587 items found
'Charge of the Union Brigade'..A Rare & Highly Collectable 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer's Combat 'Undress' Sword of the Union Brigade of Waterloo, with 'Ladder' Hilt and Hatchet Point Blade From The Cotton Collection

'Charge of the Union Brigade'..A Rare & Highly Collectable 1796 Heavy Cavalry Officer's Combat 'Undress' Sword of the Union Brigade of Waterloo, with 'Ladder' Hilt and Hatchet Point Blade From The Cotton Collection

From the Waterloo museum collection, of weaponry and artefact removed from Waterloo.

Traditional and highly distinctive blackened iron 'ladder' hilt with honeysuckle scroll ornamentation, { now, well russetted } with the long, straight hatchet pointed blade in excellent condition for age. The grip is superb, with original wire binding present covering the original and perfect grip leather.

The Union Brigade comprised three regiments of British cavalry numbering no more than 1000 swords. The regiments were the First Dragoons (the “Royals”), the 2nd Dragoons (the Royal North British Dragoons or “Scots Greys”) and the 6th Dragoons (the “Inniskillings”). Only the Royals had recent battlefield experience having served in the Peninsular War, the Scots Greys and Inniskillings had last seen campaign service in 1794. The Brigade commander was Major General Sir William Ponsonby who was Wellington’s most experienced commander of heavy cavalry. The Brigade has been together for three weeks- the Royals joining the other two regiments on 27th May- and Sir William had done his best to train them up to the standard he expected.

The number of the French was so great that he did not have the luxury of keeping one regiment in reserve; so, all three regiments had to be deployed carefully. He ordered the Royals, his most experienced regiment, to deploy against the immediate threat of Bourgeois’ troops, the Inniskillings were then to deploy against Donzelot and Marcognet and finally his least experienced regiment the Scots Greys against the remainder of Marcognet’s troops. It was to be an attack en echelon.

The first clash took place on the crest itself. The Royals had to ride up hill so the impact would not have been from a gallop but from the sheer surprise and the weight of the horses. The front regiments of Bourgeois’ brigade managed to get off a volley which brought down 20 of the Royals. Two squadrons attacked Borgeois’ brigade and the French fell back down the slope pushed by the cavalry whose charge was gaining momentum as they rode downwards. Captain Clark had been engaged in fighting the enemy for 5 or 6 minutes when he spotted the eagle of the 105th de la ligne and with his troops captured it.

It was 2.45pm. In a space of 20 minutes the Union brigade had destroyed five French infantry brigades inflicting 5,000 casualties . Thousands of prisoners (at least 2,000) had been taken and were being shepherded to the rear of the battlefield by the relieved British infantry who 15 minutes earlier must have thought themselves beaten. In addition, thousands had been wounded and killed. A second eagle, that of the 45th de la ligne had been captured by Sergeant Ewart of the Scots Greys. Napoleon’s masterstroke to secure victory had been defeated and as Uxbridge wrote “When I was returning to our position I met the Duke of Wellington, surrounded by all the Corps diplomatique militaire, who had from the high ground witnessed the whole affair. The plain appeared to be swept clean, and I never saw so joyous a group as was this Troupe doree. They thought the battle was over.”

It is impossible to know the casualty figures sustained by the Union Brigade in its charge. Roll calls were made at the beginning of each day and the Union Brigade had to fight more during the day- the records of the Inniskillings record charging 5 more times during the day and sustaining casualties from French artillery when relocated to the right side of the Allied Sector But even if the casualty figures sustained on the 18th June of 49% were all due to the first charge it was a price well worth paying for the result it achieved.

From the Cotton Collection, a former 7th Hussars Waterloo veteran who owned the Waterloo Museum, The Hotel Du Musee

The last photo in the gallery shows a photograph of one section of the collection in the museum of Waterloo, taken in around 1900, showing all the weapons used at Waterloo en situ, including all the protagonists {British, French, Prussian and Belgian muskets, swords, pistols, armour uniforms, etc}. The museum was founded and owned by a veteran of the 7th Hussars that fought at Waterloo. He was able to collect weapons discarded at the battle site, and some even donated by other veterans, officers and men, that fought there. We have spent many years trying to trace items from this museum collection that were dissipated when it was sold by auction, by the family owners in the early 1900’s. Fortunately we have been able to do so happily with some degree of success this past year or so.
No scabbard  read more

Code: 24950

1.00 GBP


A Very Fine, And Incredibly Impressive, Historical, 1810 Elite Napoleonic Wars, French Imperial Cuirassier Sword

A Very Fine, And Incredibly Impressive, Historical, 1810 Elite Napoleonic Wars, French Imperial Cuirassier Sword

One of the nicest we have seen in quite a while. Blade inspector marked by 'B' Bick, the blade also engraved on the back strap Manufacture Imperial du Klingenthal decembre 1810.
In 1810, the date, as well as its arsenal of manufacture, was added for the very first time, henceforth they were to be dated on the blade by its year of manufacture. Superb original leather grip, and a very fine double fullered blade with stunning old patina. Good steel combat scabbard without denting. Excellent hilt with further inspector's stamps 'B'. Renown throughout the world of historic sword collectors as probably the biggest and most impressive cavalry sword ever designed. This would have seen service in the Elite Cuirassiers of Napoleon's great heavy cavalry regiments of the Grande Armee. The French Invasion of Russia ( Campagne de Russie) began on 24 June 1812 when Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army. Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia. Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to curry favour with the Poles and provide a political pretence for his actions. The Grande Armée was a very large force, numbering nearly half a million men from several different nations. Through a series of long marches Napoleon pushed the army rapidly through Western Russia in an attempt to bring the Russian army to battle, winning a number of minor engagements and a major battle at Smolensk in August. Napoleon hoped the battle would mean an end of the march into Russia, but the Russian army slipped away from the engagement and continued to retreat into Russia, while leaving Smolensk to burn. Plans Napoleon had made to quarter at Smolensk were abandoned, and he pressed his army on after the Russians. The battles continued, but once the winter set in Napoleon's army was facing unsurmountable odds that left it effectively shattered beyond repair. Napoleon fled, it is said, dressed as a woman, and the army left to it's sad and miserable fate. Only around 27,000 were able to return after a mere six months of the Russian campaign. The campaign was a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. The reputation of Napoleon was severely shaken, and French hegemony in Europe was dramatically weakened. The Grande Armée, made up of French and allied invasion forces, was reduced to a fraction of its initial strength. These events triggered a major shift in European politics. France's ally Prussia, soon followed by Austria, broke their alliance with France and switched camps. This triggered the War of the Sixth Coalition. 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 Cuirassiers swords in England very likely came from that field of conflict, 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". A truly magnificent Napoleonic sword in superb condition for it's age.
The largest sword of it's kind that was ever made or used by the world's greatest cavalry regiments. Made at Klingenthal and Versailles.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. The brass basket guard on this sword is first class, the grip is superb all original leather with some grip wire remaining and has superb colour and fabulous patination, the blade is double fullered and absolutely as crisp as one could hope for. Made in the Napoleonic War period. Possibly a souvenir of Waterloo brought back after the battle.
Just a basic few of the battles this would have been used at in 1812 and beyond 1812: Borodino and Moscow,
Ostrowno, and Winkowo 1813: Reichenbach
Dresden, Leipzig and Hanau
1814: La Rothiere, Rosnay, Champaubert, Vauchamps, Athies,
La Fere-Champenoise and Paris
1815: Quatre-Bras and Waterloo. .  read more

Code: 24991

2395.00 GBP


1853 Enfield Rifle Bayonet With Scabbard of the 17th Foot, the Royal Leicestershire Used At Sebastopol in the Crimean War. Beautifully Regimentally Marked

1853 Enfield Rifle Bayonet With Scabbard of the 17th Foot, the Royal Leicestershire Used At Sebastopol in the Crimean War. Beautifully Regimentally Marked

In excellent condition with original blueing, and set within its brass mounted leather scabbard, stamped WD for the War Dept {WD the stamp from 1855 to 1857} and crown inspection stamp. Frankly we believe it would be well nigh impossible to find a better example. A 'sleeper' uncleaned and untouched for likely 150 years.

It is a truly exceptional example, with all original blueing, and much original surface polish to the trefoil blade, with very light natural age service wear, but very rare indeed to be regimentally marked, especially so to such a famous VC regiment of the Crimean War, plus, being the 1855 Crimean War issue. From a very good former collection of fine, original Crimean War used items.

After seven years in England and Ireland, the Regiment was sent to Gibraltar in 1854 and, when war with Russia broke out, it formed part of the army which landed in the Crimea. There it experienced all the rigours and privations of the siege of Sevastopol, taking part in the fierce assaults on the Redan, and the bombardment and capture of Kinburn. In the assault on the Redan on 18 June 1855 Sergeant Philip Smith won the first Victoria Cross for the Regiment. He was 26 years old, and a corporal in the 17th Regiment (later the Leicestershire Regiment), British Army during the Siege of Sebastopol in the Crimean War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

For repeatedly going out in the front of the advanced trenches against the Great Redan, on the 18th June, 1855, under a very heavy fire, after the column had retired from the assault, and bringing in wounded comrades.

Royal Small Arms Factory developed the Pattern 1853 Enfield in the 1850s. The 39 in (99 cm) barrel had three grooves, with a 1:78 rifling twist, and was fastened to the stock with three metal bands, so that the rifle was often called a "three band" model. The rifle's cartridges contained 2+1⁄2 drams, or 68 grains (4.4 g) of gunpowder, and the ball was typically a 530-grain (34 g) Boxer modification of the Pritchett & Metford or a Burton-Minié, which would be driven out at approximately 1,250 feet (380 m) per second.

The original Pritchett design was modified by Col. Boxer, who reduced the diameter to 0.55 after troops found the original 0.568 too hard to load during the Indian Mutiny, changing the mixed beeswax-tallow lubrication to pure beeswax for the same reason, and added a clay plug to the base to facilitate expansion, as the original Pritchett design, which relied only on the explosion of the charge, was found to cause excessive fouling from too slow an expansion, allowing unburnt powder to escape around the bullet. The Enfield's adjustable ladder rear sight had steps for 100 yards (91 m) – the first position – 200 yards (180 m), 300 yards (270 m), and 400 yards (370 m). For distances beyond that, an adjustable flip-up blade sight was graduated (depending on the model and date of manufacture) from 900 yards (820 m) to 1,250 yards (1,140 m). British soldiers were trained to hit a target 6 feet (180 cm) by 2 feet (61 cm) – with a 2 feet (61 cm) diameter bull's eye, counting 2 points – out to 600 yards (550 m). The target used from 650 yards (590 m) to 900 yards (820 m) had a 3 feet (91 cm) bull's eye, with any man scoring 7 points with 20 rounds at that range being designated a marksman.  read more

Code: 24974

375.00 GBP


A Third Reich 1930's Motorsports Award in Silver Plated Bronze of German Olympic Gold-Medal Winner Tillie Fleischer,

A Third Reich 1930's Motorsports Award in Silver Plated Bronze of German Olympic Gold-Medal Winner Tillie Fleischer,

One of the rare small versions of the magnificent unique solid silver statue by one of the two most prolific and superb artists in N.S. Germany, namely Arno Brecker and Josef Thorak, presented to Adolf Hitler. This piece was presented as a trophy for the Third Reich motorsports

The larger silver version was given at an official state presentation to Germany's chancellor, Adolf Hitler. On the base one can perceive the words engraved there: "Nürnberg - Reichs - Parteitag 1937." This pilot piece was actually presented to Hitler himself by Josef Thorak in commemoration of the future unveiling of the same figure in gigantic proportion at the grounds of the party rallies. In several books on the art of the Third Reich, this very same silver statue is shown. Note the picture directly from the official German book, Reichstagung in Nürnberg 1937, Der Parteitag der Arbiet, Reich's Meeting in Nuremberg 1937, The Party Day of Work showing the actual silver figure

After the auspicious occasion of its presentation, the figure was taken to the Führerbau or "leader's building" in Munich. In this beautiful building in what was known as the Haupstadt der Bewegung or "Head City of the Movement," it stayed until looted by GI's. This building still stands today in the Königsplatz and is virtually unchanged except that the once-proud eagles and swastikas that surmounted the twin entrances are gone. This is without doubt one of the most famous creations by one of this world's most renowned artists.

The sculpture was said to have been modelled from a picture of German Olympic gold-medal winner Tillie Fleischer, who was a favourite of Adolf Hitler. The figure was meant to have been the largest central theme within the confines of the planned, but never completed, Sportspalast on the rally grounds. The figure also became the forerunner of the popular theme, which dominated the Third Reich art form. In the accompanying pictures of Thorak statuary one can readily see the Kunstgeist, or motif, valiantly expressed. The artist on behalf of the Ministry of Labour presented the nude figure personally.

The statue that the artist presented to Adolf Hitler reverberate through the N.S. Reich, that the great artist Josef Thorak, who not only created the wonderful silver statute, but he created several small versions of it in bronze to be presented to various dignitaries both N.S. party officials and some important foreign admirers of his immortal art. This is one of the rare smaller ones awarded as a motorsports trophy.

16 inches high in total  read more

Code: 24986

2950.00 GBP




We just acquired this shingunto WW2 officer’s sword with an ancestral blade on late Saturday, alongside dozens of other pieces. This shingunto mounted sword is fully traditionally mounted 1938 pattern mounted officer’s katana, with considerable traces of green paint to the standard issue metal saya, and fully regulation koshirae, with original binding tsukaito, tsuba, menuki, fuchi kashira etc.

However, the antique blade, although fully present complete and in one sound piece, it has a few {4} combat, deep edge cracks, that renders it technically as no longer useable as a sword, so now, only suitable as a study piece, but a fully original WW2 Pacific War souvenir collectable, a standard, original, example of a regulation pattern mounted IJA officers sword, with average condition mounts, but, a cracked ancestral blade. However, externally, from first viewing and holding the sword, without withdrawing the blade for a close look, you would never know this wasn’t anything other than a regular, average condition survivor of the Japanese Imperial Army of WW2.

A perfect sword for, possibly, a ‘first rung’ collector, an early participant of the enthusiasts climb of the ladder of collecting original, WW2 Japanese historical artefacts. Or, maybe a seasoned collector who would be thrilled to have another example at a massively lower cost than a usual, better condition bladed sword. It is a shame the antique blade is damaged as it has a superb hamon, it is extraordinarily sharp still, and it would, if not so damaged, been a £2500 to £3,000 sword.

Complete, but good condition bladed examples, would cost several times the cost this sword will be, in fact it will be a lot less expensive than the cost of a good industrially made NCO’s pattern sword, and not much greater than the value of the sum of its mounts alone, { saya, tsuba, tsuka etc.}

However, it’s still a complete and nicely mounted sword of the era, just not suitable for use, thus it is just a quarter of the cost that it would be if it was in much better condition.

Although none of all Japanese swords today are every intended to be used, as they were once intended, but, many will often still be valued using such a criteria, as being functional for use. I suppose it's comparable to a Lamborghini being capable of 240 mph, it doesn't mean they will likely be ever used at such speeds, but you will be charged for such an ability if it is in perfect condition.  read more

Code: 24981

850.00 GBP


A Very Good WW2 Shingunto Signed & Armoury Stamped Imperial Japanese Officer's Sword

A Very Good WW2 Shingunto Signed & Armoury Stamped Imperial Japanese Officer's Sword

All original koshirae mounts and fittings in near mint condition. The blade is signed and dated, and the tang also has a W stamp, which is a scarce armoury stamp that is still classified by Fuller and Gregory as 'unidentified' but often on blades by the smiths Takehisa, Yoshiharu, and also Mantetsu blades.

The blade is in around 65% plus overall original polish with surface staining. It has a good suguha hamon, it could be re-polished to near mint polish once more. We have already spent several hours cleaning the sword removing old surface storage dirt

All the mounts, tsuba, seppa etc bear the original maker mark of the character Schichi, designated to the Arsenal of the manufacturing section of the Tokyo Army Arsenal, second factory of Kokura Army Arsenal, after November 1933

The Shin guntō (new military sword)
The shin guntō (新軍刀, new military sword) was a weapon and symbol of rank used by the Imperial Japanese Army between the years of 1935 and 1945. .
In response to rising nationalism within the armed forces, a new style of sword was designed for the Japanese military in 1934. The shin guntō was styled after a traditional slung tachi of the Kamakura Period (1185–1332). Officers' ranks were indicated by coloured tassels tied to a loop at the end of the hilt. The corresponding colors were brown-red and gold for generals; brown and red for field officers; brown and blue for company or warrant officers; brown for sergeants, sergeants major or corporals. The blades found in shin guntō ranged from modern machine-made blades through contemporary traditionally-manufactured blades to ancestral blades dating back hundreds of years.
Type 94edit
The Type 94 shin guntō (九四式軍刀, kyūyon-shiki guntō) officers' sword replaced the Western style kyu gunto in 1934. It had a traditionally constructed hilt (tsuka) with ray skin (same) wrapped with traditional silk wrapping (ito). A cherry blossom (a symbol of the Imperial Japanese Army) theme was incorporated into the guard (tsuba), pommels (fuchi and kashira), and ornaments (menuki).

The scabbard for the Type 94 was made of metal with a wood lining to protect the blade. It was often painted green/brown and was suspended from two brass mounts {ashi}, one of which was removable and only used when in full dress uniform. The type 98 fittings, improved the design a little and disposed of the fitting and use of the second ashi altogether. The fittings on the scabbard were also decorated with traditional cherry blossom designs. The better quality examples had gilding highlights and embellishments to the mounts {as does this sword, which, remarkably, are all still present}  read more

Code: 24886

1800.00 GBP


An 1853 Pattern Relic Sword Blade from the Charge of the Light Brigade. Recovered in the Soviet Period from The Balaclava Battle Site

An 1853 Pattern Relic Sword Blade from the Charge of the Light Brigade. Recovered in the Soviet Period from The Balaclava Battle Site

Part of superb Crimean War period collectables we have just acquired. Including, a officer's light cavalry pistol, an 1853 bayonet from Sebastopol, an Officer's Bearskin of the Scots Fusilier Guards, plus this relic sword blade, with no basket hilt remaining, just the blade its tang and the top mounted 'tear drop' tang button. One can reasonably assume the the basket hilt was blown off by a shell hit in the charge. It could look super suitably framed.

An 1853 relic sword blade from the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' at Balaclava in the Crimea.
A relic sword from the Charge of the Light brigade battle site, in the Crimea, recovered during the demise of the Soviet era by a Russian naval officer in the early 1990s, along with a Royal Dragoon Guards dress/combat helmet that we bought from the Russian officer around 30 years ago, and we sold in just days. That helmet too was in a sorry state, almost fully crushed, but my, what a piece of history. Just like that helmet, what this blade it lacks in condition, it more than makes up for in conversational speculation and amazing interest.

The incredible story around that area of conflict is that for much of the 20th century it was completely cut off from visitors due to it location near Sebastopol a highly important Ukrainian naval port, during both the Romanov and Soviet era, and in numerous battle sites, relics from the French, British, Russian and German armies lay side by side undisturbed, from a century of battles, from the Crimean War, WW1 and WW2.
Around 30 years ago we acquired from the same source, an 1850 British heavy cavalry helmet, heavily damaged, that was recovered from the same region. An amazing original relic from the past famous British mounted combat during the war in the Crimea.

Out of interest, around 30 years ago we owned the foul weather sabretache of Captain Nolan that he used, and carried, that very order to charge the Russian guns into the Valley of Death. The sabretache, was the one upon which he fell, when he perished when fatally wounded by a shell within sixty seconds of the commencement of charge. It came to us through the family ownership and had previously been on display in two museums until the mid 20th century.

The charge;

The Light Brigade set off down the valley with Cardigan in front, leading the charge on his horse Ronald. Almost at once, Nolan rushed across the front, passing in front of Cardigan. It may be that he realised that the charge was aimed at the wrong target and was attempting to stop or turn the brigade, but he was killed by an artillery shell and the cavalry continued on its course. Captain Godfrey Morgan was close by:

The first shell burst in the air about 100 yards in front of us. The next one dropped in front of Nolan's horse and exploded on touching the ground. He uttered a wild yell as his horse turned round, and, with his arms extended, the reins dropped on the animal's neck, he trotted towards us, but in a few yards dropped dead off his horse. I do not imagine that anybody except those in the front line of the 17th Lancers saw what had happened.

We went on. When we got about two or three hundred yards the battery of the Russian Horse Artillery opened fire. I do not recollect hearing a word from anybody as we gradually broke from a trot to a canter, though the noise of the striking of men and horses by grape and round shot was deafening, while the dust and gravel struck up by the round shot that fell short was almost blinding, and irritated my horse so that I could scarcely hold him at all. But as we came nearer I could see plainly enough, especially when I was about a hundred yards from the guns. I appeared to be riding straight on to the muzzle of one of the guns, and I distinctly saw the gunner apply his fuse. I shut my eyes then, for I thought that settled the question as far as I was concerned. But the shot just missed me and struck the man on my right full in the chest.

In another minute I was on the gun and the leading Russian's grey horse, shot, I suppose, with a pistol by somebody on my right, fell across my horse, dragging it over with him and pinning me in between the gun and himself. A Russian gunner on foot at once covered me with his carbine. He was just within reach of my sword, and I struck him across his neck. The blow did not do much harm, but it disconcerted his aim. At the same time a mounted gunner struck my horse on the forehead with his sabre. Spurring "Sir Briggs," he half jumped, half blundered, over the fallen horses, and then for a short time bolted with me. I only remember finding myself alone among the Russians trying to get out as best I could. This, by some chance, I did, in spite of the attempts of the Russians to cut me down.

The Light Brigade faced withering fire from three sides which devastated their force on the ride, yet they were able to engage the Russian forces at the end of the valley and force them back from the redoubt. Nonetheless, they had suffered heavy casualties and were soon forced to retire. The surviving Russian artillerymen returned to their guns and opened fire with grapeshot and canister shot, indiscriminately at the mêlée of friend and foe before them.

The blade while on display in Ukraine had some added yellow paint to the top and bottom of the hilt area. We have no idea why, but we have left it just as is. Maybe it was some kind of preservative.  read more

Code: 24975



NOW SOLD A Japanese Edo Period Lacquered Harikake Court Cap Form Helmet Naga-Eboshi

NOW SOLD A Japanese Edo Period Lacquered Harikake Court Cap Form Helmet Naga-Eboshi

A most beautiful Japanese black lacquered harikake helmet kabuto purposefully made without neck defences. In the form of a courtier's hat (naga-eboshi), the peak, and rear band has intricate gold lacquered scrolling Karakusa Chinese grasses, and decorated with seven gilt metal religious cross mons with four ivy leaf terminals, fukigayeshi lacquered with the same mon of religious cross mon with four ivy leaf terminals, red lacquered interior, original red fabric lining and white padded straps. Kabuto are a type of helmet first used by samurai. Harikake kabuto used papier-mache, or leather mixed with lacquer, to build the elaborate decoration. A picture in the gallery of a statue in Japan of Oda Nobunaga (1534-82) who was the first of Japan?s three great unifiers at the end of the Sengoku (warring states). He is wearing this very form of cap while in full armour. Kabuto are often adorned with crests called datemono or tatemono; the four types of decorations were the maedate (frontal decoration), wakidate (side decorations), kashiradate (top decoration), and ushirodate (rear decoration). These can be family crests (mon), or flat or sculptural objects representing animals, mythical entities, prayers or other symbols. Horns are particularly common, and many kabuto incorporate kuwagata, stylized deer horns. This helmet has a maedate hook with which the samurai could mount his family mon maedate. The left side facing fukegaeshi with clan mon front temple winged ear has a bend that cannot be unbent due to its lacquered hide material of construction with areas of lacquer loss. Some bottom section rim edging throughout is now exposed. All its small lacquer imperfections are due to its age, and ideally should be left just as is. The upper helmet bowl's lacquer is excellent overall.

The helmet is also shown in the gallery mounted on a samurai suit of armour code number 21624  read more

Code: 22215

2950.00 GBP


American 1830's Kentucky Plains Rifle of Classic Hawken Type, Set Trigger Action and Early American Eagle Silver Inlays. Made and Used in the Era of The Siege of The Alamo by The Texian Riflemen

American 1830's Kentucky Plains Rifle of Classic Hawken Type, Set Trigger Action and Early American Eagle Silver Inlays. Made and Used in the Era of The Siege of The Alamo by The Texian Riflemen

Of course many of the Texians at the Alamo were of course volunteer backwoodsmen, pioneers and hunters, from many different American States. Men who put their lives on the line, once more, in order to aid their Texas friends, realising it may {in fact, it did} be the very last battle they were to fight for their common principles and cause. Recognised as Texas heroes, despite wherever they originally travelled from, in order to die for Texas.

Tiger stripe maple wood stock, traditional brass fittings with various geometric shapes and an American Bald Eagle with breast flag shield standing upon a war arrow {inspired by the 1803 Indian Peace Flag} and a stylized star, {which may have represented Texas statehood ambitions}, plus numerous ovoid and shaped engraved panels inlaid. Striped wooden ramrod. Set trigger action. Elongated trigger guard, crescentic butt form, with overall superb patination.

The 'Kentucky Rifle' and the Plains Rifle were probably the most famous, and certainly the most beautiful rifles ever made in America's long history of fine arms making. They was used to incredible effect by the backwoods and mountain men in the American Revolutionary War, and by Congressman and Tennessee hero Davy Crockett and his riflemen, in the Creek Indian War, in 1813, and, at The Alamo.
The Alamo was the famous siege and battle valiantly fought by the Texican volunteers against Mexican forces, under the despotic General Santa Anna, in 1836.
This is the very rifle as was used by Davy Crocket and his Texian riflemen volunteers.

The Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836) was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna reclaimed the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas, United States), killing the Texian and immigrant occupiers.
Santa Anna's cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians, both legal Texas settlers and illegal immigrants from the United States, to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the rebellion.
This fine gun has a superb, long, very heavy barrel, traditional crescent butt, a percussion action, and a beautiful tiger-stripe maple half stock, wonderfully set with tradition American rifle brass fittings with silver inlays. All fine brass traditional Kentucky rifle furniture mounts with fairly plain lock. It was the early American long guns that were shown to great effect in the film 'The Patriot' the award winning film of the American Revolution. The back country riflemen of the Carolinas and the Mountains of Virginia confounded the British due to their weapons accuracy and long range effectiveness, these were true beginnings of guerrilla warfare which influenced the British decision to create the Rifles Regiments of skirmishers. Early in the conflict gunsmithing was placed under virtual control of the Continental Congress, which fixed the prices for guns and decreed that gunsmiths deliver all guns to the patriot army or be branded as enemies and deprived of the tools of their trade. Pennsylvania makers helped materially to supply the nine companies of riflemen that were raised in this State and placed initially under the command of Colonel William Thompson of Carlisle. The defeat suffered by the riflemen under Benedict Arnold in the ill-fated attack on Quebec was avenged somewhat by the later victories at Saratoga and at King’s Mountain, where the “Tomahawks” comprised a large part of the American forces. Major Patrick Ferguson, commander of loyalist American troops fighting for the British army, who was killed by a rifle bullet at King’s Mountain, had his unit experiment with a breech-loading rifle of his own invention at the battle of the Brandywine. He had urged its adoption by the British army, but the musket continued to be used commonly by all European armies until well into the nineteenth century. The bloody repulse of the British at New Orleans early in January 1815 by the men of Tennessee and Kentucky under Andrew Jackson’s command is another epic in the saga of this historic firearm.

Westward across the plains, over the mountains, and beyond the sunsets it was carried by hunter, trader, prospector and settler. Indians respected the “fire stick” and learned to use it against the white intruders in many forays that chronicle the struggle for the West.
To the South and West the United States national domain was in part carved out by the use of the Kentucky-Pennsylvania type gun in the war with Mexico. Some of the information we detail was from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and for information and education purposes only.
One of those generic rifles, a Pennsylvania long rifle, was plucked from the ashes by a Mexican citizen of San Antonio who decided to keep it as a memento of the slaughter. The rifle was later given to Frank Johnson, a Texian that had left the Alamo before the siege began. The rifle then changed ownership several more times over the decades until 1947 when it finally ended up back where it belonged, in the Alamo museum.

That specific Pennsylvania rifle, known by many names but most commonly as a Kentucky long rifle, is the only firearm in the Alamo museum today whose provenance can be traced directly back to the battle. However, it is a certainty that it is not the only long rifle to have been fired during the siege.
The long rifle was a specifically American invention, developed in the 1700s for hunting the western wilderness of the early colonies. It could fire accurately well in excess of 200 yards thanks to the revolutionary spiral grooving in the bore developed and perfected by Germanic immigrants to Pennsylvania.

Suited to its owner, it could be 4 to 6 feet long and was available in calibers from .25 to .62. They remained the most effective and popular rifles for decades, crossing all class barriers. It is undeniable that a great number of these rifles, as well as matching calibered flintlock pistols, found their way south to the Texas colonies in great numbers.

Weight, approx 8 pounds. Overall length 54.5 inches, barrel 38.75 inches, barrel thickness 1.00 inch wide overall. Like all our guns, it is a non-restricted antique collectable with no licence required to own or buy. Last picture in the gallery is of the fall of the Alamo and the Kentuckians  read more

Code: 24961



A Battle of Trafalgar Period, Admirial Nelson's Royal Naval Sailors Fid, A Lignum Vitae Hardwood Marlin Spike

A Battle of Trafalgar Period, Admirial Nelson's Royal Naval Sailors Fid, A Lignum Vitae Hardwood Marlin Spike

A stunning quality sailor’s fid, or marlinspike, with ringed top section, with wonderful grain and patina. At sea it would very satisfactorily double up as a weighty club.

The fid was an essential item in a sailors’ everyday equipment, and was commonly used throughout the maritime era now known as the Age of Sail (circa 1550-1850). They came in a variety of sizes designed to suit all the requirements of a busy working vessel.

The versatile tapering conical implements had a wide range of uses on board ship. For ropework they were used for holding open knots and untangling rigging. In sail-making they were used for reeving (the process of threading rope through rings and apertures) and making grommets in canvas (essentially poking the holes through which sails were secured to a mast).

Fids were also used for separating individual strands of rope for the purpose of splicing. Splicing is the process of joining two lengths of rope together by untwisting and then interweaving their respective strands. Tying a knot can reduce the strength of a rope by up to 40% whereas splicing helps rope maintain its full integrity, making the fid an invaluable asset to any able seaman.

Fids were usually made from wood, mostly lignum vitae, although examples in oak, teak, elm and even mahogany can also be found. Whalebone fids are also common, mostly fashioned by sailors working aboard the North Atlantic whaling ships.

It is said that whalebone fids were stronger and more durable than their wooden counterparts, with the added advantage that the tools’ raw materials were a by-product of the ship’s catch.

During long voyages at sea, sailors would often customise their fids with fine carved details to improve the grip or simply for aesthetic reasons. Rarer examples can also be decorated with a set of carved initials, demonstrating the owner’s pride in their handywork, or pierced with a hole at the top to allow the fid to be slung from a belt.

Over time, with regular use and care, many sailor’s fids have built up a rich, warm patina to their surface and have become popular with collectors as a lasting memento of a time when sail ruled the seas.

39 cm long  read more

Code: 24959

240.00 GBP