Our Address for Contact and Personal Visits;

01273 321357 { from within the UK }
Call anytime on our mobile number 24/7
07721 010085

To contact us by telephone from outside of the UK, call, in UK time office hours, 00 44 1273 321357, or from North America 011 44 1273 321357.
Outside of office hours, call 00 44 7721 010085 , or from North America 011 44 7721 010085.

Opening hours;
10.30 am till 4.30 pm Monday to Saturday, closed Sundays and Bank {public} Holidays.

Some visitors have questioned why, as a premier tourist attraction in the city, that we are not open on Sundays or Bank Holidays. We understand some may be intrigued as to why we are not open on Sundays. However, we made the decision to close on Sundays and Bank Holidays many decades past in order to provide our employees with a well-deserved day off, and the partners to partake in Sunday services. We believe that it is important for our employees and partners to have a good work-life balance, and closing on Sundays is one way that we can help to achieve this, we believe business should never be more important than personal well-being and happiness.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you need to visit our business on a Sunday, we recommend that you call ahead to make an appointment. We may be able to accommodate you, depending on our availability

* Please note the old email address, enquiries@thelanesarmoury.co.uk may no longer be able to receive emails

Email contact: mail@thelanesarmoury.co.uk

For Bank Transfer Payments of purchases

Account of; M & D Hawkins
Lloyds Bank
Sort Code
Account number

International transfer numbers;
IBAN; GB82LOYD30912502236835

Please enjoy our website, it has been over 100 years in the making!!

If you are wishing to find The Very Best in Arms and Armour & Armoury Antiques in the UK there is only one place you need to visit. But we are not only a shop we are a learning and teaching website where those who may wish to simply explore history can truly enjoy our fascinating {hopefully} and informative website.

Every single item from The Lanes Armoury is accompanied by our unique Certificate of Authenticity. Part of our continued dedication to maintain the standards forged by us over the past 100 years of our family’s trading. {Family motto; Gloria Antika}

Meanwhile, Enjoy Our Site.

Since early 2022 UK credit card payments taken online have upgraded with additional 3D security levels, that may cause issues with the mail order transactions. if any buyers have difficulties or issues with completion of orders, as these new security issues are now very common in the UK, please email us or call us directly. They can be simply rectified.

Online Purchases By Credit Card via Sage Pay Are Online For; Visa or Mastercard. or, if needed, you may contact us direct to pay by Amex Card , or, you may also pay via BACS Bank Transfer.

Our Bank Transfer Account Details Are On Every Order Online, plus on this ‘Info’ Page.
Our mobile number is available 24/7 on 07721 010085 usual international prefix will apply. To contact us by telephone outside of the UK call, in office hours, 00 44 1273 321357, or from North America 011 44 1273 321357. Outside of office hours call 00 44 7721 010085 or from North America 011 44 7721 010085.

If you pay by transfer please do contact us to let us know it has been, or will be made within 24 hours of the time of the initial purchase order, or the website software may automatically remove the reserved tab and return it for sale once more.

For UK Clients Under the new amendments to the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 buyers of sharp implements have to be over 18 years of age although we already do not sell edged weapons to those under 18 and thus we are now obliged by law to confirm the age of all buyers of edged weapons, and for online buyers we must have a email copy of the buyers passport or photo id from your Driving Licence.
Please note, we are, and have only ever been, a specialist shop, for such as, worldwide collectors, historians, interior decorators or museums. None of our pieces are available to be bought or sold for the intention of current use, they are collectables for historical or display enjoyment only.

We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword & Armoury Antiques Gallery
After 50 years personal experience by Mark, since 1971, we are Europe’s leading samurai sword gallery, with hundreds of swords to view and buy online 24/7, or in our gallery in Brighton on a personal visit, 6 days a week. It has been said that the Hawkins family have, in their sword dealing history, handled, bought and sold more original Japanese swords than any other sword dealers outside of Japan since World War I, numbering well into the tens of thousands of samurai weapons. In fact we still know of no better and varied original samurai sword selection, for sale under one roof, anywhere in the world today outside of Japan, or possibly, even within it. Hundreds of antique pieces for sale to choose from, and some up to 800 years old.
Did you know? the most valuable sword in the world today is a samurai sword, it belongs to an investment fund and has appeared illustrated in the Forbes 400 magazine. It is valued by them at $100 million, it is a tachi from the late Koto period 16th century and unsigned. Its blade is grey and now has no original polish remaining.

Whether we are selling to our clients representing museums around the globe, the world’s leading collectors, or simply a first time buyer, we offer our advice and guidance in order to assist and guide the next custodian of a fine Japanese sword, to make the very best choice for them.
Both of the partners of the company have spent literally all of their lives surrounded by objects of history, trained, almost since birth in the arts and history. Supervised and mentored, first by their grandfather, then their father, who left the RAF sometime after the war, to become one of the leading antique exporters and dealers in the entire world. Selling, around the whole world, in today’s equivalent, hundreds of millions of pounds of antiques and works of art. Both Mark and David were incredibly fortunate to be mentored by some of the world’s leading experts within their fields of antiques and militaria. Mark has been a director and partner in the family businesses since 1971, but long before that he was handling and buying swords and flintlocks since he was just seven years old, obviously in a very limited way though, naturally. David, Mark’s younger brother, also started collecting militaria when he was seven, and as you will by now guess, history, antiques and militaria is simply in their blood.

We are now probably the World’s Largest Online Militaria & Book Website
Including over 17,000 Full Page Photographs, that makes our website size to an incredible 17,160 pages of photographs and historical descriptive text, including, approximately, 580,700 words, displaying amongst numerous other items, the worlds largest selection of original samurai edged weapons for sale outside of Japan, and probably within it!. We were very kindly described as one of the most highly recommended visitors attractions in the whole of the UK by nothing less than the \'New York Times\' in their travel guide \"New York Times, 36 Hours, 125 Weekends in Europe\". And tens of thousands of our visitors, every single year, have told us that we are their favourite shop in the whole U.K.!

****Regarding the UK Ivory Restriction/Ban as Announced 3rd April 2018 and the amendments etc that come into effect on the 5th June 2022.. Later amendments are not yet passed regarding narwhal tusks hippo etc.
The June 2022 ivory ban has certain exemption criteria, and the abridged details are as follows; All items containing less than 10 percent ivory, made prior to 1947; and musical instruments with less than 20 percent ivory, made before 1975, and portrait miniatures painted on thin slivers of ivory and which are at least 100 years old, can be owned/traded, with an exemption certificate is issued. Rules apply to rhino horn, it must be original and ‘worked’ i.e. carved, such as a sword or dagger, and made before 1947.
With the new rules change from June 2022, the Ivory Prohibitions (Exemptions) (Process and Procedure) Regulations 2022, involves a fee for an application for a UK exemption certificate.. an IPEC. for any item containing part ivory. Nothing we sell will be adversely effected, as we will only trade in items that fall within the UK defined exemption criteria, and once any item falls within said criteria, the new June 2022 UK exemption certificate can applied be for and issued. Thus, henceforth, in future we will only trade, either buying or selling, with such items that fall within the exemption criteria. The exemption certificate applied for or issued, before any transaction, at a cost of 20 gbp from : https://apply-deal-ivory.service.gov.uk/

Commercial activities between accredited museums are also exempt, while exemption permits can be sought for items more than a century old assessed as being among the rarest of their type.

Thus any of our antique swords or indeed pistols with ivory grips will be relatively unaffected, with the buyers applying and obtaining the new exemption certificates from June. Naturally, bone gripped items guns swords daggers etc. although often having the general cosmetic appearance of ivory, are entirely unaffected by any legislation whatsoever. German 20th century officer\'s daggers often have ivory looking grips, these are not ivory, just as the amber grips on some types of German dagger are not real amber, but a composite man made material.


Most of our antiquities and artefacts are from 200 year past souvenir accumulations from British ‘Grand Tours’. Beautiful Items and antiquities were oft acquired in the 18th and early 19th century by British noblemen and women touring battle sites in Northern France and Italy, in fact most of Europe and the Middle East, on their so-called ‘Grand Tour’. They were often placed on display upon their return home, within the family’s ‘cabinet of curiosities’, within their country house. Some significant British stately homes had entire galleries displaying the treasures and artefacts gathered and purchased on such tours, and some tours lasted many years, and the accumulated souvenirs numbered in their hundreds or even thousands. A popular pastime in the 18th and 19th century, comprised of English ladies and gentlemen traveling for many months, or even years, througout classical Europe, and the Middle East, acquiring knowledge and education on the arts, and thus returning with antiquities and antiques as souvenirs for their private collections, and these travels have been thus called ‘Grand Tours’. A most important point often raised in many quarters today, is, that by far the greater part of the antiquities acquired by the British on their ‘Grand Tour’ were stolen, as many wish to declare, this is a total fallacy. They were purchased, for hard currency, often, well above the going rate, from the local peasants and landowners where the antiquities were recovered, all be they in Italy, France, Germany or even the Ottoman Empire. In fact the locals thought these visiting rich British were positively mad to buy items, for hard cash, that they locally considered as inconsequential relics worthy of no more than their scrap metal value, or hardcore value if made of stone. For example when the European and American tourist visitors, in the 19th and early 20th century, went to Egypt, so called linen wrapped mummies that were being purchased by the tourists, collectors or museum curators, would otherwise have been turned into soil fertiliser by the local farmers. In fact one enterprising American railroad magnate purchased tens of thousands of cat, ibis, and crocodile mummies to use as a far cheaper than coal alternative for his US steam railroad. Simply incredible at it may sound today, yet it is true. Not stolen, but most importantly, saved for future generations of all nations, {with the most sad exception of the steam railroad mummies}

Richard Lassels, an expatriate Roman Catholic priest, first used the phrase “Grand Tour” in his 1670 book Voyage to Italy, published posthumously in Paris in 1670. In its introduction, Lassels listed four areas in which travel furnished \"an accomplished, consummate traveler\" with opportunities to experience first hand the intellectual, the social, the ethical, and the political life of the Continent.

The English gentry of the 17th century believed that what a person knew came from the physical stimuli to which he or she has been exposed. Thus, being on-site and seeing famous works of art and history was an all important part of the Grand Tour. So most Grand Tourists spent the majority of their time visiting museums and historic sites.

Once young men began embarking on these journeys, additional guidebooks and tour guides began to appear to meet the needs of the 20-something male and female travelers and their tutors traveling a standard European itinerary. They carried letters of reference and introduction with them as they departed from southern England, enabling them to access money and invitations along the way.

With nearly unlimited funds, aristocratic connections and months or years to roam, these wealthy young tourists commissioned paintings, perfected their language skills and mingled with the upper crust of the Continent.

The wealthy believed the primary value of the Grand Tour lay in the exposure both to classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music. A Grand Tour could last from several months to several years. The youthful Grand Tourists usually traveled in the company of a Cicerone, a knowledgeable guide or tutor.

The ‘Grand Tour’ era of classical acquisitions from history existed up to around the 1850’s, and extended around the whole of Europe, Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, and the Holy Land.

Antiquities exportation; Numismatic items of a standard type, as well as other objects possessing no “special features” and valued at less than £65,000, are excluded from the requirement of an archaeological artefact EU licence. This is because the UK has exercised its discretion to exclude them under Article 2(2) of the Regulation on the Export of Cultural Goods (EC 116/2009).These and other items can be exported under the Open General Export Licence. All of of our artefacts from the former ‘Grand Tours’ etc. are covered for export by the legislation as previously described.

Japanese Sword Papers, For those that are not familiar with us, and thus do not know our modus operandi regarding Japanese sword appraisal, we rarely have Nihonto \'papered appraised\' swords for sale, or even offered by us, for almost all of our swords came from Japan in the 1870\'s (or in 1945 for our military mounted swords and none of these swords have ever returned to Japan for ‘papering’, especially as ‘papers’ did not exist as a form of appraisal until after WW2. Our company\'s opinion of all our swords is based on our considerable family experience going back generations for over 100 years, and the personal and extensive experience of over 90 years combined for the two partners Mark and David. It is our appraised judgement based on an entirely holistic view of a sword\'s quality, age, beauty, overall condition, and history, either generic or particular as known. Not on what one might call the more focused, and we would say, very limited, tradition of Japanese Nihonto ‘papering\', which judges only the blade itself and the elements of its construction, and its ability and safety for use in modern sword to sword combat. The blade papering judges not in any way the sword\'s fittings koshirae or cosmetic beauty, or indeed its place in Japanese history, in any way. We do not judge, nor ever have, a sword solely on its blade’s current ability to be used in sword to sword contact combat, as our swords are never sold to be used ever again as they once were, in combat, and, in our opinion, nor should they be so used in such a way.

We are not modern firearm dealers, we only sell original, antique, and vintage guns that are for collecting and historical display purposes only. Therefore, no licenses are required for any of the items we sell. None of our antique arms are for sale with the intention to be used. They are purely for display and collecting. Please see \'Notice regarding UK Gun Licences’ below for further details

Gun Deliveries; regarding pistols, muskets etc outside of the UK are required to be sent through up-rated security channels which, for sending abroad is a £350 minimum cost, with client collection at the nearest International Airport. However, UK gun deliveries are only around £20

Many items are photographed in the gallery accompanied by period pictures or photographs to illustrate the items use for educational purposes. These pictures or photos are never included for sale with the item.

Searching through our website is relatively easy using the Word/Code search box at the left hand side at the top of every page within the web shop. Using a known stock code number is the simplest method, but please note the stock code numbers are not necessarily sequential, they often include department details or material of manufacture details within the items code number, or the number can be recycled, such as a past now redundant or unused number. If you are using a ‘word’ to search the site please bear in mind certain words can be repeated and used many hundreds of items, so try to search using an unusual word specific to the item you are looking for, this method might enable a quicker a result.

We Have Two Direct Lines at our store here in Brighton; 01273 321357 and 01273 771125 International +441273 321357 +441273 771125. Our store is closed on Sundays. However we also have a 24 hr line on 07721 010085 or Int\'l + 44 7721 010085 .

Although, by and far, the largest proportion of our clients, with an interest for our guns and weapons, are from all over the world, and may never visit us personally, we are always delighted to receive personal visits.

If you are a new visitor to our site, or have never been to our shop, we will be a completely new experience for you, and we are always here to help. If you have never heard of us, and need to know independently who we are, just Google us, The Lanes Armoury, and you will see we are a well established family business that values it\'s well earned reputation. We may not have what you are looking for, but no visitor to our shop has ever been less than amazed at our world beating selection and displays, we are always described as a museum more than a shop.

Even though we are simply a collector’s shop, so many declare that we are their favourite shop in the country, that we have simply lost count. Out of an average of over 1000 visitors a day pre covid no one has ever said they were disappointed, and every day we receive extremely kind compliments from visitors of all ages.

In the past we have appeared in many international newspapers and journals, and we quote just one past article in the Glasgow Herald below. We have also been listed in the New York Times as one of the 100 places to visit in the UK and we, include an article that was published about us on City News Live here;

This is that article ‘copied’ below;

‘With so many different histories to offer, you can feel freer in Brighton than in most British cities in order to select trips which coincide with your interests – and of course, you\'re much more likely to find in Brighton things to do which bring the history you love to life. For the lover of militaria, a visit to The Lanes Armoury is a must, but with a difference. The Armoury’s housed in a three-story 16th century building and is a real treasure trove – it’s a museum which is not a museum, as everything is for sale. It has been nominated and then short-listed for the British Antique & Collectors Awards as the best Antique Shop in Great Britain and is the latest incarnation of a much older business – David Hawkins Brighton Ltd – which was one of the earliest and largest British dealers in Antiques and Collectibles within the whole of Europe. It\'s their current specialization in Arms, Armour, Militaria, and Books which really marks them out, and creates such a fascinating and fantastic place to visit. From bronze-age swords, suits of armour, guns, revolvers, duelling pistols, American Civil war swords through to medals, thousands of military books, and also World War II weapons, it’s all there to be viewed and drooled over. It\'s not a museum but when you leave, you’ve had the same experience!’

You will also find us listed on the official ‘Visit Brighton’ website* www.visitbrighton.com and we are listed as one of the 50 \'must see’ places any visitor to Brighton & Hove City ought to experience.

Brighton has for many decades been known as ‘London-by-the-Sea’, and as it is only 50 miles due south of London and within 40 miles of England\'s two largest airports Heathrow and Gatwick it is one of the most popular city tourist destinations in the whole of Europe. If you visit Brighton you will find that alongside the world class Royal Palace, the Brighton Pavilion, the Brighton Pier, Brighton Marina and Brighton Racecourse we are universally recommended as a truly amazing place to visit.
Even though we are not quite the biggest of the amazing Brighton attractions, many regular visitors tell us we\'re the best!

If on your visit you decide to purchase one or many of our items we will be delighted to provide our certificate of authenticity. A certificate will detail any provenance if known, however, detailed provenance is very rare and infrequently available. All visitors are welcome to ask opinions on items they have that we may be able to identify. This we will happily do, free of charge. However, please be aware, although we have traded for generations and personally in our business for many decades, there is no limit to the amount of items we haven\'t seen or never come across before, so sometimes we simply can\'t help through lack of specific knowledge in that area. PLEASE NOTE; We no longer send items that contain ivory, however old it might be, to the USA or Canada. Antiquities sold by us were acquired by collectors up to 250 years ago, such as during the Grand Tour, and are thus, for example, sold to America and legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14,

Book Orders, Deliveries Etc.

As books are often most heavy, and large quantities are exceptionally so, it is often desirable, for economic reasons, that arrangements for collection and shipping to be made by the purchaser. We can organise delivery for large orders but the cost can be quite excessive.


The Lanes Armoury bookshop appeared with most kind reference in The Sunday Times Culture Magazine in the Book section In March 2006. As with our old site, we have many thousands of books, and as books are our largest single selling line we have just too many pass through our hands to even begin to list them all in stock, but we do try to list all our 1st Editions if possible. Please email us if you seek a particular item you don't see available. We are, as usual, actively seeking rare old books with a historical interest, we have an urgent request for a numbered second edition "The 7 Pillars of Wisdom", by T.E. Lawrence. Please contact us if you may be able to help. Please contact us personally for all our consignment terms for all types of items, we will be happy to send you a copy. Special discounts can be arranged for the purchase of books in excess of 50 in one order.

Early Iron Antiquities From Roman to Medieval

Roman, Anglo Saxon, Celtic, Viking and Medieval edged weaponry, normally, during their liftetime have often been regarded as valued tools of war, some as symbols of status or family importance, and possibly of historical importance, but tools none the less. Putting it simply, all of the Western Civilisations had generally little overt respect for their edged weaponry's survival, state and condition over the long term, by comparison to the unique Japanese ethos.

But, on the other hand, in regards to the West’s surviving iron artefacts of the past two millennia, if the Western Civilisation's ancient edged weapons were lost, discarded or buried in the ground, and if the ground soil were made up of the right chemical composition, then some, may survive exceptionally well.
In the moist climates of Europe, preservation is worst in free-draining soils that have oxygenated water flowing through the soil profile. In these climates, fine-textured clay soils with permanent or seasonal waterlogging are more preserving than those with coarse sandy textures. Corrosion is slowed in peats and other waterlogged soils that are permanently anaerobic, especially if the groundwater is alkaline. Preservation in alkaline soils formed from calcareous parent materials may be augmented by protective carbonate coatings. The presence of chloride (e.g., in naturally saline soils or from tidal flooding, marine-affected atmospheric deposition, irrigation with saline water or spreading of salt) increases the corrosion rate of Iron.

Sadly, for example, for collectors of Viking iron artefacts in Scandinavia, it has generally very poor soil and ground conditions for the preservation of irons, but, areas of Germany are good, as are some areas in the south of England, southern Scotland and Northern Ireland, but Wales, Cornwall and northern England are generally very poor, like Scandinavia. Although, we have never seen any Viking, or mediaeval edged weapons for that matter, surviving anywhere near as good as it's Japanese weapon of equivalent age, if it has been preserved in a good enough non-acidic material for long enough, and conserved well enough when found, it can look remarkably fresh. The advantage that axes and heavy spears have over swords or daggers, is that if an edged sword blade has corrosive losses, for say the quarter inch of its surface that a sword/dagger may have corrupted over the centuries, there is sadly very little good steel left, and one can say in fact, it might result in it being just a shadow of its former self. However, with a with a heavy and much thicker axe head or spear, to lose a quarter of an inch of surface is no particular loss to the overall mass and eventual condition of the item if professionally conserved. And if in good discovered condition, if found in the right kind of soil, it could lose much less. Thus, with expert conservation a well made axe head or spear can look simply remarkably preserved, however, it must be said, far more are generally considerably corrupted, but that thus makes the difference between a relatively non-expensive surviving ancient artefact, and turns a far better quality and rarer surviving item into a valuable one. Antiquities sold by us were acquired by collectors up to 250 years ago, such as during the Grand Tour, and are thus, for example, sold to America and legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14. Antiquities exportation; Numismatic items of a standard type, as well as other objects possessing no “special features” and valued at less than £65,000, are excluded from the requirement of an archaeological artefact EU licence. This is because the UK has exercised its discretion to exclude them under Article 2(2) of the Regulation on the Export of Cultural Goods (EC 116/2009).These and other items can be exported under the Open General Export Licence.

Eras and Periods in Japanese and British Weapon Making History & Terminology

JAPANESE PERIODS AND ERAS. The periods were often within eras that had alternative encompassing names, such as both Shinto and Shinshinto period swords were all made within the Edo era.
The sword periods of CHOKUTO or KEN were up to 900,
KOTO period 900 to 1602, which included all of the following, Heian 749-1191, Kamakura 1192-1336..
Nambokochu 1333 to 1391, Muramachi 1392-1573, Momayama 1574-1602
SHINTO period from 1596 to 1781
SHIN-SHINTO period from 1781 to 1876
EDO era 1603 to 1867, this era encompassed both the Shinto and Shinshinto periods.
The POST EDO era are the so-called Modern reign sword periods which start from MEIJI, on to TAISHO, SHOWA GENDAITO and SHOWATO, but from 1876 to the Current day the term SHINSHAKUTO can be used to encompass all of the post EDO era. Despite the Meiji and Taisho reign periods both being antique, and well over 100 years past, they are often still known as modern sword periods.

Sword fitting terminology precis
Saya = Scabbard, Tsuka = Hilt, Tsuka-Ito = Hilt wrap, Nakago = Tang, Mekugi = Tang Peg, Same gawa = Giant Ray Skin, Tsuba = Sword Guard, Hamon = Blade Temper Line, Hada = Mid section of the blade, Mune = Back edge,. Shinken = Live Blade, Mumei = Unsigned by the sword smith on the Tang, Gimei = Not personally made by the sword smith as is named on the Tang, Kissaki = Blade End Tip, Koshirae = All the Sword’s Furniture

ANGLO SAXON -NORMAN, 600 to 1154………….
MEDIAEVIL, 1066 to 1500 approx…………...TUDOR HenryVII to Elizabeth I 1485-1603,….. STUART James I to Queen Anne 1603-1714 Interregnum 1649 to 1660,
William IIIrd 1689-1702, Queen Anne 1702-1714, …………..
GEORGIAN George I to William IV 1714 to 1837,………….
VICTORIAN Victoria 1837 -1901,…………….
EDWARDIAN Edward VII 1901-1910, …………..
Modern Era ….George Vth 1910 to 1936, .. Edward VIIIth 1936,.. George VIth, 1936 to 1953,.. Elizabeth IInd 1953 to Current day.

UNSIGNED JAPANESE BLADES. Likely 70% of all antique Japanese sword blades were never signed. Japanese smiths often did not like to display their name loudly. Some smiths put only their school\'s name, with no individual name. For example, such smiths as Ichimonji or Gassan, and of course some others. Their behaviour may indeed come from the principle of true modesty, it is effectively the opposite idea to egotism. In old Japanese, ego is a kind of dirt within the spirit.

In medieval Japan, when a smith makes a blade for his god or Buddha, he tries to make his best blade, but will not put his signature on the tang. He refrains from putting his signature on his representation of a holy piece, that he will offer in shrine or temple. When a smith received a command to make an order from a high class lord, he reacts the same way. It is in a manner that it is to respect the sword, but humbling the smith himself.

Originally unsigned blades of good quality could easily be made by these situations being prevalent.
It is said that the reason why most of Masamune blades are originally unsigned as he received his orders from the heads of samurai in Kamakura government. Masamune was one of the greatest legendary swordsmiths, and many consider he was possibly the very best ever. Very few of his blades still exist, and those that do are simply priceless.

Many of blades in Yamato province are originally unsigned as well. Most of them were made for the temples. There were several great temples in Yamato province then. Still today, Yamato province (Nara prefecture) is well known as a region of old temples.

Japanese - English sword part names nomenclature

Fuchi (縁):The fuchi is a hilt collar between the tsuka and the tsuba.
Habaki (鎺):The habaki is a wedge shaped metal collar used to keep the sword from falling out of the saya and to support the fittings below; fitted at the ha-machi and mune-machi which precede the nakago.
Kaeshizuno (返し角) – a hook shaped fitting used to lock the saya to the obi while drawing.
Kashira (頭):The kashira is a butt cap (or pommel) on the end of the tsuka.
Kōgai (笄):The kōgai is a spike for hair arranging carried sometimes as part of Katana-Koshirae in another pocket.
Koiguchi (鯉口):The koiguchi is the mouth of the saya or its fitting; traditionally made of buffalo horn.
Kojiri (鐺):The kojiri is the end of the saya or the protective fitting at the end of the saya; also traditionally made of buffalo horn.
Kozuka (小柄):The kozuka is a decorative handle fitting for the kogatana; a small utility knife fit into a pocket on the saya.
Kurigata (栗形):The kuri-kata is a knob on the side of the saya for attaching the sageo.
Mekugi (目釘):The mekugi is a small peg for securing the tsuka to the nakago.
Menuki (目貫):The menuki are ornaments on the tsuka (generally under the tsuka-ito); to fit into the palm for grip and originally meant to hide the mekugi.
Mekugi-ana (目釘穴):The mekugi-ana are the holes in the tsuka and nakago for the mekugi.
Sageo (下げ緒):The sageo is the cord used to tie saya to the belt/obi when worn.
Same-hada (鮫肌) – literally the pattern of the ray skin.
Same-kawa (samegawa) (鮫皮):same-kawa is the ray or shark skin wrapping of the tsuka(handle/hilt).
Saya (鞘):The saya is a wooden scabbard for the blade; traditionally done in lacquered wood.
Sayajiri : A saya end mount usually metal
Seppa (切羽):The seppa are washers above and below the tsuba to tighten the fittings.
Shitodome (鵐目) – an accent on the kurikata for aesthetic purposes; often done in gold-ish metal in modern reproductions.
Tsuba (鍔 or 鐔):The tsuba is a hand guard.
Tsuka (柄):The tsuka is the hilt or handle; made of wood and wrapped in samegawa.
Tsuka-maki (柄巻) – the art of wrapping the tsuka, including the most common hineri maki and katate maki (battle wrap).
Tsuka-ito (柄糸):Tsuka-ito the wrap of the tsuka, traditionally silk but today most often in cotton and sometimes leather.
Wari-bashi (割箸) – metal chop-sticks fit in a pocket on the saya.

Exchange Rates for Non UK Based Clients

With the constant fluctuation in the world's currency exchange rates we try to update our exchange rate guide fairly regularly in respect to the three main rates of Pounds Sterling, US Dollars and Euros. However, our exchange rates are for general guide purposes only, we are only able to charge for each sale in our domestic currency of Pounds Sterling, and the current prevailing conversion rate is then charged by the purchaser's bankers or charge/credit card issuers. This rate may differ, either up or down, from our guide rate.

Fair use notice

This website may contain copyrighted material the use
of which has not been specifically authorised by the copyright owner.
We are making such material and images available in our efforts to
advance the understanding of all military history and the weaponry used from the past three millennia for
educational & recreational purposes. All we are mainly concerned with, within our contextual descriptions, is the gaining, sharing and passing on knowledge. There is now way history, science or medicine, to name but a few, can progress or be remembered unless we all learn and duly pass on our knowledge. Knowledge should not be hoarded away or concealed, it must be spread and disseminated for the benefit of all. We believe this constitutes a
'fair use' of any such copyrighted material, as provided for in UK
copyright law. The information is purely for educational and research
purposes only. No profit is made from any of the material used. If you
hold the copyright on any material on the site, or material refers to
you, and you would like it to be removed, please let us know and we
will be delighted to remove it.

German WW2 Third Reich and Stalinist Items

Important notice, compared to other items of history in which we handle, a very small percentage of our inventory is German, from the WW2 Third Reich period, as well as pieces of Leninist-Stalinist period, communist items. They are a highly relevant period of recent, modern history, from likely the most important and significant era in modern man\'s evolution. They are in no way sold to reflect, or aid, any political bent whatsoever. We handle such pieces for collectors of modern, and historical artefacts. Due to their value, copies of German WW2 items are so thoroughly prolific these days, we try to be especially selective in that particular area. Wherever possible only buying from accredited and reputable first hand sources, and therefore our selection and indeed our expertise on this particular and sensitive subject is limited to a historical perspective only. Please be assured we make every effort to offer items of that nature that we are confident in, or, as we describe accordingly.

However, we also acquire German 3rd Reich items, but made post war, that were used in film and theatrical representations, naturally they will be certainly described clearly as such, and priced as interesting and intriguing copies, and militaria curiosities and not as originals. They have recently, within the past 20 years or so, become most collectible in their own right. And at present are much less expensive than original examples, so relatively affordable as historismus, but quality pieces of history. Somewhat like the way vintage movie posters are valued today, we can easily see a cap worn by, say, Sir Michael Caine, in ‘The Eagle Has Landed’, effectively a very finely made replica, will become worth far more than its German, WW2, equivalent but original example.

If any mail order purchase is made, of German WW2 militaria, that any buyer is not happy with, please feel free to return immediately within 10 days for a full refund. Quoted from Jeff Schrader of the US Antique Roadshow…. \"Never forget\" is a phrase often invoked when contemplating the Holocaust; we must never forget that it happened, so that it might never happen again. Part of keeping that memory alive must involve maintaining the physical evidence of it. Strange as it may at first seem, a market in which history-minded collectors place a monetary value on Nazi artefacts, and in which they buy and sell them to other collectors — or donate them to museums — can serve a role in preserving our collective historical memory. If an object has no value, it will eventually be disregarded and thrown away. That memory will die. And then we will have forgotten.\" It has become in recent years a curious phenomenon of offence taken by displaying such items from this dark period of world history. In our opinion it is the height of foolishness, it is comparable to being offended by the rain, because, subjectively, one finds it deeply unpleasant. History, good and bad, is part and parcel of human existence, and must be considered objectively, to attempt the delete the parts that some find objectionable, for the sake of sensibilities, is, in our opinion the epitome of naivety. If subjectively one finds something unpleasant then avoid it by all means, but an attempt to deny its existence by its removal from plain sight is entirely pointless, because removing something from plain sight does not mean the warped ideals that created it have been eradicated. It just means they will inevitably return more easily, all be they in another form, as those born in the future will know not how to recognise them.


All our grenades and ordnance are examples of past wartime eras and relics. They are completely inert, empty, inoperable and purely harmless curiosities and keepsakes. We sell such items to historical collectors and/or ordnance museums only. They are completely inert De activated and safe, they contain no harmful contents in any way and are for curiosity or historical purposes only. We do not sell or deliver such items outside of the UK.


Within our ‘Shop’ section pages, on the top of every page, you can see the rectangular box titled eg ‘Antique Arms & Militaria’ this is the ‘department’ box that has 4 sections Click the all Categories button and around 70+ separate total categories appear to choose from, all individually tailored for all four departments

Searching through our website for specific items of interest is relatively easy to achieve using the Word/Code search box at the right hand side at the top of every page within the web shop. Using a known stock code number is the simplest method, but please note the stock code numbers are not necessarily sequential, they often include department details or material of manufacture details within the items code number, or the number can be recycled, such as a past now redundant or unused number. If you are using a ‘word’ to search the site please bear in mind certain words can be repeated and used many hundreds of items, so try to search using an unusual word specific to the item you are looking for, this method might enable a quicker a result

If you are wishing to buy/sell Arms and Armour in the UK there is only once place you need to visit

Please contact us direct for our selling-on-commission rates and details etc.

Japanese Armour Terminology

Abumi: Stirrups.

Abumi zuri no kawa: Leather patch on the inside of tosei suneate to prevent chafing of the stirrup leathers.

Agemaki: Bow of silk cord hung from rings on amour.

Agemaki no kan: Ring to fix the agemaki.

Ago no o benri: Protruding studs on chin of menpō to prevent the helmet cords from slipping forward.

Akoda nari bachi: Literally “Gourd shaped bowl”. Style of helmet that developed during the Muromachi period (1333-1573) which is distinctly swollen at the back.

Ase nagashi no ana: Hole for sweat drainage (on mengu)

Arare boshi bachi: Helmet bowl made or decorated with large rivets.

Bachi: Helmet’s bowl.

Bishamon gote: Armoured sleeves having an integral small sode covering the upper arm.

Bitsu: Armour’s storage box

Boko no ita: (also see oshitsuke no ita) Top plate at the back of a tosei do to which the watagami are riveted.

Byakudan nuri: Transparent lacquer of a golden yellow color.

Byo toji yokohagi okegawa dō: Tosei dō of horizontal plates fastened by visible rivets.

Chōgane: Hinge.

Dai shinodare: Ornamental plate covering part of the helmet, decorated in shinodre.

Daienzan bachi: Hemispherical helmet bowl.

Daimyō: Holders of considerable area of land - formalized during the Edo period to those with incomes above 10,000 koku per year.

Daimyō gyōretsu: Procession for entering Edo during the sankin kōtai

Daishō: A pair of swords having matching mounts (a long one and a short one).

Dangae dō: Dō in which different styles of lacing are used.

Datemono: Generic term for helmet crests.

Dō: Cuirass.

Dō-maru: A hon-kozane cuirass which wrapped around the body and tied closed under the right arm.

Ebira: Open quiver.

Eboshi nari kabuto: Helmet shaped to resemble a court hat.

Egawa: Leather decorated with pictorial designs.

Etchu-bō: Menpō of Iwai school, favorite of Etchu no kami Tadaoki (1546-1645)

Fukigaeshi: The turn backs at the front edge of the upper row or rows of a neck guard. Often bringing a family crest.

Fukurin: Applied metal rim.

Futatsuki no hyō: Gourd-shaped protection that can be opened to store herbs.

Gessan: See kusazuri

Gessan jikoro: Shikoro having all but the uppermost plate divided into sections.

Gin nagashi: Decoration with irregular drops of a silver-looking alloy (sawari).

Go-mai dō: A five-sectional armour.

Goishi gashira: Iyozane scales with heads of a rounded shape.

Goshozan: High-sided helmet having the back higher than the front.

Gumi-wa: Leather loop fitted with an elongated metal bead on the shoulder strap of an armour to which the shoulder guards are tied.

Gunbai uchiwa: War fan used to give orders to troops on the battlefield.

Gunsen: Folding war fan.

Gusoku: “Modern” armour, used since 16th century.

Gyōyō: Small leaf-shaped plate used to guard the fastenings of the shoulder straps.

Hachi: The bowl of a helmet.

Haidate: Defence for the thighs.

Hakama: Wide pants.

Hanagami bukuro: Pouch attached to the front of a dō or behind one of the gessan.

Hanbō: Literally "half cheek"; a mengu made without a nose.

Happuri: A head protector that guards the forehead and cheeks.

Haraidate: Tubular maedate holder.

Haramaki: Armour worn during the Heian and Kamakura periods which wrapped around the body and fastened under the right arm. From the Muromachi period, the term refers to an armour opening down the centre line at the back.

Harikake: A light decorative superstructure of wood, paper, leather and lacquer.

Hatomune dō: Dō having a medial ridge.

Heichozan: High-sided helmet shape which is flat on top.

Hibiki no ana: Name of the four holes on some multi-plate helmets below the shiten-no-byō. Holes in a helmet bowl originally for attaching a helmet cord but later decorative.

Hineno jikoro: Close-fitting neck guard having a lower edge which is shaped to the shoulders.

Hineno zunari bachi: Helmet bowl of simplified construction having a central longitudinal plate which is overlaid by a brow plate/peak combination.

Hishinui: Cross-laces.

Hishinui no ita: Bottom-most plate of a series. So named because it is often ornamented by a double row of cross-laces.

Hishi toji: A cross-knot other than on the hishinui no ita.

Hishinui toji dō: A variety of yokohagi okegawa doi in which the plates are connected by cross-knots.

Hitai ate: (also Hitaigane ) A metal plate that protects the forehead; usually attached to a head-cloth. Late form of happuri worn in place of a helmet.

Hoate: A mask covering the chin and cheeks only. See hanbō.

Hodo haidate: Haidate having the lower part of the armoured portion divided into pendant sections.

Hon kozane: True scales.

Hon zogan: Inlay.

Horagai: Conch shell war trumpet

Hoshi: A rivet.

Hoshi bachi: A helmet bowl with prominent rivets.

Hotoke dō: A smooth faced dō.

Hyotan gane: Gourd-shaped plate forming part of a kote.

Ichimanju jikoro: Neck guard having only the top plate curve.

Ichimai uchidashi: An element embossed from a single iron sheet

Igaki: Ornamental plates around the base of a helmet bowl.

Ikada: Small rectangular plates set in mail.

Ikada haidate: Mail haidate with scattered ikada.

Inome: Decorative element shaped as a reversed heart.

Iro iro odoshi: Multi-colored lacing.

Ishime: Irregular rough texture like the surface of stone.

Ita haidate: Scale haidate.

Ito: Ribbon used to lace the armour’s parts.

Iyo-zane: Type of scale assembled with almost no overlap.

Jinbaori: Surcoat worn over armour.

Jingasa: Conical open hat or iron or lacquered leather worn as light defence.

Jūō-gashira: Knee protector

Kabuto: A helmet.

Kabuto no o: The tying cord of a helmet.

Kae-mon: Secondary family crest.

Kaihan suneate: Suneate without knee guards.

Kamon: Family crest.

Kan: Ring.

Kara boshi: Large rivet having a hollow head.

Kara bitsu: Chest used for storing armour.

Kasa jikoro: Wide spreading shikoro, umbrella-like, often almost flat.

Kasa jirushi no kan: Ring at the back of a helmet designed to carry a small identification flag, but on later helmets usually provided with an agemaki bow.

Kashira-date: Ornament on top of the kabuto.

Kawari bachi/kabuto: Helmet of unusual construction.

Kawara haidate: Haidate of S-shaped overlapping scales.

Kawa zutsumi dō: Dō covered with leather.

Kebiki odoshi: Close lacing.

Kegutsu: Fur shoes.

Ken: Straight sword used as a decoration.

Kirigane: Applied iron ornaments.

Kikkō: Literally "tortoise-shell", Japanese brigandine with hexagonal pattern.

Kiritsuke zane: Pseudo-scale made with lames cut and built up with lacquer to imitate hon-kozane construction.

Ko-boshi bachi: Helmet bowl with small standing rivets.

Kogai kanamono: Decorative plate and ring combination attached to the rear edge of a shoulder guard to which a tying cord was fastened.

Kōgake: Iron feet protections.

Kohaze: Toggle.

Kohire: Winglets that protect the top of the shoulder, often made of kikko.

Koseizan: High-sided helmet, usually flat topped, which is taller than a hemisphere.

Koshimaki: Strip of metal forming the lower edge of a helmet bowl.

Kōshōzan: see gōshozan.

Ko-sode: small size sode.

Kote: Armoured sleeve protecting the arms.

Kozane: A small scale.

Kozane gashira: Top edge of an iyozane cut cut to resemble two kozane.

Kusari: Chain-mail.

Kusazuri: Pendant sections of scales attached to the lower edge of the dō to cover the groin.

Kuwagata: Flat, stylised horns used as decoration in front of a kabuto.

Kyubi no ita: Defence for left armpit, worn with ō-yoroi.

Mabizashi: Visor of a helmet.

Maedate: Crest attached to the front of a helmet.

Maki-e: Lacquer decoration, generally with gold designs.

Manchira: European gorget which was adopted by the Japanese.

Manju-wa: Short armoured waistcoat worn beneath an armour to protect the armpits and upper chest.

Mei: Signature, inscription.

Mei no ana: A slit in the lining of a helmet through which the signature can be read.

Mengu: Face armour.

Me-no-shita-men (also Menpō): Mask; face armour that protects the chin, cheeks, nose, and throat. The nose is often removable.

Mimi ito: Braid around the edges of a piece of armour.

Mogami dō: Dō of horizontal plates, each of which is articulated by separate hinges.

Momonari bachi: “Peach-shaped” helmet inspired by the European morion.

Mon: Family crest.

Munaita: Uppermost plate on the front of a dō, protecting the chest.

Nanban: Literally "Southern barbarian"; the Period Japanese adjective to refer to anything European, such as a nanban dō, or a nanban kabuto.

Nawame fukurin: Applied metal edging shaped to resemble a twisting rope.

Ni-mai-dō: Dō in two parts joined by a hinge under the the left arm.

Nio-dō: Dō modelled to represent the human torso.

Nodowa: Throat protection to wear like a necklace.

Nuinobe-dō: Sugake laced ni-mai dō made of iyozane.

Ō-boshi: Rivet having a large head.

Oda-gote: Kote having gourd-shaped plates applied to the forearm and upper arm.

Oda-haidate: Haidate of mail with ikada and plates resembling those at the elbow of oda gote.

Odayori-no-kugi: Pins under a menpō for fixing the kabuto’s laces.

Odoshi: Lacing.

Ōie-bō: A kind of mask produced by the Iwai school only for members of the bakufu.

Okegawa-dō: A two-sectional clamshell armour of riveted lame construction.

Okitenugui kabuto: A helmet bowl shaped like a cloth wrapping the head.

Oni: A demon from the Japanese tradition, often used in maedate.

Origami: Certificate of authenticity.

Ori-kugi: A hook on the cheek of a mask around which the helmet cord is fastened.

Ō-sode: Large rectangular sode.

Ō-yoroi: Classic armour of the Heian period, made for horse riding.

Ressei: A mask with fierce expression.

Ryūbu: A mask with noble expression.

Sabi nuri: A lacquered surface imitating rusty iron.

Saihai: A commander's baton hung with a tassel of hair or paper.

Saihai-no-kan: A ring on the right breast of a tosei-dō.

Saiga bachi: A type of multiplate helmet made in Saika.

Sankin kotai: The mandatory residence in Edo for daimyō.
Same-kawa Rayskin

Sashimono: A flag or other decoration worn attached to the back of an armour.

Sei-ita: Optional back plate worn over the opening of a haramaki. Also called “coward's plate”.

Seme-kohaze: A double-holed bead sliding on a loop of cord to close it over a toggle.

Sendai dō: See Yukinoshita-dō.

Sengoku jidai: A period of Japanese history between 1467 and 1568, when many battles took place.

Shakudo: Alloy of copper and gold, patinating to a purple-black colour.

Shibuichi: An alloy of copper and silver, patinating to a grey colour.

Shikoro: Neck guard of a helmet.

Shinobi-no-o: Helmet cord.

Shinodare: An ornamental strip emerging from the tehen kanamono and extending down the front, sides or back of a helmet bowl.

Shino-gote: Kote having splints as defence for the forearm.

Shino-haidate: Haidate armoured with splints connected by mail.

Shino-suneate: Shin guards of splints connected by mail.

Shiten-no-byo: Vestigial rivets applied as decoration to helmets.

Shizuka-no-o: Leather tie used to attach an ō-sode to the rear loop on the watagami.

Shōgun: Commander of the Japanese army since the Kamakura period (1185-1333).

Shohei-gawa: Variety of shishi ko sakura gawa incorporating the date 1352.

Sode: Shoulder guard.

Sode tsuke-no-o: Fastening cord of a shoulder guard.

Sōmen: Full-face mask.

Sugake: Lacing technique in which pairs of laces are threaded vertically up the row of scales.

Suji: Rib or flange obtained by folding a plate to make it more resistant.

Suji-bachi: Multi-plate helmet in which the rivets are countersunk leaving the flanged edges of the plates prominent.

Suneate: Shin guard.

Tabi: Light footwear.

Tanko: Early plate armour of the Yamoto period.

Tare: Throat protection attached to a menpō.

Tasuki-ni-shishi-no-maru e-gawa: Printed leather with a design of Chinese lions in a diagonal lattice of foliage.

Tatami dō: Folding dō made of iron square plates.

Tatemono: Ornaments applicable to the kabuto.

Tehen: The hole in the crown of a helmet bowl.

Tehen no kanamono: Ornamental fitting around the tehen.

Tekko: Protection for the back of the hand incorporated in almost any kote.

Tenkokuzan: High-sided helmet whose top dips in the region of the tehen.

Tenugui-no-kan: Ring on the left breast of a tosei dō.

Tominaga gote: A type of kote with an extended upper section to protect shoulders; the left and right kote can often be laced together.

Tominaga sashinuki gote: Kote attached to a short jacket with armoured collar.

Tonbo gawa: Printed leather decorated with dragonflies.

Tosei dō: “Modern” dō, that is those evolved during the sixteenth century.

Tosei gusoku: “Modern” suit of armor.

Tsunomoto: Hook for crest attachment.

Tsurubashiri: Leather sheet covering the front of an ō-yoroi which prevented the bow string from snagging on the heads of the scales.

Tsutsu gote: A kote having the plates over the forearm hinged.

Tsutsu suneate: Shin-guards of large plates hinged.

Uchidashi: Embossing technique.

Ukebari: Lining inside a kabuto.

Uketsubo: The receiving cup for the base of the sashimono pole.

Urushi: Lacquer.

Ushiro date: Crest fitted to the back of a helmet.

Uwa obi: Outer sash.

Wakibiki: Armpit guard.

Wakidate: Crests fitted to the sides of a helmet.

Wakiita: Upper side plates on a dō, generally lacquered or covered in leather.

Waraji: Straw sandals.

Watagami: Shoulder straps of an armour.

Yadome: Standing flanges on the cheeks of a mask.

Ya hazu gashira: Type of iyozane having the upper edges notched.

Yodarekake: Neck protection attached to the lower edge of almost any mengu.

Yokohagi okegawa dō: Tosei dō made from horizontal plates.

Yoroi: Armor. Old term, generally used to refer to older ones.

Yukinoshita dō: A variety of plate gomai-dō completely made in thick iron.

Za-boshi: Prominent rivet head fitted with a chrysanthemum-shaped washer.

Za-kanamono: Grommets for the armor’s holes.

Zenshozan: High-sided helmet higher in the front than the back.

Zunari bachi: “Head-shaped" helmet, made with large, flat plates.

Japanese Historical Weaponry

Authentic medieval weapons for sale. One of the most frequently asked questions that have been put to us, over the past 40 years, is, “how are these samurai blades still so beautiful, and in almost as new appearance condition, if they are really so ancient”. It some respects the answer is simple, and comes in two parts. The steel on original, antique, Japanese samurai swords, is, quite simply, way and above the finest steel in the world. Forged by a smith whose skill was unsurpassed throughout the world of blade making. A master smith who, through decades of training and experience, could tell the difference of, potentially, only 20 degrees, in the temperature of red/white hot steel, simply by it\'s variations in colour. And a man whose skill, over 500 years past, gave him the ability to make a piece of steel of better quality than anything NASA ever made in order to send a rocket to the moon. These skills were but the first part of the answer, the next, comes as the explanation as to why such steel lasts for hundreds of years looking as beautiful as when it was made. Respect and reverence, is the answer. Samurai swords have a respect within Japanese culture than has been undiminished for a thousand years. To a European, or those non Japanese culture, swords are respected as a tool, possibly a beautiful tool, or a fine and most valuable tool, but still a tool. An implement of protection and assault, possibly a badge of rank, but not as an artefact to be revered with an in-built religious status of honour. Every samurai owner of these swords, and there may have been 30 or 40 over the centuries, respected their sword with unfailing care and attention to it\'s condition, maintaining it every day, in a near religious act of attention to detail. An item far more valuable than their home, and worthy of the committing of ritual seppuku suicide, if ever lost.
At present none of our swords have”\'papers”.
99% of our antique swords came to the UK either in the 1870\'s or at the
close of WW2 in 1945/6. This was long before Japanese Sword \'Papers\' or
Nihonto Origami were thought of, and therefore none of our swords have ever
returned to Japan for papering.
Very occasionally in the past we have had “papered” swords though, but they
have been papered by previous collector owners in the past 50 years or so,
for personal reasons.

However, we issue our certificate of authenticity with every item we sell
which is our own version of a lifetime guarantee. We have never, or will never, under any circumstances sell or offer a Japanese sword for use in its original purpose, such as test cutting or hand to hand combat. We are entirely holistic, we only sell our swords as historical artefacts of beauty and history, never as items for any type of use and certainly not purely as an investment. All antique weaponry is regarded and sold by us holistically, as examples from history, ancient or otherwise, For us the potential of long term financial gains are simply a happy bonus, and never should be sought for in the world of collecting antiques of any kind. Japanese swords are the ultimate result of mans ability to make incredibly beautiful pieces using the complex and finest combined skills known to man from any country or period. That, in our opinion, should be the essence of Japanese sword appreciation, it has always been ours. Please keep in mind that we sell ancient, antique and vintage pre-owned items, they have been carried, used, or worn before. Any piece may be described as in excellent or similar fine condition, but they are not flawless.

For those that may need better close up photos of blades, sadly our site is limited to 10 photos per sword, and we have a lot of detail to show on every Japanese sword, so some elements may be missed. But, if you require better photos please just email us and we will try our best to provide them for you.

Every antique Japanese sword we sell may have its original Edo period saya, and silk binding (tsuka-Ito) to the hilt, if that is so, old lacquer can have small blemishes, and old tsuka-Ito binding can be slightly worn or frayed, please note this is to be expected and is entirely normal. However, we can re-lacquer saya and re-blind tsuka as required, to the finest Japanese standard, if a new owner so wishes. On the other hand many collectors like to see all the original fittings on a sword showing their natural age and wear and usually leave a sword ‘as is’ but we can certainly restore mounts as required to the highest possible standards and to the new owners specifications

Thanks to an extensive contact base built up over the past 100 years or more that stretches across the whole world, including collectors both large and small, curators, academics and consultants, we have been very fortunate, that this effort has rewarded us with the ability to offer, what we believe to be, the most comprehensive selection available in Europe, based on their potential or sometimes known history due to their age and their beauty. Although we would never arrogantly credit ourselves to be supreme experts on all things regarding Japanese Nihonto, that is for others to claim, for, quite simply, some of the most learned scholars, studying this art all of theirs lives, often only scratch the surface of the knowledge to be learnt in this field, we have always loved history of the Samurai and admired and envied their unparalleled beauty. We are not Japanese ‘nihonto’ dealers, whose opinions of blades are based solely of their current serviceability and metallic construction integrity, we have never based our business in that very limited way, we are \'holistic\' in that the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts, in theory or practice so to speak, dealers in beauty, antiquity and antiques from all periods and all nations.
We stock all forms of Original Japanese Weaponry Arms and Armour, Antique Samurai Swords, Antique Samurai Wakizashi, Antique Samurai Tanto Daggers, Armour, Art etc, from all periods, but it will only be found in the \'Japanese\' department in their relevant \'Select Department..\'.section. The approximate ages that these items were made or used in will be described in the recognized Japanese Era and Period Terms. If you are unfamiliar with these please see the Era and Period guide below or email us for details as required. Some WW2 Officers swords may be listed under \'Tachi\' not \'Katana\' as they were usually mounted in the ancient Tachi style. What generally differentiates the different swords is their length. Japanese swords are measured in units of shaku, a shaku being around 30cm or one foot). A blade shorter than 1 shaku is considered a tantō (knife). A blade longer than 1 shaku but less than 2 is considered a shot (short sword). The wakizashi and kodachi are in this category. Some long short swords can be considered a chisa-katana; the proportions are that of a katana, rather than a wakizashi, and it is between 1 and 2 shaku in length. Additionally, a chisa-katana did not have a companion sword. We feel that, if only out of respect for their previous Japanese owners, all samurai swords, however neglected or battle weary, certainly deserve to be cared for and preserved for posterity.

A blade longer than 2 shaku is considered a daito, or long sword. Before 1500 most swords were worn suspended from cords on a belt, blade-down. This style is called jindachi-zukuri, and dait0 worn in this fashion are called tachi (average blade length of 75 cm). From 1500 – 1867, almost all swords were worn through an obi, paired with a smaller blade. Both blades were blade-up. This style is called buke-zukuri, and all daito worn in this fashion are katana, averaging 65 cm in blade length. Dating of Japanese edged weaponry is done with great care, but it can on occasion be quite difficult as styles, forms and designs can vary very subtly, the eras that a blade is designated as being from is judged as most likely, by opinion, but it can be later or even earlier. The age of an edged weapon always relate to it\'s blade not the external fittings. In regards to some blade\'s Kanji signatures. Probably around 70% of blades were never signed by the sword smith mumei, and those that are, may bear a name that is not necessarily the name of the smith himself gimei In the early Shinto era Yasatsugu, one of the great smiths, used to sign his works as the works of Masamune and Sadamune as well as Awataguchi Yoshimitsu and others.

One may ask why would Yasutsugu make reproductions of these famous smiths. The answer is that he was probably asked (ordered?) to by his sponsors, Hideyasu, Ieyasu, and Hidetada. We must remember that throughout Japanese history and up until today, gift giving is an integral part of the Japanese culture. In those days, especially, a very appropriate gift or reward for service was a sword. The more famous the sword the better. For the Tokugawa family, swords made by Yoshimitsu and his descendants were thought to be especially auspicious. Of course, there was a finite number of “real” ones around to be used as gifts. Therefore, it was necessary to “create” a few extra from time to time. The recipient was probably fully aware that the sword was not the “real thing”. It truly was the thought that counted especially since it was not uncommon for the same sword to be re-gifted back to the donor at some suitable future date.. If we have a sword that bears Kanji a signature, and we feel that it is very likely to be accurate, we will clearly state it as such. Please further bear in mind, some sword smiths had a name that was also used by many different smiths, all with the same name or variation thereof. We will on occasion, have the requirement for some of our Japanese blades to be re-polished, or fittings restored. We have in the past, and still do, employ, whom we consider to be, some of the finest artisans in our world to undertake our necessary work, experts that have worked on museum grade pieces, or pieces from royal collections, so be assured only the very best will do for The Lanes Armoury standards.

The Incredible Story of Japanese Lacquer on Samurai Swords Scabbards, called Saya

Japanese lacquer, or urushi, is a transformative and highly prized material that has been refined for over 7000 years.

Cherished for its infinite versatility, urushi is a distinctive art form that has spread across all facets of Japanese culture from the tea ceremony to the saya scabbards of samurai swords

Japanese artists created their own style and perfected the art of decorated lacquerware during the 8th century. Japanese lacquer skills reached its peak as early as the twelfth century, at the end of the Heian period (794-1185). This skill was passed on from father to son and from master to apprentice.

Some provinces of Japan were famous for their contribution to this art: the province of Edo (later Tokyo), for example, produced the most beautiful lacquered pieces from the 17th to the 18th centuries. Lords and shoguns privately employed lacquerers to produce ceremonial and decorative objects for their homes and palaces.

The varnish used in Japanese lacquer is made from the sap of the urushi tree, also known as the lacquer tree or the Japanese varnish tree (Rhus vernacifera), which mainly grows in Japan and China, as well as Southeast Asia. Japanese lacquer, 漆 urushi, is made from the sap of the lacquer tree. The tree must be tapped carefully, as in its raw form the liquid is poisonous to the touch, and even breathing in the fumes can be dangerous. But people in Japan have been working with this material for many millennia, so there has been time to refine the technique!

Flowing from incisions made in the bark, the sap, or raw lacquer is a viscous greyish-white juice. The harvesting of the resin can only be done in very small quantities.
Three to five years after being harvested, the resin is treated to make an extremely resistant, honey-textured lacquer. After filtering, homogenization and dehydration, the sap becomes transparent and can be tinted in black, red, yellow, green or brown.

Once applied on an object, lacquer is dried under very precise conditions: a temperature between 25 and 30°C and a humidity level between 75 and 80%. Its harvesting and highly technical processing make urushi an expensive raw material applied in exceptionally fine successive layers, on objects such as bowls or boxes.After heating and filtering, urushi can be applied directly to a solid, usually wooden, base. Pure urushi dries into a transparent film, while the more familiar black and red colours are created by adding minerals to the material. Each layer is left to dry and polished before the next layer is added. This process can be very time-consuming and labor-intensive, which contributes to the desirability, and high costs, of traditionally made lacquer goods. The skills and techniques of Japanese lacquer have been passed down through the generations for many centuries. For four hundred years, the master artisans of Zohiko’s Kyoto workshop have provided refined lacquer articles for the imperial household

Monthly Weekend Book Sales/ Clearance

Due to the success of the weekend book sales [for in-house visitors] we will be having them regularly. Please email us at the Lanes Armoury the Premier Brighton Gun Shop, Brighton Sword Shop and Bookshop for details.

Notice Regarding UK Gun Licenses, Sword and Knife Sales

We do not sell arms or swords that are restricted or licensable. All our items are entirely restriction free for collecting purposes, however, all purchasers of weaponry must be over 18. All UK customers may purchase our weaponry safe in the knowledge that no restrictions or licenses are required, or, apply. We sell to over 18\'s only. Antique guns that are chambered for an obsolete cartridge, may, by virtue of section 58(2) of the 1968 Firearms Act, be freely possessed within the UK, provided that it is sold, transferred, purchased, acquired or possessed as a curiosity or ornament. For your information; All purchases of knives are to adults only, over the age of 18 years. If the purchase is not in person at our shop premises, The Lanes Armoury undertake a security, age and address check, in order to confirm the age of the buyer, through the electoral roll, driving license or passport, with solely deliveries to business addresses.
No data will be kept, or will be passed to any third parties in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Deactivated guns are offered for sale for non EU sales only. all our guns are deactivated with the London or Birmingham proof house certificate to state it is deactivated correctly. They can be re-deactivated to the EU/UK spec.

Old Swords, Japanese Swords, 1796 Swords, Samurai Swords and Books at The Lanes in Brighton

As you will see we are one of the foremost sources of collector's items, in the world of Antique Military Books, Swords and Militaria. You can regularly see our shop, and the partners, Mark & David, on the BBC and numerous other British TV and Satellite channels. We have appeared frequently in glossy magazines all over the world and our stock regularly features in dozens of Movies and even Computer Games. We sell online, and from our shop, Items from the Ancient and Antediluvian era, Swords, Antique Samurai Swords, Militaria, Samurai Wakazashi, American Swords, Sword Sticks & British Swords, we also stock Brown Bess Muskets, Light Cavalry Pistols, Baker Rifles, Martini Henry Rifles, Colt Revolvers, Remington Revolvers and Guns and Pistols of all eras including the American Civil War and other Wild West Pistols. We also sell Medals, Badges, thousands of Books, Helmets, German WW2 items, Russian weapons, Blunderbuss, Armour, Suits of Armour, Armour, both Japanese and European [however, these may be photographed on our website for sale with swords or pole arms, these are for display purposes only and not included with the Armour unless specified]. We are also very happy, when possible, to provide [for items purchased from the Lanes Armoury] translations of foreign inscriptions that may be on various guns and swords, however, they are third party interpretations of vintage text for information only, and we cannot be responsible for the accuracy of the translation or the text. If any errors are noticed in our descriptive text please let us know and we will be happy make any corrections as necessary. We also are pleased to upgrade any purchase at any time [with a minimum 50% value increase]. Signatures on Japanese blades will be described as 'signed', 'signed by' or 'by'. 'By' will mean there is little doubt it is by the named master smith, and may come with old Japanese papers to verify. 'Signed by' means very possibly or probably by the named master smith, 'Signed' means it bears the signature which may mean it is by the master, his school, or possibly another, such as pupil, but without any verification. 'Bears the name' means unlikely by the master, even though It bears his kanji [name]. Our lifetime guarantee for Japanese swords is based on beauty, quality and age, which in our opinion, are the foremost qualities of our swords, when placed in their historical context and their appearance.


NONE OF OUR ITEMS REQUIRE LICENCES OR ARE RESTRICTED TO OWN OR COLLECT. WE DO NOT SELL EDGED WEAPONRY OR ARMS TO ANY PERSON UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE. A very good tip for buyers of all forms of collectables online. Never deal with companies that obscure contact details, especially the owner’s contact names, and special caution for transacting with companies that only offer a mobile cellular phone number, or email contact. You are also far more protected if you trade with a business that operates from long established premises, that can be visited in person any day of the working week, but even more importantly the business clearly names those that own and run the business, the basis of most dubious business practises is to obscure owner’s names and identities. If a website obscures details such as address, names, location, and offer no landline phone contact always ask yourself, why? In the 21st century online trading world caution is always the best form of protection. With us, for example, if we ever make any errors with our descriptions within our sales we will rectify the issue immediately, for us, customer satisfaction is paramount in all respects. Our partners names are clearly shown throughout our site with numerous direct personal contact details available. Our website on Arms & Armour & Books is now updated with new additions and deletions every two hours. There are different forms of searches on our site, if you click 'other searches' you may also search by keyword/s or stock numbers. Then click 'category search' to return to normal. Every effort is made to be accurate in our stock descriptions, however, if you notice any errors, mistakes or spelling mishaps please feel free to let us know, and we will be pleased to rectify them. No individual, professional or company is infallible, we know we aren't, but the difference between a good company and a bad one is the willingness to put right errors immediately, to the best of their ability and without excuse. Some items of Military Kit, such as Military Cap Badges and Buckles etc are Silver and / or Gold in colour, this is not to infer they are solid Silver or Gold unless they are Hallmarked, and if so they will be stated in the description as such i.e.. 'Hallmarked Silver' or 'Hallmarked Gold'. In regard to the embellishment and the furniture of weaponry, the 'Act of 1738' the Plate Offences Act 1738, & the 1738 exemptions exempted the requirement of an assay mark for gold and silver mounts of swords, daggers, pistols and guns. Therefore on the many weapons that may be fitted with solid silver mounts for example no hallmarks will be present, unless stated otherwise. Regarding Web shop photos, for items that are Generic, such as Pattern Swords or De-activated Military Arms we may use generic photographs, but for illustrative purposes only. Antique cartridge taking guns are sold as per Home Office guidelines section 58 (2). An antique gun that is chambered for an obsolete cartridge, therefore may, by virtue of section 58(2) of the 1968 Firearms Act, be freely possessed within the UK, provided that it is sold, transferred, purchased, acquired or possessed as a curiosity or ornament.

Our Worldwide Meet & Greet Returned To Normal in 2022

As some of our regulars know we have had a representative, Victoria, often travelling the world, on our behalf, principally USA, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. To meet our regulars and make ourselves known and promote us to potential customers. In February 2017 it was held in British Columbia in Canada, in June 2017 it was in Lake Garda, Italy, in August 2017 it was in LA USA, Another was in Miami, USA, in August 2018, and was another great success, with a meet and greet with some of our past and current East Coast clients, and making new friends for the future. The previous July meeting in 2018 was in Dubai, UAE and also went very well indeed. 2019 was in Dubai and Greece and Canada. But 2020 had seen all that change, but in 2022 it has finally returned to normal.
In 2022, Victoria is now UK based, so our latest ambassador, Holly, has successfully traveled the world for our ‘meet and greet’ goodwill tour, passing on our good wishes to our clients around the world, including Paris, Dubai, Marbella, Ibiza, Barcelona, Capri, Barbados, Positano & Gstaad. Soon to come is Dubai, Bali for Cop27 week, & Possibly Australia in the New Year.

Packing & Shipping Domestic & Worldwide

Our packing is undertaken with extreme care and fastidiousness, and all and every effort is made to ensure our excellent 'Safe Arrival' record remains unblemished. We use the best materials available and all packages are inspected twice, independently, before dispatch. However, this does mean delivery can take a just little bit longer, but we feel safety and protection is paramount.
Please note* With for the airmail transport of all long staffs, flag poles and lances that go across the Atlantic , they have to be temporarily separated into two pieces, due to airline length restrictions. However, this is perfectly normal and has been achieved with huge success using our special dowel system that was developed by us decades ago for an American Museum. Once put together and wood glued, and the seam very simply coloured, they will become near invisible. It should take no longer than an hour in total to reassemble to look exactly as they once were, but actually even stronger.
They are sometimes seamed at an angle to make the join simpler, safer, stronger and more invisible.
If you require items urgently though please ask and every effort will be made to expedite sooner. If our European clients buy de-activated or antique arms from us it is the responsibility of the client to explore all local legislation as to import regulations, we cannot be responsible for any non UK regulations. We are very aware that mail order purchasers at our Brighton Lanes Gun shop and Sword shop The Lanes Armoury desire to get their purchases as soon as possible, but please be assured it is better to arrive safely than quickly.

Restoration & Conservation of Museum Grade

For generations we have prided ourselves on commissioning the finest quality artisan restoration and conservation services available in the UK. However, these specialist arts are not to be considered lightly, today they can be extremely expensive, and were always time-consuming, for example, it is not unusual for the full restoration of the internal mechanism of simple antique flintlock gun to approach four figures or even more, and fine gun stock work can cost hundreds or thousands of pounds. Thus we do not actively undertake third-party restoration at all due to the often excessive costs and considerable time involved. The artisan hand stone polishing of Japanese blades, for example, can rise up to £50 per inch, per side, and take many months. Another comparison would be the complete restoration of a vintage 50 year old plus motor car, which we have undertaken several times in the past 50 years. It is not unusual to spend £60,000 in todays prices, to restore and completely renovate a car that may, potentially be only worth half that once completed. Restoration is a magnificent art, and often well worthwhile for important pieces when successful, but often the cost far outweighs simple intrinsic value. It is an important consideration to understand when considering such improvements to fine antique pieces. We were once advisers for the restoration of a magnificent Brussels tapestry, that we sold to one of our clients in South America, see it in our gallery, photographed in our shop with Judy in the foreground, Mark's late wife the eventual cost however, in today’s terms, was over £600,000, and it took 3 years. A sobering sum, outside of the deep pockets of national collections resources. When we undertake restoration and conservation of our own items for sale, the price shown for the items purchase amount will be inclusive of all these costs, and we would have undertaken this work often for posterity to save for future generations pieces that may well might have been discarded in their poor, previously un-restored, original and neglected state. We will often contribute towards, and therefore subsidise these costs ourselves, in order to save a piece of beauty or historical significance for this reason.The improvement of 'value' is never our primary concern, and should, ideally never be the principle desire for collectors either, it should be the preservation of fine craftsmanship

TV and Documentary Appearances

We are often pleased to assist television companies with the personal assistance and or appearances from the partners Mark and David, but please be aware long term notice is usually most helpful due to the pressure of traveling commitments.

Valuation For Insurance

Unless for probate purposes, unfortunately we do not appraise, value or make valuations for any items, at all. This is due to the considerable amount of subjective variations, as to types, condition, scarcity, desirability and all and any potential, as yet unknown, restoration costs. Value is always a subjective opinion that we cannot estimate. Purchasing Policy;..When we make our offer to purchase it is clearly made as that, an offer, to purchase an item or items from the legitimate owner or representative, over the age of 18 years, without any lien, finance or customs duties outstanding. Our offer is for immediate payment, whether by cash, cheque, or bank transfer. It is not a representation of a valuation.


Please note, we sell only original armouryantiques and militaria or collector's items, and our specialist military book section is simply huge and our best single and group item seller. We do not sell fantasy swords or weapons. Please ask for details for our consignment terms if required. All our guns are license free and sold under the auspices of; Section 58 (2) of the Firearms Act 1968 exempts from the provisions of the act-including certificate controls under sections 1 & 2 and prohibition under section 5-antique firearms which are sold, transferred, purchased, acquired or possessed as curiosities or ornaments.


Many items you see on our site have taken us great efforts to acquire, involving the traveling of thousands of miles, and we urgently wish to buy similar items from those seeking to sell. We can be contacted by telephone on; 01273 321357, or, email us at; mail@thelanesarmoury.co.uk, or, simply write to; The Lanes Armoury, 26 Meetinghouse Lane, Brighton, East Sussex BN11HB. All transactions are accomplished with the very highest courtesy, and full discretion and confidentiality is assured.

Certificate of Authenticity

Naturally, every single purchase is accompanied with our unique Certificate of Authenticity. The certificate will include not just the basic description, but any specific provenance, if known, plus, generic provenance detailing the era and the historical context of when and where the item was, or may have been used, and also any past history of the piece if known. Our certificates are unique in that we take considerable time and effort in order to detail as much history of each collectable, the era of its use, and how such a piece, or similar example, may have been used, how, where, and potentially, by whom. Some certificates have been known to be as much as two or even three pages in length. If any future collector wishes for just a basic, brief and informative certificate please let us know. But this is usually, very rarely the case, as our certificates are well known amongst the worlds collectors as our traditional modus operandi, which we provide in order to represent the highest standards of care for our clients and collectors, and also a symbol of the pride we have for our family\'s four generations, and over 100 years of service, trading in Brighton.

Special Conservation Items

Occasionally we may acquire an item that it’s conservation or restoration costs may, potentially, far outweigh its actual eventual value.
For example, the pieces that we deem as a \"Special Conservation Piece\" will be worthy of special interest.They my be in such poor condition that some might deem them valueless, or ‘not worth the candle’, however, some items may be, say, in partial excellent condition, but still require some expensive attention in certain areas, such as old Japanese blade conservation. We very rarely decide to not conserve such pieces of special interest. If we can, we will clean, conserve or restore them, but without regard to cost, which may run to £120 per hour these days, purely in order we can to save them for future generations.

They will thus often be offered by us for sale at below our restoration cost in order to do so. Although, if some are considered by us to be simply too difficult to restore, they may well be offered ‘as is’ for purely the delivery cost, effectively, offered free of charge, for the benefit of those that will enjoy them despite their poor state and condition.
All our \'Special Conservation\' items will be marked as such, within the description.

We Are Often Asked From Whom Do We Acquire Our Collectables

Over the past 50 to 100 years by far the greatest portion of our acquisitions come from either private collectors, and that can be collectors from the 19th century, or even earlier, passing their pieces down through the family, until sold to us, or, collectors from the 20th century selling to us directly in their elder years, or their widows or some such. Or, from an inheritance of pieces that may be war souvenirs of the 20th century, then acquired from relatives by us directly. Sadly, the passing down of artefacts, through such a time scale, their information on original places of purchase or history is more often than not, lost. But we try to discover this if at all possible, and if we do, it will be added to every discription.

Being one of the UK\'s oldest and largest special dealers, we have handled hundreds of thousands of artefacts both prehistoric, ancient, antique and vintage. Thus, through that family experience going back generations, the finest mental asset we possess is, precedent and experience. We acquire only around 20% of items offered to us, the other 80% either doesn\'t pass muster, or is not as correct as the current owner may believe it to be. That filtering can only be achieved by our knowledge and memory of past transactions etc.

Authenticity can be tested at such as the Oxford Labs, with their forensic electronics etc. but this can be incredibly expensive {say, several hundred pounds for each piece} and unless the item runs into many thousands of pounds or more, it is not remotely financially viable. So that is where our experience comes into its own.

Furthermore, we have absolutely no interest whatsoever in acquiring any single piece that even remotely seems incorrect to us. As experience {here\'s that word again}, if it has taught us anything, has showed us there is absolutely no point whatsoever in selling a piece we have doubt or a lack of faith in. Which is why, every original item we supply, will be supplied with our full, no time limit, certificate of authenticity,as a money back guarantee

It is not to say we have never been in error, but you don\'t remain in business for generations, and we are one of the longest established in all of Europe, by making too many errors of judgement. It is simply too expensive in our line of country to do so, and thus continue uninterrupted in business for so long.

\"Bearded battle axe from Battle of Falkirk in 1298\" From the GLASGOW HERALD August 6th 2009 by GEO

A Medieval battle axe used against the English at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, has been put up for sale by an English armoury.
The rare weapon was discovered on the site of the battle, in which William Wallace\'s Scots army was defeated by the English king Edward I.
The steel \"bearded\" axe is thought to have belonged to a Scots foot soldier who may have used it the previous year to help win the Battle of Stirling Bridge before dying on the battlefield at Falkirk. His axe was found centuries later and hung on the wall of a noble\'s mansion until it found its way to Lanes Armoury in Brighton, East Sussex. Mark Hawkins, of the Lanes Armoury, said yesterday: \"This was a pretty gruesome thing, designed expressly for combat, to chunk in to people.

\"And it was a very effective weapon - a man who knew how to wield a battle axe was a very dangerous opponent.

\"An axe like this has an awful lot of metal, so it could be lost on the battlefield and lie buried for hundreds of years relatively intact - unlike a sword which will rot away.\"

Medieval bearded axes - so called because of their beard-like appearance - like those used at the Battle of Falkirk, and later also at Bannockburn in 1314, were influenced by the Vikings.

They were a standard weapon for foot soldiers on both sides. Mr. Hawkins, a leading expert in antique arms and armour, said: \"This was the weapon of a foot soldier - its haft is too long to wield from a horse.

\"It was his prized possession, and simply too valuable to discard so it is likely its owner was killed.

\"The only alternative is that a small crack visible on the socket occurred on the battlefield and rendered it un-useable.

\"When it was found many years later it would not have been of much use, but it was a fabulous looking thing.\"

The battle axe was available from Lanes Armoury for £1195.

The Battle of Falkirk, on July 22, 1298, was a disaster for Scotland, with more than 2000 Scots killed. LATEST. The Lanes Armoury are especially pleased to announce the axe has now been returned home to Falkirk under it\'s latest stewardship by it\'s new owner in August 2009