Antique Arms & Militaria

800 items found
basket0
Original 1000 Year Viking Battle-Hammer-Axe, the Era of King Eric Bloodaxe The Last Viking King of Northumbria

Original 1000 Year Viking Battle-Hammer-Axe, the Era of King Eric Bloodaxe The Last Viking King of Northumbria

A wonderful medium size bearded Viking hammer-battle-axe, in great order for its age. In recovered yet very good conserved condition, the front has a fine steel blade forged into the iron form, with the reverse made into a flat helmet smashing hammer. For combat as a single handed short haft mounted blade. Knowledge about the arms and armour of the Viking age is based on archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and Norse laws recorded in the 13th century. According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons and were permitted to carry them all the time. These arms were indicative of a Viking's social status: a wealthy Viking had a complete ensemble of a helmet, shield, mail shirt, and sword. However, swords were rarely used in battle in the same quantity as axes, as few Vikings were of the status to own or carry a sword, A typical bondi (freeman) was more likely to fight with a spear and shield, and axe, and most also carried a seax as a utility knife and side-arm. Bows were used in the opening stages of land battles and at sea, but they tended to be considered less "honourable" than a melee weapon.
The warfare and violence of the Vikings were often motivated and fuelled by their beliefs in Norse religion, focusing on Thor and Odin, the gods of war and death. In combat, it is believed that the Vikings sometimes engaged in a disordered style of frenetic, furious fighting known as berserkergang, leading them to be termed berserkers. Such tactics may have been deployed intentionally by shock troops, and the berserk-state may have been induced through ingestion of materials with psychoactive properties, such as the hallucinogenic mushrooms, Amanita muscaria, or large amounts of alcohol. Perhaps the most common hand weapon among Vikings was the axe swords were more expensive to make and only wealthy warriors could afford them. The prevalence of axes in archaeological sites can likely be attributed to its role as not just a weapon, but also a common tool. This is supported by the large number of grave sites of female Scandinavians containing axes. Several types of larger axes specialized for use in battle evolved, with larger heads and longer shafts.

Vikings most commonly carried sturdy axes that could be thrown or swung with head-splitting force. The Mammen Axe is a famous example of such battle-axes, ideally suited for throwing and melee combat.
An axe head was mostly wrought iron, with a steel cutting edge. This made the weapon less expensive than a sword, and was a standard item produced by blacksmiths, historically.
Like most other Scandinavian weaponry, axes were often given names. According to Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, axes were often named after she-trolls. A bearded 10th century Viking battle axe [that could double as a throwing axe] from the time of the last Viking, English King, Eric Bloodaxe, King of Northumbria. Probably the eldest son of King Harald Finehair [The first King of all Norway]. Eric's name probably derives from the legend that he murdered most of his 20 brothers, exepting Hakon. This was an unfortunate error as, upon Haralds death, Hakon returned to Norway from Britain to claim Harald's throne, and removed Eric from his Kingship. His elder brother Eric then fled Norway to Britain and to King Athelstan, an old friend of his father's, whereupon he took the Kingdom of Northumbria in around 947 a.d. While the sagas call him 'Bloodaxe', one of the Latin texts calls him fratris interfector (brother-killer), but, for whatever reason his name was derived, it was certainly a fine example of the descriptive titles the Viking warriors had, and that we are told of in the Viking sagas. 5 inches across. 400 grams  read more

Code: 22099

1195.00 GBP

A Very Fine .36 Calibre Colt Navy London Revolver, 1851 Model Navy Manufactured in 1855, Probably The Most Iconic Revolver of the 19th Century

A Very Fine .36 Calibre Colt Navy London Revolver, 1851 Model Navy Manufactured in 1855, Probably The Most Iconic Revolver of the 19th Century

An absolute beauty. All matching serial numbers, good spring action, holds and fires on first cock. Bright and very clear surface polish overall with no pitting to the surface visible. Some small age losses to the wooden grips and a small steel loss at the very top of the blackstrap screw housing. One of the 42,000 superb revolvers made in the London factory, used in all the major conflicts of the day, from the Crimean War, Indian Mutiny to the American Civil War and beyond in the American Wild West era.

The designation "Colt 1851 Navy" was designated by collectors, though the popular name "Navy Revolver" is of early origin, as the gun was frequently called the "Colt Revolving Belt Pistol of Naval Caliber." The cylinder was often engraved with a scene of the victory of the Second Texas Navy at the Battle of Campeche in May 16, 1843. The Texas Navy had purchased the earlier Colt Paterson Revolver, but this was Colt's first major success in the gun trade; the naval theme of the engraved cylinder of the Colt 1851 Navy revolver was Colt's gesture of appreciation. Despite the "Navy" designation, the revolver was chiefly purchased by civilians and military land forces. Famous "Navy" users included Wild Bill Hickok, William Buffalo Bill Cody, John Henry "Doc" Holliday, Richard Francis Burton, Ned Kelly, Bully Hayes, Richard H. Barter, Robert E. Lee, Nathan B. Forrest, John O'Neill, Frank Gardiner, Quantrill's Raiders, John Coffee "Jack" Hays, "Bigfoot" Wallace, Frederick Townsend Ward, Ben McCulloch, Addison Gillespie, John "Rip" Ford, "Sul" Ross and most Texas Rangers prior to the Civil War. Usage continued long after more modern cartridge revolvers were introduced in 1873. Wild Bill Hickok was a legendary character in the Old West and a great exponent of the Colt Navy 1851. Wild Bill arrived in the West initially as a stage coach driver and later became a Lawman in the territories around Kansas and Nebraska. He fought during the American Civil War on the side of the Union Army and achieved renown afterwards as a scout, gambler and gunfighter. During his time as a Lawman Wild Bill engaged in many shootouts, and with his Colt Navy 1851 he was a very accurate and deadly shot, more so as he always remained calm, cool and collected in a shoot out, whilst the other party was nervous and scared. Hickok's guns were inscribed they also had ivory handles and were quite special pieces. Apparently they were both engraved with the words J.B. Hickok 1869. He was presented the guns in 1869 by Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts for his services as scout for a hunting trip. It was said to have been remarked by a Colt Navy owner "A Gentleman would not want to appear armed, but would not be so foolish as to go unarmed.

However, the most famous gunman who favoured the Navy above other arms was James Butler (“Wild Bill”) Hickok. He was fast and deadly, and long before he was murdered in Deadwood, Dakota Territory in 1876, he had acquired the title “Prince of Pistoleers.”
The 1851 Navy is believed to have been Sam Colt’s personal favorite. The evidence is derived from the only image of Colt with a weapon. The revolver that is in that picture is the Navy. Colt’s personal revolvers seemed to have been an engraved pair of Navies with ivory grips displaying a horse head. In addition to the portrait, Colt favored the Navy for presentation to individuals who could help his business. Among the many recipients of these beautifully engraved gifts were President Franklin Pierce, Secretary of War John B. Floyd, Sam Houston, Czar Nicholas, and Colonel Thomas Lally.

42’000 were produced in London, England, with state-of-the-art machines and dedicated production lines; back then the most technologically advanced factories in the world. The designation "Colt 1851 Navy" was designated by collectors, though the popular name "Navy Rev." is of early origin, as the gun was frequently called the "Colt Revolving Belt Pistol of Naval Calibre."

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

Code: 24708

3650.00 GBP

An Exceptional 1700 to 1600 Year Old Spartha Sword of A Warrior of the Roman Empire's Invasions by the Huns and Visigoths. A  Hun or Visigoth Horseman's Sword Spartha With Its Lifstein, the Magical Life-Stone, and Original Crossguard

An Exceptional 1700 to 1600 Year Old Spartha Sword of A Warrior of the Roman Empire's Invasions by the Huns and Visigoths. A Hun or Visigoth Horseman's Sword Spartha With Its Lifstein, the Magical Life-Stone, and Original Crossguard

A rarest of the very rare, a fabulous museum quality example of an original spartha sword, used by both the Visigoth and Hun horsemen, modelled on the Germanic Roman spartha during the battles in the invasions of the Roman Empire's territory by the Visigoths and Atilla the Hun, leading to the Sack of Rome and beyond, in fact, eventually to the fall of Rome, and the Western Roman Empire itself.

A long double edged horseman’s sword with lentoid section blade with its rhomboid crossguard still present, it is overall russetted as is always the case with swords of such great age, yet it is in superb condition for a sword of this period, and it was recovered originally, and most remarkably, with its magical ‘life stone’ intact. The large bead, Lifstein or life-stone, is likely polished white chalcedony, and these legendary large beads are called life-stones, since they were believed to have magical properties for the sword'sman, and thus be able to heal wounds and keep a wounded warrior alive. They were attached to the scabbards on this Migration Period example, although some were possibly attached to the hilt.

To find one of these incredibly historical swords with its original, excavated Life-Stone present and together still is simply amazing. The grip and pommel that were once part of this sword would have been the usual organic material, such as ivory, bone, horn or wood, and thus always and naturally they crumble into dust, in likely just a few hundred years or so, after it was concealed or buried. Only precious gold, silver, or metal sword mounts could survive the millennia, but the spartha would never usually have metal grips or pommels. Only the most wealthy and superior warriors could possibly afford or even bother to adorn their sword hilts with gold and the like, such as Hunnish clan chiefs or kings. Such as has the same form of sword in Alamannenmuseum Ellwangen, in Germany. { See the gallery photo}

This sword itself was likely worn by the horseman using the belt suspension method, with its ‘Life stone’ tied with a stout cord of some kind attached to its scabbard, although the sagas don't really say, and one example of is in Kormak's Saga 9th C. where it's stated
"Bersi had a sharp sword called Hviting, with a Lifstein (life stone) attached to it, which he carried in many dangers." It doesn't specifically say if it was attached to his hilt or scabbard.

Hrolf Kraki's sword Skofnung is also said to possess a life-stone, but it is supposedly set into the hilt. Perhaps like the garnet inlaid hilts of the recovered swords of the Migration Period

This hint at a likely Hunnish origin for this actual type of horsemen's sword is supported by an early literary source, that specifically points out that the Huns wore two matching swords, a long double-edged sword, just as this example, carried at the left side of the warrior, and a single-edged short sword at the right.
This literary source is the oldest preserved epic of the Nibelungen cycle, Waltharius, also known as the Waltharilied, or the Lay of Walther and Hildegund, composed in Latin after lost German prototypes by a monk of St. Gall, Switzerland, during the tenth century.
In this heroic epic is the history of Walther of Aquitaine, a Visigothic prince, and Hildegund, a Burgundian princess.

“Though hostages, Walther and Hildegund were entrusted to the army, and in command was a general, and for a time even, commander-in-chief of the Hunnish forces.”
This is another gem of trustworthy historical information, since this putting of a hostage into a responsible position was exactly according to Hunnish custom. It continues;
“With them was Hagen, a noble youth of the royal house of the Rhenish Franks, they are hostages at the court of King Etzel of the Huns, the Attila of history. Hagen manages to flee, and Walther and Hildegund, his betrothed from childhood, escape soon afterward. In preparing for the flight Walther arms himself in Hunnish fashion-
"pro ritu Panoniarum"-with a double-edged long sword, spatha, belted to his left hip-"et laevum femur ancipiti praecinxerat ense"
-and a single-edged half-sword, semispatha, at his right-
"atque alio dextrum, pro ritu Panoniarum; Is tamen ex una dat vulnera parte."

The Sack of Rome on 24 August 410 AD was undertaken by the Visigoths led by their king, Alaric. At that time, Rome was no longer the capital of the Western Roman Empire, having been replaced in that position first by Mediolanum (now Milan) in 286 and then by Ravenna in 402. Nevertheless, the city of Rome retained a paramount position as "the eternal city" and a spiritual center of the Empire. This was the first time in almost 800 years that Rome had fallen to a foreign enemy, and the sack was a major shock to contemporaries, friends and foes of the Empire alike.

The sacking of 410 is seen as a major landmark in the fall of the Western Roman Empire. St. Jerome, living in Bethlehem, wrote: "the city which had taken the whole world was itself taken"

Photo in the gallery of a very similar Alamannic gold grip spatha, 5th century, with Life-bead attached to its museum created representational wooden scabbard portion. Without doubt in our opinion this was originally the former Hunnish or Visigoth sword of a highest ranked general, clan chief, king, or the equivalent status of leader.
Photo of that sword was taken at the Alamannenmuseum Ellwangen, Germany.

See;
Io. Grimm and Schmeller, LateinischeGedichtedes io. und ir. Jahrhundert(sGottingen, 1838). Alwin Schulz (San-Marte), trans., Walthervon Aquitanien(Magdeburg, I853). The most popular
translations are Victor von Scheffel's appendix to his Ekkehard (1855), the first romantic historical novel in German, and Karl Simrock's Das KleineHeldenbuch(Stuttgart and Berlin, I874).

About the Sword of the Huns and the
"Urepos"of the Steppes
HELMUT NICKEL
Curator of Arms and Armour, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity  read more

Code: 24623

8995.00 GBP

A Quite Rare Danish M1889 Krag-Jorgensen Knife Bayonet, Early Model by Weyersberg

A Quite Rare Danish M1889 Krag-Jorgensen Knife Bayonet, Early Model by Weyersberg

Single-fullered spear point blade, forged together with the entire hilt as one piece of steel. Chequered black leather grips secured by two steel rivets. Black leather scabbard with steel mounts at the throat and chape. Unique locking mechanism, consisting of an integral locking catch on the scabbard, and sprung release lever on the hilt.

The ricasso of the blade is stamped with a ‘king’s head’ and ‘knight’s helm’ marks, over ‘W. K & C’, which stands for the maker Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Co. of Solingen, Germany. Below this on the rim of the grip is stamped a crown over ‘91’, which means this bayonet was produced in 1891.

The pommel is stamped on one side with a unit mark ‘. to the th Battalion, over a cancelled unit mark ‘B ’ to the th Battalion, and on the other side with the item number ‘’. The chape finial of the scabbard is stamped ‘B’ to the rd Battalion and on the other side with ‘’.

The leather grips mark this out as the early version of this bayonet, which was made in Germany. The later and more common version was introduced in 1892: made in Denmark, it had wooden grips, which held up better to heavy use and wet conditions. Those bayonets of the early model whose grips wore out also received wooden replacements. The Danes were the first nation to adopt the Norwegian-designed Krag-Jorgensen rifle, followed by the United States and Norway. The blade is superbly bright The hilt and pommel have light, even patination. The leather grips have some light handling wear to the chequering. overall in great condition for age.  read more

Code: 25180

195.00 GBP

19th Century, Antique, Mandingo Mandinka Chief's Slave and Gold Trader's Sword With Tattooed-Leather Covered Wooden Scabbard

19th Century, Antique, Mandingo Mandinka Chief's Slave and Gold Trader's Sword With Tattooed-Leather Covered Wooden Scabbard

A most scarce and original African slave and gold trader chieftain's sword

The Manding (Mandingo) are West African people. Their traditional slaver's sword comprises a sabre like blade, a guardless leather grip and wide expanded scabbard with exquisite tattooed leather work.
This example is a fine example of very nice quality and most finely tattooed.

It has a 16 inches long curved blade, leather grip and leather scabbard with leaf shaped widening tip, entirely tooled tattooed and decorated. Of special interest is the finely bound and decorated leather work. These weapons are well known for their rare leather-work and the tattooing applied to the leather of the scabbards. The iron work skills are of black-smith quality.

Slave raiding, capture and trading in the Mandinka regions existed in significant numbers long before the European colonial era, as is evidenced in the memoirs of the 14th century Moroccan traveller and Islamic historian Ibn Battuta. Slaves were part of the socially stratified Mandinka people, and several Mandinka language words, such as Jong or Jongo refer to slaves. There were fourteen Mandinke kingdoms along the Gambia River in the Senegambia region during the early 19th century, for example, where slaves were a part of the social strata in all these kingdoms.

Scholars have offered several theories on the source of the transatlantic slave trade of Mandinka people. According to Boubacar Barry, a professor of History and African Studies, chronic violence between ethnic groups such as Mandinka people and their neighbours, combined with weapons sold by slave traders and lucrative income from slave ships to the slave sellers, fed the practice of captives, raiding, manhunts, and slaves. The victimised ethnic group felt justified in retaliating. Slavery was already an accepted practice before the 15th century. As the demand grew, states Barry, Futa Jallon led by an Islamic military theocracy became one of the centres of this slavery-perpetuating violence, while Farim of Kaabu (the commander of Mandinka people in Kaabu) energetically hunted slaves on a large scale. Martin Klein (a professor of African Studies) states that Kaabu was one of the early suppliers of African slaves to European merchants

Many blades were taken by the Mandingo and fitted from European weapons, such as sabres and short cutlasses. .

In general, these remain primarily considered Mandingo weapons, and from regions in Mali. These were of course invariably mounted with European sabre blades. Mandingo Tribe (also known as the Mandinka, Mande, or the Malinke Tribes) were the traders of the African West Coast, trading primarily in gold and slaves.
In 1324, Mansa Musa who ruled Mali, went on Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca with a caravan carrying gold. Shihab al-Umari, the Arabic historian, described his visit and stated that Musa built mosques in his kingdom, established Islamic prayers and took back Maliki school of Sunni jurists with him. According to Richard Turner – a professor of African American Religious History, Musa was highly influential in attracting North African and Middle Eastern Muslims to West Africa

Picture in the gallery of a Mandingo Slave Trader Chieftain, standing next to his boy sword bearer, carrying his very same form of 'tattooed' sword. One, from an original collection of weapons we recently acquired.

Overall the leather on this sword in in exceptional condition and beautifully decorated.

Early medeavil painting in the gallery of Mansa Musa's visit to Mecca in 1324 CE with large amounts of gold, that not unsurprisingly attracted many Middle Eastern Muslims and Europeans to Mali.  read more

Code: 17969

455.00 GBP

A Stunning Antique, 19th Century, Colonial Walking Stick of Carved and Turned Horn, Inlaid With Circular Pattern Design

A Stunning Antique, 19th Century, Colonial Walking Stick of Carved and Turned Horn, Inlaid With Circular Pattern Design

A heavy quality stick of most attractive form and fine quality. Every other portrait of a Georgian, Victorian, or Edwardian gentleman, shows some nattily dressed fellow with a walking stick pegged jauntily into the ground or a slim baton negligently tucked under the elbow. The dress cane was the quintessential mark of the dandy for three centuries, part fashion accessory, part aid to communication, part weapon, and of course, a walking aid. A dandy, historically, is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of self. A dandy could be a self-made man who strove to imitate an aristocratic lifestyle despite coming from a middle-class background, especially in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain.

Previous manifestations of the petit-maitre (French for "small master") and the Muscadin have been noted by John C. Prevost, but the modern practice of dandyism first appeared in the revolutionary 1790s, both in London and in Paris. The dandy cultivated cynical reserve, yet to such extremes that novelist George Meredith, himself no dandy, once defined cynicism as "intellectual dandyism". Some took a more benign view; Thomas Carlyle wrote in Sartor Resartus that a dandy was no more than "a clothes-wearing man". Honore De Balzac introduced the perfectly worldly and unmoved Henri de Marsay in La fille aux yeux d'or (1835), a part of La Comedie Humaine, who fulfils at first the model of a perfect dandy, until an obsessive love-pursuit unravels him in passionate and murderous jealousy.

Charles Baudelaire defined the dandy, in the later "metaphysical" phase of dandyism, as one who elevates esthetics to a living religion, that the dandy's mere existence reproaches the responsible citizen of the middle class: "Dandyism in certain respects comes close to spirituality and to stoicism" and "These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons, of satisfying their passions, of feeling and thinking Dandyism is a form of Romanticism. Contrary to what many thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of mind."

The linkage of clothing with political protest had become a particularly English characteristic during the 18th century. Given these connotations, dandyism can be seen as a political protest against the levelling effect of egalitarian principles, often including nostalgic adherence to feudal or pre-industrial values, such as the ideals of "the perfect gentleman" or "the autonomous aristocrat". Paradoxically, the dandy required an audience, as Susann Schmid observed in examining the "successfully marketed lives" of Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron, who exemplify the dandy's roles in the public sphere, both as writers and as personae providing sources of gossip and scandal. Nigel Rodgers in The Dandy: Peacock or Enigma? Questions Wilde's status as a genuine dandy, seeing him as someone who only assumed a dandified stance in passing, not a man dedicated to the exacting ideals of dandyism.

36.5 inches  read more

Code: 15659

265.00 GBP

A Beautiful Antique African Tribal Carved Paddle-Spear Possibly of the Itsekiri People Or Even Benin

A Beautiful Antique African Tribal Carved Paddle-Spear Possibly of the Itsekiri People Or Even Benin

One of a matched pair we acquired but we are selling separately. In carved native wood with geometric carving covering one paddle side, the other side is different . This is a dance paddle of the kind used in ceremonies by the Itsekiri people of the Niger delta. The river was at the centre of tribal society and economy – it provided food and transport for the communities who lived in the area. Canoes were an extremely important part of traditional society and so the paddle was an important symbol for prosperity. Local people relied on the river for their quality of life and believed in water spirits. This paddle is decorated with intricate carving and may have been used in ceremonial dances. Alternatively, it may have been made for trading with Europeans as ethnic objects became fashionable possessions. Although African, like Oceanic art it is often infused with ancestral spirits, as well as spirits of water, air and land. These spirits are contacted in ceremonies to ensure fertility, or invoke protection from famine, disease or enemies.

Sometimes these invocations serve extremely practical purposes. There was a ceremony in Papua New Guinea where ancestral spirits were activated in a carved wooden crocodile. Men carrying the crocodile were then led, like people holding a divining rod are led, to the home of a local murderer.
African and Oceanic art is not only made for decoration. It is made to be used as a tool in the culture. Cubist painters, and especially Surrealists, were moved by the power of Oceanic abstractions, as they were by traditional African art . This wonderful piece would make a stunning additional display of object d’art in any setting, albeit traditional or contemporary  read more

Code: 17919

495.00 GBP

A Breathtaking & Large Original Ancient Greek Leaf Shaped Dagger From The Greco-Persian Wars Era, From the Time of the Spartans at Thermopylae, To Alexander the Great's Conquest of Persia & Egypt

A Breathtaking & Large Original Ancient Greek Leaf Shaped Dagger From The Greco-Persian Wars Era, From the Time of the Spartans at Thermopylae, To Alexander the Great's Conquest of Persia & Egypt

An original and most rare ancient Greek warrior's dagger, circa 500 to 300 b.c. In superb excavated condition and very nice indeed for its age, with light areas of encrustations and an overall delightful patina, all one piece cast construction. Likely the dagger of a warrior used from the time of the Spartans at Thermopylae to Alexander the Great, son of Philip II of Macedon, and his renown conquests of the known world. The Battle of Thermopylae was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas I of Sparta, and the Achaemenid Empire of Xerxes I. It was fought over the course of three days, during the second Persian invasion of Greece. The battle took place simultaneously with the naval battle at Artemisium. It was held at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae ("The Hot Gates") in August or September 480 BC. The Persian invasion was a delayed response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion of Greece, which had been ended by the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. By 480 BC, Xerxes had amassed a massive army and navy and set out to conquer all of Greece. The Athenian politician and general Themistocles had proposed that the allied Greeks block the advance of the Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae, while simultaneously blocking the Persian navy at the Straits of Artemisium.

A Greek force of approximately 7,000 men marched north to block the pass in the middle of 480 BC. The Persian army was rumoured to have numbered over one million soldiers. Herodotus, a contemporary writer put the Persian army strength as one million and went to great pains to describe how they were counted in groups of ten thousand at a review of the troops. Simonides went as far as to put the Persian number at three million. Today, it is considered to have been much smaller. Scholars report various figures ranging between about 100,000 and 150,000 soldiers. The Persian army arrived at the pass in late August or early September. The vastly outnumbered Greeks held off the Persians for seven days (including three of battle) before the rear-guard was annihilated in one of history's most famous last stands. During two full days of battle, the small force led by Leonidas blocked the only road by which the massive Persian army could pass. After the second day, a local resident named Ephialtes betrayed the Greeks by revealing a small path used by shepherds. It led the Persians behind the Greek lines. Leonidas, aware that his force was being outflanked, dismissed the bulk of the Greek army and remained to guard their retreat with 300 Spartans and 700 Thespians. It has been reported that others also remained, including up to 900 helots and 400 Thebans. The remaining soldiers fought to the death. Most of the Thebans reportedly surrendered. Around 150 years later Alexander the Great, Greece’s most famous king created an Empire that still today resonates in its magnitude. Ancient Greek warriors were still using daggers such as this one. While Alexander's army mainly fielded Pezhetairoi (Foot Companions) as his main force, his army also included some classic Hoplites, either provided by the League of Corinth or from hired mercenaries. Beside these units, the Macedonians also used the so-called Hypaspists, an elite force of units possibly originally fighting as Hoplites and used to guard the exposed right wing of Alexander's phalanx. Today, Alexander the Great is still considered one of the most successful military leaders in history. His conquests shaped not just eastern and western culture but also the history of the world. Alexander was born July 20, 356 BC in Pella, a city in the Ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedonia. As the son of Philip II, King of Macedon, Alexander was raised as a noble Macedonian youth. Learning to read, play the lyre, ride, fight, and hunt were high priorities for Alexander.

As he got older, his father had the famous Aristotle tutor his son. His father knew he could no longer effectively challenge the mind and body of his son. Aristotle educated Alexander and his companions in various disciplines such as medicine, philosophy, morality, religion, logic, and art. Many of his study companions would later become generals in his army.

When King Philip was assassinated, Alexander ascended to the throne at the young age of 20. After quelling small uprisings and rebellions after his father’s death, Alexander began his campaign against the Persian Empire.

Crossing into Asia with over 100,000 men, he began his war against Persia which lasted more than seven years. Alexander displayed tactical brilliance in the fight against the Persian army, remaining undefeated despite having fewer soldiers.

His successes took him to the very edge of India, to the banks of the Ganges River. His armies feared the might of the Indian empires and mutinied, which marked the end of his campaign to the East. He had intended to march further into India, but he was persuaded against it because his soldiers wanted to return to their families.

Alexander died unexpectedly after his return to Babylon. Because his death was sudden and he did not name a successor to his throne, his empire fell into chaos as generals fought to take control. As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity.
A bronze dagger with leaf-shaped blade, flat-section grip widening at the end. 630 grams, 38.5cm (15 1/4"). Fine condition.
 read more

Code: 23524

2695.00 GBP

A Good 19th Century, Heavy Grade, Antique 'Berber's' Jambiya or Koummya

A Good 19th Century, Heavy Grade, Antique 'Berber's' Jambiya or Koummya

Two ring mounting with beautiful and finely scroll engraved panelled front decoration The koummya is the characteristic traditional dagger of the Berber and Arabic peoples of Morocco. Stone classifies these as being one localised variant of the Arabic jambiya, and the contoured handles, curved double-edged blades and exaggeratedly upturned scabbard tips are all features consistent with such an interpretation. In the context of the traditional regional manner of dress, the koummya is worn visibly at the left side, generally about at the level of the waist and is suspended vertically, with the scabbard tip forward, by a long woolen baldric, attached at either end to one of the two scabbard rings, and worn crossing in front and back of the torso and over the right shoulder. A much greater diversity in forms and decoration exists than is represented by the examples presented here and presumably such features could be used to place particular examples geographically and temporarily.
Koummya blades are curved and double edged with the portion nearer the hilt remaining relatively straight while the curvature becomes pronounced in the half towards the tip. The length of the blade which is bevelled and sharpened is longer along the concave side than along the opposite convex side. Blade thickness tapers from the base of the blade, where it is thickest, to the tip. While the edge bevels may give the blade a flattened diamond or lenticular cross-section towards the tip, the cross-section is rectangular at the forte. These blades are characteristically relatively thin and utilitarian and the presence of fullers or ridges is not typical.  read more

Code: 23296

275.00 GBP

A Large Antique Indian Ceremonial Steel Tabar Axe Inlaid in Brass, Copper & Gilt With Scene of Krishna & Temple Decor

A Large Antique Indian Ceremonial Steel Tabar Axe Inlaid in Brass, Copper & Gilt With Scene of Krishna & Temple Decor

India, 19th century. Just returned from conservation and attention in our workshop. The result is stunning and worthy of the finest museum conservation

Of typical shape with a large crescentric cutting edge, and brass and copper nails, each side of the crescent embellished with chased brass and copper-overlaid figural decoration depicting Krishna playing the flute inside a domed shrine, flanked by two attendants holding fly-whisks, surrounded by floral sprays and vegetal tendrils, the butt with a copper-inlaid inscription and surmounted by brass chhajjas (domed pavillion-shaped structures) the top of the axe head has a sharp faceted steel spike, the patinated wooden shaft is embellished with brass rosettes and a domed pommel end. ,

This 19th century tabar - or saddle axe - is Indian. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the tabar was a standard weapon given to calvalrymen on the field of battle. The tabar would have been carried under the horseman's saddle. This is the elaborate ceremonial version of the tabar saddle axe.
Krishna
Krishna, Sanskrit Kṛṣṇa, one of the most widely revered and most popular of all Indian divinities, worshipped as the eighth incarnation (avatar, or avatara) of the Hindu god Vishnu and also as a supreme god in his own right. Krishna became the focus of numerous bhakti (devotional) cults, which have over the centuries produced a wealth of religious poetry, music, and painting. The basic sources of Krishna’s mythology are the epic Mahabharata and its 5th-century-CE appendix, the Harivamsha, and the Puranas, particularly Books X and XI of the Bhagavata-purana. They relate how Krishna (literally “black,” or “dark as a cloud”) was born into the Yadava clan, the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, who was the sister of Kamsa, the wicked king of Mathura (in modern Uttar Pradesh). Kamsa, hearing a prophecy that he would be destroyed by Devaki’s child, tried to slay her children, but Krishna was smuggled across the Yamuna River to Gokula (or Vraja, modern Gokul), where he was raised by the leader of the cowherds, Nanda, and his wife Yashoda.

The child Krishna was adored for his mischievous pranks; he also performed many miracles and slew demons. As a youth, the cowherd Krishna became renowned as a lover, the sound of his flute prompting the gopis (wives and daughters of the cowherds) to leave their homes to dance ecstatically with him in the moonlight. His favourite among them was the beautiful Radha. At length, Krishna and his brother Balarama returned to Mathura to slay the wicked Kamsa. Afterward, finding the kingdom unsafe, Krishna led the Yadavas to the western coast of Kathiawar and established his court at Dvaraka (modern Dwarka, Gujarat). He married the princess Rukmini and took other wives as well.

Krishna refused to bear arms in the great war between the Kauravas (sons of Dhritarashtra, the descendant of Kuru) and the Pandavas (sons of Pandu), but he offered a choice of his personal attendance to one side and the loan of his army to the other. The Pandavas chose the former, and Krishna thus served as charioteer for Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers. On his return to Dvaraka, a brawl broke out one day among the Yadava chiefs in which Krishna’s brother and son were slain. As the god sat in the forest lamenting, a huntsman, mistaking him for a deer, shot him in his one vulnerable spot, the heel, killing him.

85cm high.  read more

Code: 24667

2250.00 GBP