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A Most Fine and Rare Victorian British General's Mamaluke With a Captured Battle Trophy, or Presentation, Spectacular, Indian, Damascus Steel Blade, With Islamic Gold Cartouche Seal Engraved and Inlaid With Gold, 'Mohammed, Blessings Be Upon Him'

A Most Fine and Rare Victorian British General's Mamaluke With a Captured Battle Trophy, or Presentation, Spectacular, Indian, Damascus Steel Blade, With Islamic Gold Cartouche Seal Engraved and Inlaid With Gold, 'Mohammed, Blessings Be Upon Him'

Traditional British Mamaluke pattern hilt in gilt bronze, with ivory grips and gilt rossettes, original gilt bullion sword knot. The central crest between the quillon is a General's crossed baton and sabre symbol. The scabbard is formed gilt brass, of the usual generals pattern, but made extra wide than is usual to bespoke fit the fine wide blade.
The kind of fantastic sword & highest quality wootz water pattern Damascus blade that would have been used by a British General such General Havelock, General Nicholson of Delhi, or General Sir James Outram, from the the Crimean War or the Indian Mutiny period.

The sword would have normally been fitted with a standard etched blade, but a few, usually very notable generals of fame and status, might have a presentation or captured blade such as this fitted for their mamaluke. The cartouche reads approx, 'Mohammed, Blessings Be Upon Him'

Mameluke swords were adopted by officers of light cavalry regiments in the first decade of the 19th century, The current regulation sword for generals, the 1831 Pattern, is a Mameluke-style sword.

Napoleon raised a number of Mameluke units during his Egyptian campaigns in the French Revolutionary Wars, leading to the adoption of this style of sword by many French officers. In the post-Napoleonic period French military fashion was widely adopted in Britain.

The Duke of Wellington carried a Mameluke sword from his days serving in India and throughout his career. After he defeated Napoleon his status was a national hero, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, and then prime minister; as such, his tastes had considerable weight.
Trade between India and Sri Lanka through the Arabian Sea introduced wootz steel to Arabia. The term muhannad مهند or hendeyy هندي in pre-Islamic and early Islamic Arabic refers to sword blades made from Indian steel, which were highly prized, and are attested in Arabic poetry. Further trade spread the technology to the city of Damascus, where an industry developed for making weapons of this steel. This led to the development of Damascus steel. The 12th century Arab traveller Edrisi mentioned the "Hinduwani" or Indian steel as the best in the world. Arab accounts also point to the fame of 'Teling' steel, which can be taken to refer to the region of Telangana. The Golconda region of Telangana clearly being the nodal centre for the export of wootz steel to West Asia.

Another sign of its reputation is seen in a Persian phrase – to give an "Indian answer", meaning "a cut with an Indian sword". Wootz steel was widely exported and traded throughout ancient Europe and the Arab world, and became particularly famous in the Middle East.

From the 17th century onwards, several European travellers observed the steel manufacturing in South India, at Mysore, Malabar and Golconda. The word "wootz" appears to have originated as a mistranscription of wook; the Tamil language root word for the alloy is urukku.17 Another, which theory says that the word is a variation of uchcha or uchadubious ("superior"). According to one theory, the word ukku is based on the meaning "melt, dissolve". Other Dravidian languages have similar-sounding words for steel: ukku in Kannada1819 and Telugu, and urukku in Malayalam. When Benjamin Heyne inspected the Indian steel in Ceded Districts and other Kannada-speaking areas, he was informed that the steel was ucha kabbina ("superior iron"), also known as ukku tundu in Mysore.

Legends of wootz steel and Damascus swords aroused the curiosity of the European scientific community from the 17th to the 19th century. The use of high-carbon alloys was little known in Europe22 previously and thus the research into wootz steel played an important role in the development of modern English, French and Russian metallurgy.23

In 1790, samples of wootz steel were received by Sir Joseph Banks, president of the British Royal Society, sent by Helenus Scott. These samples were subjected to scientific examination and analysis by several experts.242526

Specimens of daggers and other weapons were sent by the Rajas of India to the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 and 1862 International Exhibition. Though the arms of the swords were beautifully decorated and jeweled, they were most highly prized for the quality of their steel. The swords of the Sikhs were said to bear bending and crumpling, and yet be fine and sharp

We show several images from portraits or statues in the gallery of 19th century British Generals, all with identical swords
The statue of General Havelock in Trafalgar Square, London British General such as Nicholson Of Delhi, with his identical sword
A statue of Sir James Outram by Matthew Noble, in Whitehall Gardens, London
+ The portrait of General Havelock

Antique ivory, 'worked' declaration submitted, but we can only sell this sword within the UK, it is not allowed for export. Ivory, however old cannot be imported into the USA.

ref; Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani 750 page tome on Arms and Armour, Wootz patterns, page 540  read more

Code: 25361

6950.00 GBP

An Original Edo Period, 1598 to 1873, Samurai Bowman's War Arrow {Tagari Ya} With Forged Steel Head, Sea Eagle Feathers, and Yadake Bamboo Haft

An Original Edo Period, 1598 to 1873, Samurai Bowman's War Arrow {Tagari Ya} With Forged Steel Head, Sea Eagle Feathers, and Yadake Bamboo Haft

The arrow tip is a traditional tamagahane steel hand made long arrow head, with folding and tempering exactly as would be a samurai sword blade, possibly signed on the tang under the binding but we would never remove it to see. The Togari-Ya or pointed arrowheads look like a small Yari (spear) and were used only for war and are armour piercing arrows . Despite being somewhat of a weapon that was 'fire and forget' it was created regardless of cost and time, like no other arrow ever was outside of Japan. For example, to create the arrow head alone, in the very same traditional way today, using tamahagane steel, folding and forging, water quench tempering, then followed by polishing, it would likely cost way in excess of a thousand pounds, that is if you could find a Japanese master sword smith today who would make one for you. Then would would need hafting, binding, and feathering, by a completely separate artisan, and finally, using eagle feathers as flights, would be very likely impossible. This is a simple example of how incredible value finest samurai weaponry can be, items that can be acquired from us that would cost many times the price of our original antiques in order to recreate today. Kyu Jutsu is the art of Japanese archery.The beginning of archery in Japan is pre-historical. The first images picturing the distinct Japanese asymmetrical longbow are from the Yayoi period (c. 500 BC – 300 AD).
The changing of society and the military class (samurai) taking power at the end of the first millennium created a requirement for education in archery. This led to the birth of the first kyujutsu ryūha (style), the Henmi-ryū, founded by Henmi Kiyomitsu in the 12th century. The Takeda-ryū and the mounted archery school Ogasawara-ryū were later founded by his descendants. The need for archers grew dramatically during the Genpei War (1180–1185) and as a result the founder of the Ogasawara-ryū (Ogasawara Nagakiyo), began teaching yabusame (mounted archery) In the twelfth and thirteenth century a bow was the primary weapon of a warrior on the battlefield. Bow on the battlefield stopped dominating only after the appearance of firearm.The beginning of archery in Japan is pre-historical. The first images picturing the distinct Japanese asymmetrical longbow are from the Yayoi period (c. 500 BC – 300 AD).
The changing of society and the military class (samurai) taking power at the end of the first millennium created a requirement for education in archery. This led to the birth of the first kyujutsu ryūha (style), the Henmi-ryū, founded by Henmi Kiyomitsu in the 12th century. The Takeda-ryū and the mounted archery school Ogasawara-ryū were later founded by his descendants. The need for archers grew dramatically during the Genpei War (1180–1185) and as a result the founder of the Ogasawara-ryū (Ogasawara Nagakiyo), began teaching yabusame (mounted archery) Warriors practiced several types of archery, according to changes in weaponry and the role of the military in different periods. Mounted archery, also known as military archery, was the most prized of warrior skills and was practiced consistently by professional soldiers from the outset in Japan. Different procedures were followed that distinguished archery intended as warrior training from contests or religious practices in which form and formality were of primary importance. Civil archery entailed shooting from a standing position, and emphasis was placed upon form rather than meeting a target accurately. By far the most common type of archery in Japan, civil or civilian archery contests did not provide sufficient preparation for battle, and remained largely ceremonial. By contrast, military training entailed mounted maneuvers in which infantry troops with bow and arrow supported equestrian archers. Mock battles were staged, sometimes as a show of force to dissuade enemy forces from attacking. While early medieval warfare often began with a formalized archery contest between commanders, deployment of firearms and the constant warfare of the 15th and 16th centuries ultimately led to the decline of archery in battle. In the Edo period archery was considered an art, and members of the warrior classes participated in archery contests that venerated this technique as the most favoured weapon of the samurai.

The arrows are made using yadake bamboo (Pseudosasa Japonica), a tough and narrow bamboo long considered the choice material for Japanese arrow shafts called no. The black {now faded to brown} and white feather flights {hane} are likely Steller's sea eagle feather. Period 1599 -1863. it is the essential munition of an archer.

Ya used in war by the samurai had a variety of tips called yajiri or yanone; these arrowheads were forged using the same steel (tamahagane) and methods as traditional Japanese swords. There are many different kinds of arrowhead and they all have their own special name. Togari-ya is a simple pointed design. The yanagi-ba, also known as "willow-leaf", is known for its elegant design. Karimata have a unique split point, and are sometimes referred to as "rope-cutters". The barbed "flesh-torn" is known as watakushi. The tagone-ya is shaped like a chisel. Kaburi-ya was used for signalling and creating fear with the loud whistling noise it would produce.

Ya were large enough that they could be signed on the tang by the fletcher in the manner of Japanese swords.

The no are made from yadake bamboo and can have different shapes – straight or tapered – depending on the use of the arrow in long-distance shooting or target practice. Lighter arrows can lose their stability when shot from a strong bow, heavier arrows have a trajectory that arcs more. Typically they use bamboo from the Kanto area. This is for a purely practical reason: bamboo will not grow fast enough in a cold area and the joints are too close together, whereas in a warm area the bamboo grows too fast and the joints are too far apart; the Kanto area has a moderate climate which makes the joints the perfect distance apart. The joints of the shaft help with the balance. After harvesting, bamboo continues to change in size and shape so it must rest for 2+1⁄2 to 3 years after cutting before it can be used. When it has aged the proper time the bamboo should provide a good tight grip around the tang of the yanone. The bamboo is tempered in a special kiln similar to the Viking beehive style and straightened with a tool called a tomegi, or "tree tame", which is also used when creating bamboo fishing poles. The appearance of the no varies; some are plain, while others glisten with red lacquer. The proper length is measured from the archer's throat to five centimeters beyond the tip of the outstretched left hand.

Fletching
The arrows are fletched with hane (feathers) about fifteen centimetres in length, and originally when made fletching can be the most expensive part of the arrow. Traditionally, the outermost tail feathers of large birds of prey were considered the finest. Many of these birds are now endangered – in particular the sea eagle – and therefore feathers of lesser eagles, swans, geese or even turkeys are being used in modern times. On the other hand, owl feathers were never used, as they were thought to be bringers of misfortune. Feathers from either the left and right wing may be used; these wing feathers naturally curve left or right. Ya with feathers from the left wing are called haya and they spiral clockwise, whereas ya made from the right wing feathers are called otoya and they spiraled counter-clockwise.

Nock
The nock or hazu is often made from goat or deer horn and archers file the slot to match the diameter of their own bowstring. Older or ceremonial ya can have bamboo nocks.

The sea eagle feathers are somewhat tired and worn, but considering their age, likely 200 to 300 years old, they have survived very well indeed.

The last photo in the gallery is another, display mounted, Edo takari ya just to illustrate how long the tang would be on our arrow head that is concealed by the haft.  read more

Code: 25356

SOLD

A Wonderful, Museum Piece. A Rare, Ancient Bronze and Iron Incredibly Long, High Status, Combat Cavalry Sword. 36 Inches Long. A Finely Engraved 'Eared' Bronze Hilt With a Long Iron Back Sword Blade. Around 3200 Years Old

A Wonderful, Museum Piece. A Rare, Ancient Bronze and Iron Incredibly Long, High Status, Combat Cavalry Sword. 36 Inches Long. A Finely Engraved 'Eared' Bronze Hilt With a Long Iron Back Sword Blade. Around 3200 Years Old

Ancient Near East long sword 12th to 9th century BC. A magnificent, enormous bronze sword of the "double ear" pommel style, likely made using the lost wax casting technique by highly trained urban artisans for an elite member of a nomadic horse-riding clan. The blade was forged in iron first, and then the handle was cast onto it - scans of similar swords have revealed tangs inside the handles. Size: Hilt 9.75 inches long, 3 inches width at its widest x blade 30" long width at widest 1.25 inches, total overall length 39.35 inches

This well-balanced weapon has a slender, hilt, with raised decorative elements on each of the four sides joining to a pommel that divides into two finely decorated semi-circular "ears" at right angles to the blade. A polyform hilt with cylindrical grip geometrically engraved with a ruled herringbone pattern, carefully designed with crescent-shaped horns extends down to firmly grip the upper end of the prominent blade midrib that tapers regularly with almost straight single cutting edge to a point.

The "double ear" style of sword - with both bronze and iron blades - have been excavated from graves in southern Azerbaijan, the Talish and Dailaman regions of northwest Iran, and the urban sites of Geoy Tepe and Hasanlu, also in northwestern Iran. Another, with both bronze pommel and blade, was pulled from the Caspian Sea, where it may have been thrown as an offering.

It seems that swords like this example were not just made to be used in battle, but instead to show status or as votive weapons. There is a strong tradition in the ancient Near East of swords and other weapons being associated with the gods. For example, there is a rock carving dating to ca. 1300 BCE from this region that shows a scene of the gods of the Underworld, including one who is holding a sword similar to this one. Similarly, a golden bowl excavated at Hasanlu (northwestern Iran) shows three swords of similar form to this one that are associated with three deities from the Hittite pantheon. Whatever its original function, this would have been a spectacular weapon to behold, with a deep, shining surface when polished. Whoever commissioned this sword must have been an elite individual of high status, perhaps seeking to honour the gods by handling such a weapon.

This is a most handsome ancient bronze weapon from the era of the so called Trojan Wars. The ancient Greeks believed the Trojan War was a historical event that had taken place in the 13th or 12th century BC, and believed that Troy was located in modern day Turkey near the Dardanelles. In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey . "The Iliad" relates a part of the last year of the siege of Troy, while the Odyssey describes the journey home of Odysseus, one of the Achaean leaders. Other parts of the war were told in a cycle of epic poems, which has only survived in fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets such as Virgil and Ovid.

The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked "for the fairest". Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the "fairest", should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen's husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years due to Paris' insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, and the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse. The Achaeans slaughtered the Trojans (except for some of the women and children whom they kept or sold as slaves) and desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods' wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores. The Romans later traced their origin to Aeneas, one of the Trojans, who was said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern day Italy. Made in copper bronze in the Western Asiatic region. Western Asiatic bronzes refer to items dating from roughly 1200-800 BC that have been excavated since the late 1920's in the Harsin, Khorramabad and Alishtar valleys of the Zagros Mountains especially at the site of Tepe Sialk. Scholars believe they were created by either the Cimmerians or by such related Indo-European peoples as the early Medes and Persians. Weapons from this region were highly sought after by warriors of many cultures because of their quality, balance and durability.

The Battle of Thermopylae
The first decision, to hold the narrow Vale of Tempe between Macedonia and Thessaly, was abandoned when it was realised that the position could easily be turned. The Greeks then occupied the still narrower pass of Thermopylae with 6,000 or 7,000 hoplites and stationed 271 triremes at Artemisium in northern Euboea. The positions were linked by communication between the Spartan commanders, King Leonidas at Thermopylae and Eurybiades at Artemisium, who intended to halt and damage the Persian forces. Meanwhile, Xerxes was advancing slowly. He made no use of separate columns, and his fleet suffered heavy losses in a storm when it was convoying supply ships along the coast. It was already August when Xerxes began the operations, which extended over three days.

On the first day, Xerxes sent a detachment of 200 ships, unseen by the Greeks, to sail around Euboea and close the narrows of the Euripus Strait. He also attacked with his best infantry at Thermopylae, where the Greeks inflicted heavy casualties. During the afternoon the Greek fleet, having learned about the Persian detachment from a deserter, engaged the main Persian fleet with some success. The Greeks intended to sail south that night and destroy the detachment the next day, but a tremendous storm kept the Greeks at Artemisium and wrecked the 200 Persian ships off south Euboea. On the second day, news of the Persian disaster was brought up by a reinforcing squadron of 53 Athenian ships. Xerxes attacked again with no success at Thermopylae, and the Greeks sank some Cilician vessels off Artemisium.

A Greek traitor, Ephialtes, offered to guide the Persians along a mountain path and turn the position at Thermopylae. The Immortals, a cadre of elite Persian infantry, were entrusted to him. At dawn on the third day, they began to descend toward the plain behind the Greek position. Leonidas retained the troops of Sparta, Thespiae, and Thebes and sent the remainder south. He then advanced. He and his soldiers fought to the death, except the Thebans, who surrendered. Meanwhile, the Persian fleet attacked at noon. Both sides suffered heavy losses, and the Greeks realized that they could succeed only in narrower waters. That evening, when the fall of Thermopylae was known, the Greek fleet withdrew down the Euboic channel and took station in the narrow straits of Salamis.

For reference see: Moorey P.R.S. "Catalogue of Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Ashmolean Museum" (1971), pg. 80 fig 63, Mahboubian, H. "Art of Ancient Iran" pg 304 386(a) & (b) and pg 314-315 397a-I, Moorey PRS "Ancient Persian Bronzes in the Adam Collection" pg 58 28 and Muscarella "Bronze and Iron, Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art" pgs 282-285 385-390.


The British Museum holds an example of the "double ear" style that is smaller than this one (ME 124630).
Formerly from a famed US Californian collector Mr Retting, he acquired this sword in the 1960's  read more

Code: 25355

4250.00 GBP

A Stunning Edo Period Chisa Katana, Art Sword With A Most Beautiful Original Edo Saya Decor of Gold Nishiji Lacquer Flowers Over An Abilone Shell Infused Black Urushi Lacquer Ground. The Blade With Suguha Hamon And Wonderful Hada Grain.

A Stunning Edo Period Chisa Katana, Art Sword With A Most Beautiful Original Edo Saya Decor of Gold Nishiji Lacquer Flowers Over An Abilone Shell Infused Black Urushi Lacquer Ground. The Blade With Suguha Hamon And Wonderful Hada Grain.

This is a most impressive sword of superb elegance with all original Edo koshirae fittings and mounts that compliment each other beautifully.

The tettsu plate tsuba has takebori multi coloured gold leaves tumbling down the branches of a weeping willow, with a pair of swallows in flight swooping above a rolling river. The fuchi kashira are takebori shi-shi lion dogs in gold on a Nanako ground. Shakudo and gold menuki over black tsukaito.
The blade is late Koto to early Shinto, and shows a most attractive and impressive grain, almost a blending of two styles, the Mokume Hada, this is based on Itame hada using a different hammer blow to produce whorls yet it also verges on a Shitahara Hada. A Shitahara-hada shows conspicious uzumaki burls along the centre of the blade, i.e. along the shinogi-ji or the center of the ji if in hira-zukuri. But these burls might also appear more towards the ha or in an irregular manner, that means as isolated large burls in places.
However, in truth, it takes about 10 to 15 times fold depending on the methods used by the swordsmith. With every fold, the strength of the sword increases.

The gold flower lacquer decor on the saya has very elegant black pen-work defining upon every leaf and flower. The result of such fine and technical craftsmanship is incredibly pleasing to the eye. With the finest abilone infused black urushi beneath and clear urushi upon the outer whole, it is a saya of incredible beauty.
Japanese lacquer, or urushi, is a transformative and highly prized material that has been refined for over 7000 years.
Cherished for its infinite versatility, urushi is a distinctive art form that has spread across all facets of Japanese culture from the tea ceremony to the saya scabbards of samurai swords
Japanese artists created their own style and perfected the art of decorated lacquerware during the 8th century. Japanese lacquer skills reached its peak as early as the twelfth century, at the end of the Heian period (794-1185). This skill was passed on from father to son and from master to apprentice.

Some provinces of Japan were famous for their contribution to this art: the province of Edo (later Tokyo), for example, produced the most beautiful lacquered pieces from the 17th to the 18th centuries. Lords and shoguns privately employed lacquerers to produce ceremonial and decorative objects for their homes and palaces.
The varnish used in Japanese lacquer is made from the sap of the urushi tree, also known as the lacquer tree or the Japanese varnish tree (Rhus vernacifera), which mainly grows in Japan and China, as well as Southeast Asia. Japanese lacquer, 漆 urushi, is made from the sap of the lacquer tree. The tree must be tapped carefully, as in its raw form the liquid is poisonous to the touch, and even breathing in the fumes can be dangerous. But people in Japan have been working with this material for many millennia, so there has been time to refine the technique!
Flowing from incisions made in the bark, the sap, or raw lacquer is a viscous greyish-white juice. The harvesting of the resin can only be done in very small quantities.
Three to five years after being harvested, the resin is treated to make an extremely resistant, honey-textured lacquer. After filtering, homogenization and dehydration, the sap becomes transparent and can be tinted in black, red, yellow, green or brown.
Once applied on an object, lacquer is dried under very precise conditions: a temperature between 25 and 30°C and a humidity level between 75 and 80%. Its harvesting and highly technical processing make urushi an expensive raw material applied in exceptionally fine successive layers, on objects such as bowls or boxes.After heating and filtering, urushi can be applied directly to a solid, usually wooden, base. Pure urushi dries into a transparent film, while the more familiar black and red colours are created by adding minerals to the material. Each layer is left to dry and polished before the next layer is added. This process can be very time-consuming and labor-intensive, which contributes to the desirability, and high costs, of traditionally made lacquer goods. The skills and techniques of Japanese lacquer have been passed down through the generations for many centuries. For four hundred years, the master artisans of Zohiko’s Kyoto workshop have provided refined lacquer articles for the imperial household

Nanako Ji: "fish roe ground" A surface decoration on the swords fuchi kashira are produced by forming very small raised bosses by a sharply struck punch or burin called 'nanako tagane'. Shakudo is the metal most often used, but copper and gold are quite often employed. The harder metals, shibuichi, silver and iron are rarely decorated in this way. The size of the dots vary from 0.04" to 0.008" (25 to 125 and inch) and the regularity of the work is marvelous as the dots must be spaced entirely by touch. The dots are usually arranged in straight lines or in lines parallel to the edge of the piece being decorated, but sometimes in more elaborate patterns. Used on guards since the Momoyama period although the technique existed since much earlier periods. Usually done by specialist 'nanako-shi', but sometimes done by the maker of the guard himself

A katana was two shaku or longer in length (one shaku = about 11.93 inches). However, the Chisa katana is longer than the wakizashi, which was somewhere in between one and two shaku in length. The most common blade lengths for Chisa katana was approximately eighteen to twenty-four inches. They were most commonly made in the Buke-Zukuri mounting (which is generally what is seen on katana and wakizashi). The chisa katana was able to be used with one or even two hands like a katana. The Chisa Katana is a slightly shorter Katana highly suitable for two handed, or two sword combat, or, combat within enclosed areas such as castles or buildings. As such they were often the sword of choice for the personal Samurai guard of a Daimyo, and generally the only warriors permitted to be armed in his presence. Chisa katana, Chiisagatana or literally "short katana", are shoto mounted as katana.

The chisa katana was also the long sword of choice for the art of twin sword combat, using two at once in unison, a chisa katana and wakazashi, one in each hand, a form used by the great and legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi who reportedly killed 60 men before his 30th birthday.
Miyamoto Musashi 1584 – June 13, 1645), also known as Shinmen Takezo, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Doraku, was an expert Japanese swordsman and ronin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent, and unique double bladed swordsmanship and undefeated record in his 60 duels. He was the founder of the Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu or Niten-ryu style of swordsmanship and in his final years authored the The Book of Five Rings, a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today.

The blade is in old polish and superb condition for age with the tiniest of near invisible edge marks at the kissaki. The lacquer saya is also in fabulous condition for age with just very small surface losses in one area.

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: 25316

7450.00 GBP

Another Reason To Visit Brighton-by-the-Sea This Summer. To Visit the Magnificent Pavilion Palace &  View ‘The Encampment At Brighton’, by Francis Wheatley, RA, 1747-1801. Which We Were Most Proud To Assist & Enable It’s Donation to Brighton 50 Years Ago

Another Reason To Visit Brighton-by-the-Sea This Summer. To Visit the Magnificent Pavilion Palace & View ‘The Encampment At Brighton’, by Francis Wheatley, RA, 1747-1801. Which We Were Most Proud To Assist & Enable It’s Donation to Brighton 50 Years Ago

Two years ago we celebrated the completion of a multi million pound three year restoration of the main saloon in the Royal Pavilion palace in Brighton, and we are continually humbled to know that our family donation enabled the premier work of art, of a depiction of an hussars regiment, encamped in the hills above Brighton, by Francis Wheatley RA, and thus to be saved for posterity for the Brighton Museum collection.
Possibly their most famous work of art, certainly one of their best. 'The Encampment at Brighton', is a major work by Francis Wheatley RA (1747?1801). (b London, 1747; d London, 28 June 1801). A most fine English painter of his day in the reign of King George IIIrd. His early works were mainly small full-length portraits and conversation pieces in the manner of Zoffany. In 1779 he moved to Dublin to escape creditors, and after his return to London in 1783 his work broadened in scope. It included landscapes, history paintings, and life-size portraits, but he is best known for works produced to be engraved for the Georgian print market. His works now reside in the government collection, the Royal Collection and many of the finest museums and collections around the country.
We were delighted to have enabled its acquisition, back in 1973, and over the past few decades we have been pleased to know of its permanent presence in the City collection, saved for posterity and enabling the museums visitors to view this magnificent work based and painted in Brighton in the 1790's.
Any visitors to Brighton this summer, who make a visit to our world famous store, The Lanes Armoury, ought to consider visiting Brighton Museum as part of your visit, in order to view its superb collection, and especially visit our magnificent Royal Pavilion, former summer palace of King George IVth, {former the Prince Regent} donated to Brighton by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and considered today, by many, to be the most wonderful palace of its kind in the world.

A joyous combination of Indo-Chinese architecture and fine art. A magnificent example of the Royal Family’s diversity, 200 years before the word even became known, and as so significant as it is today.

Brighton has been for centuries a long exponent of diversity, and without doubt certainly one of the best most loved and diverse cities in the entire world. For example, during World War I, the Royal Pavilion palace’s royal stables, that later became the world famous Dome Theatre, was turned over to become a hospital for the desperately wounded, heroic, Indian, volunteer soldiers, it is said that many Indian soldiers when they recovered consciousness and awoke in the palace, believed they had died and gone to heaven, which was a recreation of an Indian Palace.
It was almost 60 years later The Dome Theatre was the host venue of ABBA’s very first public explosion on to the world stage, in fact Mark, {the Lanes Armoury’s elder partner} was coincidentally there in person, just outside the stage area, listening to their very first hit, Waterloo, {somewhat ironic with our Waterloo interest} at the Eurovision Song Contest over 50 years ago.

The Royal Pavilion contains some of the finest and most magnificent Chinoiserie works of art to seen anywhere in the world. Some of the original Prince’s treasures were, very recently, just returned from the Buckingham Palace Royal Apartments, to be once more placed on display in the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, as one of the last, and personal benevolent instructions of Her Late Well Beloved Majesty Queen Elizabeth IInd. In order that once more, our city, and it’s millions of visitors, can enjoy the fabulous royal treasures in their original, former, location, the magnificent home of the Prince Regent.

Somewhat like us at The Lanes Armoury, the Royal Pavilion is certainly not one of the largest of the world’s Royal Palaces, in fact, it is possibly one of the smallest, but it is considered, by many, to be the very best.

We also show in the gallery a painting by Richard {Dickie} Compton, commissioned by our family from the artist, of our Holland & Holland, London to Bath and Wells, Royal Mail Road Coach, passing in front of the statue of The Prince Regent, which itself is in front of the Royal Pavilion. The road coach, later photographed, still in use in 1969, outside of the gates to the Royal Pavillion, and the oil painting are part of the late Camilla Hawkins Collection.

As like many Brightonians, our personal family connections to the palace go back since it was first built, over two hundred years ago. Our family used to supply shellfish from the shores off Brighton for His Majesty’s table {we held the shellfish concession for many decades in the 18th and 19th century}. A family member worked in the staff -a very lowly position naturally, bearing in mind, our family history, always was, and still is, in ‘trade’, once considered by 19th century ‘society’ to be, at the time, as not particularly in much higher regard than *coster mongers-. We later owned the annex of the Royal Stables, a stable yard around 100 yards from the palace, now demolished and on the site of the current My Hotel in Jubilee Street. And in the early 1970’s Mark purchased from an elderly farmer in the North, the original huge pump organ made for the Prince Regent’s music room in the palace. But it was either never installed, or, if it was, it was not much later removed by Queen Victoria, and sold off. When Mark bought it, it had the original schematic and plans for installation, which were magnificent in their beauty and detail, somewhat like the architects plans much have been for the original palace. We offered to donate it to the Palace Trustees in the 1970’s, but it was refused as impractical to re-install, unless we paid for its installation, but the cost involved would have been prohibitively astronomical. So, we sold it to an Australian diocese instead, and apparently it was installed not much later in an Australian Cathedral.

* coster monger or hawker, A costermonger, coster, or costard was a street seller of fruit and vegetables, sometimes fish, in British towns. The term is derived from the words costard (a medieval variety of apple) and monger (seller), and later came to be used to describe hawkers in general. In fact our family name, Hawkins, was a medieval derivative from Hawker, which would therefore, have been our family trade and social position in the post Roman occupation era. Pretty low down the social scale, before our family moved to Plymouth, and our seafaring nature brought some element of success, and thus the elevation with a knighthood for Sir John Hawkins, and Sir Francis Drake, his cousin, who was later Admiral for Queen Elizabeth Ist. Drake was John’s cousin due to being adopted by William Hawkins, famed seafarer of Plymouth, and thought to have been adopted, as possibly being his bastard son.
Sir Francis Drake's heraldic achievement and coat of arms contains the motto, Sic Parvis Magna, which means: "Great achievements from small beginnings". Drake became the first Englishman to navigate the Straits of Magellan, a sea route at the southern tip of South America linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans  read more

Code: 21652

Price
on
Request

A Superb 500 Year Old Koto Era Muramachi Period Katana With Clan Mon  Of The Atagi Clan of Naval Samurai. Silver Habaki Engraved with the Atagi Crest Mon

A Superb 500 Year Old Koto Era Muramachi Period Katana With Clan Mon Of The Atagi Clan of Naval Samurai. Silver Habaki Engraved with the Atagi Crest Mon

Superb Koto blade in very fine polish showing stunning activity. When it first arrived the blade looked super but had a few very light old fingerprint stains, after two months away for conservation it now looks absolutely wonderful, likely just as it did when it left Japan after it was presented to an Englishman in the 1870’s. It has very fine quality Edo period shakudo and shibuishi mounts, including a fuchi decorated with takebori pure gold monkeys climbing a tree on a nanako ground.

Nanako Ji: "fish roe ground" A surface decoration produced by forming very small raised bosses by a sharply struck punch or burin called 'nanako tagane'. Shakudo is the metal most often used, but copper and gold are quite often employed. The harder metals, shibuichi, silver and iron are rarely decorated in this way. The size of the dots vary from 0.04" to 0.008" (25 to 125 and inch) and the regularity of the work is marvellous as the dots must be spaced entirely by touch. The dots are usually arranged in straight lines or in lines parallel to the edge of the piece being decorated, but sometimes in more elaborate patterns. Used on guards since the Momoyama period although the technique existed since much earlier periods. Usually done by specialist 'nanako-shi', but sometimes done by the maker of the guard himself.
A very similar example of a Fuchi with gold monkeys, possibly by the same Japanese craftsman, is in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore USA.

The kashira is decorated with gold and silver sea shells and sea grasses, and the tsuba has a shakado basket, a jingasa helmet and the ninja angle bladed hand weapon with chain called a Kusarigama, and a ninja shikome-zue a hidden sword disguised as a walking stick. Very fine pure gold decorated shakudo menuki under the Edo silk binding, and the Edo saya has a fine ishime stone finish lacquer. Very good and well defined gunome based on suguha hamon.

Used by a high ranking samurai retainer of the samurai Governor of Settsu, Fuyuyasu, who in his turn served as a highest rank retainer of the Miyoshi clan and a samurai Captain of the Awaji Navy. He was the third son of Miyoshi Motonaga and adopted by the Atagi clan. The Atagi were related to the Miyoshi clan and served the Mioyshi clan. They commanded ships for the Miyoshi clan crewed by samurai. Fuyuyasu served as captain of the Awaji Navy in support of the Miyoshi governance, but was killed by his eldest brother, Miyoshi Nagayoshi. There are many views and uncertainties regarding the reasons for the incident.

Fuyuyasu’s father, Motonaga, reached a settlement with Hosokawa Harumoto, in 1531, only to be killed the following year by monks acting in concert with Harumoto’s rival, Hosokawa Takakuni. Harumoto served as a sengoku daimyō and kanrei, or deputy shōgun, to Ashikaga Yoshiharu. Harumoto was the final kanrei of the Muromachi period to exercise real authority.

The Atagi clan served as the navy for Awaji Province. His older brother, Nagayoshi, was driven out of the Kinai and went to the island province of Awaji. Nagayoshi arranged for Fuyuyasu to be adopted by Atagi Haruoki, lord of the Atagi clan, and to become his successor.

On behalf of the Miyoshi clan, Nagayoshi led soldiers on battles in Settsu, Kawachi, and Izumi provinces. Fuyuyasu’s next eldest brother, Miyoshi Jikkyū, operated in Awa Province. Fuyuyasu served in Awaji, and his younger brother, Sogō Kazumasa, in Sanuki Province. Fuyuyasu participated in suppression actions near Ōsaka Bay, the Battle of Kitashirakawa against Hosokawa Harumoto in 1558, and the Battle of Kumeda against Hatakeyama Takamasa in 1562, causing the loss of his brother, Jikkyū. Fuyuyasu retreated to Awa, and just months later, prevailed against Takamasa at the Battle of the Kōkyō Temple in the Takayasu District of Kawachi Province.

Thereafter, Kazumasa, Jikkyū, and Miyoshi Yoshioki (Nagayoshi’s eldest son and Fuyuyasu’s nephew), all died in succession. Fuyuyasu made great efforts supporting Nagayoshi in a bid for survival of the Miyoshi family. Nevertheless, in 1564, Fuyuyasu was summoned to Iimoriyama Castle and forced to kill himself at the age of thirty-eight. His son, Atagi Nobuyasu, became his successor. The naval history of Japan began with early interactions with states on the Asian continent in the 3rd century BCE during the Yayoi period. It reached a pre-modern peak of activity during the 16th century, a time of cultural exchange with European powers and extensive trade with the Asian continent.
The Sengoku period (15th–16th century)
Various daimyo clans undertook major naval building efforts in the 16th century, during the Sengoku period, when feudal rulers vying for supremacy built vast coastal navies of several hundred ships. The largest of these ships were called atakebune. Around that time, Japan seems to have developed one of the first ironclad warships in history, when Oda Nobunaga, a Japanese daimyo, had six iron-covered Ō-atakebune ("Great Atakebune") made in 1576 . These ships were called tekkosen (鉄甲船), literally "iron armoured ships", and were armed with multiple cannons and large calibre rifles to defeat the large, but all wooden, vessels of the enemy. With these ships, Nobunaga defeated the Mori clan navy at the mouth of the Kizu River, near Osaka in 1578, and began a successful naval blockade. The O-atakebune are regarded as floating fortresses rather than true warships, however, and were only used in coastal actions. After over two centuries of self-imposed seclusion under the Tokugawa shogunate, Japan's naval technologies became outdated compared to Western navies. The country was forced to abandon its maritime restrictions by American intervention with the Perry Expedition in 1854. As to be expected the blade has a few light fingerprint stains. overall in saya 37.25 inches, blade tsuba to tip 26.3 inches long It is important to bear in mind, that due to the revered status that Japanese swords achieve for most of their working lives in Japan, that the condition they survive in can be simply remarkable. One can see just how remarkable it can be, by comparing the condition of this fine sword that was made around the same time as the early Tudor period of King Henry the VIIIth to any equivalent aged, surviving, early Tudor period sword, from any country outside of Japan, and that comparison will show just how fine any Japanese sword’s state of preservation, from the same era, truly can be.  read more

Code: 23644

7450.00 GBP

A Very Fine & Incredibly Impressive Grand Armee Issue Napoleonic 1st Empire French Cuirassier's Sword Dated August 1811. The Largest Cavalry Sword Ever Made, for The Tallest Soldiers of France, & Used At Waterloo, With Original Hatchet Tip

A Very Fine & Incredibly Impressive Grand Armee Issue Napoleonic 1st Empire French Cuirassier's Sword Dated August 1811. The Largest Cavalry Sword Ever Made, for The Tallest Soldiers of France, & Used At Waterloo, With Original Hatchet Tip

Superb and beautiful hilt, with very fine original leather bound grip, and a very fine double fullered blade with stunning bright patina. Steel combat scabbard without denting. French Napoleonic 'An 13' year 13 swords were manufactured from 1805 and discontinued in late 1815.

Renown throughout the world of historic sword collectors as probably the biggest and most impressive cavalry sword ever designed. This would have seen service in the Elite Cuirassiers of Napoleon's great heavy cavalry regiments.

Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia. Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to curry favour with the Poles and provide a political pretence for his actions. The Grande Armee was a very large force, numbering nearly half a million men from several different nations. Through a series of long marches Napoleon pushed the army rapidly through Western Russia in an attempt to bring the Russian army to battle, winning a number of minor engagements and a major battle at Smolensk in August. Napoleon hoped the battle would mean an end of the march into Russia, but the Russian army slipped away from the engagement and continued to retreat into Russia, while leaving Smolensk to burn. Plans Napoleon had made to quarter at Smolensk were abandoned, and he pressed his army on after the Russians. The battles continued, but once the winter set in Napoleon's army was facing insurmountable odds that left it effectively shattered beyond repair. Napoleon fled, it is said, dressed as a woman, and the army left to it's sad and miserable fate. Only around 27,000 were able to return after a mere six months of the Russian campaign. The campaign was a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. The reputation of Napoleon was severely shaken, and French hegemony in Europe was dramatically weakened. The Grande Armee, made up of French and allied invasion forces, was reduced to a fraction of its initial strength. These events triggered a major shift in European politics. France's ally Prussia, soon followed by Austria, broke their alliance with France and switched camps. This triggered the War of the Sixth Coalition. The Cuirassiers Heavy Cavalry Regiments used the largest men in France, recruited to serve in the greatest and noblest cavalry France has ever had. They fought with distinction at their last great conflict at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and most of the Cuirassiers swords in England very likely came from that field of conflict, after the battle, as trophies of war. However, this sword was one of the few that were allowed to remain in the elite cuirassier corps after Waterloo, serving King Louis XVIIIth both before Napoleon's 100 days, and after his crushing defeat by Wellington at Waterloo. Inspected on the blade by Lobstein, but difficult to see the others due to dark pitting just at that area, also back strap engraved Manufacture Imperial Klingenthal, August 1811

Every warrior that has ever entered service for his country sought trophies. The Mycenae from a fallen Trojan, the Roman from a fallen Gaul, the GI from a fallen Japanese, the tradition stretches back thousands of years, and will continue as long as man serves his country in battle. In the 1st century AD the Roman Poet Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis Juvenal
wrote; "Man thirsts more for glory than virtue. The armour of an enemy, his broken helmet, the flag ripped from a conquered trireme, are treasures valued beyond all human riches. It is to obtain these tokens of glory that Generals, be they Roman, Greek or barbarian, brave a thousand perils
and endure a thousand exertions". A truly magnificent Napoleonic sword in superb condition for it's age.
The largest sword of it's kind that was ever made or used by the world's greatest cavalry regiments. The cuirassiers were the greatest of all France's cavalry, allowing only the strongest men of over 6 feet in height into it's ranks. The French Cuirassiers were at their very peak in 1815, and never again regained the wonder and glory that they truly deserved at that time. To face a regiment of, say, 600 charging steeds bearing down upon you mounted with armoured giants, brandishing the mightiest of swords that could pierce the strongest breast armour, much have been, quite simply, terrifying. The brass basket guard on this sword is first class, the grip is totally original leather and a great colour
only shows expected combat wear, the blade is double fullered and absolutely as crisp as one could hope for. Made in the Napoleonic Wars period.
Just a basic few of the battles this would have been used at, such as in 1812 and beyond

1812: Borodino and Moscow, Ostrowno, and Winkowo 1813: Reichenbach and Dresden, Leipzig and Hanau
1814: La Rothiere, Rosnay, Champaubert, Vauchamps, Athies, La Fere-Champenoise and Paris
1815: Quatre-Bras and Waterloo. Apparently every remaining French elite cuirassier regiment fought at Waterloo for Napoleon, and there were no cuirassier reserve, and there were no cuirassier militia

The blade has wonderful steel bright colour, and the hilt has fabulous patina. Overall 45.5 inches long in its scabbard, the original hatchet tipped blade is 37.6 inches long. Old original aged patina and regular usual surface staining to the scabbard steel, leather grip showing original string binding beneath in part see photo.  read more

Code: 25344

2550.00 GBP

An Incredibly Rare Crimean War Romanov Senior Officer's Sword Knot, Such As Worn By A Romanov Grand Duke of Russia, Or General. The Bullion Gold And Crimson Silk Knot Bears The Romanov Crest on One Side and a Cyrillic Royal Monogram on The Other

An Incredibly Rare Crimean War Romanov Senior Officer's Sword Knot, Such As Worn By A Romanov Grand Duke of Russia, Or General. The Bullion Gold And Crimson Silk Knot Bears The Romanov Crest on One Side and a Cyrillic Royal Monogram on The Other

A Crimean War of the 1850’s, Romanov crested General’s gold and silk bullion sword knot, bearing a superb Romanov crest of the crowned double headed eagle, which is masterfully created within the weave of the gold bullion. See photo. Gules, a double-headed eagle displayed, twice imperially crowned, grasping in the dexter claw an imperial sceptre, and in the sinister claw an imperial orb.

From the time of Czar Alexander Ist to Czar Nicolas Ist. The form of very high ranking officer such as a Romanov General or Admiral in the Crimean War, which may explain how came to Britain, possibly as a war souvenir by a British officer serving in the Crimea

We show a portrait of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich Romanov of Russia, from the late 19th century, with his sword that bears the same form of knot.

In 1855 Prince Mikhail Dmitrievich Gorchakov was appointed commander-in-chief of the Russian forces in the Crimea in place of the disgraced Prince Menshikov. Gorchakov's defence of Sevastopol, and final retreat to the northern part of the town, which he continued to defend till peace was signed in Paris, were conducted with skill and energy. The Battle of the Great Redan against British forces was a notable local victory. In 1856 he was appointed namestnik of Kingdom of Poland in succession to Prince Paskevich. He died at Warsaw on May 30, 1861, and was buried, in accordance with his own wish, at Sevastopol.
It would have likely been one of his or his predecessors generals that would have used this knot. Of by whom it is likely impossible to know.
Photo 7 in the gallery is a portrait of Prince Mikhail Dmitrievich Gorchakov, and photo 8 is a close-up of his same sword knot though not well defined in the portrait. Picture 9 in the gallery is the closest original Romanov era example we can find, fitted to its sword. However, it is a much later version of knot, from the 1900’s, and for a regular ranked Officer’s sword of St George, that sold {the sword and its later knot} for £18,750 four years ago.

The knot bottom twisted gold wire loops are a little tangled in part, but overall it is in super condition for such a very rare piece of original, mid 19th century, highest quality, high ranking Romanov officer’s uniform dress ware.  read more

Code: 25335

2100.00 GBP

A Very Rare Renaissance Main-Gauche, a Left Hand Parrying Dagger. Italian circa 1590-1620. Likely Made for a Royal Duke. With A Ducal Crown Engraved Pommel

A Very Rare Renaissance Main-Gauche, a Left Hand Parrying Dagger. Italian circa 1590-1620. Likely Made for a Royal Duke. With A Ducal Crown Engraved Pommel

A wonderful elegant example of these rare 'Maine Gauche' daggers used for parrying in the duel, in the era of England’s Queen Elizabeth the 1st, King James 1st, to King Charles the 1st, and it is in excellent plus condition.
The left handed parrying weapon used in the left hand, in conjunction with the long bladed Rapier in the right, in sword combat. In sword fighting, the main-gauche French for "left hand" is a dagger used in the off-hand, mainly to assist in parrying incoming thrusts, while the dominant hand wields a rapier or similar longer weapon intended for one-handed use. It may also be used for attack if an opportunity arises, such as for the ‘coup de grace’. The dagger has a slender four sided blade of diamond-section, with twin Crowned M armourer's marks, one per side at the ricasso. The hilt is fully engraved, and the outside of the pommel it has an engraved ducal crown within a circlet, and the inside pommel a rhombic Chinese flower, possibly part of the dukes family crest or symbol. It has an outer single ring guard and a polygon form conical pommel, converging towards the top pommel button. {A design recognised as pommel ‘32’, circa 1590-1610, in A.V.B.Normans Rapier and Small Sword 1460-1820.} It also has a very fine Turk's Head knot terminated twisted steel wire grip, in excellent condition.

We show in the gallery a close up of the pommel engraving, showing the style of crown, as can be seen in an early portrait of one being worn, that we show attached with it.

The parrying dagger is a category of small handheld weapons from the European late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. These weapons were used as off-hand weapons in conjunction with a single-handed sword such as a rapier. As the name implies they were designed to parry, or defend, more effectively than a simple dagger form, typically incorporating a wider guard, and often some other defensive features to better protect the hand as well. They may also be used for attack if an opportunity arises.
The use of this off-hand weapon gradually fell out of favour as sword fighting evolved. The use of progressively lighter primary weapons such as the small sword and épée.

The main-gauche {French for "left hand"}, was used mainly to assist in defense by parrying enemy thrusts, while the dominant hand wielded a rapier or similar longer weapon intended for one-handed use. Its most characteristic feature was downturned quillons that protected the hand, and the ring to one side.

Courtiers in later half of the 16th century did indeed wore rapiers to court as a sign of gentlemanly status and the privilege of engaging in extra-judicial duels of honour, with the main-gauche parrying dagger.

The rapier and dagger combination was primarily designed for self-defence using fighting techniques developed in Italy that are the ancestors of modern fencing. The sixteenth-century rapier was both a slashing and stabbing weapon. Its accompanying dagger was used in the left hand for parrying and stabbing in close. The stiff slender blades of both were designed to pierce clothing rather than armour.

The Renaissance was a fervent period of European cultural, artistic, political and economic “rebirth” following the Middle Ages. Generally described as taking place from the 14th century to the 17th century, the Renaissance promoted the rediscovery of classical philosophy, literature and art.

Some of the greatest thinkers, authors, statesmen, scientists and artists in human history thrived during this era, while global exploration opened up new lands and cultures to European commerce. The Renaissance is credited with bridging the gap between the Middle Ages and modern-day civilization.  read more

Code: 25340

2995.00 GBP

A Simply Stunning Ancient Roman Museum Grade Fine  Gold Seal Ring with Intaglio Portrait Engraved Garnet Gem Stone  2nd to 3rd Century A.D. Likely a Depiction of an Emperor Such As Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, or Even A Parthian Vassal King.

A Simply Stunning Ancient Roman Museum Grade Fine Gold Seal Ring with Intaglio Portrait Engraved Garnet Gem Stone 2nd to 3rd Century A.D. Likely a Depiction of an Emperor Such As Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, or Even A Parthian Vassal King.

A museum grade, around 1900 year old pure gold ancient Roman intaglio carved garnet gemstone seal ring.

Worn by such a noble as the rank of Imperial Legate { Legatus Augusti pro praetore}. The commander of two or more legions, who also served as the governor of an eastern province in which the legions he commanded were stationed. He was of Senatorial rank and was appointed by the Emperor for a term of 3 or 4 years.

The carved gem’s seal is depicting a profile hand carving, possibly of an Emperor such as Verus, or vassal King of Parthia. Possibly as a celebration of Verus’s ‘Triumph’ from the Parthian War. Classified by the seminal classification of ancient ring forms, by Dr. Martin Henig, as Ancient Roman, Henig type II

The Roman triumph was one of ancient Rome’s most important civic and sacred institutions. These spectacular processions were celebrations of Rome’s military victories, the courage of its soldiers, and the favour of the gods. They were also one of the highest honors a Roman man could achieve: designated a triumphator, he was awarded a grand procession through the imperial capital. The lavish parade of prisoners and captured treasures was sure to guarantee the eternal fame of the conquering general. Over time, the triumph became an important tool in the manipulation of Roman politics.

Made and worn by the highest ranking Roman, such as a Legate, possibly even a member of the Imperial household at the time from Emperors Marcus Aurelias, Lucius Verus, & Commodus, and just into the early following century.

Rings were one of the most popular pieces of jewellery in Roman culture. Under the Republic the wearing of gold rings was exclusively reserved to certain classes of persons or for specific occasions. In the late 3rd century BC only senators and knights equo publico had this privilege. Towards the end of the Republic, gold rings were also bestowed on civilians. Under the Roman Empire gold rings, although still regarded as a privilege and awarded as a military distinction

During the era of dual Emperors Marcus Aurelius, and Lucius Verus, 161 to 180 ad, the last part of his reign was dramatically represented in the blockbuster film 'Gladiator', starring Richard Harris as the Emperor Marcus Aurelias. He acceded to the throne of Emperor alongside his adoptive brother, who reigned under the name Lucius Verus. Under his rule the Roman Empire witnessed heavy military conflict. In the East, the Romans fought successfully with a revitalised Parthian Empire and the rebel Kingdom of Armenia. Marcus defeated the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatian Iazyges in the Marcomannic Wars; however, these and other Germanic peoples began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. Ultimately, the Romans were victorious in the Parthian War of 161-167 CE. After the sacking of Ctesiphon and Seleucia, Lucius Verus took the title Parthicus Maximus. As a feature of his imperial titulature, the epithet conveyed his military might and power. But the question remains: to what extent can the Roman victory over the Parthian Empire be attributed to Verus?
Indeed, much of the successes the Romans enjoyed in this eastern war surely belong to the supremely able retinue of generals and administrators who were with Verus at the time. Regardless, upon his return from the campaign, Verus was awarded a triumph, the traditional celebration of Roman military conquest that had been used since the Republican era. This was to be the high point of Verus’ imperial story, however. In 169 CE, as he was journeying back from the Danubian frontier — where he had been fighting in the Marcomannic wars with Marcus Aurelius — Verus suddenly fell ill and died. It is highly probable, according to historians, that Verus was a victim of the pestilence that his soldiers had carried back to the empire with them from the Parthian War.

Commodus. the successor and son of Emperor Antoninus Pius,, was the Roman emperor who ruled from 177 to 192. He served jointly with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until the latter's death in 180, and thereafter he reigned alone until his assassination. His reign is commonly thought of as marking the end of a golden period of peace in the history of the Roman Empire, known as the Pax Romana.
Commodus became the youngest emperor and consul up to that point, at the age of 16. Throughout his reign, Commodus entrusted the management of affairs to his palace chamberlain and praetorian prefects, named Saoterus, Perennis and Cleander.

Commodus's assassination in 192, by a wrestler in the bath, marked the end of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty. He was succeeded by Pertinax, the first emperor in the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors.

Jewellery in the Roman Republic
The core ideologies of the Roman Republic, centred around moderation and restraint, meant that elaborate jewellery was relatively unpopular until the transformation to imperial rule. The law of the Twelve Tables in the 5th century BC, limited the amount of gold which might have been buried with the dead. The Lex Oppia, 3rd century BC, fixed at half of an ounce the amount of gold which a Roman lady might have worn. During the Roman Empire, however, jewellery became a public display of wealth and power for the elite.
Rings of the higher ranks were often embellished with intaglios, cameos and precious gemstones. Mythology and Roman history were used as a repertoire of decorative themes. Roman rings featuring carved gemstones, such as carnelian, garnet or chalcedony, were often engraved with the depiction of deities, allegories and zoomorphic creatures.

1 inch across, UK size H1/2, {measured on the round inside the oval} 9.6 grams, approx 22 carat gold 91.16% Gold, 6.66% silver, 1.93% copper, which is a typical consistency of ancient Roman gold determined by x-ray flourescence analysis with Oxford Instruments in 2017
As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity.  read more

Code: 24779

8950.00 GBP