in Kyoto and Western Japan. Stewards and constables controlled the provinces tightly and loyally. Indeed, the Hojo regents were able to bring several decades of peace and economic expansion to the country until an external power began to threaten Japan.
By 1259, the Mongols had conquered China and became also interested in Japan. Several threatening messages of the powerful Mongols were ignored by Kamakura. This resulted in the first Mongol invasion attempt in 1274 on the island of Kyushu. After only a few hours of fighting, however, the large naval invasion fleet, was forced to pull back because of bad weather conditions. This was very fortunate for the Japanese since their odds against the large and modern Mongol force were not favourable at all.
Due to good preparations, the Japanese were able to maintain a strong defence for several weeks during a second invasion attempt which occurred in 1281. But again, the Mongols were finally forced to withdraw mainly because of bad weather. Kyushu remained in alert for a possible third invasion attempt, but the Mongols soon had too many problems on the mainland in order to care about Japan.
The consequences of the many years of war preparations against the Mongols were fatal to the Kamakura government since they resulted only in expenditures and no profits. Many of the loyal men who were fighting for Kamakura, were now waiting for rewards that the government could not pay. Hence, financial problems and decreasing loyalty among the powerful lords were some of the reasons for the fall of the Kamakura government. Blade length tip to tsuba 28.5 inches We show in the gallery a photograph of the rank of officer likely to have carried such a very fine but ancient historical samurai sword
Code: 23000Price: 5350.00 GBP
A Koto Aikuchi Tanto 500 to 600 Years Old With Clan Mon.With deeply ridge red lacquer saya horn fittings and menuki forming it's mekugi decorated with pure gold clan Gosan kirimon of powlonia. The blade is very attractive and around 500 to 600 years old. It's kodzuka is most rare, in that it's hilt is a representation of a formed samurai sword's tang with it's signature with the large chrysanthemum mon. This is a rare and very desireable type of kodzuka. The tanto is commonly referred to as a knife or dagger. The blade can be single or double edged with a length between 15 and 30 cm (6-12 inches, in Japanese 1 shaku). The tanto was designed primarily as a stabbing weapon, but the edge can be used for slashing as well. Tanto are generally forged in hira-zukuri style (without ridgeline), meaning that their sides have no ridge line and are nearly flat, unlike the shinogi-zukuri structure of a katana. Some tanto have particularly thick cross-sections for armour-piercing duty, and are called yoroi toshi. The blade is beautiful and remarkable for it's great age.
Code: 22999Price: 3950.00 GBP
A Simply Beautiful 17th Century Soten Mounted Museum Grade KatanaThis is a most beautiful high ranking samurai's sword. Made and used at the beginning of the great Japanese Edo period. The blade has a wonderous hamon, shown in all it's beauty. All of the fittings are very fine and the overall effect is simply wonderfull. A singularly fine quality katana, with a full suite of, original, Edo period, signed Soten, gold and patinated copper fittings. This is truly a sword of great beauty, worthy of any museum grade collection. The saya is original Edo period in black lacquer. A revolution took place in the centuries from the time of the Kamakura shogunate, which coexisted with the Tenno's court, to the Tokugawa, when the bushi became the unchallenged rulers in what historian Edwin O. Reischauer called a "centralized feudal" form of government. Instrumental in the rise of the new bakufu was Tokugawa Ieyasu, the main beneficiary of the achievements of Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Already powerful, Ieyasu profited by his transfer to the rich Kant? area. He maintained 2.5 million koku of land, new headquarters at Edo, a strategically situated castle town (the future Tokyo), and also had an additional two million koku of land and thirty-eight vassals under his control. After Hideyoshi's death, Ieyasu moved quickly to seize control from the Toyotomi family.
Ieyasu's victory over the western daimyo at the Battle of Sekigahara (October 21, 1600, or in the Japanese calendar on the 15th day of the ninth month of the fifth year of the Keich? era) gave him virtual control of all Japan. He rapidly abolished numerous enemy daimyo houses, reduced others, such as that of the Toyotomi, and redistributed the spoils of war to his family and allies. Ieyasu still failed to achieve complete control of the western daimyo, but his assumption of the title of shogun helped consolidate the alliance system. After further strengthening his power base, Ieyasu installed his son Hidetada (1579–1632) as shogun and himself as retired shogun in 1605. The Toyotomi were still a significant threat, and Ieyasu devoted the next decade to their eradication. In 1615, the Tokugawa army destroyed the Toyotomi stronghold at Osaka.
The Tokugawa (or Edo) period brought 250 years of stability to Japan. The political system evolved into what historians call bakuhan, a combination of the terms bakufu and han (domains) to describe the government and society of the period. In the bakuhan, the shogun had national authority and the daimyo had regional authority. This represented a new unity in the feudal structure, which featured an increasingly large bureaucracy to administer the mixture of centralized and decentralized authorities. The Tokugawa became more powerful during their first century of rule: land redistribution gave them nearly seven million koku, control of the most important cities, and a land assessment system reaping great revenues. As Japan entered the more peaceful Edo Period (1603-1868), tsuba and sword fittings became increasingly elaborate and decorative in design and function, and their manufacture became highly specialised and technically advanced. Different schools of makers developed their own styles, often influenced by the culture and environment of the region, and the role of the tsuba and mounts extended to become an elaborate piece of art. Subjects for decoration included Japanese mythology, history and nature. Since the 16th century, it was customary for the guard and mounts to feature the signature of the maker. The katana's saya has a few small Edo period contact marks throughout. It could be re-lacqured to as new condition if it was required by its new owner or left original as is. Valued for their excellence in design and execution, sword fittings today exist as refined pieces of art, and although now only used for state occasions and consecrations, the Japanese sword and its fittings remain a symbol of authority and reminder of Japan's powerful, and at times tumultuous, samurai past. Blade 30.3 inches long tip to tsuba, sword length 40 inches out of saya. 41 inches long overall.
Code: 22994Price: 9995.00 GBP
Signally Magnificent Samurai Wakizashi Signed Kanenori , Of Museum GradeCirca 1600's. Blade with stunning horimono carving, showing a delightful undulating notare hamon, superb Edo saya with original lacquer and a silver saya bottom mount tang signed Echizen ju Kanenori. This sword is mounted, probably Soten school, in stunning quality, of pure gold decorated, patinated takebori fittings. The Soten school of sword fittings, koshirae and tsuba, was apparently created by one of the great Masamune's students, named Kanemitsu. This is a stunningly beautiful wakizashi from one of the great eras of samurai history at the ending of the turbulent times before the Tokugawa after the Battle of Sekigahara and the start of the Edo period. This fabulous samurai wakizashi was made in the era of some of the most interesting periods of warfare. Samurai warfare history is simply extraordinary, for example, such as the incredible Battle of Okehazama, where a force of 1500 samurai routed a far superior army of 35,000 samurai through skill, audacity and cunning. In this battle, Oda Nobunaga defeated Imagawa Yoshimoto and established himself as one of the front-running warlords in the Sengoku period.
In May or June 1560, Imagawa Yoshimoto, with an army of perhaps 35,000 men, set forth on a march to Kyoto. Entering the Oda territories in Owari Province, he first took the border fortresses of Washizu and Marune before setting up camp in a wooded gorge known as Dengaku-hazama. This was all reported to Oda Nobunaga by his scouts and, in response, Nobunaga then led his own forces into position at a temple called Zenshoji, a short distance away, on the other side of the Tokaido.
Had Nobunaga decided on a frontal assault, the battle would have been deceptively easy to predict; his army was outnumbered ten to one by the Imagawa forces. A frontal assault would be suicidal and an attempt to hold out at Zensho-ji would only last a few days. Because of the odds against their side, some of Nobunaga's advisers even suggested a surrender. Nobunaga, however, decided to launch a surprise attack on the Imagawa camp. When he made his decision, he gave this speech:
"Imagawa has 40,000 men marching toward this place? I don't believe that. He 'only' has 35,000 soldiers. Yes, that is still too many. So, Sado, you want me to surrender. What if we do surrender? Will you get content with losing your life that way? Or what if we hold on like Katsuie wants me to? What if we stay here in this castle, lock it up, and wait until the Imagawas lose appetite and stop the siege and go home? We will be able to prolong our lives for 5 or 10 days, and what we cannot defend will still be undefendable. We are at the bottom of the pit, you know. And our fate is interesting. Of course the misery is too great, too. But this is how I see it: this is a chance in a lifetime. I can't afford to miss this. Do you really want to spend your entire lives praying for longevity? We were born in order to die! Whoever is with me, come to the battlefield tomorrow morning. Whoever is not, just stay wherever you are and watch me win it!" Nobunaga left a small force at the temple with a large number of banners, to give the impression that this was the location of his main force. Meanwhile, Oda's main force (about 1,500 men) moved through the forest undetected to the rear of the Imagawa army.
The Imagawa samurai, not unsurprisingly, did not expect an attack, and that afternoon was very hot. The histories say that the Imagawa samurai were celebrating their recent victories with song, dance, and sake. An afternoon rainstorm further aided Oda's soldiers who arrived at the Imagawa camp just as the rains came down (this was the afternoon of 12 June).
When the storm passed, Nobunaga's men poured into the camp from the north, and the Imagawa warriors lost all discipline and fled from the attackers. This left their commander's tent undefended, and the Oda warriors closed in rapidly. Imagawa Yoshimoto, unaware of what had transpired, heard the noise and emerged from his tent shouting at his men to quit their drunken revelry and return to their posts. By the time he realized, moments later, that the samurai before him were not his own, it was far too late. He deflected one samurai's spear thrust, but was beheaded by another.
With their leader dead, and all but two of the senior officers killed, the remaining Imagawa officers joined Oda's army. Soon the Imagawa faction was no more and Oda Nobunaga was famous as his victory was hailed by many in Japan as miraculous. The most important of the samurai lords who joined Oda after this battle was Tokugawa Ieyasu from Mikawa Province. Ieyasu would remain a loyal ally of Nobunaga from this time until the latter's death. Although it can't be seen in the photos, the blade surface is in around 95% bright polish, but has very fine and light overall swirling polish cloth markings. If required it [the light swirling] could be polished out. Blade 18 inches long tip to tsuba overall sword length 24 inches, 24.75 inches in saya
Code: 22993Price: 10350.00 GBP
An Original Ancient Medieval 13th Century, Knight's, Iron Battle Mace Head& Flail Mace Head. A pineapple shaped iron head, with large centre mounting hole, for a leaded chain or a haft. The wooden haft as usual has rotted away, but could be replaced one day for display purposes. This is the type of War Mace that were also used as a Flail Mace, with the centre mount being filled with lead and a foot to a foot and a half long chain mounted within in, and then it was attached to a wooden haft, so it could be flailed around the head. Flattened pyramidical protuberances, most possibly English. Made for a mounted Knight to use as an Armour and Helmet Crusher in mortal combat. It would have been continually used up to the 15th to even 16th century. On a Flail it had the name of a Scorpion in England or France, or sometimes a Battle-Whip. It was also wryly known as a 'Holy Water Sprinkler'. King John The Ist of Bohemia used exactly such a weapon at the Battle of Crecy, for as he was blind, and the act of 'Flailing the Mace' meant that his lack of site was no huge disadvantage in close combat. Although blind he was a valiant and the bravest of the Warrior Kings, who perished at the Battle of Crecy against the English in 1346. On the day he was slain he instructed his Knights [both friends and companions] to lead him to the very centre of battle, so he may strike at least one blow against his enemies. His Knights tied their horses to his, so the King would not be separated from them in the press, and they rode together into the thick of battle, where King John managed to strike not one but at least four noble blows. The following day of the battle, the horses and the fallen knights were found all about the body of their most noble King, all still tied to his steed. It was his personal banner of the triple feathers that was adopted following this battle by the Prince of Wales as his standard, and still used by Prince Charles the current Prince of Wales today.
Code: 22991Price: 985.00 GBP
A Very Beautiful Koto Katana Signed Tadamitsu Around 500 Years OldThis sword is signed Tadamitsu and dates to around 1505 during the heart of the Sengoku Jidai (Warring States period).
It is a beautiful and impressive sword with a ubu-nakago (an unaltered tang). Hamon Chu-suguha (straight temperline), and shallow notare-kokoro (wave-like patterns within it)
Jihada (surface skin), Tight itame hada (wood grain pattern) Blade length: 69.5cm tsuba to tip. Fushi kashira with kebori, fine line engraving of the Tiger in a Bamboo grove theme. Superb menuki of silver shi shi lion dogs inlaid with gold stars. The tiger has the power to control the wind, and wind is its constant companion, and bamboo can resist the strongest winds without breaking. Therefore, the two are distinctly balanced. Introduced through Buddhism, the tiger represents the three principals of strength, nobility, and courage. Based likely on the smith Bizen no Kuni Osafune Tadamitsu, but the signature is rather more faint than one would expect, so possibly a made by a pupil of his school. The hamon and grain capture the work beautifully. The saya is beautiful inlaid with tiny flecs of abilone shell that reflect the light stunningly. Overall 37 inches long in saya
Code: 22990Price: 5695.00 GBP
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