Antique Arms & Militaria

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A 19th Century English Boxlock Pistol By Smith of London

A 19th Century English Boxlock Pistol By Smith of London

Circa 1830. Boxlock pistols were pocket pistols popular in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Effectively the first Derringers. The most unique feature of their design was the boxlock mechanism. Unlike most firearms which have the hammer located off to the side of the pistol, a boxlock pistol had the hammer located directly on top of the pistol. They were called a boxlocks because all of the working mechanisms for the hammer and the trigger was located in a box or receiver directly below the top mounted hammer. While the hammer obstructed the aim of the user, this system had the advantage of making the gun more compact and concealable than other pistols. The first boxlock pistols were flintlock and where later made in percussion lock. Unlike modern firearms, these pistols were not mass produced, but were hand made in gunsmith's workshops. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables  read more

Code: 18558

435.00 GBP

Antique Brass Pressure/Steam Gauge From The World's Oldest Aquarium

Antique Brass Pressure/Steam Gauge From The World's Oldest Aquarium

A piece of Victorian public attraction history. We are fortunate to acquire a few old Victorian steam gauges, due to the refit of the world's oldest working aquarium in Brighton, now called the Sea Life Centre, and the largest in Britain. The main aquarium hall was some 70 metres long, a feat of Victorian engineering that housed a Victorian tea room and wondrous exhibits. First unveiled in 1872, the Aquarium was designed by Eugenius Birch, the man behind Brighton?s West Pier, at a cost of ?130,000. One exhibit was a recreation of Captain Nemo's Nautilus, the legendary submarine, these gauges were part of the display, that has now been removed due to the restoration programme. One hundred years ago the Brighton Aquarium was acclaimed as being the largest and most imaginative Aquarium in the world. People came from far and wide to see the new sea world. The idea to build the greatest Aquarium in the world came from a London architect and designer of marine piers, Eusebuis Birch. Brighton, on the south coast, with splendid hotels and a new railway link to London, seemed the ideal choice. A site facing the West Pier, which he had already designed, was the first choice but the ultimate decision was for a building at the west end of a new road now known as Madeira Drive, where once stood a toll house for the famous Chain Pier. Before any work could commence it was essential to obtain permission from the local authorities and from Parliament. The first of several Acts of Parliament for the project received the Royal Assent on July 12th 1869 and work start immediately. The estimate for the building involved a sum of ?100,000, further increased to ?133,000 the following year. Because buildings were not allowed to rise above the Marine Parade, a great deal of excavating was carried out. Facing stones used in the protecting sea wall came chiefly from blocks that made up the original Blackfriars Bridge, London.
The courtyard had five terra-cotta arches supported by pillars enriched with carvings of mermaids, sea nymphs and other marine symbols. In the large entrance hall and lining the 224ft. long corridor, were the fish tanks in archways leading up to a vaulted ceiling, supported by columns of polished red Edinburgh granite, and green serpentine marble, with pillars of Bath stone and a mosaic flooring. The somewhat subdued light coming from inside the tanks, controlled to suit the environment of the marine life inside, gave an impression of mystery and excitement, almost as though one was deep under the sea, looking into the strange world of fishes.
The wide corridor led to a conservatory which had an attractive grotto complete with a cascade of water. Later this became a popular meeting place. Although the building was far from ready, it was decided to open on Easter Saturday 1872. with the idea that the official opening would take place during August, when the premises would have been completed. Queen Victoria's third son. Prince Arthur, arrived that Easter, in Brighton, with Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar. The Royal Party expressed a wish to see the new Aquarium and it was necessary to carry out immediate work on the roadway in order that the Royal Party and their ladies could enter the Aquarium without sinking up to their ankles in mud. With flags flying, the Princes enjoyed their visit. Pausing "ever and anon" to view the interesting specimens. The Press described this impromptu opening as "very propitious" and "It could scarcely have entered the minds of any of the most sanguine of the Aquarium directors that its opening would be attended by a Prince of the Blood Royal. On August 10th 1872 the Mayor, Sir Cody Burrows, declared the premises open, despite great problems with contractors, a difficult site, the sea and the weather, plus many battles with Parliament and Brighton Council. The Aquarium Clock Tower became famous all over the world and picture postcards
of its familiar facade sold in their thousands.  read more

Code: 15833

110.00 GBP

A Superb Queen Anne, Early 18th Century Bone Topped Walking Dandy Cane

A Superb Queen Anne, Early 18th Century Bone Topped Walking Dandy Cane

It is a delight to get such an early example of a fine English 'Dandy' cane, it has a wonderful carved bone top with intermittent baleen inserts, and a fine grain hardwood haft. 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. With a small repair at the replaced brass ferrule.  read more

Code: 16579

685.00 GBP

" Loot the Lanes" https://pierpressure.co.uk/ The Best Escape Room in UK

An interactive game for all the family based around our shop, voted the best in the UK. For Visitors to Brighton That Enjoy Interactive Games for 'All The Family', Try Pier Pressure Escape Rooms at 33 Upper North St, Brighton BN1 3FG. They have an Internationally renown "Escape Room", it was voted 64th best in the world, out of 82,865 interactive escape rooms worldwide, and the very best one in the UK. The Escape Room is Titled "Loot The Lanes" and it is based around a recreation of our shop, The Lanes Armoury. Loot the Lanes, which pays homage to several of the city?s landmarks, is a fast-paced interactive game in which players go on a mission to steal legendary treasure to stop it falling into the wrong hands.

In the story the "Brighthelm Diamond" is a secret jewel which has been purchased and hidden by four of Brighton?s most influential developers, in case the city was ever in dire need.

Players must solve puzzles and work their way through a series of clues in a mock-up set of The Lanes, which includes a red telephone box and The Lanes Armoury antique weaponry shop, before breaking into an antique jewellers to find the diamond.. Links to it are here, just copy and paste; https://pierpressure.co.uk/escaperooms/loot-the-lanes/ https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/18283688.brightons-loot-lanes-escape-room-ranks-best-uk/  read more

Code: 23199

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Amazing Facts You Might Not Know

Amazing Facts You Might Not Know

Did you know the date that the last woman was lawfully executed by 'burning at the stake' was in Britain?. Believe it or not, it was Catherine Murphy, in only in 1788, just over a mere 230 years ago. Interestingly, only women warranted to be burnt at the stake, men were just hanged. Women were sentenced to be burnt at the stake for just two reasons only, 'Petty Treason', [the murder of a spouse] and 'High Treason' [interfering with the Crown's Coinage, known as coining, either by counterfiting, or chipping, cutting and the filing off of coins edges].  read more

Code: 23104

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A Very Good Sykes Patent Disc Form Powder Flask

A Very Good Sykes Patent Disc Form Powder Flask

A most unusual shape of powder flask that due to a flat form would fit snugly in an overcoat pocket rather well. Good spring. 6.75 inches long x 4 inches wide x 1.5 inches deep at its widest  read more

Code: 22843

155.00 GBP

The Royal Collection Returns to the Royal Pavilion

The Royal Collection Returns to the Royal Pavilion

We have been asked by our friends at the Royal Pavilion to promote Her Majesty's incredibly generous gift of the loan of her works of art and treasure originally made for the Prince Regent [King George IVth] for the Royal Pavilion. A spectacular loan from Her Majesty the Queen is on display at the Royal Pavilion. The culmination of a collaborative venture between Royal Collection Trust and the Royal Pavilion & Museums, over 120 remarkable decorative works of art that were originally commissioned by the Prince Regent, have been relocated from Buckingham Palace and re-united in their previous setting of the Royal Pavilion. We are delighted to help and hope our regulars who visit us should consider a visit to the Royal Pavilion to view them. Many thanks to Laura Wright at SAM Culture. We show a few items that are on display in our photo gallery. A PRINCE'S TREASURE
21 September 2019 to Autumn 2021


Included in the collection, to be seen in our photo gallery, from; Jingdezhen Jiangxi Provence, China is;
a pair of vases with mounts vases: mid-18th century, mounts: 1804 and 1819. And, a Barometer and thermometer, made for display in the Banqueting Room at the Royal Pavilion, early nineteenth century
Gilt bronze, silver, lapis lazuli

Made for George IV for the Royal Pavilion at Brighton; the case of this barometer is identical to a matching clock. The clock with the barometer were made for display in the Banqueting Room at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton (the clock on the North chimney piece, the barometer on the South chimney piece). The top can just be seen in Nash's view of the room c. 1824. The cost for both was ?1,308. A link [copy and paste] to view part of the exhibition. https://www.rct.uk/collection/search#/22/collection/30007/barometer-and-thermometer
Royal Collection Trust / ? Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019  read more

Code: 22731

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A Good Original 48 Bore 19th Century Pistol Ball Scissor Mould

A Good Original 48 Bore 19th Century Pistol Ball Scissor Mould

Maker stamped I W, bore size stamped 48  read more

Code: 22655

100.00 GBP

A George IIIrd Campaign Sheffield Plate Candelabra of Col. 10th Hussars

A George IIIrd Campaign Sheffield Plate Candelabra of Col. 10th Hussars

We acquired this stunning campaign, Sheffield silver plated candelabra, with his yataghan sword, used by a former Colonel of the 10th Hussars throughout his campaigning years in the army. The yataghan in these photographs we sold earlier, but we do have his other scabbarded yataghan. The Sheffield plating has wear on all the dominant edges and this is referred to as 'copper bleeding'. It is actually a traditional and good sign of originality for true Sheffield plate, as it shows it is early Sheffield hammered onto a copper base, not the later modern electrotype of plate, usually on nickel or brass. The use of "Sheffield plate" began in 1742 when Thomas Boulsover, a Sheffield cutler (blade smith), discovered that a sheet of silver fused to a piece of copper could then be rolled or hammered out without fracturing the bond.
This made possible the use of "plated" base metal, which appeared, outwardly, to be silver, but as the silver "skin" could be only a small proportion of the gauge of the metal the saving in expense was considerable and objects made from the product looked exactly like sterling silver, because the applied 'plate' was indeed sterling. Boulsover's idea was exploited in Sheffield, first by Joseph Hancock from 1755 onwards and Matthew Boulton, one of the greatest and successful manufacturers of his age. This candelabra from the early 1800's and the reign of King George IIIrd was used by Capt. Wood during his campaigns in the Victorian period. It disassembles into several smaller pieces and would likely have fitted into a wooden, leather bound travelling case for use in military campaigns around the Empire. It was used originally by his ancestor in the Napoleonic wars era. His medals were sold in auction some 17 years ago. Manners Charles Wood was born on 20 January 1852. He was appointed as Ensign to the 44th Foot on 1 September 1869, but was transferred on the same day to the 66th Foot, becoming Lieutenant in October 1871. He transferred to the 10th Hussars on 15 April 1874, and joined the regiment in India. In 1876 he was selected for escort duty with the Prince of Wales during his visit to India, and was given a silver commemorative medal struck on that occasion.

Promoted to Captain on 2 February 1878, Manners Wood accompanied the regiment from Rawal Pindi in the Afghan campaign of 1878-79, and commanded ?B? Troop at Fattehabad on the 2nd April 1879, in which action he was wounded, and his life saved by a brother officer, in an incident reported on the front page of the Illustrated London News, published on 17 May 1879.

?Captain Wood and Lieutenant Fisher dismounted with most of the men, leaving as few as possible to hold the horses and advanced up the hill in skirmishing order, to dislodge the enemy, who were firing upon them from their strong position. On approaching the top, Captain Wood and Lieutenant Fisher, who were well in front, noticed a Ghazi, lying on the ground, pointing his jezail at them. He was a typical hillman, of powerful build. Having fired and missed, he jumped to his feet, and rushed at Captain Wood, whose sword was of little use against the long jezail and impetuous rush of the Afghan. He was brought to his knees, and his fanatical assailant, discarding his firearm, with a ponderous knife made a cut at his head, which clove his helmet in two, but, fortunately, did not do more than inflict a slight wound.

?As Captain Wood lay on the ground, at the mercy of the Afghan, Lieutenant Fisher rushed at the Ghazi, and felled him with the butt end of a carbine which he was carrying and Private Hackett, who had by this time come up with other men of the Troop, gave him the coup-de-grace with his sword. The Troop now fired two volleys into the enemy, which completely dispersed them, and Captain Wood took his men back to Fattehabad. The casualties in the Troop were seven men wounded, one horse killed, eleven wounded, and one missing.?

Captain Wood served with the regiment throughout the remainder of the war, and accompanied it during the march of pestilence to Rawal Pindi, when so many Tenth Hussars died of cholera. He became Major in April 1882, and Lieutenant-Colonel in August 1892, on taking command of the 10th Hussars. The regiment served in Ireland throughout the 4 years of his command. He became Brevet Colonel in August 1896, and retired on 5 April 1899.

Wood was almost immediately recalled on the outbreak of the war in South Africa, and was appointed a Special Service Officer with the Rhodesian Field Force. He was afterwards in command of the troops in Rhodesia, from 7th January to 21st June 1901, graded as a Colonel on the Staff. He again left the Army, leading a very active life, and later became a Colonel in the Army Cadet Force. For his services with the Cadets, he received the 1935 Silver Jubilee medal, at the age of 83. Colonel Manners Wood died at Camberley on 12 September 1941, aged 89.  read more

Code: 22609

985.00 GBP

French Very Fine Lanthorn Powder-Flask Attributed To Nicolas Noel Boutet

French Very Fine Lanthorn Powder-Flask Attributed To Nicolas Noel Boutet

A rare 18th century French flask with a most unusual fold-down nozzle system. With a large, rounded lanthorn body, flattened on the back, with shaped top mount and folding swelling nozzle, reeded brass medial mount, and rings for suspension. For an almost identical example, mounted in silver, see Herbert G. Houze, The Sumptuous Flaske, 1989, pp. 116-117 (illustrated). We also show in the gallery a cased set of the worlds finest flintlock pistols and fowling piece complete with tools and an identical lanthorn flask made by Nicolas Noel Boutet, possibly for Napoleon. This fabulous set is in the Met in New York. We acquired a most similar set, also by Nicolas Noel Boutet, around 50 years ago, that cased set came from a castle in Czechoslovakia, and was commissioned from Boutet for a Prince, that set also had an identical lanthorn flask. Today Iit would likely be approaching a value of a million dollars. Nicolas Noel Boutet was one of the world's greatest gunsmiths, if not The worlds greatest gunsmith, and he made guns for most of the crowned heads of Europe, including Napoleon Bonaparte. He was based at the Imperial Armoury at Versailles. Lanthorn is a transluscent form of ox horn used in the earliest days to make window panes or lanterns. It was the earliest known material for the ingress of light into a room from daylight. In fact the word lantern is a derivative form of lanthorn itself. With lanthorn panes a lantern could be created with a candle to create a portable light and protect the flame from wind. Here are some early instructions as to how it was made; Take the lightest, translucent, hollow portion of an ox or steer horn (these being the thinnest)
Soak this in water for a month
Saw it, split it and press it into plates
Take a short, edge bladed round nosed knive called a "lift" and use it to delaminate the layers (Purportedly up to 12 layers can be gotten from a thick horn).
The Horn may be clarified by coating both sides with tallow, and pressing it between hot irons, thinning it further.
The finished leaves are scraped with steel scrapers, buffed on a polishing wheel, then slightly moistened with vinager and a buffing compound, finally being polished by a buffing compound applied by the palm of the hand (historically the horns were buffed with charcoal and water applied with part of an old beaver hat - the final polish being given by wood ashes applied with the hand). Boutet made several forms of lanthorn flask as its translucent property enable the owner to determine how much powder the flask contained at a glance if held to the light and its resistance to denting was an advantage over copper. A most similar attributed to Boutet flask sold in Butterfield and Butterfield Auction House in San Francisco in 1994 [estimated at 1,500 to 2,500 dollars]. Minor early crack to the lanthorn body  read more

Code: 22557

950.00 GBP