Antique Arms & Militaria

810 items found
A Despatch From Commodore James Poo Beresford HMS Theseus 2 Feb 1809

A Despatch From Commodore James Poo Beresford HMS Theseus 2 Feb 1809

Shortly before the Battle of the Basque Roads. Written and signed by Commodore [Later Admiral] Beresford aboard and in command of HMS Theseus. Some few years earlier Theseus was the flagship of Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson's fleet for the 1797 Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Day to day command at that time was vested in her flag captain Ralph Willett Miller. Unfortunately on this occasion the navy was defeated and Nelson was wounded by a musket ball while aboard the Theseus, precipitating the amputation of his right arm. In 1798, Theseus took part in the decisive and hugely successful Battle of the Nile, under the command of Captain Ralph Willett Miller. The Royal Navy fleet was outnumbered, at least in firepower, by the French fleet, which boasted the 118-gun ship-of-the-line L'Orient, three 80-gun warships and nine of the popular 74-gun ships. The Royal Navy fleet in comparison had just thirteen 74-gun ships and one 50-gun fourth-rate.

During the battle Theseus, along with Goliath, assisted Alexander and Majestic, who were being attacked by a number of French warships. The French frigate Artemise surrendered to the British, with the crew setting fire to their ship to prevent it falling into the hands of the British. Two other French ships Heureux and Mercure ran aground and soon surrendered after a brief encounter with three British warships, one of which was Theseus. L'Orient was destroyed in the battle by what was said to be the greatest man made explosion ever to have been witnessed. It was heard and felt over 15 miles distant.

The battle was a success for the Royal Navy, as well as for the career of Admiral Nelson. It cut supply lines to the French army in Egypt, whose wider objective was to threaten British India. The casualties were heavy; the French suffered over 1,700 killed, over 600 wounded and 3,000 captured. The British suffered 218 dead and 677 wounded. Nine French warships were captured and two destroyed. Two other French warships managed to escape. Theseus had five sailors killed and thirty wounded, included one officer and five Royal Marines. A painting in the gallery of Commodore Beresford leading his squadron of ships from 'The Naval Chronology of Great Britain', by J. Ralfe, leading a British squadron of 4 sail of the line near the Isle of Grouais in the face of the French Brest fleet of 8 of the line obliging the French to haul their wind and preventing them from joining the L'Orient squadron. The three ships alongside Beresford were HMS Revenge, Valiant and Triumph, and the Triumph was commanded by none other than Capt. Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy. Beresford was a natural son of Lord de la Poer the Marquess of Waterford. He joined the Royal Navy and he served in HMS Alexander in 1782. He was appointed as a Lieutenant RN serving on H.M.S. Lapwing 1790. He served in H.M.S. Resolution 1794. He served in H.M.S. Lynx (In command) in 1794. He was appointed as Acting Captain RN in 1794 serving in H.M.S. Hussar (In command). He was appointed as a Captain RN (With seniority dated 25/06/1795). He served in H.M.S. Raison (In command) 1795. He served in H.M.S. Unite (In command) 1798. He served in H.M.S. Diana (In command). He served in H.M.S. Virginie (In command) 1803. He served in H.M.S. Cambrian (In command) 1803. He was appointed as a Commodore RN 1806. He was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief in the River St. Lawrence, along the Coast of Nova Scotia, the islands of St. John and Cape Breton and in the Bay of Fundy and the Islands of Bermuda. He served in H.M.S. Theseus (In command) 1808. He served in H.M.S. Poitiers (In command) 1810. He served on to the staff of Lord Wellington at Lisbon Portugal 1810. During the War of 1812, he served as captain of HMS Poictiers, during which time he ineffectually bombarded the town of Lewes in Delaware. More importantly, Poictiers participated in an action where, four hours after USS Wasp, commanded by Jacob Jones, captured HMS Frolic, Capt Beresford captured Wasp and recaptured Frolic, and brought both to Bermuda. He was appointed as a Commodore RN in 1813. He served in HMS Royal Sovereign (In command) 1814. He was appointed as a Rear Admiral of the Blue (With seniority dated 04/06/1814). He was appointed as Commander-in-Chief at Leith 1820-23. He was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief at The Nore 1830-33. He was appointed as a Vice Admiral RN (With seniority dated 27/05/1825). He was appointed as a Junior Lord of the Admiralty in 1835. He was finally appointed as a Admiral RN (With seniority dated 28/06/1838). The typed transcript shown in the gallery states 'mediant servant' of course it should be 'obedient servant'  read more

Code: 19654

1975.00 GBP

A Beautiful And Rare American Revolutionary War Period Large Boxlock Action Double Cannon Barrelled Flintlock Volley Gun Pistol, Silver Scroll Inlaid Butt

A Beautiful And Rare American Revolutionary War Period Large Boxlock Action Double Cannon Barrelled Flintlock Volley Gun Pistol, Silver Scroll Inlaid Butt

A renown ‘Queen Anne’ style volley gun. A fascinating and most rare breech loading piece, with twin over and under turn-off cannon barrels, that is able to fire as a volley gun, with both barrels simultaneously, or, one after the other, using a unique sliding trigger guard that opens or covers one of the ignition pans as is required. 50 bore, double barrelled large over and under flintlock boxlock pistol, c1770,” the muzzles starred for a barrel key, with two separate pans beneath a single frizzen, the sliding cover of one pan operated by the sliding trigger guard, the frame retaining traces of etching, the rounded flat sided walnut butt inlaid with silver scrolls and wavy lines. World famous English gunsmith from London Durs Egg was renown for making incredibly similar rare twin cannon barrelled pistols, also with unusual covered pan actions. No proofs. Discussing with Howard Blackmore of the Tower Armouries some decades ago, the non-proved 18th century guns were often for the American export market where proofing was not required. Queen Anne pistols are characterized by the fact that the breech and the trigger plate are forged in one piece with the lock plate, foreshadowing by over 100 years the so-called "action" of a modern weapon. With the typical 'Queen Anne' pistol the barrel unscrews with a barrel key or wrench just ahead of the chamber where the powder and ball are placed when the pistol is loaded. The chamber is long and narrow with a cup at the top shaped to fit the bullet (a round lead ball). The user can quickly fill the chamber with black powder and put a bullet on top; the barrel is then replaced, sealing the bullet between its cup and the breech end of the barrel.

The bullet is larger than the barrel, so the breech is tapered to compress the ball as it moves forward at the moment of firing to tightly fit the bore. High gas pressure is developed behind the bullet before it is forced into the barrel, thus achieving considerably higher muzzle velocity and power than with a muzzle loader. The barrel was often rifled, which improves accuracy. The system also avoids the need for wadding or a ramrod during loading. It was not hugely successful as a military weapon at the time because in the heat of battle the separate barrel could be dropped during loading. The greatest popularity of the Queen Anne was as an effective self-defense weapon. They could be highly decorated with silver to suit the tastes of the very wealthy. But in the case of a double barrel they were especially popular, but most expensive, in fact considerably more than a pair of single barrelled versions.
The firing action functions on a single cock, wear overall to stock and steel as usual due to age. Pistol 10.5" long overall,  read more

Code: 23317

3250.00 GBP

Pair of Magnificent, Royal Quality, Superb, French, Solid Silver Mounted 18th Century 'Parisian' Saddle & Duelling Pistols, Last Used in Combat At Waterloo, Bespoke Made by Maitre Kettinis, Arquebusier a Paris

Pair of Magnificent, Royal Quality, Superb, French, Solid Silver Mounted 18th Century 'Parisian' Saddle & Duelling Pistols, Last Used in Combat At Waterloo, Bespoke Made by Maitre Kettinis, Arquebusier a Paris

Just arrived, part of our stunning Waterloo collection display. This is truly magnificent pair of highest rank of officer's saddle cum duelling pistols, used by a family descendant of the original owner, who used them in the Seven Years War and American Revolutionary era, and then by his descendant who served in the Napoleonic wars, Peninsular and Waterloo.

The pair of solid silver mounted long, saddle pistols with gold inlaid barrels, bespoke hand made by their Parisian master gunsmith, for their original, nobleman or prince, owner by Maitre Lambert Kettenis of Paris, and we have a photo of an original 18th century document from the office of the Directoire General des Archives, in France, with his name listed for probate in 1770. From the era and quality of royal grade pistols as the world famous Lafayette-Washington-Jackson pistols. Wonderful carved walnut stocks with rococo flower embellishments solid silver furniture including long eared butt caps, sideplate chisselled with stands of arms, chisselled silver mounted trigger guards hallmarked and barrel ramrod pipes, all sublimely engraved and chiselled with wonderful detailing of florid designs, and stands of arms, fine steel locks, with flintlock later adapted percussion actions, engraved with the name of Maitre L Kettenis.

Very similar to the French Lafayette-Washington pistols made in circa 1775. While of great historical importance, those pistols were also very fine pieces indeed, just like ours, but they had less expensive steel mounts, whereas these are solid silver, but both are typical of the finest gunsmith workmanship of the day. The Washington pistols were purchased by the Marquis de Lafayette, and were presented by him, to General George Washington, during the Revolutionary War in 1778. They, just as these pistols, are finest examples of eighteenth-century sidearms with exquisite carved and engraved Rococo embellishments. The Washington Lafayette pair are likely the best documented pistols of their kind once belonging to Washington. The Washington pair sold in 2002 for just under $2,000,000.00. King George III, acquired another pair of pistols most similar to these and Washingtons, and they are the collection of the Royal Family of England at Windsor Castle. George III ascended the throne in 1760. As with all our antique guns, no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables

These pair of pistols must’ve been handmade for an prince or nobleman of highest status and rank, such as colonel or general, at the time of the Anglo French wars in America in the 1760s and likely used continually through the American Revolutionary War period and into the Napoleonic era. After which they were ‘convert silex’ from flintlock, in order to enhance their performance in poor and wet weather. A system much promoted by Napoleon himself, in fact he made entreaties to the Reverend Forsyth of Scotland, a well known earliest designer of the silex system, to become Napoleon’s consultant to his armoury in Versailles, an offer which Forsyth refused due his loyalty to the British crown.
Flintlocks could not function in damp or rainy conditions, but the system silex surmounted this problem, and enabled such converted pistols for their more effective and efficient use for at least for a further 20 years.

Picture in the gallery is of a surviving register in a French National archive of the official record of the will of Kettenis, Lambert, Maître arquebusier, it further names his wife, as femme Louise Elisabeth. His will was probated 1770-07-10.

This stunning pair are in superb condition for age, and we have left them just ‘as-is’, only one hammer cocks and locks perfectly, yet both actions have superbly crisp and strong main springs, with one small nipple top a/f..  read more

Code: 23558

9950.00 GBP

A Most Scarce, Original, Early 17th Century English Civil War Infantry Musketeer's or Pikeman's Comb Morion Helmet

A Most Scarce, Original, Early 17th Century English Civil War Infantry Musketeer's or Pikeman's Comb Morion Helmet

Used from the 30 years war and into the English Civil War, as the pattern used by both musketeers and pikemen. The musket soon became the dominant infantry weapon during the Civil War. Musketeers could move and react faster than the Pikeman in their heavy armour. They were easier to train and the musket could kill and maim the enemy up to 200 paces away. If you could keep your enemy at this distance you didn't have to close to hand to hand combat.
The role of musketeer is more technical than that of the pikeman. As a musketeer within the regiment, you will be using a replica period matchlock musket, and when appropriate, carrying a set of bandoliers, holding the required amount of gunpowder to fire it.

The pikeman of the English Civil War. A pike was a wooden pole up to 18 feet long with a sharp metal spike. Its name comes from the French piquer, meaning ‘pierce’. Although the pike evolved in the Middle Ages, pike blocks more closely resembled Ancient Greek phalanxes.

It was considered to be a more noble and traditional weapon than the musket – a weapon for gentlemen that needed strength, skill, and training to master and nerves of steel to fight with. Pike blocks could consist of up to 200 men and would form up in the centre of the line of battle; they could either protect musketeers from cavalry attack or be used as huge offensive infantry formations that would edge towards each other, their pikes levelled at ‘the charge’ before engaging in ‘push of pike’, where they would try and break the enemy’s formation.

At the beginning of the English Civil Wars, armies would have roughly one pikeman for every two musketeers. By the 1650s, this was closer to one to four or five and, as muskets became more effective and use of the bayonette became widespread, the pike become obsolete and the regular use of pikes ended with the beginning of the 18th Century.  read more

Code: 24006

2250.00 GBP

A Stunning Mid 18th Century Ship's Captain Brass Cannon Barrel Pistol with a Silver Escutchon of the Goddess Minerva Adorned With Her Dolphin Helmet & Fishscale Armour

A Stunning Mid 18th Century Ship's Captain Brass Cannon Barrel Pistol with a Silver Escutchon of the Goddess Minerva Adorned With Her Dolphin Helmet & Fishscale Armour

Blunderbuss pistol all brass cannon barrel, and action, beautifully engraved. Made by Hadley circa 1750, with large silver escutcheon engraved with the profile head of Minerva.

Minerva, whose dolphin helmeted face is depicted is the Roman goddess of wisdom, justice, law, victory, and the sponsor of arts, trade, and strategy. Minerva is not a patron of violence such as Mars, but of strategic warfare.

The ‘Queen Anne’ style pistol is distinctive in that it does not have a ramrod. The barrel of the pistol unscrews and allows it to be loaded from the rear and near the touch hole at the breech of the barrel. These pistols were originally made in flintlock.

The Queen Anne pistols were very popular and were made in a variety of calibres, usually about 38 to 50 bore. Boot pistols, Holster pistols, pocket pistols and Sea Service pistols were all made in the 'Queen Anne' style. This type is known as a Queen Anne pistol because it was during her reign that it became popular (although it was actually introduced in the reign of King William III).

Here are some of the specific reasons why people enjoy collecting antique pistols:

Historical significance: Antique pistols are stunning relics of a bygone era, and they can provide insights into the history of warfare, technology, and culture. For example, a collector might be interested in owning a type of pistol that was used in a famous battle or that was carried by a famous historical figure.
Craftsmanship: Antique pistols are often works of art in their own right. Many early gunsmiths were highly skilled artisans, and their creations can be extraordinarily beautiful. Collectors might appreciate the intricate engraving, fine inlays, and other decorative elements that are found on many antique pistols.
Aesthetic beauty: Antique pistols can be simply stunning. Their elegant lines and graceful curves can be a thing of beauty. Collectors might enjoy admiring the form and function of these antique weapons.
Rarity and uniqueness: Some antique pistols are quite rare, and collectors might enjoy the challenge of finding and acquiring them. Others might be interested in owning a pistol that is unique in some way, such as a prototype or a custom-made piece.
Investment value: Antique pistols can also be valuable long term investments. The value of some antique pistols has appreciated significantly over the years. Collectors might enjoy the potential for profit, in addition to the other pleasures of collecting, but that should never be the ultimate goal, enjoyment must always be the leading factor of collecting.
No matter what their reasons, collectors of antique pistols find enjoyment in their hobby. They appreciate the history, craftsmanship, beauty, and rarity of these unique pieces.

In addition to the above, here is yet another reason why people enjoy collecting antique pistols:

Education: Learning about the history and technology of antique pistols can be a thoroughly rewarding experience. Collectors can learn about the different types of pistols that have been made over the centuries, how they worked, and how they were used.

Excellent condition overall, good tight and crisp action, old small split in stock, overall 12.5 inches long  read more

Code: 25219

2950.00 GBP

A Magnificent Tower of London Armoury 1801 Pattern 'Battle of Trafalgar 1805 Issue' Royal Navy Issue, British Sea Service Pistol From Admiral Lord Nelson's Navy. Long 12 inch Barrel

A Magnificent Tower of London Armoury 1801 Pattern 'Battle of Trafalgar 1805 Issue' Royal Navy Issue, British Sea Service Pistol From Admiral Lord Nelson's Navy. Long 12 inch Barrel

Probably one of the best examples of a Royal Navy Sea Service pistol that we have seen. Profusely struck with ordnance and inspectors marks, dated 1805, and numbered for the ship's gun rack, 25.

Fantastic patina to the stock. The King George IIIrd issue British Royal Naval Sea Service pistol has always been the most desirable and valuable pistol sought by collectors, but this example is truly exceptional.
Exactly as issued and used by all the British Ship's-of-the-Line, at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Such as;
HMS Victory,
HMS Temeraire,
HMS Dreadnought,
HMS Revenge,
HMS Agamemnon,
HMS Colossus
HMS Leviathan &
HMS Achilles.
Some of the most magnificent ships, manned by the finest crews, that have ever sailed the seven seas.

Battle of Trafalgar, (October 21, 1805), 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.

At the end of September 1805, Villeneuve had received orders to leave Cádiz and land troops at Naples to support the French campaign in southern Italy. On October 19–20 his fleet slipped out of Cádiz, hoping to get into the Mediterranean Sea without giving battle. Nelson caught him off Cape Trafalgar on October 21.

Villeneuve ordered his fleet to form a single line heading north, and Nelson ordered his fleet to form two squadrons and attack Villeneuve’s line from the west, at right angles. By noon the larger squadron, led by Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood in the Royal Sovereign, had engaged the rear (south) 16 ships of the French-Spanish line. At 11:50 AM Nelson, in the Victory, signaled his famous message: “England expects that every man will do his duty.” Then his squadron, with 12 ships, attacked the van and centre of Villeneuve’s line, which included Villeneuve in the Bucentaure. The majority of Nelson’s squadron broke through and shattered Villeneuve’s lines in the pell-mell battle. Six of the leading French and Spanish ships, under Admiral Pierre Dumanoir, were ignored in the first attack and about 3:30 PM were able to turn about to aid those behind. But Dumanoir’s weak counterattack failed and was driven off. Collingwood completed the destruction of the rear, and the battle ended about 5:00 PM. Villeneuve himself was captured, and his fleet lost 19 or 20 ships—which were surrendered to the British—and 14,000 men, of whom half were prisoners of war. Nelson was mortally wounded by a sniper, but when he died at 4:30 PM he was certain of his complete victory. About 1,500 British seamen were killed or wounded, but no British ships were lost. Trafalgar shattered forever Napoleon’s plans to invade England.

Obviously this arm has signs of combat use and the stock has minor dings. But when taken into consideration its service use, it is of little consequence compared to it's condition, which is truly exceptional, with, incredibly, absolutely not a trace of rust or corrosion on the more usually heavily pitted, steel, lock and barrel.

It still has it's original 12" barrel, which is very scarce as the barrels were shortened by official order, to 9", before the Napoleonic wars.
In its working life its belt hook has been removed.  read more

Code: 25217

3450.00 GBP

A Most Rare, Original, Romanov Era, Russian Cossack Solid Silver Shashka & Matching Silver Cossack Whip With Concealed Dagger, 'The Imperial Russian Sword & Nagaika Awards of Gallantry' The Russian Equivalent to the British Victoria Cross

A Most Rare, Original, Romanov Era, Russian Cossack Solid Silver Shashka & Matching Silver Cossack Whip With Concealed Dagger, 'The Imperial Russian Sword & Nagaika Awards of Gallantry' The Russian Equivalent to the British Victoria Cross

Awarded and dated in 1883. In 50 years we have never seen a matching pair of honour sword and dagger complete and together, they may not even have a pair in the St Petersburg Hermitage Museum. One of the greatest museum collections in the world. A Most Rare 19th Century Romanov, Russian Shashka, 'Sword of Chivalry' complete with its matching, rare, and fabulous silver Niello presentation Romanov Cossack's nagaika [Cossack whip with hidden dagger]. Both were awarded for gallantry and heroism in combat during the Romanov era of Czarist Russia, in the reign of Czar Alexander IIIrd, father of Czar Nicolas IInd the last Czar, executed by firing squad in Yekaterinburg, by the revolutionaries in July 1918 .
The sword and whip combination are the Imperial Russian equivalent to the Victoria Cross or the American American Medal of Honour. For such a great honour, as well as the 'Badge of St Anne' the recipient may also be awarded a presentation silver sashqua [sabre], engraved with the award presentation and emblazened with a silver enamel badge of the Order of St. Anne. A Cossack could also be awarded, as a very special extra honour, a silver Niello nagaika [Cossack whip] with a concealed thrusting dagger which also has a matching silver and enamel St Anne award for gallantry badge mounted on the body of the whip. The dagger was for use against attacking wolves or for close combat battle use. We show in the gallery a picture of a Cossack lieutenant with his awarded silver Cossack sashqua of gallantry, and also with his matching presentation nagaika. Also we show a cossack charge with sabres and the nagaika on the cossack's wrists. The picture is a standing lieutenant, of the 2nd Volgski Regiment, Terek Host.

The epitome of the Caucasian Cossack officer; the highly decorated weapons and kaftan are typical of these units throughout the war. The cartridge pockets on each breast, gaziri, were functional as well as decorative. The undershirt, beshmet, was often privately made and did not always conform to regulations. During the war supply problems led to khaki replacing the grey kaftans. The rank of this sotnik or first lieutenant is identified by the three stars and single stripe on his shoulder boards, which also bear the regimental number '2 and the Cyrillic initial of the Terek Cossacks, which resembles 'Br. Light blue was the traditional distinguishing color of the Terek Host. He wears the Order of Vladimir 4th Class with Swords, the Order of St. Anne 4th Class with Swords, a Terek Cossack badge and that of the Novocherkask Cossack School. His handsome weapon is a St. Anne's Sword 'for Bravery' - note the rosette in the pommel. He carries the matching silver Cossack nagaika whip with badge. A most rare desirable and collectable sword of the Imperial, Russian, Romanov period. A sword of gallantry and honour awarded to an officer who displayed the finest valour serving his Czar, the equivalent at the time to the Victoria Cross medal in England or the US Medal of Honour in America. The hilt is silver surrounding a central carved ribbed grip of bone and it is engraved on the pommel in Russian to represent gallantry and there's the red enamel badge of Saint Anna of Russia the blade is simply superb decorated in fine scrolls and imperial scenes of cavalry, stands of arms and flags, and the crest of Czar Alexander of Russia, the father of Czar Nicholas II, the executed last Czar of all the Russias. The spine of the blade bears a cyrillic Russian inscription by the maker Zlatoust, and date 1883. The silver pommel is engraved in Russian, the closest translation in English is 'for Bravery'. The blade is superbly etched with panels of charging cossack cavalry, the crest of the Romanov Czar, Alexander III, the Cross of St Anna, and numerous scrolls and geometric designs, plus traces of original blue and gilt in the fullers. Swords of this nature are some of the most desirable Russian swords ever made and collected from the old Imperial Romanov Russia, and this one is certainly one of the finest we have ever seen. The Order of Saint Anna ("Order of Saint Ann" or "Order of Saint Anne") was established as a Holstein ducal and then Russian imperial order of chivalry established by Karl Friedrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, on 14 February 1735, in honour of his wife Anna Petrovna, daughter of Peter the Great of Russia. The motto of the Order is "Amantibus Justitiam, Pietatem, Fidem" ("To those who love justice, piety, and fidelity"). Its festival day is 3 February (New Style, 16 February). Originally, the Order of Saint Anna was a dynastic order of knighthood; but between 1797 and 1917 it had dual status as a dynastic order and as a state order. The Head of the Imperial House of Russia always is Master of the imperial Order of Saint Anna. The Order of St. Anna continued to be awarded after the revolution by Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, and Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna.

Membership of the Order was awarded for a distinguished valour and distinguished service in the military. The Order of Saint Anna entitled recipients of the first class to hereditary nobility, and recipients of lower classes to personal nobility. For military recipients, it was awarded with swords such as this wonderful superior rank example. The blade makers marks of Zlatoust. The House of Romanov was the second dynasty to rule Russia, after the House of Rurik, reigning from 1613 until the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II on 15 March 1917, as a result of the February Revolution.

The Romanovs achieved prominence as boyars of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, later the Tsardom of Russia. In 1613, following years of interregnum (Time of Troubles), the zemsky sobor offered the Russian crown to Mikhail Romanov. He acceded to the throne as Michael I, becoming the first Tsar of Russia from the House of Romanov. His grandson Peter I established the Russian Empire and transformed the country into a continental power through a series of wars and reforms.

The direct male line of the Romanovs came to an end when Elizabeth of Russia died in 1762. After an era of dynastic crisis, the House of Holstein-Gottorp, a cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg that reigned in Denmark, ascended the throne in 1762 with Peter III, a grandson of Peter I. All rulers from the middle of the 18th century to the revolution of 1917 were descended from that branch. Though officially known as the House of Romanov, these descendants of the Romanov and Oldenburg dynasties are sometimes referred to as Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov.

In early 1917 the Romanov dynasty had 65 members, 18 of whom were killed by the Bolsheviks. The remaining 47 members went into exile abroad. In 1924, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, the senior, surviving male-line descendant of Alexander II of Russia by primogeniture, claimed the headship of the defunct Imperial House of Russia. Since 1991, the succession to the former Russian throne has been in dispute, largely due to disagreements over the validity of dynasts' marriages, especially between the lines of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia and Prince Nicholas Romanovich Romanov, succeeded by Prince Andrew Romanov. The sword has no scabbard.

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 trading  read more

Code: 23150

12950.00 GBP

A Superb Ancient Bronze Age Mace Head 3000 to 4000 Years Old, From The Age Of Rameses The Great, The Greatest Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.

A Superb Ancient Bronze Age Mace Head 3000 to 4000 Years Old, From The Age Of Rameses The Great, The Greatest Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.

Ist to 2nd Millennium B.C.Although displayed on a short stand In use it would have slotted onto a wooden haft. For over 100 years we have been delighted to acquire such fabulous historical original Items such as this, originally collected in the 18th and early 19th century by British noblemen and women touring Europe and the Middle East on their personal expeditions known as a ‘Grand Tour’. Originally placed, after being purchased on their journeys, to be placed on display in the family’s classical gallery or 'cabinet of curiosities', within their country house upon their return home.

A popular pastime in the 18th and 19th century, comprised of English ladies and gentlemen travelling for many months, or even years, throughout classical Europe, and the Middle East, and Western Asiatic region, acquiring antiquities and antiques for their private collections. The use of the stone headed mace as a weapon and a symbol od status and ceremony goes back to the Upper Palaeolithic stone age, but an important, later development in mace heads was the use of metal for their composition. With the advent of copper mace heads, they no longer shattered and a better fit could be made to the wooden club by giving the eye of the mace head the shape of a cone and using a tapered handle.

The Shardanas or warriors from Sardinia who fought for Ramses II against the Hittities were armed with maces consisting of wooden sticks with bronze heads. Many bronze statuettes of the times show Sardinian warriors carrying swords, bows and original maces. Persians used a variety of maces and fielded large numbers of heavily armoured and armed cavalry (see cataphracts). For a heavily armed Persian knight, a mace was as effective as a sword or battle axe. In fact, Shahnameh has many references to heavily armoured knights facing each other using maces, axes, and swords. The enchanted talking mace Sharur made its first appearance in Sumerian/Akkadian mythology during the epic of Ninurta. Roman though auxiliaries from Syria Palestina were armed with clubs and maces at the battles of Immae and Emesa in 272 AD. They proved highly effective against the heavily armoured horsemen of Palmyra. Photos in the gallery of original carvings from antiquity in the British Museum etc.; Ashurbanipal at the Battle of Til-Tuba, Assyrian Art / British Museum, London/ 650-620 BC/ Limestone,, An Assyrian soldier waving a mace escorts four prisoners, who carry their possessions in sacks over their shoulders. Their clothes and their turbans, rising to a slight point which flops backwards, are typical of the area; people from the Biblical kingdom of Israel, shown on other sculptures, wear the same dress, on a gypsum wall panel relief, South West Palace, Nimrud, Kalhu Iraq, neo-assyrian, 730BC-727BC.
A recovered tablet from Egypt's Early Dynastic Period (3150-2613 BCE) shows a Pharaoh smiting his foe with a war mace. The mace is complete with its display stand as shown. Part of an original collection we have acquired, of antiquities, Roman, Greek, Middle Eastern, Viking and early British relics of warfare from ancient battle sites recovered up to and around 220 years ago on a Grand Tour.

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.

This wonderful piece would have been made and traded throughout the Western Asiatic region. 10.5 inches high including stand.
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  read more

Code: 23025

1375.00 GBP

A Superb Piece of 'Potential', Unique History. Admiral Lord Nelson's Hair Woven Into a Piece of Memorium Jewellery, A Lyre Brooch of Extraordinary Quality

A Superb Piece of 'Potential', Unique History. Admiral Lord Nelson's Hair Woven Into a Piece of Memorium Jewellery, A Lyre Brooch of Extraordinary Quality

Acquired from an Admiral Lord Nelson family of collectors, together with a small miniature portrait of the Admiral, the miniature of the full sized one painted by Lemuel Francis Abbott in 1797 for Lady Nelson.

Said to be, by the family, made from a small lock of hair {given to them by Lady Hamilton, Nelson's mistress}, that, some years after his tragic death, was intricately woven into a rigid weblike structure, and formed around very finely crafted gilt metal, into a mourning brooch of lyre form, to wear as a wedding gift, and it has been in the family ever since. The hair colour has subsequently darkened somewhat, from its original lighter colour, due to being lacquered to aid rigidity, handled and worn, possibly for decades. It originally had a small ivory slip engraved with its distinguished origin, and that it was given by Lady Hamilton to her relatives by marriage. Lady Hamilton, Nelson's infamous mistress, was married to Sir William Hamilton, who was the 4th son of Lord Archibald Hamilton, who was the 7th son of the 3rd Duke of Hamilton. We have been acquiring fascinating artefacts and antiquities from descendants of the 10th Duke of Hamilton these past 30 years or more.

That ivory slip was with it until just a very few years ago, when it was discarded by the dear ladies that last recently owned it, and from whence it came, to us. It was purposely removed due to HRH Prince William disapproving of ivory artefacts. This we consider a great shame, as it was very old, an antique of around 210 years vintage, and simply nothing was gained by its sad removal and loss.

Of course there is absolutely no possibility for us to definitively state it was indeed Nelson's hair, as a provable fact, as any DNA test would likely damage its integrity, but its most highly likely potential, due to its origin, is most intriguing.

The miniature that came with it {and is not for sale} bears a hand written label glued at its back, still present, to note it was it's full sized original was in the National Portrait Gallery that {opened in 1856}. The original is by Lemuel Francis Abbott
an oil on canvas, was painted in 1797
This is one of the many portraits Abbott painted of Nelson and it is perhaps the most widely recognised of the whole Nelson iconography. It depicts him in rear-admiral's uniform wearing the Star and Ribbon of the Bath and the Naval Gold Medal, awarded for his victory at the Battle of St Vincent (1797). The original portrait was painted for Captain Locker of the Greenwich Hospital. This full sized version, commissioned for Lady Nelson, was also taken from life. Although Nelson only sat to him twice, Abbott subsequently copied the picture over forty times. The copies gradually declined in quality as the artist became mentally ill but this was no bar to their popularity. Many were purchased by Nelson's naval colleagues, his family and friends.
In July 1798, Nelson's wife wrote to him: 'My dearest Husband - I am now writing opposite to your portrait, the likeness is great. I am well-satisfied with Abbott… it is my companion, my sincere friend in your absence…

Nelson's pigtail (or queue), was cut off after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar 21 October 1805. It is sandy-coloured hair, bound with black ribbon, which is tied in a bow. Surgeon William Beatty records in his "Narrative of the Death of Lord Nelson" that Nelson asked that Lady Hamilton should have his hair. The pigtail was cut off after his death and Hardy delivered it to Emma Hamilton after the Victory's arrival in England. Small locks of hair were given to relations and close friends, and some pieces were mounted in special mourning rings and lockets. What remains of Nelson’s queue is now part of the National Maritime Museum Collection.  read more

Code: 25210

1250.00 GBP

A Napoleonic, 1st Empire Bladed Elite Cuirassier's Sword, Klingenthal Dated October 1813

A Napoleonic, 1st Empire Bladed Elite Cuirassier's Sword, Klingenthal Dated October 1813

Superb and beautiful hilt, with very fine original leather bound grip, and a very fine double fullered blade, dated 1813, with stunning bright patina.

French Napoleonic 'An 13' year 13 swords were manufactured from 1805 and discontinued in late 1815. The Cuirassiers Heavy Cavalry Regiments used the largest men in France, recruited to serve in the greatest and noblest cavalry France has ever had. They fought with distinction at their last great conflict at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and most of the Cuirassier's swords in England very likely came from that field of conflict, after the battle, as trophies of war. However, this sword was one of the few that were allowed to remain in the elite cuirassier corps after Waterloo, serving King Louis XVIIIth both before Napoleon's 100 days, and after his crushing defeat by Wellington at Waterloo. In fact one can see it has been issued, re-issued and even re-inspected, with serial numbers and inspection stamps, within its working life, up from 1813 up to the 1850's and possibly the Franco Prussian War of 1869.

Every warrior that has ever entered service for his country sought trophies. The Mycenae from a fallen Trojan, the Roman from a fallen Gaul, the GI from a fallen Japanese, the tradition stretches back thousands of years, and will continue as long as man serves his country in battle. In the 1st century AD the Roman Poet Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis Juvenal
wrote; "Man thirsts more for glory than virtue. The armour of an enemy, his broken helmet, the flag ripped from a conquered trireme, are treasures valued beyond all human riches. It is to obtain these tokens of glory that Generals, be they Roman, Greek or barbarian, brave a thousand perils
and endure a thousand exertions". A truly magnificent Napoleonic sword in superb condition for it's age.
The largest sword of it's kind that was ever made or used by the world's greatest cavalry regiments. The cuirassiers were the greatest of all France's cavalry, allowing only the strongest men of over 6 feet in height into it's ranks. The French Cuirassiers were at their very peak in 1815, and never again regained the wonder and glory that they truly deserved at that time. To face a regiment of, say, 600 charging steeds bearing down upon you mounted with armoured giants, brandishing the mightiest of swords that could pierce the strongest breast armour, much have been, quite simply, terrifying. The brass basket guard on this sword is first class, the grip is totally original leather and a great colour, it
only shows expected combat wear, the blade is double fullered and absolutely as crisp as one could hope for. Made in the Napoleonic Wars period.
Just a basic few of the battles this would have been used at such as; 1813: Reichenbach and Dresden, Leipzig and Hanau
1814: La Rothiere, Rosnay, Champaubert, Vauchamps, Athies, La Fere-Champenoise and Paris
1815: Quatre-Bras and Waterloo. The blade has fabulous steel bright colour, and hilt has fabulous patina. Overall the spear pointed blade is 37.75 inches long.
Likely, hilt re-mounted and inspected for service once again in the Crimean war, in either the 6th and 9th Curassier regiments, or the 6th and 7th Dragoons regiments.
No scabbard.  read more

Code: 25214

995.00 GBP