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SOLD A Superb & Impressive Edo Period Katana By Tamura Masayuki

A fabulous looking antique sword that is both imposing yet elegant. Shinshinto Ansei period blade, in original Edo polish, signed “Bingo Mihara-jū Tamura Masayuki saku” complete with its bespoke shirasaya storage mounting. Its original Edo fittings are a stunning suite of matching koshirae, Higo style, inlaid with brass and silver curlicues, complete down to the end fittings on the saya. An absolute delight of a sword that simply does not fail to impress. The samurai were roughly the equivalent of feudal knights. Employed by the shogun or daimyo, they were members of hereditary warrior class that followed a strict "code" that defined their clothes, armour and behaviour on the battlefield. But unlike most medieval knights, samurai warriors could read and they were well versed in Japanese art, literature and poetry.
Samurai endured for almost 700 years, from 1185 to 1867. Samurai families were considered the elite. They made up only about six percent of the population and included daimyo and the loyal soldiers who fought under them. Samurai means "one who serves."

Samurai were expected to be both fierce warriors and lovers of art, a dichotomy summed up by the Japanese concepts of [to stop the spear] expanding into bushido ('the way of life of the warrior') and bun (the artistic, intellectual and spiritual side of the samurai). Originally conceived as away of dignifying raw military power, the two concepts were synthesized in feudal Japan and later became a key feature of Japanese culture and morality.The quintessential samurai was Miyamoto Musashi, a legendary early Edo-period swordsman who reportedly killed 60 men before his 30th birthday and was also a painting master. Members of a hierarchal class or caste, samurai were the sons of samurai and they were taught from an early age to unquestionably obey their mother, father and daimyo. When they grew older they were trained by Zen Buddhist masters in meditation and the Zen concepts of impermanence and harmony with nature. The were also taught about painting, calligraphy, nature poetry, mythological literature, flower arranging, and the tea ceremony.

As part of their military training, samurai could be taught to sleep with their right arm underneath them so if they were attacked in the middle of the night and their the left arm was cut off the could still fight with their right arm. Samurai that tossed and turned at night were cured of the habit by having two knives placed on either side of their pillow.

Samurai have been describes as "the most strictly trained human instruments of war to have existed." They were expected to be proficient in the martial arts of aikido and kendo as well as swordsmanship and archery---the traditional methods of samurai warfare---which were viewed not so much as skills but as art forms that flowed from natural forces that harmonized with nature.
In some respects an individual didn't become a full-fledged samurai until he wandered around the countryside as begging pilgrim for a couple of years to learn humility. When this was completed they could have achieved samurai status and receives a salary from his daimyo paid from taxes (usually rice) raised from the local populace. Swords in Japan have long been symbols of power and honour and seen as works of art. Often times swordsmiths were more famous than the people who used them. 26.3 inch long blade tsuba to tip, overall 42.5 inches long in saya.

Code: 23249

7450.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Very Fine Indeed Samurai Shinto Wakazashi with Original Edo Goto School Dragon Fittings of Shakudo and Gold

With Goto school pure gold and shakudo fushi kashira decorated with dragons, on a hand punched nanako ground. A most interesting and beautiful quality o-sukashi tsuba of a squared-off mokko form, decorated with crashing waves and inlaid gold dots representing sea-spray. It also has its kodzuka of a dragon that is signed and with a hamon. Superb original Edo period lacquered saya with a stripe and counter stripe pattern design. Three hole nakago and superb polished Edo blade of a gently undulating notare hamon displaying super grain in the hada. Wakizashi have been in use as far back as the 15th or 16th century. The wakizashi was used as a backup or auxiliary sword; it was also used for close quarters fighting, and also to behead a defeated opponent and sometimes to commit ritual suicide. The wakizashi was one of several short swords available for use by samurai including the yoroi toshi, the chisa-katana and the tanto. The term wakizashi did not originally specify swords of any official blade length and was an abbreviation of "wakizashi no katana" ("sword thrust at one's side"); the term was applied to companion swords of all sizes. It was not until the Edo period in 1638 when the rulers of Japan tried to regulate the types of swords and the social groups which were allowed to wear them that the lengths of katana and wakizashi were officially set.

Kanzan Sato, in his book titled "The Japanese Sword", notes that the wakizashi may have become more popular than the tanto due to the wakizashi being more suited for indoor fighting. He mentions the custom of leaving the katana at the door of a castle or palace when entering while continuing to wear the wakizashi inside. Wakizashi were worn on the left side, secured to the obi [waist sash]. Although they appear to be likely a relative expensive luxury compared to other antique swords from other nations, they are in fact incredible value for money, for example a newly made bespoke samurai style sword blade from Japan will cost, today, in excess of £11,000, take up to two years to complete, will come with no fittings at all, and will be modern [naturally] with no historical context or connection to the ancient samurai past in any way at all. Our fabulous original swords can be many, many, hundreds of years old, stunningly mounted as fabulous quality works of art, and may have been owned and used by up to 30 samurai in their working lifetime. Plus, due to their status in Japanese society, look almost as good today as the did possibly up to 400 years ago, or even more. Every katana, tachi, or wakazashi buyer will receive A complimentary sword stand, plus a silk bag, white handling gloves and a white cleaning cloth. This wonderful sword is arriving on Wednesday 2nd Nov.

Code: 23913

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Christmas 2021 Is Now Just a Few Short Weeks Away

Now is the perfect time to choose a wonderful unique gift from The Lanes Armoury, probably the oldest established antique company still trading in Britain, especially as our celebration 20% discount is still running, so you can choose that perfect piece for Christmas, even if it's for yourself!!

Unique, rare and beautiful items, both ancient and modern, are our speciality, and this year we have probably the best and most diverse selection we have ever offered, from Charles Dickens first editions, to a 300,000 year old flint axe, and an original sword once used by a Viking King and over 1000 years old.

So, be sure and certain that anything from us will be the best possible choice you can make this Christmas time. Every item will also be accompanied with our unique, presentation quality, 'Certificate of Authenticity' that will not only fully certify it's genuineness, but it will detail the circumstance of it's origin, and where and when it may have been used in it's specific or generic history. And please be further assured, all gift purchases may be changed after Christmas for any form of suitable alternatives.

Code: 23912

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A Spectacular Large Gold Rolex Mystery Watch, With a Diamond & Ruby Bracelet Described as, Possibly, The Most Beautiful, Unique and Elegant Rolex Watch in the World

This would make a very special and most wonderful Christmas present. A unique, bespoke, Rolex ‘mystery’ watch, probably one of the most spectacular ‘statement watches’ to be seen anywhere in the world today, that once belonged to movie legend, Elizabeth Taylor. The Rolex watch movement is hidden within the spectacular, bespoke, gold diamond and ruby set 'belt and buckle' bracelet, and when worn, the watch movement is entirely concealed, and hidden, and must be viewed by simply lifting the end of the belt tab. The current cost of a 1970's Bulgari serpenti 'mystery' watch, the closest equivalent available on the market, is from £60,000 to £170,000. But, we believe, the Bulgari versions have nothing like the beauty of this one.

This extraordinary watch's history;

In the middle of October 1970 Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton arrived in Brighton for the location filming of Burton's latest film, Villain. During the filming they toured the Lanes in Brighton and visited our shop in Prince Albert St. During their hour long visit to our store some extraordinary business was transacted, between Elizabeth and Camilla Hawkins [Mark and David's mother, and wife of their father David] Camilla bought from Elizabeth, this most spectacular custom made, Rolex movement, gold and diamond bracelet 'mystery' watch that Richard had somewhat recently bought for Elizabeth.

It was the culmination of a conversation that Elizabeth had with David and Camilla concerning the purchase of a Hove mansion, that David and Camilla owned that Michael Wilding [a once very famous British actor and another former husband of Elizabeth Taylor] was trying to buy from David Hawkins snr, for Michael Wilding's 'other' ex wife, Susan Wilding. Elizabeth had been asked by Michael to intercede on his behalf and convince David to sell, as, so far he had thus refused to do.

That most curious conversation and negotiation obliquely developed into an entirely disconnected heated discussion between Elizabeth and Richard, concerning a ring that Elizabeth had seen in a neighbouring jewellers in the Brighton Lanes that very day, and that Elizabeth was determined to buy for herself. However, Richard had ‘forbade’ her from buying it. He strongly protested, and loudly argued, that he was the only one allowed to buy her Jewellery, and Elizabeth, took great exception to this affront to her status and independence. Bearing in mind, Elizabeth had, and always was, paid far more for her performances than Richard was for his. Richard’s talent and fame was world renown, but Elizabeth’s was positively stratospheric. This was the uncomfortable element to their relationship that Richard never truly overcame.

In high dudgeon, to his unwanted rebuke, Elizabeth removed her Rolex watch from her wrist, and immediately offered it for sale, and duly sold it, to Camilla, most likely simply in order to frustrate, anger and annoy Richard, and very possibly to also demonstrate her indifference of his opinions and wishes. So, the upshot was, Camilla gained this magnificent watch that October, and subsequently, a few years later, gave it to Mark [her son] as a wedding present, in May 1978.
Mark was in fact present in the shop when the argument between Elizabeth and Richard took place, and thus how the watch was offered and purchased from Elizabeth, within the shop on that grey but significantly eventful October day in 1970. It was, he says, certainly one of the most curious, momentous and unforgettable days he had ever experienced in the shop during the past 50 years. It is certainly not every day one is personally witness to two of the most famous and talented movie stars in the world having a full blown, somewhat high decibel, hour long marital discourse within just a few feet.

Bearing in mind Elizabeth and Richard were true, original ‘superstars’ in the truest sense of the word, world famous through magnificent hard earned and acclaimed talent, not, as is more often the case today, just famous for being famous.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor had another, very similar quality diamond and gold 'Mystery' watch, and she was indeed photographed wearing it on the set of Cleopatra in 1962 [see the gallery photos] It was a Serpent Mystery Watch with a very similar watch encased and hidden within the head of a diamond and gold coiled snake, acting as its bracelet, made by Bulgari. That watch was sold in December 2011 for over $974,500, however it did have the benefit of a photograph of Elizabeth wearing it, and so far we have never found a photograph of Elizabeth wearing this far superior example. It was said that to custom hand-make and replicate this unique, finest quality gold, diamond and ruby bracelet watch, with the manual 'fold-out' movement by Rolex, would likely cost over a million dollars today.
Over the past near 40 years we have combed the world of photographs of Elizabeth Taylor to find her wearing it, sadly without success, and when she created her magnificent book on her world famous jewel collection it was thirty years after this magnificent Rolex had been sold.
A photo in the gallery is of Richard and Elizabeth arriving at Brighton Station on the 16th October 1970, she may well have been wearing it then, but her arms are obscured by her jaguar print pant suit. We also show views from her famous jewel collection book,' Elizabeth Taylor, My Love Affair With Jewellery' published in 2002, that we also include with the watch. The watch is being sold in part to benefit Mark and Judy's [Mark's late wife] favourite charities, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and The Guide Dogs for The Blind Association. 10.5 inches long x 1.4 inches wide at the buckle, 130.8 grams. Bears Swiss .750 hallmark 24 diamonds and 40 rubies. There was once a small personal calling card with it from Elizabeth that doubled as it's receipt, but sadly it was lost many decades ago.

After meeting on the set of Cleopatra in the early '60s, actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) and actor Richard Burton (1925-1984) began one of the most publicized and turbulent love stories of all time, captivating millions with their on-again, off-again relationship. Despite the drama, they shared a love that was deep and fierce, the kind of love that can often be as destructive as it is beautiful. According to TIME, Burton admitted he was making movies due to his desire for money, not a love for the art. However, he thought quite highly of his talented wife. He once wrote, "You are probably the best actress in the world, which, combined with your extraordinary beauty, makes you unique. When, as an actress, you want to be funny, you are funnier than W.C. Fields; when, as an actress, you are meant to be tragic, you are tragic."
We recommend this watch is professionally serviced before wearing, which we can undertake if required. Over the decades we have sold many watches, of course, mostly of a military nature, but we have never seen another watch so beautiful as this. A true work of the finest object d'art as well as a piece of useful and functional jewellery. It will be accompanied with a signed statement from Mark Hawkins detailing its full story, but sadly there is no longer any surviving paperwork from Elizabeth Taylor.
However, if one wished for Rolex to create such a fabulous bespoke watch today it would very likely cost up to a million pounds.
We offer it set within a fine Cartier watch box .

Another photo in the gallery is of Elizabeth's other 'Mystery Watch' by Bulgari, which she was photographed wearing on the set of Cleopatra. It sold in 2011 for $974,500.

The bespoke watch case and bracelet of our watch was likely originally custom made for Elizabeth by an exclusive, finest Parisian or Swiss jeweller, such as, for example, Van Cleef & Arpels or Boucheron, and was then fitted with its fold-out ‘hidden’ Rolex movement.

Code: 22793

180000.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Superb English 1850's Transitional Revolver With Original Blue

6 shot .36 cal. Probably by Robert Adams. Some of the most ground breaking work in the early design and manufacture of revolvers was undertaken in England long before the world famous American revolver makers, such as Colt and Remington, became famous for their fine pistols. This most attractive piece is fully, and most finely engraved, on the frame and grip, with a highly detailed micro chequered walnut butt. Circa 1850. A classic example of one of the earliest English cylinder revolvers that was favoured by gentleman wishing to arm themselves with the latest technology and improvement ever designed by English master gunsmiths. They were most popular with officers [that could afford them] in the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny. A picture in the gallery is of Robert Adams himself, loading his patent revolver for HRH Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's Consort. He was also manager for the London Armoury and he made many of the 19,000 pistols that were bought by the Confederate States for the Civil War. The US government also bought Adams revolvers from the London Armoury, at $18 each, which was $4.00 more than it was paying Colt for his, and $6.00 more than Remington.The action on this beautiful gun is perfect, very nice, and tight, but the trigger return spring is weak. In good blue finish with some original 'mirror' blue finish remaining. Revolving cylinder operates sporadically. As with all our antique guns they must be considered as inoperable with no license required and they are all unrestricted antique collectables

Code: 22431

1195.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Large Cal 10mm Military 6 Shooter Revolver Circa 1860

A very scarce 6 shot double action 10 mm Meyers patent pin-fire revolver. Circa 1860. Myers stamped on the side of the frame. (Guillaume Joseph Meyers held 7 patents ). The two piece chequered wooden grips secured with a central screw and a lanyard ring. Stamped with Belgian (ELG) and V proof marks to the cylinder. Single and double action. Action in very good working order. Overall length 10.5 inches. In good condition with some natural signs of wear and use. A lot of blueing remaining on the cylinder. No foresight. Pinfire pistols were very popular indeed during the Civil War and the Wild West period [but very expensive] as they took the all new pinfire cartridge, which revolutionised the way revolvers operated, as compared to the old fashioned percussion action. In fact, while the percussion cap & ball guns were still in production [such as made by Remington, Colt and Starr] and being used in the American Civil War, the much more efficient and faster pinfire guns [that were only made from around 1860] were the fourth most popular gun chosen in the US, by those that could afford them, during the war. General Stonewall Jackson was presented with two deluxe pinfire pistols with ivory grips, and many other famous personalities of the war similarly used them. The American makers could not possibly fulfill all the arms contracts that were needed to supply the war machine, especially by the non industrialised Confederate Southern States. So, London made guns were purchased, by contract, by the London Arms Company in great quantities, as the procurement for the war in America was very profitable indeed. They were despatched out in the holds of hundreds of British merchant ships. First of all, the gun and sword laden vessels would attempt to break the blockades, surrounding the Confederate ports, as the South were paying four times or more the going rate for arms, but, if the blockade proved to be too efficient, the ships would then proceed on to the Union ports, [such as in New York] where the price paid was still excellent, but only around double the going rate. This pistol was the type that was so popular, as a fast and efficient revolvers by many of the officers of both the US and the CSA armies, and later, in the 1870's onwards by gamblers and n'ear do wells in the Wild West. 6.5 inch barrel. As with all our antique guns, no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables

Code: 23202

995.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Superb American Kentucky-Pennsylvania Rifle, Tiger-Stripe Maple Stock

By Morrison. A beautiful, early 19th century American frontiersman's rifle, with an most heavy grade barrel, that gives it the air of a long hand-cannon. Approx .36 calibre. This is a remarkably heavy powerful barrel and rare for that, but incredibly we had a most similar example just a few months ago, but before that, our last of this type was probably 15 years ago. Made and used in the era of the seige and Battle of the Alamo in Texas. As 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 Lopez de Santa Anna reclaimed the Alamo Mission near San Antonio Bexar (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, converted from flintlock, and a beautiful tiger-stripe half stock, wonderfully set with tradition American rifle brass fittings. All fine brass traditional Kentucky rifle furniture mounts with traditional one stage gunlock. A fine Remington Cast Steel barrel, and the gun is signed by the maker 'Wash.Morrison', [Washington]. Eliphalet Remington first started making his finest Cast Steel or Cruciuble Steel barrels in the late 1820's. It is the old traditional in America that the gun maker is the barrel maker, in England it is determined by the lock maker. 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 our national domain was in part carved out by the use of the Kentucky- Pennsylvania-type gun in the war with Mexico. Some of the above information was from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and for information and education purposes only. One of those rifles, a Pennsylvania longrifle, 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.

This specific Pennsylvania rifle, known by many names but most commonly as a Kentucky longrifle, 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 longrifle 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 9 pounds. Barrel thickness 9/10th inch wide overall. Like all our guns, it is a non-restricted antique collectable with no licence required to own or buy. 46.5 inches long overall, barrel 32 inches long

Code: 23010

2450.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Koto Period Ancient Aikuchi Tanto Circa 1500 Beautiful Blade

Around 500 years old. With kodzuka utility knife decorated with takebori crabs. Unusually the saya is covered with black lacquered leather. All original Edo period mounts and fittings. Silver inlaid iron hilt mounts with patinated copper menuki of shishi [liondogs]. The saya has a small mount of a silver inlaid quail. The blade has now just returned from re-polishing and looks absolutely beautiful. The tanto was invented partway through the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon. With the beginning of the Kamakura period, tanto were forged to be more aesthetically pleasing, and hira and uchi-sori tanto were the most popular styles for wars in the kamakura period. Near the middle of the Kamakura period, more tanto artisans were seen, increasing the abundance of the weapon, and the kanmuri-otoshi style became prevalent in the cities of Kyoto and Yamato. Because of the style introduced by the tachi in the late Kamakura period, tanto began to be forged longer and wider. The introduction of the Hachiman faith became visible in the carvings in the tanto hilts around this time. The hamon (line of temper) is similar to that of the tachi, except for the absence of choji-midare, which is nioi and utsuri. Gunomi-midare and suguha are found to have taken its place. In Nambokucho, the tanto were forged to be up to forty centimetres as opposed to the normal one shaku (about thirty centimetres) length. The tanto blades became thinner between the uri and the omote, and wider between the ha and mune. At this point in time, two styles of hamon were prevalent: the older style, which was subtle and artistic, and the newer, more popular style. Blades could be of exceptional quality. As the end of the period neared, the average blade narrowed and the sori became shallow. The aikuchi is a tanto koshirae where the fuchi is flush with the mouth of the saya. Overall 21 3/4 inches long, blade length 12 1/4 inches

Code: 23142

3695.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Very Long Ancient Koto Samurai Odachi Great Sword 14th Cent. Genko War Era

Around 700 years old. This is one of the most impressive original long samurai swords one might see. It is indeed still very long, but was once incredibly long. It has very fine Edo period mounts of based on entomology in shakudo. The iron tsuba is Koto, o-sukashi and mokko shaped. This is an original odachi, the legenday 'great sword' of the samurai, also known as a nodachi, [field sword]. It was a type of very long traditionally made Japanese sword, used by the samurai class of ancient feudal Japan, however, outside of museums, odachi still in their original length, effectively, no longer exist as they were all shortened by edict issued by the shogun. The Chinese equivalent and 'cousin' for this type of sword in terms of weight and length is the miao dao, and the Western battlefield equivalent (though less similar) is the longsword or claymore. Odachi swordplay styles differed from that of other Japanese swords, focusing on downward cuts. As battlefield weapons, Odachi were too long for samurai to carry on their waists like normal swords. There were two methods in which they could be carried: One was to carry it on one's back. However, this was seen as impractical as it was impossible for the wielder to draw it quickly. The other method was simply to carry the sheathed Odachi by hand. The trend during the Muromachi era was for the samurai carrying the Odachi to have a follower to help draw it.

One possible use of Odachi is as large anti-cavalry weapons, to strike down the horse as it approaches. Alternatively, it could be used as a cavalry-on-cavalry weapon, with the long reach, increased weight and slashing area of the blade offering some advantages over spears, lances and smaller swords.
Genko War (1331?1333) also known as the Genko Incident was a civil war in Japan which marked the fall of the Kamakura shogunate and end of the power of the Hojo clan. The war thus preceded the Nanboku-cho period and the rise of the Ashikaga shogunate. Genko is the name of the Japanese era corresponding to the period 1331?1334.

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Ashikaga Takauji, the chief general of the Hojo family, turned against the Hojo and fought for the Emperor in the hopes of being named shogun. Takauji entered Kyoto on 19 June and Go-Daigo entered the Palace at the end of July 1333. Simultaneously, Nitta Yoshisada led his army on a campaign through Kozuke and Musashi provinces culminating in the siege of Kamakura, setting fire to the city, and destroying the Kamakura shogunate Blade length tsuba to tip 31 inches overall length sword 41 inches and overall 41.5 inches in saya.
To qualify as an Odachi, the sword in question would have a blade length of around 3 shaku (90.9 centimetres (35.8 in]; however, as with most terms in Japanese sword arts, there is no exact definition of the size of an Odachi. Apart from the blade polish this sword has been untouched for likely 250 years. Blade length tsuba to tip 31 inches overall length sword 41 inches and overall 41.5 inches in saya. Over the centuries this sword was shortened at the tang [by official Japanese edict] by around 5 inches, thus you can see the five mekugi ana in the nakago for the blade's remounting. The Shogunal government set a law which prohibited holding swords above a set length (in 1617, 1626, and 1645)

Code: 23114

8750.00 GBP


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A Fabulous, and Rare, 19th Century Imperial Russo-Prussian Grenadier's Mitre Cap

A most rarely surviving form of European service helmet. The highly distinctive mitre cap was in use by grenadier regiments of three principle nations [mostly British, Prussian and Russian] since the mid 18th century, they were used continually by the Russo-Prussians alone into the Napoleonic wars, in the early 19th century, right though in fact to the early 20th century, but they ceased to be used by the British in the end of the 18th century. The mitre cap is an extraordinary form of helmet that was both elaborate and decorative but also as a form of intimidation, to increase the perception of the height of a grenadier, yet still most functional for defence against sword cuts and slashes. Wih the helmets construction, a combination of cloth and pressed metal, creating a most effective ‘crumple zone’ against a slashing blade impact upon the soldiers head. The rarest of all the surviving mitre caps is beyond doubt the British, as they were in use for the shortest period of time and were entirely made of cloth, and that material survives poorly over 3 centuries. The Russian and Prussian examples had elements of metal within the helmets stamped crest frontispieces and frame, and, they were in use for longer, some into the WW1 period. However, all surviving examples are now very scarce indeed, and complete examples are most especially rare. The 18th and 19th century examples being the most rarest of all. The mitre cap, whether in stiffened cloth or metal, had become the distinguishing feature of the grenadier in the armies of Britain, Russia, Prussia and most German states during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. While Northern-European armies such as Britain, Russia, Sweden and various German states (perhaps most famously Prussia) wore the mitre cap, the southern countries, such as France, Spain, Austria, Portugal and various Italian states preferred the bearskin cap. By 1768 Britain too had adopted the bearskin. By the advent of the Napoleonic Wars, both mitres caps and fur caps had begun to fall out of use in favour of the shako. Two major exceptions were France's Grande Armee (although in 1812, regulations changed grenadier uniforms to those more similar to the ones of fusiliers, except in guard regiments) and the Austrian Army. After the Battle of Friedland in 1807, because of their distinguished performance, Russia's Pavlovsk Regiment were allowed to keep their mitre caps and were admitted to the Imperial Guard. In 1914 the Imperial German and Russian Armies still included a number of grenadier regiments. In the Russian Army these comprised the Grenadier Guards Regiment (L-G Grenadierski Polk) as well as the Grenadier Corps of sixteen regiments (plus an independent reinforced company of Palace Grenadiers, guarding the St. Petersburg Imperial residences). Five regiments of the Prussian Guard were designated as Garde-Grenadiers and there were an additional fourteen regiment of grenadiers amongst the line infantry of the German Empire. In both the Russian and German armies the grenadier regiments were considered a historic elite, distinguished by features such as plumed helmets in full dress, distinctive facings (yellow for all Russian grenadiers) or special braiding. A grenadier derived from the word grenade, and was originally a specialized soldier, first established as a distinct role in the mid-to-late 17th century, for the throwing of grenades and sometimes assault operations. At that time grenadiers were chosen from the strongest and largest soldiers. By the 18th century, dedicated grenade throwing of this sort was no longer relevant, but grenadiers were still chosen for being the most physically powerful soldiers and would lead assaults in the field of battle. Grenadiers would also often lead the storming of fortification breaches in siege warfare, although this role was more usually fulfilled by all-arm units of volunteers called forlorn hopes, and might also be fulfilled by sappers or pioneers. A very similar, near identical example appears illustrated and described in the The Lyle Official Arms and Armour Review 1983, page 261

Code: 22034

3950.00 GBP


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