Antique Arms & Militaria

807 items found
A Selection of Our Amazing, Latest New Additions, Recovered from Waterloo. Whether We Find Private Collectors For our Pieces, or, For Public Museums Such As The Royal Armouries, Every Treasure Will Find A New Home

A Selection of Our Amazing, Latest New Additions, Recovered from Waterloo. Whether We Find Private Collectors For our Pieces, or, For Public Museums Such As The Royal Armouries, Every Treasure Will Find A New Home

We are always thrilled to offer ‘re-discovered’ pieces from history, that can be found new owners to love and enjoy them, or museums that can display them for the enjoyment of all. Last year, for example we traced and acquired the second oldest known cannonball fired in combat in England. From the second battle of St Albans in the War of the Roses. That wonderful relic of history now resides in the St Albans museum, and was part of a public exhibition held this year from March 24, 2023 - June 28, See our re-discovered cannon ball, now on display in the St Albans museum, in the last photo in the gallery. All due thanks to SAHAAS President, Dr. John Morewood. A short while ago we furnished, for the Royal Armouries, Tower of London collection, a ‘Waterloo’ 1796 Heavy Cavalry Trooper’s sword, that was subsequently used in a fascinating documentary, filmed at the armouries, presented by Sean Bean

Fine pieces added this week are from the Cotton Collection, a former 7th Hussars Waterloo veteran who owned the Waterloo Museum, The Hotel Du Musee. They will be added to the site, for sale, separately

We have more from our Waterloo recovered souvenirs to add this coming week. Some very small, amazing yet most inexpensive pieces, and a few absolute beauties, shrapnel, cannon balls, grenades, some ‘housewife’ thimbles, rings etc, and swords, French and British, including a French Grenadier's sword, recovered relatively early from the battle, so it is in exceptional condition and polished, with old blade pitting, a very good British 1796 light Infantry officer's sabre in scabbard, a 1796 Light Dragoon sabre in scabbard, and a 1798 spadroon officer's sword, overall russetted, and, including, a cast iron fire back {NOW SOLD} that bears an unknown family crest that was likely ripped out from a fire place at La Haye-Sainte farm house, to use just like sniper shield’s were a hundred years earlier in the trenches of WW1. The rear, of the very heavy iron plate, about two feet square, shows likely impact marks of ball and shrapnel. * in the Napoleonic Wars every soldier was required to keep upon his person, a ‘housewife’, a small kit comprising needle, thread and a half or full thimble. Apparently they are no longer called a ‘housewife’ probably now a ‘househuman’ or some such.

We show in the gallery pages from Waterloo Relics, by Gilles Bernard, and Gerard Lachaux, detailing excavated recoveries, identical to ours.

The Cotton Collection, the full weapons, militaria, and recovered artifact display, from the battlefield, housed at the Hotel du Musee at Waterloo, owned first by Edward Cotton, then by his descendant family, was sold by auction in 1909.

The last photo in the gallery shows a photograph of one section of the collection in the museum of Waterloo, taken in around 1900, showing all the weapons of Waterloo en situ, including all the protagonists {British, French, Prussian and Belgian muskets, swords, pistols, armour uniforms, etc}. The museum was founded and owned by a veteran of the 7th Hussars who personally fought at Waterloo. Another photo shows the front page of his collection catalogue

An extract from an 1862 publication;

“Facts are stubborn things.”

This Hotel, kept by a niece of the late Sergeant-Major Cotton, is situated in the very centre of the field of Waterloo, and is strongly recommended to visitors on account of its proximity to the scenes of interest connected with the great battle, and also for the excellent accommodation and comfort it offers at moderate charges.—See Bradshaw’s continental Guide.

Sadly, each sword once had its inventory label attached, but they are all now lost. With cotton's labels present the prices can be many times the value.

As with all our items, every piece will be accompanied by our fully detailed Certificate of Authenticity

{Available from the Project Gutenberg.}  read more

Code: 25003


A Very Fine And Historical Signed Letter From Admiral Sir G.C.Berkeley Aboard HMS Ganges 1809. From The Admiral That According to Many Historians Personally Instigated The War of 1812 With America, By Ordering The Attack On USS Chesapeake by HMS Leopard

A Very Fine And Historical Signed Letter From Admiral Sir G.C.Berkeley Aboard HMS Ganges 1809. From The Admiral That According to Many Historians Personally Instigated The War of 1812 With America, By Ordering The Attack On USS Chesapeake by HMS Leopard

A rare original document of the Napoleonic Wars, that could make a stunning and unique gift for this coming Christmas. Signed by the Admiral who started the War of 1812, the man who was promoted, in 1810, to be Lord High Admiral of the Portuguese Navy by the Portuguese Regent in Brazil, in order to aid Wellington at sea against the forces of Napoleon. And, furthermore, he was the Admiral who convinced the navy board to investigate, for the health of the navy and England, and to assist the promotion of Edward Jenner’s new vaccine against smallpox. The worlds first vaccine. Edward Jenner, a most remarkable and innovative man, and Berkeley’s friend, who it is said, saved more lives through this work, than any other single man in the history of the world, thanks to his radical idea of the smallpox vaccine, that was promoted, and thus assisted to be accepted by England and the Navy, by the efforts of Admiral Berkeley.

It would make a unique addition to any fine collection, particularly if bespoke framed for the beautiful display of such a significant hand written signed record of Napoleonic Wars British Royal Navy history. Hand signed by the American Station commanding officer, and the instigator of the action, Admiral Sir George Cranfield Berkeley, known as the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, that culminated in the War of 1812.

The letter was for Admiral Sir J.T.Duckworth, regarding Admiral's Berkeley's sending of three British ships for the assistance of Admiral J.T.Duckworths hoped for victory against the enemy, in March 1809.
Admiral Sir George Cranfield Berkeley who is regarded by some to have instigated the cause of the War of 1812 With America by ordering the attack of HMS Leopard on the American frigate USS Chesapeake. He was a highly regarded friend of the Duke of Wellington, and he was also father-in-law to Nelson's great friend, and commander of HMS Victory, Capt. Thomas Masterman Hardy, and he also encouraged his great friend and physician Edward Jenner to continue his work and research on his smallpox vaccine for the good of naval personnel. This action alone directly connects him to one of the greatest and most successful medical achievements in the history of mankind.

Admiral Berkeley partook in several most notable and significant battles and wars, including;
American Revolutionary War
First Battle of Ushant
Great Siege of Gibraltar
Second Battle of Ushant
French Revolutionary Wars
Glorious First of June
Napoleonic Wars
Peninsular War
Admiral Sir George Cranfield Berkeley GCB (10 August 1753 - 25 February 1818), often known as George Berkeley, was a highly experienced, popular, yet controversial naval officer and politician in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Britain. Serving on several ships, Cranfield-Berkeley saw action at all three Battles of Ushant, commanded fleets in the West Indies and off Ireland and governed the supply routes to Portugal and Spain which kept Wellington's armies in the field during the Peninsula War. He also enjoyed an extensive political career, reforming military practices in Britain and participating in several prominent scandals including feuds with Charles James Fox and Hugh Palliser.In 1786 Berkeley commanded HMS Magnificent and remained with her for three years until 1789 when he became surveyor-general of the ordnance. He left the post after the French Revolutionary Wars broke out in 1793, taking over HMS Marlborough.

French Revolutionary Wars

Berkeley was still in command of Marlborough when she fought under Lord Howe at the Glorious First of June, fighting as part of Admiral Thomas Pasley's van division there and at the preceding Atlantic campaign of May 1794. At the First of June, Marlborough was dismasted in close combat with several French ships and Berkeley badly wounded in the head and thigh, having to retire below after a period to staunch the bleeding. He had a long convalescence after the action but was amongst the captains selected for the gold medal commemorating the action, only awarded to those felt to have played a significant part in the victory.

Returning to service in 1795, Berkeley commanded HMS Formidable off Brest, Cadiz, Ireland and the Texel, coming ashore in 1798 to command the Sussex sea fencibles. In 1799, Berkeley was promoted rear-admiral and attached to the Channel Fleet, but the gout which had forced his first retirement returned, and Berkeley was forced to take permanent shore leave in 1800. In 1801, Berkeley increased his political interests to compensate for the loss of his naval career.
Berkeley continued building his political status during the Peace of Amiens and by Berkeley had been appointed inspector of sea fencibles, a job he undertook with vigour, conducting a fourteen-month survey of Britain's coastal defences, which greatly improved the island's defences. In 1806. In January 1809 he arrived at Lisbon to assume command of the Portuguese station, his flag flying aboard the Barfleur 98 commanded by his son-in-law, Captain Thomas Masterman Hardy, and with his 22 year-old nephew Maurice Berkeley serving as his flag-lieutenant. In November 1811 Captain John Smith Cowan was placed in acting command of the flagship in succession to Captain Henry Hume Spence. Berkeley enjoyed great success in his support of the army, being lauded by Viscount Wellington for his attention to all aspects of his command, and he also managed to keep the French from taking control of the Spanish fleet at Ferrol

Berkeley left this, his last duty, in May 1812, having been promoted admiral on 31 July 1810 and created Lord High Admiral of the Portuguese Navy.
After a shift in political power, Berkeley fell out of favour somewhat and was dispatched to the North American Station. From there, Berkeley ordered the attack by HMS Leopard on the American frigate USS Chesapeake in retaliation for American recruitment of British deserters. This action, known as the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, helped precipitate the War of 1812

Having embarrassed the British government with this action, Berkeley was recalled home. However, public opinion supported his orders, so Berkeley was moved to command in Lisbon in the hope he could organise the chaotic supply system for Wellington's army in the Peninsula War. Berkeley recognised that only a dedicated and organised convoy system could keep the supply of men, food and material regular and consequently set one up. Simultaneously, he reequipped and galvanised the remnants of the Spanish Navy, rescuing several ships from capture by the French as well as used frigates to supply partisan units all along the coast of Portugal and Northern Spain.

By 1810, Wellington could truthfully say of Berkeley that "His activity is unbounded, the whole range of the business of the Country in which he is stationed, civil, military, political, commercial, even ecclesiastical I believe as well as naval are objects of his attention". He was promoted to full admiral and made Lord High Admiral of the Portuguese Navy by the Portuguese Regent in Brazil. By 1810 he had used sailors to man coastal defences all over Spain, freeing soldiers for Wellington and also formed a squadron of river gunboats to harry French units from major rivers like the Tagus.

He and Wellington remained good friends for the rest of their lives, and Wellington later stated that Berkeley was the best naval commander he had ever cooperated with. Furthermore, Berkley's contribution, although unrecognised, due to his association of his lifelong friend, Edward Jenner, the pioneer of the worlds first vaccine. The vaccine for smallpox, that Berkeley had persuaded the government to investigate, particularly with regard for the health of the navy.

Jenner, who is is often called "the father of immunology", due to his work, that is said to have "saved more lives than the work of any other human past or present.” may possibly have failed in his groundbreaking idea, if it had not been for Berkeley’s intervention on his behalf.

The paper of this letter bears the watermark and date of Dusautoy & Rump 1806.
The last picture in the gallery is a portrait of Rear Admiral Duckworth, the recipient of the letter, the previous three pictures are of Admiral Berkeley, Admiral Berkeley’s HMS Ganges, and Edward Jenner

Six similar Royal Naval letters, from 1808-1813, are in the "Sir George Cranfield Berkeley Papers" at Rice University, Texas, USA

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: 20233

1875.00 GBP

A Beautiful, Very long, Antique Burmese Dha Sword in Silver, with Silver Mounted Scabbard and Baldric, Probably Shan States, Konbaung Dynasty (1752-1885 c.e.)

A Beautiful, Very long, Antique Burmese Dha Sword in Silver, with Silver Mounted Scabbard and Baldric, Probably Shan States, Konbaung Dynasty (1752-1885 c.e.)

This Burmese Dha sword features a long handle with ornamental silver fittings, the silver scabbard with more elaborate fittings as well as a floral motif.
Both have long, slightly-curved, single-edged steel blades that end in a point. Each has a wooden scabbard that is partly encased in silver. The silver used on these dhas is very close to being pure. The silver is arrayed such that panels of wood are revealed, bordered by silver filigree work. The contrast between the warm colour of the wood and the silver casings is particularly pleasing.

The handles of hilts are similarly encased in silver. The scabbard is covered in silver wire woven in a ‘chicken-wire’ design.

The dha is the single edged sword most typically associated with Burma (modern Myanmar). These are still used to this day by peoples such as the Shan essentially as a combination of machete and weapon. The term "dha" really means a knife, and the sword is more fully known as a dha iwe. The exact origins of this weapon are hotly debated but certainly have a long history in the region judging by their being depicted in the 12th century AD temple complex at Angkor Wat. Conceivably they had a very long history as a bush knife, but were also useful from horseback as the long handle gave them excellent reach (the Angkor Wat examples are of horsemen). Like all traditions of fighting, Burma has it's own highly developed form of martial art, known as banshay. It is closely related to the martial arts systems of the region, and includes use of the dha. In the banshay tradition, learners would have their swords locked in their scabbards, and with this they would practice. If the sword was needed, the scabbard would have to be broken.

The Shan are descendants of the oldest branch of the Tai-Shan, known as Tai Luang (Great Tai) or Tai Yai (Big Tai). The Tai-Shan who migrated to the south and now inhabit modern-day Laos and Thailand are known as Tai Noi (or Tai Nyai), while those in parts of northern Thailand and Laos are commonly known as Tai Noi (Little Tai - Lao spoken) The Shan have inhabited the Shan Plateau and other parts of modern-day Burma as far back as the 10th century AD. The Shan kingdom of Mong Mao (Muang Mao) existed as early as the 10th century AD but became a Burmese vassal state during the reign of King Anawrahta of Pagan (1044–1077).

After the Pagan kingdom fell to the Mongols in 1287, the Tai-Shan peoples quickly gained power throughout South East Asia. The present-day boundary of southern Shan State vis-à-vis Thailand was formed shortly after. Burma lost southern Lan Na (Chiang Mai) in 1776 and northern Lan Na (Chiang Saen) in 1786 to a resurgent Bangkok-based Siam, ending an over two-century Burmese suzerainty over the region. It retained only Kengtung on the Burmese side. The southern border of Shan State remained contested in the following years. Siam invaded Kengtung in (1803–1804), (1852–1854), and Burma invaded Lan Na in 1797 and 1804. Siam occupied Kengtung during World War II (1942–1945).

Throughout the Burmese feudal era, Shan states supplied much manpower in the service of Burmese kings. Without Shan manpower, the Burmans alone would not have been able to achieve their much vaunted victories in Lower Burma, Siam, and elsewhere. Shans were a major part of Burmese forces in the First Anglo-Burmese War of 1824–1826, and fought valiantly—a fact the British commanders acknowledged.

After the Second Anglo-Burmese War of 1852, the Burmese kingdom was reduced to Upper Burma alone. The Shan states—especially those east of the Salween River, were essentially autonomous entities, paying token tribute to the king. In 1875, King Mindon, to avoid certain defeat, ceded Karenni states, long part of Shan states, to the British. When the last king of Burma, Thibaw Min, ascended the throne in 1878, the rule of central government was so weak that Thibaw had to send thousands of troops to tame a rebellion in the Shan state of Mongnai and other eastern Shan states for the remainder of his year reignOn 28 November 1885, the British captured Mandalay, officially ending the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 11 days. But it took until 1890 for the British to subdue all of Shan states. Under the British colonial administration, established in 1887, the Shan states were ruled by their saophas as feudatories of the British Crown. The British placed Kachin Hills inside Mandalay Division and northwestern Shan areas under Sagaing Division. In October 1922, the Shan and Karenni states were merged to create the Federated Shan States, under a commissioner who also administered the Wa State. This arrangement survived the constitutional changes of 1923 and 1937.

During World War II, most of Shan States were occupied by the Japanese. Chinese Kuomingtang (KMT) forces came down to northeastern Shan states to face the Japanese. Thai forces, allied with the Japanese, occupied Kengtung and surrounding areas in 1942

43 inches long overall, blade 29 inches

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, as Britain’s oldest established, and favourite, armoury and gallery  read more

Code: 25028

875.00 GBP

A Stunning, Historical, Victorian, Royal Naval Officers Sword, Near Mint Condition, Thus Still Perfect For Current Service. Used, Originally, From the Days of The Ironclads & Dreadnoughts

A Stunning, Historical, Victorian, Royal Naval Officers Sword, Near Mint Condition, Thus Still Perfect For Current Service. Used, Originally, From the Days of The Ironclads & Dreadnoughts

Complete with gold bullion tassel, near mint gilt to all mounts, brightly polished blade with traditional fouled anchor and scroll etching. Proofed at the forte on the blade, and excellent leather to the scabbard.

A superb light grade sword, officially the 1827-46 pattern, that, although it is over 130 years old, is absolutely perfect for current use today due to its fabulous condition. Only the knot shows its age, which has darkened over the decades and a little thready.
Due to constant, around 100 years of polishing, the full etching on the blade is now somewhat more feint than it once was, but still beautifully bright.

Considering when this fine sword was originally commissioned from the sword-smith in around the 1880's, and it may once have been used by an officer aboard, such as, the 1880's HMS Howe, the Admiral Class Ironclad Battleship {10,500 tons}, and later, the old HMS Queen Elizabeth the WW1 Super-Dreadnought Class battleship {33,000 tons}, it is still ideal for use today, on such as the new, 2021, Royal Navy's Flagship, the Aircraft Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth { 63,000 tons}

The year 1827 ushered in an updated design for the officers’ sabre. Based on the British Army’s 1822 Pattern Sabre, the new sword had a gilt-brass hilt of ‘Gothic’ flair forming a half-basket and presenting an oval cartouche containing a fouled anchor and crown. The blade was of the pipe-back type, ending in a quill point and sometimes incorporating a large, flared cutting edge to the rear of the blade’s final third or quarter. The grip was covered in large-nodule white shagreen: dark shagreen still denoting warrant officers’ ownership.

Whether the knuckle-bow entered the lion’s-head pommel through the mouth or under the chin seems to have been a manufacturer’s preference though debate continues regarding this point and some collectors insist the under-chin variant only came along after 1901. The short lion’s mane of the 1805 Pattern’s back-strap seems to have been eschewed by having a longer one in this period. A single slot in the knuckle-bow (near to the pommel) was provided for the sword knot to be tied to and then, from around 1830, a ring for it was often attached to the handle’s ferrule. The two holes in the guard were introduced in the late 1830s and are now familiar staples of the model. The black leather scabbard had three gilt-brass mounts: a locket, middle and a chape. The two suspension rings were attached to the first two sections.
This pattern was changed in 1846, and was identical to the 1827 Pattern Sabre described above except for the fullered ‘Wilkinson’-type blade that replaced the pipe-backed design. Debates had sprung up regarding the martial merits of the pipe-back blade-forms and, in 1845, the Army had chosen to adopt a single-fullered type put forward by the famous English sword cutler Henry Wilkinson of Pall Mall. The Navy obviously deemed the new blade preferential and chose to take it on, too.

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, as Britain’s oldest established, and favourite, armoury and gallery  read more

Code: 25027

750.00 GBP

A Most Attractive Qing {Ching} Dynasty Carved Wood Sculpture of a Chinese Mounted Han Dynasty General, Probably General Zhaoyun.

A Most Attractive Qing {Ching} Dynasty Carved Wood Sculpture of a Chinese Mounted Han Dynasty General, Probably General Zhaoyun.

Hand carved in the period of the Ching dynasty likely of Zhao Yun 趙雲 (he died in 229), courtesy name Zilong (子龍). He was a military general who lived during the late Eastern Han dynasty and early Three Kingdoms period of China. Originally a subordinate of the northern warlord Gongsun Zan, Zhao Yun later came to serve another warlord, Liu Bei, and had since accompanied him on most of his military exploits, from the Battle of Changban (208) to the Hanzhong Campaign (217–219). He continued serving in the state of Shu Han – founded by Liu Bei in 221 – in the Three Kingdoms period and participated in the first of the Northern Expeditions until his death in 229. While many facts about Zhao Yun's life remain unclear due to limited information in historical sources, some aspects and activities in his life have been dramatised or exaggerated in folklore and fiction. In the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, he was lauded as a member of the Five Tiger Generals under Liu Bei.

Picture in the gallery of a mural depicting Zhao Yun at the Battle of Changban inside the Long Corridor at the Summer Palace in Beijing. The rider in white is ZhaoYun

The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing, was a Manchu-led imperial dynasty of China and the last imperial dynasty in Chinese history. It emerged from the Later Jin dynasty founded by a Tungusic-speaking ethnic group who became known as the Manchus. The dynasty was officially proclaimed in 1636 in Mukden (modern-day Shenyang), and following the Battle of Shanhai Pass it seized control of Beijing in 1644, which is often considered the start of the dynasty's rule in China. Within decades the Qing had consolidated its control over the whole of China proper and Taiwan, and by the mid-18th century it had expanded its rule into Inner Asia. The dynasty lasted until 1912 when it was overthrown in the Xinhai Revolution. I  read more

Code: 25026

295.00 GBP

An Original, Roman Republic & Empire Period Bronze Dagger Pommel Ist Cent BC

An Original, Roman Republic & Empire Period Bronze Dagger Pommel Ist Cent BC

A super, small collection of original, historical, Imperial Roman and Crusader's artefacts has just been acquired by us and will be added over the next week or so.
Made for, and used by, either a Roman noble, senator or gladiator. It may well even be the same form of dagger a pugio that was used to assassinate Julius Caesar on the Ides of March. The blade grip and scabbard have not survived as is more than usual. A superb Roman dagger mount from the historical time of Julius Caesar, the first Emperor, Augustus, Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, and last, but not least, Jesus of Nazareth. The Ides of March comes from the ides, a term the Romans used to note the middle of a month. Every month has an ides around the middle (as well as a calends at the beginning of the month and nones eight days before the ides). The Ides of March feels special for a couple of reasons: it's the day Caesar was murdered, and it's the subject of a soothsayer's spooky prophecy in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Before Caesar, Roman nobility and military were free to plunder the provinces they ruled. But under Caesar, Rome controlled the process and sent inspectors to check up on everything, so they could only exploit their provinces under Caesar's supervision.

That slight was compounded by Caesar's rebranding of political real estate in his name ? he built statues in his image and renamed monuments for himself. He brought power to his family by giving them political appointments and honorifics, and drew allies outside the charmed circle of Roman nobility, like his soldiers and leaders in the provinces. As far as epic betrayals go, we tend to imagine Brutus in the same league as Judas. In reality, that infamy should be reserved for someone called Decimus.

Caesar trusted Decimus much more than he trusted Brutus ? and that made his betrayal more shocking. Misspelled in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar as "Decius," Decimus was much more important than most of us realize. "There were three leaders of the assassins' conspiracy, Brutus, Cassius, and Decimus." Decimus dined with Caesar the night before his assassination and convinced Caesar to leave his house the next morning (he was staying home because his wife, Calpurnia, was worried). Decimus' betrayal followed an adult life spent at Caesar's side. Brutus, however, had often fought against Caesar, like when he took Pompey's side against Caesar in the Civil War that lasted from 49 to 45 BC. He only came over to Caesar's side after a handsome cash award and profitable political appointment. When he was stabbed, most of the sources say he tried to get up and escape. Unfortunately for Caesar, the conspirators were trained soldiers, so they'd formed a tight perimeter. "They knew how you carry out an ambush,and some of the senators were assigned the job of crowd control."

As far as what Caesar said when he died, "Et tu, Brute" is a Renaissance invention. But Caesar did perform a few resonant gestures. He tried to escape, like any soldier would, but when death was near, he covered his face before he died. It may have been an attempt to preserve his dignity. Bibilography; Professor Strauss, Cornell, Classics and History. As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity.  read more

Code: 22392

145.00 GBP

Rare Royal Engineers Balloon School Silver  Medal,  Britain's Very First Military Flying Vessel,  the Military Airship ‘Nulli Secundus’

Rare Royal Engineers Balloon School Silver Medal, Britain's Very First Military Flying Vessel, the Military Airship ‘Nulli Secundus’

Produced to Commemorate the First Public Flight of the Military Airship ‘Nulli Secundus’ on 5th October 1907.This rare medal was presented to various members of the Royal Engineers who were involved in the project, or were serving at the Balloon School at this time. Condition: Good to Fine. In 1878, the War Office formed an establishment at Woolwich to develop military ballooning and during the wars in Sudan and Bechuanaland in 1884-5, balloons were used by the British Army for observation purposes. Following this, the Royal Engineers established a balloon school in Chatham, Kent in 1888. Two years later, the school was relocated to Aldershot when the Royal Engineers formed a permanent balloon section and depot. The semi rigid airship, 'Nulli Secundus' ( Second to none ), formally known as 'British Army Dirigible No. 1' was Britain's first military aircraft. Its initial design was carried out by Colonel James Templer (who formed the first British military ballooning establishment at Woolwich in 1878) and was completed by Colonel John Capper (head of the Royal Engineer's Balloon Factory) and the American, Samuel Cody (the pioneer aviator who also designed the man-lifting kite and the the first aeroplane to fly in Britain - piloted by himself). The airship was built at the balloon factory in Farnborough and made its first test flight on 10th September 1907. Her first public outing was made on the 5th October when Capper and Cody flew her from Farnborough to London. After flying over the city, she circled St Paul's Cathedral and then attempted to return to Farnborough, but strong headwinds caused her to land a Crystal Palace. The flight covered 50 miles and lasted 3 hours, 25minutes. Edward VII Royal Engineers Balloon School Medal - Balloons were first deployed during the British Army during the expiditions to Bechaualand and Suakin in 1885, also during the Second Boar War (1899-1902) where they were used in military observation. This medal was issued in 1907. 32mm  read more

Code: 22156

200.00 GBP

A Signally Rare & Historical Original Viking-Norsemen Warrior’s Helmet From the Late Viking Raids Era and the Norman Conquest of 1066 & Used Throughout The Early Crusades Period

A Signally Rare & Historical Original Viking-Norsemen Warrior’s Helmet From the Late Viking Raids Era and the Norman Conquest of 1066 & Used Throughout The Early Crusades Period

An incredible museum piece of most notable rarity.
A fabulous and rare surviving original helmet of the Viking age, around a thousand years old.
In Greenland there is a bronze statue of renown Viking leader Erik the Red wearing his identical helmet. This amazing survivor of a warrior race, famed throughout the world for their extraordinary maritime skills, and notorious acts of raiding throughout most of Europe, and a battle helmet that was made and used a thousand years ago, from the 11th to 12th century AD.

Helmets of this form would have a working life of likely well over 100 years, until styles changed and thus so did helmet forms. An original Viking-Norseman Normannus four-plate iron helmet constructed from curved sections of triangular form, converging at the apex; the bowl contoured so that the back and front plates overlap the side-plates by 1/2 to 1 inch, with iron rivets passing through each overlap to secure them in position; the rivets worked flat into the surface of the helmet, almost invisible from the outside but detectable on the inner surface; the plate-junction at the apex supplied with a small hole, allowing a plume or horsehair streamer to be inserted through a ring; mounted on a custom-made stand. Effectively this is also what is known as a kuman warrior style form of Viking four plate helmet. Helmets of four plate construction came in two distinct forms with or without nasal bar. Erik Thorvaldssona (c. 950 – c. 1003), known as Erik the Red, was a Norse explorer, described in medieval and Icelandic saga sources as having founded the first settlement in Greenland. He most likely earned the epithet "the Red" due to the color of his hair and beard. According to Icelandic sagas, he was born in the Jæren district of Rogaland, Norway, as the son of Thorvald Asvaldsson. One of Erik's sons was the well-known Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson. Vikings, were essentially the direct ancestry of the northern French settled Normans, for, as those as are known today as Normans were not effectively French at all, but the settled Vikings of northern France in Normandy, original from the latin, Normannus land of the Norse or North Men

On 14 October 1066, King Harold fought Duke William's army at the Battle of Hastings

The English army, led by King Harold, took up their position on Senlac Hill near Hastings on the morning of the 14th October 1066. Harold’s exhausted and depleted Saxon troops had been forced to march southwards following the bitter, bloody battle to capture Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire only days earlier.

William's Norsemen attacked with cavalry as well as infantry; in the classic English manner, Harold’s well trained troops all fought on foot behind their mighty shield wall.

The fighting continued for most of the day with the shield wall unbroken. It is said that it was the sight of retreating Normans which finally lured the English away from their defensive positions as they broke ranks in pursuit of the enemy.

Once their carefully organised formation was broken, the English were vulnerable to cavalry attack. King Harold was struck in the eye by a chance Norman arrow and was killed, but the battle raged on until all of Harold’s loyal bodyguard were slain.

The Vikings arrived from Denmark and began raiding in the territory today known as France around 830AD. They found that the current rulers were in the midst of an ongoing civil war. Because the current weakness of the Carolingian empire made it an attractive target, there were several groups, including the Vikings, who were prepared to strike and conquer land and people.

The Vikings used identical strategies in France as they did in England – plundering the monasteries, demolishing markets and towns, imposing taxes or ‘Danegeld’ on the people they conquered, and killing the bishops, which disrupted religious life and caused a severe decline in literacy.

Obtaining the direct involvement of France’s rulers, the Vikings became permanent settlers, although many of the land grants were merely an acknowledgment of actual Viking control of the region. The principality of Normandy was established by Rollo (Hrolfr) the Walker, a leader of the Vikings in the early 10th century. The Carolingian king, Charles the Bald, relinquished land to Rollo in 911, including the lower Seine valley, with the Treaty of St. Clair sur Epte. This was extended to include ‘the land of the Bretons,’ by 933 AD, and became what is known today as Normandy when the French King Ralph granted the land to Rollo’s son, William Longsword.

This battle of Hastings changed the entire course of not just English, but European history. England would henceforth be ruled by an oppressive foreign aristocracy, which in turn would influence the entire ecclesiastical and political institutions of Christendom.

William was crowned king of England on Christmas Day 1066, but it took years more fighting to conquer the whole country. His cruellest campaign was the 'Harrying of the North' in 1069, where he slaughtered the inhabitants of the north-east and destroyed their food stores so that even the survivors starved to death.

The Norman Conquest changed the face of England forever. William ruled as unquestioned conqueror and the Saxons became merely an unpaid workforce for their new lords.

The Norman Conquest also changed the history of Europe – adding the wealth of England to the military might of Normandy made the joint-kingdom a European super-power.
In warfare, it was the start of the age of the knight-on-horseback.
See Curtis, H.M., 2,500 Years of European Helmets, North Hollywood, 1978; Denny, N. & Filmer-Sankey, J., The Bayeux Tapestry, London, 1966; Kirpicnikow, A. N., Russische Helme aus dem Frühen Mittelalter, Waffen- und Kostamkunde, 3rd Series, vol.15, pt.2, 1973; Nicolle, D., Byzantine and Islamic arms and armour; evidence for mutual influence, in: Warriors and their weapons around the time of the Crusades, relationship between Byzantium, the West and the Islamic world, Padstow, 2002, pp.299-325; Menghin, W., The Merovingian Period - Europe Without Borders, Berlin, 2007, pp.326-7, item I.34.4.; D’Amato, R., ‘Old and new evidence on East-Roman helmets from the 9th to the 12th centuries,’ in Acta Militaria Medievalia, 2015, XI, pp.27-157, fig.23, nn.1-2 and pl.1.2.6 kg total, 47cm including stand, helmet: 16cm (18 3/4”"). Helmets of this general profile and form are a long-lived military fashion in the Black Sea region, as evidenced by elements of a 7th-8th century Khazar saddle from the Shilovskiy grave field (Samara region"). A similar helmet is housed in the St. Petersburg Museum (inventory reference PA72), for which D’Amato (2015, pp. 65ff.) proposed an Eastern-Roman origin, based on the interchange of Roman and Khazar military technology. Based on a similar 7th century helmet found with a coin of Heraclius, D’Amato proposed that these helmets were a product of the introduction of Steppe technology in Byzantium. This form of helmet is certainly evident in the iconography of 9th-12th century Eastern-Roman helmets. Fair condition, some restoration. it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity. Picture 9 in the gallery is from an old depiction from the First Crusade of Robert of Normandy at the Siege of Antioch 1097-98 note he wears the same traditional four plate Norman crusades helmet just as this one, followed by an old black and white photo of the tomb of a Knight Hospitaller, Bernard de Faixa, also with the same four plate Norman helmet. The First Crusade to the Holy Land; In what has become known as the Princes' Crusade, members of the high nobility and their followers embarked in late summer 1096 and arrived at Constantinople between November and April the following year. This was a large feudal host led by notable Western European princes: southern French forces under Raymond of Toulouse and Adhemar of Le Puy; men from Upper and Lower Lorraine led by Godfrey of Bouillon and his brother Baldwin of Boulogne; Italo-Norman forces led by Bohemond of Taranto and his nephew Tancred; as well as various contingents consisting of northern French and Flemish forces under Robert II of Normandy eldest son of William the Conqueror, King of England, Stephen of Blois, Hugh of Vermandois, and Count Robert of Flanders. In total and including non-combatants, the army is estimated to have numbered as many as 100,000.

The crusaders marched into Anatolia. While the Seljuk Sultan of Rûm, Kilij Arslan, was away resolving a dispute, a Frankish siege and Byzantine naval assault captured Nicea in June 1097. In marching through Anatolia, the crusaders suffered starvation, thirst, and disease before encountering the Turkish lightly armoured mounted archers at the Battle of Dorylaeum. Baldwin left with a small force to establish the County of Edessa, the first Crusader state, and Antioch was captured in June 1098. Jerusalem was reached in June 1099 and the city was taken by assault from 7 June to 15 July 1099, during which its defenders were massacred. A counterattack was repulsed at the Battle of Ascalon. After this the majority of the crusaders returned home.
The popular image of the Vikings is one of fearsome warriors wearing horned helmets. Many depictions of the Vikings display this particular attribute. However, there is one preserved helmet from the Viking Age and this does not have horns. It was found in the Norwegian warrior’s burial at Gjermundbu, north of Oslo, together with the only complete suit of chain mail from the period.

Parts of helmets have been found in Denmark, including “brow ridges” to protect the warrior’s face in battle. The lack of helmet finds may also be partly due to the fact that no tradition existed of placing them in graves. In addition, helmets were not sacrificed like spears and swords, so we do not come across them in this context either. It is also possible that relatively few Vikings wore helmets and therefore only a small number are found
Helmets with horns?
Depictions of an Iron Age date exist featuring people with horned helmets/heads, such as upon the Golden Horns. Similar images are also known from the Viking period itself.

In the Oseberg burial from Norway, which dates to the early Viking period, a tapestry was found on which horned helmets are also depicted. Does this prove that all Vikings wore the famous helmets with horns? The answer is probably not. However, there is some evidence to suggest that certain warriors wore such headgear. The horned figures on the Golden Horns are berserkers. These were wild warriors, who threw themselves into battle in a trance-like fury. We are also familiar with them from the Icelandic sagas, in which they are amongst the most feared of all Vikings.

It is also possible that such headgear was worn for display or for cultic purposes. In a battle situation, horns on a helmet would get in the way. Such helmets would also have caused problems on board the warships, where space was already at a premium. In addition, none of the contemporary sources mention Vikings wearing horned headgear.

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, as Britain’s oldest established, and favourite armoury gallery  read more

Code: 23530

11500.00 GBP

A Grenadier Guards Officer's Sword From The Lanes Armoury Sold, and Raised £2,465 For The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, Photographed With H.M. King Charles formerly HRH P.O.W

A Grenadier Guards Officer's Sword From The Lanes Armoury Sold, and Raised £2,465 For The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, Photographed With H.M. King Charles formerly HRH P.O.W

Swords, over the eons, have been part of the journey of civilised mankind since the days of pre-history, before 1200 bc. And over 3200 years later, even ‘retired’ historic swords can be put to a fine use that they were certainly not entirely designed to perform.
We were absolutely delighted that a sword, from us, once sold at their special charity ball auction. The auction raised in total, £56,000, a most handsome sum.
Mike Hammond, the Chief Executive, wrote to us to say;
"We’ve already had hundreds more of people staying at the house since we opened our doors to military patients and their families, and the sword has helped in funding another 99 days of accommodation for the families".

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham is home to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, which treats UK military patients injured or wounded anywhere around the world.
The hospital charity built Fisher House, a home away from home for military patients and their families to stay whilst they are having medical treatment. You can see more about Fisher House at their website All donations will be most gratefully received.

A photo in the gallery is of HM King Charles when as HRH Prince Charles, opening Fisher House.  read more

Code: 17336


A British 1885 Pattern Cavalry Troopers Sabre The Sword Used At the Battle of Omdurman.

A British 1885 Pattern Cavalry Troopers Sabre The Sword Used At the Battle of Omdurman.

1885 Pattern Cavalry Sword After a false start in 1882, the 1885 pattern was developed following committee input on improving the sword. The first opposite ringed scabbard came out of this process along with a slightly shorter blade. This sword saw extensive use in the campaigns in Egypt and the Sudan during the 1880s and 1890s. The shortening of the blade did allow some opponents along the Nile to lie on the ground, putting themselves out of the reach of the trooper's sword! This problem was rectified in the 1899 pattern. Still this sword represented an important step in the evolution of British Cavalry swords and was used by the 21st Lancers at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898; amongst the daring lancers was a young Winston Churchill.

The Battle of Omdurman was fought during the Anglo-Egyptian conquest of Sudan between a British–Egyptian expeditionary force commanded by British Commander-in-Chief (sirdar) major general Horatio Herbert Kitchener and a Sudanese army of the Mahdist State, led by Abdallahi ibn Muhammad, the successor to the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad. The battle took place on 2 September 1898, at Kerreri, 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) north of Omdurman.

Following the establishment of the Mahdist State in Sudan, and the subsequent threat to the regional status quo and to British-occupied Egypt, the British government decided to send an expeditionary force with the task of overthrowing the Khalifa. The commander of the force, Sir Herbert Kitchener, was also seeking revenge for the death of General Gordon, who had been killed when a Mahdist army captured Khartoum thirteen years earlier.3 On the morning of 2 September, some 35,000–50,000 Sudanese tribesmen under Abdullah attacked the British lines in a disastrous series of charges; later that morning the 21st Lancers charged and defeated another force that appeared on the British right flank. Among those present was 23-year-old soldier and reporter Winston Churchill as well as a young Captain Douglas Haig.4

The victory of the British–Egyptian force was a demonstration of the superiority of a highly disciplined army equipped with modern rifles, machine guns, and artillery over a force twice its size armed with older weapons, and marked the success of British efforts to reconquer Sudan. Following the Battle of Umm Diwaykarat a year later, the remaining Mahdist forces were defeated and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was established.

Pictures in the gallery of photographs of the regimental armourers sharpening their 1885 cavalry swords before combat.  read more

Code: 25013

525.00 GBP