Antique Arms & Militaria

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More Fabulous & Rare Pieces Added Every Day, & Some to Be Added This Coming Week On To The Lanes Armoury Website, Fresh From Our Conservation Workshop

More Fabulous & Rare Pieces Added Every Day, & Some to Be Added This Coming Week On To The Lanes Armoury Website, Fresh From Our Conservation Workshop

Just this week, for those with in interest in Spycraft original collectables, we have some incredibly rare, original SOE WW2 items, including, probably, the best a rarest complete SOE Agents suitcase transceiver available, if not the best and most untouched ‘barn find’ of its type in the world!!. Just as would have been used by the one of history’s greatest heroines, Violette Szabo G.C. SOE espionage agent & radio operator. Plus, an SOE clamshell mine, and a SOE suitcase radio bicycle generator.
Also, American Civil War revolvers, such as by Remington, Manhattan, Starr, & Whitney, and very, very rare, US Civil War General’s sabre and knot complete, that is identical to General’s W.T.Sherman, J.E.B.Stuart, & John Bell Hood’s generals pattern swords. Also, a simply stunning collection of amazing sword sticks, all first division, some with full silver handles, others in very fine and beautiful woods, and all in incredible condition, plus, Samurai Ninja Shikome-zue sword sticks that are due in in a couple of weeks. Also an incredibly rare Qing Dynasty Chinese matchlock musket, one of the first we have seen in decades, a stunning WW2 RAF fighter scramble bell. An amazing 16th century ‘Holy Water Sprinkler’ a particularly gruesome looking pole arm of the rarest kind. A 1st Empire Napoleonic, French Cuirassiers sword, and a French Light Cavalry sabre by Nicolas Noel Boutet, a 17th to 18th century Royal Naval Admiral’s saw back cutlass, an Ancient Greek pure gold and carved scarab and intaglio swivel seal ring, around 2600 year old, and an ancient Roman noble’s silver & carved gemstone seal ring. A rare German 1930’s NSFK flyer’s summer helmet, some wonderful ancient samurai swords, a stunning pair of English, by one of the finest maker’s, original, cased, duelling pistols with tools, and an amazing antique samurai menpo face armour, and a really rare 1790’s French naval officers sea service pistol. Plus lots more as usual.

Just yesterday we were simply delighted by an unexpected return visit from an old dear customer, a much respected London University professor and academic of numerous decades, who, amongst so many other things, lectures around the world on oriental studies, and was an advisor to Margaret Thatcher. He paid us the enormous compliment of declaring that despite travelling all over the globe, he has still never seen a shop so full of original antique pieces that are amazingly diverse, fascinating and historically eclectic anywhere else in the world. We thank you Professor P for your kindest of compliments.

We added last week the rarest of the rare. A wonderful selection of Flintlocks, Scottish, British Crimean War Sea Service Pistol, and a War Dept. Colt Navy, Crimean contract purchase, and as per the HMS Warrior armoury contract. Napoleonic, French, and British Swords, and American Civil War Swords. Antique Japanese Samurai Katanas, and WW2 Japanese Shin Gunto officer's swords, several 1st Editions of P.G.Wodehouse's, Bertie Wooster, ( the books have yet to be added) plus, lots more as usual

The Lanes Armoury is many things, including, but not exclusively, Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword & Armoury Antiques Gallery.

After over 53 years personal experience as a partner and director by Mark, since 1971, and over 43 years by David, we are Europe’s leading original 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. We have had personal dealings {both buying and selling} with curators, experts and collectors from numerous leading museums around the world, {including Japan}. Such as The Tower of London, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Mark’s personal antiques mentor in the 1970’s was Edward ‘Ted’ Dale, when he was Managing Director and chief auctioneer of one of the worlds leading auction houses, Bonhams of Knightsbridge, London.

Both Mark and David can usually be found here at the gallery and shop, most days, often buried under a pile of swords, pistols, books and bayonets. It is always the case of ‘take us as you find us’ as they say, but they are both always delighted to chat about everything swords, guns, books and history, with no purchase necessary!

In memoriam
For over 30 years we had the enjoyment of the company of the late Christopher Fox as our consultant on Nihonto. A great friend to us all, and one of the most modest and knowledgable experts on Japanese swords in England. Also he was a member of the leading European sword appreciation society for several decades, and a student and instructor of the martial art of Iaido for four decades. The second in command so to speak of sensei Roald Knutsen, one of the worlds greatest experts and author on samurai polearms. {Chris was also a whizz on all things of a military nature from 20th century Germany.}


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.  read more

Code: 25201

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A Rare & Huge, M1863 Single Action Starr Army 'Long Barrel' Revolver of the Civil War, .44 Calibre

A Rare & Huge, M1863 Single Action Starr Army 'Long Barrel' Revolver of the Civil War, .44 Calibre

Single action 1863 model. Good external condition for age An impressive, big and powerful .44 cal revolver of the Civil War and early Wild West. Alongside the Colt Dragoon this was the biggest pistol of the Civil War, and it has amazing presence with an 8 inch barrel. Starr was the third largest producer of revolvers for the Union behind Colt and Remington.During the war the M-1863 Starr was issued to a number of US cavalry regiments, including the 1st Colorado Cavalry, the 6th & 7th Michigan Cavalry and the 11th New York Cavalry, just to name a few. While Starr double action revolver production started in 1858 they did not start production of the single action until 1863 finishing in 1865. Total Model 1863 S.A. production was approximately 25,000 revolvers making them rare finds today. The Model 1863 Single Action .44 calibre percussion Army Revolver was the third of the Starr revolvers produced for the military. Between September, 1863 and December 22, 1864, the Starr Arms Company delivered 25,002 Model 1863 Army revolvers to the Ordnance Department. The government's cost for this arm was $12.00 each. These arms and components were produced in Starr's plants in Yonkers, Binghamton and Moorisania. The grips on this gun are very good. The big long barrel Starr Army Revolver is the pistol that was chosen by the hero in Clint Eastwood's Academy Award winning movie 'The Unforgiven' played by Clint Eastwood, and the pistol was in fact featured as the main promotional part of the film in the 'Unforgiven' poster, see picture of the Starr Revolver, in the poster, in our gallery copyright Warner Bros.Single-action Army model of 1863 in .44 chambering with production numbers reaching 3,000, 21,454 and 23,000 respectively.
Design of the pistol fell to Ebanezar (Eban) Townsend Starr and all of the guns were manufactured out of the Starr Arms Company facility of Binghampton and Yonkers, New York for Federal service. The guns relied on a percussion cap system of operation with each chamber of the six-round cylinder loaded with a charge and a ball. Percussion caps were set upon the awaiting nipples found at each chamber. The hammer then fell on these caps to produce the needed ignition of the propellant charge within each chamber, the resultant forces propelling the ball out of the barrel. Externally, the revolver was of a conventional design arrangement. The handle was ergonomically curved for a good fit in the hand while being covered in useful grips. A solid frame was featured around the rotating six-shot cylinder which offered strength that open-frame revolvers of the period generally lacked. The hammer protruded from the rear of the frame within reach of the shooting hand's thumb for actuation as necessary. A loading arm was positioned under the barrel to help ram the contents of the chambers to the rear (and thus closer to the percussion cap's port). The barrel sat over this arm in the usual way, the ball projectiles guided into it by way of a proper seal from the cylinder's front face to the barrel's rear end. All in all, a traditional revolver arrangement that was proven to work. Sighting was by way of iron fittings over the top of the gun.

The gun has been made none actionable by the removal of the mainspring and cylinder ratchet pawl {no longer present} possibly as a simple way to temporarily deactivate its use. All the missing parts are relatively easy to sourced in America, for a few hundred dollars, but its next owner may not wish to even bother as it is no longer to be used, However, the price very much reflects the fact of the lacking of the small internal action parts, which makes this revolver incredibly inexpensive. Our last complete one we sold for £2850

As with all our antique guns no licence is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables.  read more

Code: 25258

1795.00 GBP

SOLD. A Superb, Ezekiel Baker {Maker of the World Famous Baker Rifle} New Land Pattern Dragoon Pistol. With Board of Ordnance Inspection Stamps and Regimental Markings, In Fabulous Condition & Probably Impossible to Improve Upon

SOLD. A Superb, Ezekiel Baker {Maker of the World Famous Baker Rifle} New Land Pattern Dragoon Pistol. With Board of Ordnance Inspection Stamps and Regimental Markings, In Fabulous Condition & Probably Impossible to Improve Upon

Excellent steel barrel, engraved E. Baker, steel captive ramrod, superb brass mounts, with the traditional 'skull crusher' butt cap, trigger guard and ramrtod pipe, and the brass sideplate has the regimental markings, as does the nearside stock. Numbered on the trigger guard '28'. Under the barrel on the stock and in the ramrod channel are Board of Ordnance stamps.

The pattern as used by the front-line British Cavalry regiments during the Peninsular War, War of 1812, and the Hundred Days War, culminating at Waterloo.

Introduced in the 1796 and in production by 1802, the New Land Cavalry Pattern Pistol provided one model of pistol for all of Britain's light cavalry and horse artillery. Another new element was the swivel ramrod which greatly improved the process of loading the pistol on horseback.
The service of British Cavalry regiments, particularly the Light Dragoons, proved essential in the mastery of the Indian Subcontinent. The Duke of Wellington, then Arthur Wellesley, was primarily recognised for his military genius by his battles in India. Of particular note was the Battle of Assaye in 1803 where the 6000 British faced a Mahratta Army of at least 40,000. During the engagement the 19th Light Dragoons saved the 74th Regiment by charging the enemy guns 'like a torrent that had burst its banks'. Pistols firing and sabre slashing, the 19th broke the enemy's position and the day was won. 19th Light Dragoons gained "Assaye" as a battle honour, and the nickname "Terrors of the East". The 19th Light Dragoons eventually served in North America during the War of 1812 and so did this form of pistol. Cavalry was the 'shock' arm, with lance and sabre the principal hand weapons. The division between 'heavy' and light was very marked during Wellington's time: 'heavy' cavalry were huge men on big horses, 'light' cavalry were more agile troopers on smaller mounts who could harass as well as shock.

During the Napoleonic Wars, French cavalry was unexcelled in their success. Later as casualties and the passage of years took their toll, Napoleon found it difficult to maintain the same high standards of cavalry performance. At the same time, the British and their allies steadily improved on their cavalry, mainly by devoting more attention to its organisation and training as well as by copying many of the French tactics, organisation and methods. During the Peninsular War, Wellington paid little heed to the employment of cavalry in operations, using it mainly for covering retreats and chasing routed French forces. But by the time of Waterloo it was the English cavalry that smashed the final attack of Napoleon's Old Guard.
While it was being cleaned and conserved in the workshop we noticed the walnut under the barrel and lock looked as if it had been in a time capsule, completely untouched likely since the day it was originally assembled and issued to the trooper around 225 years ago. See photo in the gallery.  read more

Code: 25257

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A Very Good 5 Shot Revolver of The United States Civil War, By E.Whitney of New Haven Connecticut

A Very Good 5 Shot Revolver of The United States Civil War, By E.Whitney of New Haven Connecticut

A scarce American Civil War era 5 shot Percussion revolver made by E. Whitney. Circa 1860. The 6 inch barrel marked on top E. WHITNEY N. HAVEN. Two piece walnut grips and brass trigger guard. With nice overall aged patination, serial numbered under the grip 26941. Good tight spring action and rotation of the cylinder.

Eli Whitney Sr. established his Whitneyville Armory in 1798 and produced firearms (among other things) by contract for the United states government. Just prior to this in 1793, Whitney invented the mechanical cotton gin, which dramatically changed the economic landscape in the United States, namely in the South. His labour saving device made the processing of harvested cotton extremely efficient and requiring fewer labourer's. This machine caused the market for cotton to explode and more labourer's were needed to plant, grow and harvest the crop. This resulted in a corresponding boom in the Southern slave trade. Great fortunes were created, and the population of the South became such that one in three Southerners were slaves. All this provided the fuel that would become the American Civil War. Eli Whitney died in 1825, and his son, Eli Whitney Jr began running the family business in 1841. In 1847 Whitney Jr. began to manufacture 1,000 of Samuel Colt’s latest revolver the Colt Walker revolver. Production of this revolver helped both parties immensely as it kept Colt in business and it allowed Whitney Jr. to gain experience making revolvers. With the expiration of Colt’s patents in 1857, Whitney began production of percussion revolvers based on Colt’s patents, some of them very closely copied. The Whitney Revolver were produced at the Whitneyville Armory manufacturing centre in the Whitneyville section of New Haven, Connecticut from the late 1850's through to the early 1860's. Many of these were purchased by individual soldiers for use when they were going off to the American Civil War. Overall length 11 inches. In good overall condition, showing commensurate signs of use and wear. A super Civil War era percussion revolver.  read more

Code: 25256

1750.00 GBP

A Superb Quality, Antique, Victorian, Silver Topped Hidden, Secret, Dagger-Cane. In Fine Malacca Wood. In Fabulous Condition

A Superb Quality, Antique, Victorian, Silver Topped Hidden, Secret, Dagger-Cane. In Fine Malacca Wood. In Fabulous Condition

The top is silver, finely engraved with a Sumatran elephant in a palm tree jungle. With a snug friction release, the dagger is thus extracted by means of the drawing the hidden dagger from the Malacca haft. Malacca wood is taken from one species of rattan palm native to the coast of Sumatra. With long, slender stems it was considered perfect for making walking sticks and canes. It is very lightweight and strong with a satin-like bark that has a natural gloss. The colour varies from blond through reddish amber to brown. The blade is of two stage form of double edged form on great strength and substance.

This is a cane intended for close quarter action. The sword stick or cane was in its day ideal for defensive action, but the dagger-cane was usually intended for both offensive or defensive, ideal for use in a crowd or a hand to hand conflict in most confined quarters of any bustling city. As an antique collectable it is simply awesome. A startling and most collectable conversation piece, worthy of the legendary Sherlock Holmes himself, in fact, more likely a tool of the diabolical genius, and arch nemeses of Holmes, Professor Moriarty . One can only imagine what perils and heinous adversities that it's original owner, who had this awesome cane commissioned, must have feared, dreaded or even instigated. The name Bartitsu might well have been completely forgotten if not for a chance mention by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in one of his Sherlock Holmes mystery stories. In the Adventure of the Empty House (1903), Holmes explained that he had escaped the clutches of his enemy Professor Moriarty through his knowledge of bartitsu, or Japanese wrestling. Using a walking cane with or without hidden blade.

The swordstick was a popular fashion accessory for the wealthy during the 18th and 19th centuries. While the weapon's origins are unknown, it is apparent that the cane-sword's popularity peaked when decorative swords were steadily being replaced by canes as a result of the rising popularity of firearms, and the lessening influence of swords and other small arms.


The first sword canes were made for nobility by leading sword cutlers. Sixteenth century sword canes were often bequeathed in wills. Sword canes became more popular as the streets became less safe. Society dictated it mandatory that gentlemen of the 18th and especially 19th centuries would wear a cane when out and about, and it was common for the well-dressed gentleman to own and sport canes in a variety of styles, including a good and sound sword cane. Although Byron was proficient in the use of pistols, his lameness and his need to defend himself in some potentially dangerous situations made a swordstick doubly useful to him. He received lessons in London from the fencing master Henry Angelo and owned a number of swordsticks, some of which were supplied by his boxing instructor Gentleman John Jackson.

Sword sticks came in all qualities, and for numerous purposes, from the simplest bamboo sword cane personal defender to stout customs officer’s ‘prod’, to offensive close quarter stiletto dagger canes and even to the other side of the world in the form of Japanese samurai’s shikome-sue, hidden swords.

We show two famous sword sticks in the gallery, one that belonged to Lord Byron, and another in a Presidential Centre Library collection, a historic sword stick is part of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Centre Library collection in Fremont, Ohio from the Waggoner family, the sword-cane was said to have been presented to Mr Waggoner by General George Washington in honour of Waggoner's service in Washington's Life Guard during the American Revolutionary War

37 inches long overall 9.75 inches long blade. An original antique collectable for display purposes only.  read more

Code: 25255

1195.00 GBP

1780 Pattern, French Pistolet Maritime, An Officer's Naval 'Sea Service' Belt Pistol. Used By A French Naval Officer From the Battle of the Nile through to Battle of Trafalgar Era

1780 Pattern, French Pistolet Maritime, An Officer's Naval 'Sea Service' Belt Pistol. Used By A French Naval Officer From the Battle of the Nile through to Battle of Trafalgar Era

Very probably by Grosselin a Charleville.

Steel barrel, walnut half stock, steel bird's head butt and steel furniture. Flintlock action with pierced heart shaped cock.

French sea service pistols are far more rare than their British equivalents, especially the slightly smaller officer's versions, due to the fact there were fewer French ships, and that so many French ships-of-the-line being captured or sunk by the British Royal Navy, between the 1790's to 1805 Such as when the French Fleet was soundly thrashed in the Egypt campaign at the Nile in 1798, and a little later the French and Spanish fleet, in 1805, were once again soundly thrashed and captured by Admiral Nelson at Cape Trafalgar.

The Battle of the Nile, was a battle that was one of the greatest victories of the British admiral Horatio Nelson. It was fought on August 1, 1798, between the British and French fleets in Abū Qīr Bay, near Alexandria, Egypt.

The French Revolutionary general Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798 made planned for an invasion of Egypt in order to constrict Britain’s trade routes and threaten its possession of India. The British government heard that a large French naval expedition was to sail from a French Mediterranean port under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte

Determined to find the French fleet, he sailed to Egypt once more, and on August 1 1798 he sighted the main French fleet of 13 ships of the line and 4 frigates under Admiral François-Paul Brueys d’Aigailliers at anchor in Abū Qīr Bay.

Although there were but a few hours left until nightfall and Brueys’s ships were in a strong defensive position, being securely ranged in a sandy bay that was flanked on one side by a shore battery on Abū Qīr Island, Nelson gave orders to attack at once. Several of the British warships were able to maneuver around the head of the French line of battle and thus got inside and behind their position. Fierce fighting ensued, during which Nelson himself was wounded in the head. The climax came at about 10:00 PM, when Brueys’s 120-gun flagship, L’Orient, which was by far the largest ship in the bay, blew up with most of the ship’s company, including the admiral. The fighting continued for the rest of the night; just two of Brueys’s ships of the line and a pair of French frigates escaped destruction or capture by the British. The British suffered about 900 casualties, the French about 9,000.

The Battle of the Nile had several important effects. It isolated Napoleon’s army in Egypt, thus ensuring its ultimate disintegration. It ensured that in due time Malta would be retaken from the French, and it both heightened British prestige and secured British control of the Mediterranean.

The Battle of Trafalgar, (October 21, 1805), was a naval engagement of the Napoleonic Wars, which established British naval supremacy for more than 100 years; it was fought west of Cape Trafalgar, Spain, between Cádiz and the Strait of Gibraltar. A fleet of 33 ships (18 French and 15 Spanish) under Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve fought a British fleet of 27 ships under Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Nelson was outnumbered, with 27 British ships of the line to 33 allied ships including the largest warship in either fleet, the Spanish Santísima Trinidad. To address this imbalance, Nelson sailed his fleet directly at the allied battle line's flank, hoping to break the line into pieces. Villeneuve had worried that Nelson might attempt this tactic but, for various reasons, had made no plans for this eventuality. The plan worked almost perfectly; Nelson's columns split the Franco-Spanish fleet in three, isolating the rear half from Villeneuve's flag aboard Bucentaure. The allied vanguard sailed off while it attempted to turn around, giving the British temporary superiority over the remainder of their fleet. In the ensuing fierce battle 20 allied ships were lost, while the British lost none.

Nelson's own HMS Victory led the front column and was almost knocked out of action. Nelson was shot by a French musketeer during the battle, and died shortly before it ended. Villeneuve was captured along with his flagship Bucentaure. He attended Nelson's funeral while a captive on parole in Britain. The senior Spanish fleet officer, Admiral Federico Gravina, escaped with the remnant of the Franco-Spanish fleet (a third of the original number of ships); he died five months later of wounds sustained during the battle.

The victory confirmed the naval supremacy Britain had established during the course of the eighteenth century, and was achieved in part through Nelson's departure from prevailing naval tactical orthodoxy.

At the same time this pistol was made there was another version, same form and size, called the 1779 pattern so called 'sea-dog's head' pistol, however, it had instead of the steel bird's head butt that this has, it had a carved dog's head.

A photo in the gallery from around 35 years ago of an article about these very form of pistols by Grosselin of Charleville, an identical pair, yet also, one of them, like this one was un-named.

The condition is jolly good, excellent tight spring and action. Rammer lacking  read more

Code: 25253

1800.00 GBP

A Most Scarce US Civil War Period Remington Beals' Patent Model 1858 Navy Percussion Six-Shot Revolver, .36 calibre

A Most Scarce US Civil War Period Remington Beals' Patent Model 1858 Navy Percussion Six-Shot Revolver, .36 calibre

Manufactured between 1861 and 1863, approximately 14,500 Remington-Beals Navy revolvers were produced. About 500 martially-marked examples of this model were purchased by the U.S. Army, and an additional 1,000 were bought by the Navy. In 1875, the Navy returned about 1,000 various model Remington .36 calibre revolvers, including the Beals Navy, for factory conversion to accept the .38 calibre centre fire metallic cased cartridge. Sn 10402. Sold with an old but later tooled leather holster, that is complimentary, and free.

The business expanded through the 1850s, and handgun production began in 1857 with the introduction of the Remington-Beals pocket revolver.

The coming of the Civil War naturally brought about a dramatic increase in the demand for firearms, and Remington's production also increased to keep pace. During this period, the company manufactured both .36 and .44 calibre revolvers, as well as Model 1863 Percussion Contract Rifle, popularly known as the "Zouave" rifle.

Beals’ 1858 patent (21,478) was granted on September 14th of that year and covered the winged cylinder arbor pin that secured the cylinder to the frame, which was retained by the loading lever located under the barrel and could be withdrawn from the frame only when the lever was lowered. Thus, began the evolution of the second most used US marital revolver of the American Civil War. The first guns were produced in .36 caliber and production started to roll off the assembly line during late 1860 or early 1861. The .36 calibre “Navy” revolver was followed by a .44 calibre “Army” variant soon thereafter. By the time Beals pattern revolver production ended in 1862, some 15,000 of the “Navy” sized handguns had been produced, while only about 2,000 of the larger “Army” revolvers were manufactured. The subsequent model was the William Elliott “improved” Model 1861 pattern Remington revolvers, also known to collectors as the “Old Model” Remingtons, started to replace the Beals models by the middle of 1862.



The Beals Navy Revolver was Remington’s first large frame, martial handgun to make it into production, with the Beals Army following fairly quickly on its heels. While an experimental Beals “Army” had been produced earlier, which was really just a scaled-up version of the Beals pocket model, it was only produced as a prototype and it is believed that less than ten were manufactured.

The US government had been relatively pleased with the original Beals Navy design and had obtained some 11,249 of the 15,000 Beals Navy revolvers produced. The purchases had been a combination of direct contract with Remington combined with open market purchases of some 7,250 revolvers that would not pass through a government inspection process. The initial success of the 1,600 Beals Navy revolvers contracted for in 1861 lead to an Ordnance Department contract on June 13 of 1862 for 5,000 additional “Navy” caliber revolvers to Remington.

Good tight spring and action, nice natural aged patina overall blue to hammer, the cylinder rotation a little hesitant due age.  read more

Code: 25254

2950.00 GBP

An Absolutely Superb & Beautiful Quality Victorian Silver Handled Presentation Sword-Stick of Wonderful Elegance.

An Absolutely Superb & Beautiful Quality Victorian Silver Handled Presentation Sword-Stick of Wonderful Elegance.

Long silver embossed silver handle, presentation dated in 1895, and monogrammed top. Dark cherry wood type cane, bearing a concealed quatrefoil blade. Overall in stunning condition for age

Lord Byron's was a most exponent of the use and carrying of the gentleman’s sword stick. His was exhibited in King's College London, bearing a mercurial gilt collar bearing his name, coronet and adopted surname Noel. Upon the death of Byron's mother-in-law Judith Noel, the Hon. Lady Milbanke, in 1822, her will required that he change his surname to "Noel" so as to inherit

An interesting 19th century conversation and collector's piece, and one can ponder over of the kind of gentleman who would have sought and required such a piece of personal defence paraphernalia. Although one likes to think that jolly old England had a London full of cheerful cockneys and laddish chimney sweeps, it was also plagued with political intrigue, nefarious characters and caddish swine prowling the endless foggy thoroughfares and dimly lit passageways. The swordstick was a popular fashion accessory for the wealthy during the 18th and 19th centuries. While the weapon's origins are unknown, it is apparent that the cane-sword's popularity peaked when decorative swords were steadily being replaced by canes as a result of the rising popularity of firearms, and the lessening influence of swords and other small arms.

The first sword canes were made for nobility by leading sword cutlers. Sixteenth century sword canes were often bequeathed in wills. Sword canes became more popular as the streets became less safe. Society dictated it mandatory that gentlemen of the 18th and especially 19th centuries would wear a cane when out and about, and it was common for the well-dressed gentleman to own and sport canes in a variety of styles, including a good and sound sword cane. Although Byron was proficient in the use of pistols, his lameness and his need to defend himself in some potentially dangerous situations made a swordstick doubly useful to him. He received lessons in London from the fencing master Henry Angelo and owned a number of swordsticks, some of which were supplied by his boxing instructor Gentleman John Jackson.

On Byron’s sword cane was the name NOEL BYRON, upon the ferrule of his one indicated that it was used after 1822, when Byron added the surname Noel after the death of his mother-in-law.

There are several references to sword sticks in the correspondence of Byron and his circle. Byron wrote to Hobhouse from Switzerland on 23 June 1816 asking him to Bring with you also for me some bottles of Calcined Magnesia a new Sword cane procured by Jackson he alone knows the sort (my last tumbled into this lake ) some of Waite's red tooth-powder & tooth-brushes a Taylor's Pawrsanias Pausanias and I forget the other things. Hobhouse responded on 9 July: Your commissions shall be punctually fulfilled whether as to muniments for the mind or body pistol brushes, cundums, potash Prafsanias Pausanias tooth powder and sword stick.

In the entry for 22 September 1816 in Byron's Alpine Journal he describes how, at the foot of the Jungfrau,
"Storm came on , thunder, lightning, hail, all in perfection and beautiful, I was on horseback the Guide wanted to carry my cane I was going to give it him when I recollected it was a Sword stick and I thought that the lightning might be attracted towards him kept it myself a good deal encumbered with it & my cloak as it was too heavy for a whip and the horse was stupid & stood still every other peal."

In a letter to Maria Gisborne of 6-10 April 1822, Mary Shelley described the "Pisan affray" of 24 March, in which Sergeant-Major Masi was pitch-forked by one of Byron's servants. She recounted how Byron rode to his own house, and got a sword stick from one of his servants.

Sword sticks came in all qualities, and for numerous purposes, from the simplest bamboo sword cane personal defender to stout customs officer’s ‘prod’, to offensive close quarter stiletto dagger canes and even to the other side of the world in the form of Japanese samurai’s shikome-sue, hidden swords.

We show two famous sword sticks in the gallery, one that belonged to Lord Byron, and another in a Presidential Centre Library collection, a historic sword stick is part of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Centre Library collection in Fremont, Ohio from the Waggoner family, the sword-cane was said to have been presented to Mr Waggoner by General George Washington in honour of Waggoner's service in Washington's Life Guard during the American Revolutionary War.

Overall 36.5 inches long, blade 27.5 inches long, silver handle, 7.75 inches long.  read more

Code: 25251

1450.00 GBP

A Very Rare Ching Dynasty Imperial Chinese Military Matchlock Musket Around 1750. The Long Octagonal Barrel Bears an Imperial Seal Stamp Beneath the Breech

A Very Rare Ching Dynasty Imperial Chinese Military Matchlock Musket Around 1750. The Long Octagonal Barrel Bears an Imperial Seal Stamp Beneath the Breech

Long fine stamped seal marked barrel, fine Chinese hardwood stock, with two engraved barrel bands. Iron matchlock ignition system. An arquebuss from China is very rare indeed in Europe as so few were brought back by the British and Europeans after the Opium War or the Siege of Peking period in the last Imperial Manchu era

Qianlong {aka Chien lung period}, used until the Boxer Rebellion. Most likely brought back to England by a British soldier that either served in the Opium War, or defended the legations at the siege in Peking.

China pioneered the use of gunpowder for fireworks and artillery in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Sophisticated firearms technology, however, developed more rapidly in Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and was then introduced into China by merchants, diplomats, and missionaries during the seventeenth century. Improved designs for cannons and practical types of hand-held guns were eagerly promoted and officially adopted as regulation military equipment under the Qing emperors Kangxi (reigned 1662–1722) and Qianlong (reigned 1736–1795). In addition to mastering the use of bow and arrow and other weapons, both Kangxi and Qianlong owned and used guns, particularly for hunting. This was in keeping with their overall belief in the importance of martial training, which they encouraged by personal example.

The Qing dynasty (English pronunciation; Ching), officially the Great Qing, was a Manchu-led imperial dynasty of China (1636–1912) and the last imperial dynasty in Chinese history.
It emerged from the Later Jin dynasty founded by the Jianzhou Jurchens, a Tungusic-speaking ethnic group who unified other Jurchen tribes to form a new "Manchu" ethnic identity. The dynasty was officially proclaimed in 1636 in Manchuria (modern-day Northeast China and Russian Manchuria). It seized control of Beijing in 1644, then later expanded its rule over the whole of China proper and Taiwan, and finally expanded into Inner Asia. The dynasty lasted until 1912 when it was overthrown in the Xinhai Revolution. In Chinese historiography, the Qing dynasty was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The multiethnic Qing dynasty lasted for almost three centuries and assembled the territorial base for modern China. It was the largest imperial dynasty in the history of China and in 1790 the fourth-largest empire in world history in terms of territorial size. With 419,264,000 citizens in 1907, it was the most populous country in the world at the time.

The height of Qing glory and power was reached in the reign of the Qianlong Emperor (1735–1796). He led Ten Great Campaigns that extended Qing control into Inner Asia and personally supervised Confucian cultural projects. After his death, the dynasty faced foreign intrusion, internal revolts, population growth, economic disruption, official corruption, and the reluctance of Confucian elites to change their mindsets. With peace and prosperity, the population rose to some 400 million, but taxes and government revenues were fixed at a low rate, soon leading to fiscal crisis. Following China's defeat in the Opium Wars, Western colonial powers forced the Qing government to sign "unequal treaties", granting them trading privileges, extraterritoriality and treaty ports under their control. The Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864) and the Dungan Revolt (1862–1877) in Central Asia led to the deaths of over 20 million people, from famine, disease, and war. The Tongzhi Restoration in the 1860s brought vigorous reforms and the introduction of foreign military technology in the Self-Strengthening Movement. Defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895 led to loss of suzerainty over Korea and cession of Taiwan to Japan. The ambitious Hundred Days' Reform of 1898 proposed fundamental change, but the Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908), who had been the dominant voice in the national government for more than three decades, turned it back in a coup.

Pictured in the gallery is a Ching soldier bearing the very similar musket, wearing a bandolier of powder charges around his waist. The long cord tied around his finger is the lit smouldering cord called the 'match' that attaches at the other end to the trigger lever.  read more

Code: 25247

1995.00 GBP

A French 1st Empire Year XI French Light Cavalry Sabre by Nicolas Noel Boutet of the Imperial Workshop At Versailles Circa 1805. Early Napoleonic Grande Armee Period

A French 1st Empire Year XI French Light Cavalry Sabre by Nicolas Noel Boutet of the Imperial Workshop At Versailles Circa 1805. Early Napoleonic Grande Armee Period

1805 circa Napoleonic sabre from the period of the Grande Armee. Curved, single-and-false-edged blade with wide fuller, brass hilt with three bar guard and long narrow langets; leather-covered grip. Heavy grade sheet iron scabbard with two suspension rings. Traces of Boutet’s maker's- director’s poincon mark within a lozenge form on the blade face near the ricasso. Plain blade back strap, the month and date of manufacture were only added as inscriptions after an imperial decree of 29 April 1810. There are no other inspection marks remaining as they were often removed if the sword was captured as war booty, and became in the possession of a foreign combatant, as many swords of this pattern were absorbed into their own armies, such as, for example, the Russian cavalry. The Russians actually created their own near identical version in 1827.
Bright polished, heavy grade sheet iron, likely associated scabbard, with traditional Napoleonic brass seam.

Nicolas-Noël Boutet (31 August 1761 – 1833) was a French gunsmith and bladesmith who was director of the Versailles state arms factory. More than 600,000 weapons were produced under his directorship.
Boutet was born in Paris, the son of the royal gunsmith Noël Boutet, and became his father's assistant. In 1788, he married Leonie-Emilie Desainte, the daughter of his father's colleague, which gave him an even better position at court and the title of "gunmaker-in-ordinary" to King Louis XVI of France.
During the revolution he worked for Napoleon as director of the state arms manufactory.
He died in Paris

Grande Armée (French for 'The Great Army'; was the main military component of the French Imperial Army commanded by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1804 to 1808, it won a series of military victories that allowed the French Empire to exercise unprecedented control over most of Europe. Widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest fighting forces ever assembled, it suffered enormous losses during the disastrous Peninsular War followed by the invasion of Russia in 1812, after which it never recovered its strategic superiority and ended in total defeat for Napoleonic France by the Peace of Paris in 1815.
The Grande Armée was formed in 1804 from the L'Armée des côtes de l'Océan (Army of the Ocean Coasts), a force of over 100,000 men that Napoleon had assembled for the proposed invasion of Britain. Napoleon later deployed the army in Central Europe to eliminate the combined threat of Austria and Russia, which were part of the Third Coalition formed against France. Thereafter, the Grande Armée was the principal military force deployed in the campaigns of 1806/7, the French invasion of Spain, and in the War of the Fifth Coalition, where the French army slowly lost its veteran soldiers, strength and prestige, and in the conflicts of 1812, 1813–14, and 1815. In practice, however, the term Grande Armée is used in English to refer to all the multinational forces gathered by Napoleon in his campaigns  read more

Code: 25248

1550.00 GBP