The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists

The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists

The Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists of Europe, in fact we know of no other specialists outside of Japan, and likely within it, that stock anywhere near the quantity of our selection. We even had, although very briefly, thanks to the assistance of the most highly esteemed Japanese sword expert in England, Victor Harris, an original Edo representation copy of the most famous Japanese sword in world history, the Japanese National Treasure, Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (草薙の剣). It is a legendary Japanese sword and one of three Imperial Regalia of Japan. It was originally called Ame-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi (天叢雲剣, "Heavenly Sword of Gathering Clouds"), but its name was later changed to the more popular Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi ("Grass-Cutting Sword"). In folklore, the sword represents the virtue of valour.

Our one time advisor, Victor Harris, was Curator, Assistant Keeper and then Keeper (1998-2003) of the Department of Japanese Antiquities, at the British Museum. Studied 1968-71 under Sato Kenzan, Tokyo National Museum and Society for the Preservation of Japanese Swords. We fondly remember many brainstorming sessions on our Japanese swords with Victor and our late colleague, Chris Fox, here in our store .

After well over 50 years personal experience as a professional dealer by Mark, since 1971, and David’s over 40 years, we are probably Europe’s leading samurai sword specialists, with hundreds of swords to view and buy online 24/7, or in our store on a personal visit, 6 days a week. In fact we know of no better and varied original samurai sword selection for sale under one roof outside of Japan, or probably, even within it. Hundreds of original pieces up to 800 years old. 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 historical Japanese sword, to make the very best choice for them.

But that of course is just one part of the story of The Lanes Armoury, and the Hawkins brothers

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, antiques and militaria. Supervised and mentored, first by their grandfathers, 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 globe, through our network of numerous shops, warehouses, and antique export companies, in today’s equivalent, hundreds of millions of pounds of our 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. For example, just to mention two of Mark’s diverse mentors, one was Edward ‘Ted’ Dale, who was one of Britains most highly respected and leading experts on antiques, he was chief auctioneer and managing director in the 1960’s and 70’s of Bonham’s Auctioneers of London, now one of the worlds highest ranked auction companies, and at the other end of the spectrum, there was Bill ‘Yorkie’ Cole, the company’s ‘keeper of horse’, who revelled in the title of the company’s ‘head stable boy’, right up until his 90’s, in fact he refused to retire, he simply ‘faded away’. He controlled our stables and dozens of horse drawn vehicles up to the 1970’s. He was a true Brighton character, whose experiences in the antique trade went way back to WW1, and, amongst other skills, he taught young Mark, as a teenager in the 1960’s, to drive a horse drawn pantechnicon with ‘Dolly’, Britain’s last surviving English dray horse that was trained for night driving in the ‘blackout’ during the blitz. See a photo of the company pantechnicon and 'Dolly' in the gallery

Mark has been a director and partner in the family businesses since 1971, specialising in elements of the family business that varied from the acquisition and export of vintage cars, mostly Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Aston Martins and Lagondas, to America, to the complete restoration and furnishing of a historical Sussex Georgian country Manor House for his late mother from the ground up, 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 jnr, Mark’s younger brother, also started collecting militaria when he was seven, in fact he became the youngest firearms dealer licence holder in the country, and it was he that convinced Mark that concentrating on militaria and rare books was the future for our world within the antique trade, and as you will by now guess, history, antiques, books and militaria are simply in their blood.

Thus, around 40 years ago, they decided to sell their export business and concentrate where their true hearts lie, in the world of military history and its artefacts, from antiquity to the 20th century. From fine and rare books and first editions, to antiquities and the greatest historical and beautiful samurai swords to be found. One photo in the gallery was one of the rarest books we have ever had, some years ago, a Great Gatsby Ist edition they can now command up to $360,000

One photo in the gallery is of Mark, some few years ago with his then new lockdown companion at the farm, ‘Cody’, named after Buffalo Bill naturally. Cody is now somewhat bigger! .Another photo is of two of our ten company trucks photographed just after their delivery from the signwriters. As you can see we always enjoyed a very old fashioned British tradition of having our vehicles fully liveried, hand sign written and artistically painted by our local and very talented artisans. Vehicles that ranged from our many horse drawn vehicles, to our 1930’s Bedford generator lorry that doubled up during WW2 as a mobile searchlight for the local anti-aircraft artillery installations, and then to our more modern fleet from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. The green liveried Leyland truck in the photograph was hand painted with a massive representation of the scene of the chariot race from Chuck Heston’s movie spectacular Ben Hur, and on the other side a huge copy of Lady Butler’s Charge of the Heavy Brigade. Each painting took over three months to complete. When we called Chuck in America to show him the completed livery, painted in his honour, he was delighted and very impressed and promised to visit us again to see it personally in all its glory, sadly his filming schedules for his 1970’s blockbuster disaster movies such as ‘Earthquake’ prevented it. Chuck was recommended to us years before by one of his co-stars in Solyent Green, one of Hollywood’s true greats, {alongside Chuck} Edward G. Robinson, who used to buy, undervalued {then}, impressionist paintings from David snr in the 1960’s.

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