A Most Attractive, 20th Century, Silver Omani Jambiya Knife. a Symbol of Status in UAE Society
An Omani Sa'idiyyah khanjar, a Khanjar with the distinctive ‘7 Rings’ to denote its owner is gifted to a person of high status, comprising of an all silver fronted scabbard and hilt. Decorated in intricate silver filigree wirework with a pattern similar to the 'tree of life'.
Also known as the Jambiya, daggers of this quality were almost always usually custom made for presentation. Lawrence of Arabia had several very similar ones presented to him, they were his favourite dagger, and he was frequently photographed wearing them. One picture is a portrait of Lawrence with his silver Jambiya, near identical to this one. Information only not included Silver, usually more often than not, coin silver, not English hallmarked silver. The jambia, a curved Islamic dagger, is the main customary accessory to the clothing worn by Arabian men. For centuries the people of South Arabia have inherited the their jambiahs from generation to generation. There are several theories about the origin of the Jambia. There are historical facts, concerning the existence of the Jambia revealing that it used to be worn at Sheban times, in the Himiarite kingdom. They take the statue of the Sheban king (Madi Karb 500 bc ) as proof. This statue, which was discovered by an American mission in Marib in the 1950s, was found to be wearing a Jambia.
Since The most expensive and famous jambiya was purchased by Sheikh Naji Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Sha'if, who was able to pay US $1 million for one prized and ancient piece. This jambiah had a historical importance, belonging to Imam Ahmed Hamid Al-Din, who ruled Yemen from 1948 to 1962. The Imam's most precious possession was transferred to Sheikh Hussein Al-Watari, who in turn sold it to Sheikh Al-Sha'if.
According to Sheikh Muhammad Naji, the son of current owner of the most precious jambiah, his father's prize is the most expensive and famous one in the country. Its cost was made so high because it is one of the best jambiahs ever made by Al-Saifani, and a piece of history, as well.
Just returned from our conservation workshop. read more
A Most Fine US Civil War Period 9mm Revolver, Deluxe Engraved Throughout & Hand Carved Grips
The pinfire revolver was around the fourth most popular revolver used the Civil War, this deluxe officer's example is a very good example. With much original engraving, bag shaped carved bone grips and exceptionally crisp action, this is a great rarity and an absolutely beautiful example. In large bore 9mm pinfire calibre. A very nice example of a deluxe quality revolver of the Civil War.
A picture shown in the gallery of a Illinois US Cavalry Trooper with his regular military example of the large calibre pinfire revolver used in the Civil War, plain and with no frills. He is Private Silas York of Co. F, 5th Illinois Cavalry Regiment, with regulation US Cavalry issue single shot percussion pistol, his Lefaucheux large bore pinfire repeating revolver, and his US Cavalry issue sword Photo from the Library of Congress.
Pinfire pistols were very popular indeed during the Civil War and the Wild West period but very expensive as they took the all new pinfire cartridge, which revolutionised the way revolvers operated, as compared to the old fashioned percussion action. In fact, while the percussion cap & ball guns were still in production such as made by Remington, Colt and Starr and being used in the American Civil War, the much more efficient and faster pinfire guns that were only made from around 1860 were the fourth most popular gun chosen in the US, by those that could afford them, during the war.
General Stonewall Jackson was presented with two deluxe pinfire pistols with carved grips, and many other famous personalities of the war similarly used them. The American makers could not possibly fulfil all the arms contracts that were needed to supply the war machine, especially by the non industrialised Confederate Southern States. So, London made guns were purchased, by contract, by the London Arms Company in great quantities, as the procurement for the war in America was very profitable indeed. They were dispatched out in the holds of hundreds of British merchant ships. First of all, the gun and sword laden vessels would attempt to break the blockades, surrounding the Confederate ports, as the South were paying four times or more the going rate for arms, but, if the blockade proved to be too efficient, the ships would then proceed on to the Union ports, such as in New York where the price paid was still excellent, but only around double the going rate. This pistol was the type that was so popular, as a fast and efficient revolvers by many of the officers of both the US and the CSA armies, and later, in the 1870's onwards by gamblers and n'ear do wells in the Wild West.
The grips so natural age cracking, but very sound
As with all our antique guns, no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectors items read more
A Fabulous & Impressive Large 10th Century Original Viking Spear, Classified as 'Petersen type G'... Vápnum sínum skal-a maðr velli á feti ganga framar, því at óvíst er at vita, nær verðr á vegum úti geirs of þörf guma
From the 13th century Codex Regius, a collection of Old Norse poems from the Viking Age. Verse 38 quoted above is translated here;
Let a man never stir on his road a step
without his weapons of war;
for unsure is the knowing when need shall arise
of a spear on the way without.
Circa 10th century. A fabulous example of an original Viking war spear.
Using the Petersen scale of dating swords axes and spears of the medieval era, it is around 1100 years old, and in super condition for its age. With a slightly impacted tip, possibly bent from penetration of mail armour or shield. With edge shoulders placed low on the blade and a short conical socket with marked narrowing below the blade. Although not as glamorous as the sword, the spear was in every sense the definitive weapon of the Viking Age and used as the primary weapon of combat by almost every warrior. Decorated spearheads inlaid with precious metals prove that in the Viking Age spears were not seen as the poor man's choice and one has only to look at the representations of warriors from the illuminated manuscripts of the era to quickly come to the conclusion that the use of the spear was ubiquitous. Many of the Anglo-Saxon phrases used to describe both battle and warrior help to underline the importance of the spear.
The spearheads were made of iron, and, like sword blades, were made using pattern welding techniques (described in the article on swords) during the early part of the Viking era . They could be decorated with inlays of precious metals or with scribed geometric patterns
After forming the head, the smith created the tang in the early period, such as for a javelin type spear, or in the later Viking mostly a socket fitting for a regular spear. Sometimes with holes for rivets to grip onto the haft.
However, there is little evidence that tells us the length of the shaft. The archaeological evidence is negligible, and the sagas are, for the most part, silent. Chapter 6 of Gísla saga tells of a spear so long-shafted that a man's outstretched arm could touch the rivet. The language used suggests that such a long shaft was uncommon.
Perhaps the best guess we can make is that the combined length of shaft and head of Viking age spears was 2 to 3m (7-10ft) long, although one can make arguments for the use of spears having both longer and shorter shafts. A strong, straight-grained wood such as ash was used. Many people think of the spear as a throwing weapon. One of the Norse myths tells the story of the first battle in the world, in which Odin, the highest of the gods, threw a spear over the heads of the opposing combatants as a prelude to the fight. The sagas say that spears were also thrown in this manner when men, rather than gods, fought. At the battle at Geirvör described in chapter 44 of Eyrbyggja saga, the saga author says that Steinþórr threw a spear over the heads of Snorri goði and his men for good luck, according to the old custom. More commonly, the spear was used as a thrusting weapon. The sagas tell us thrusting was the most common attack in melees and one-on-one fighting, and this capability was used to advantage in mass battles. In a mass battle, men lined up, shoulder to shoulder, with shields overlapping. After all the preliminaries, which included rock throwing, name calling, the trading of insults, and shouting a war cry (æpa heróp), the two lines advanced towards each other. When the lines met, the battle was begun. Behind the wall of shields, each line was well protected. Once a line was broken, and one side could pass through the line of the other side, the battle broke down into armed melees between small groups of men.
Before either line broke, while the two lines were going at each other hammer and tongs, the spear offered some real advantages. A fighter in the second rank could use his spear to reach over the heads of his comrades in the first rank and attack the opposing line. Konungs skuggsjá (King’s Mirror), a 13th century Norwegian manual for men of the king, says that in the battle line, a spear is more effective than two swords
Part of an original medieval collection we have acquired, of Viking and early British relics of warfare from ancient battle sites recovered up to 220 years ago. 14 inches long.
Almost every iron weapon that has survived today from this era is now in a fully russetted condition, as is this one, because only a very few of the swords of kings, that have been preserved in national or Royal collections can today be still in a relatively good state and surface condition. However, Bronze Age swords, daggers etc. that are usually much earlier, survive far better as they only suffer from surface ageing and patination, unlike iron and steel weaponry, which makes early iron weapons so incredibly rare, especially the Viking examples, as so many were abandoned, lost in battle or sacrificed due to precious few Viking burials discovered.
As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity, and an attractive complimentary display stand. read more
An Amazing and Very Fine Original Moghul Empire Katar, As With Most Of The Finest Surviving Katar It Has a 17th Century European Blade. Made and Used From the Time Of Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan
Indian katar from the era of Shah Jahan, builder of The Taj Mahal, the most famous monument to a beloved wife in the world. This wonderful Katar push dagger is mounted with a likely German sword blade from the early 1600s. It was very popular in the Moghul era to import German blades and mount them with Indian hilts. The blade is attached to the hilt with traditional multi rivetting, and the chisseled hilt is overlaid in areas of sheet silver or gold, as would be suitable for a prince. It appears gold in colour but it may be aged silver. Painting circa 1650 of Moghul Shah Shuja who was the second son of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and Empress Mumtaz Mahal, wearing his similar Katar. He was the governor of Bengal and Odissa and had his capital at Dhaka, presently Bangladesh.
Shah Jahan is best remembered for his architectural achievements. His reign ushered in the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan commissioned many monuments, the best known of which is the Taj Mahal in Agra, in which is entombed his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. His relationship with Mumtaz Mahal has been heavily adapted into Indian art, literature and cinema. He owned the royal treasury, and several precious stones such as the Kohinoor and has thus often been regarded as the wealthiest person in history.
The death of his father Jahangir in late 1627 spurred a war of succession between his sons Shahryar and Khurram from which Shah Jahan emerged victoriously. He executed all of his rivals for the throne and crowned himself emperor on January 1628 in Agra, under the regnal title "Shah Jahan" (which was originally given to him as a princely title). His rule saw many grand building projects, including the Red Fort and the Shah Jahan Mosque. Foreign affairs saw war with the Safavids, aggressive campaigns against the Shia Deccan Sultanates,10 conflict with the Portuguese, and positive relations with the Ottoman Empire. Domestic concerns included putting down numerous rebellions, and the devastating famine from 1630-32.
In September 1657, Shah Jahan fell seriously ill. This set off a war of succession among his four sons in which his third son, Aurangzeb, emerged victorious and usurped his father's throne. Shah Jahan recovered from his illness, but Emperor Aurangzeb put his father under house arrest in Agra Fort from July 1658 until his death in January 1666. He was laid to rest next to his wife in the Taj Mahal. His reign is known for doing away with the liberal policies initiated by Akbar. Shah Jahan was an Orthodox Muslim, and it was during his time that Islamic revivalist movements like the Naqsbandi began to shape Mughal policies read more
A Very Rare & Simply Stunning, Original Ancient Classical Early Iron & Bronze Age Dagger, Circa Three Thousand Two Hundred Years Old, From The Time of The Trojan Wars & The Siege of Troy. As Detailed In Homer's Iliad
This is one of the earliest ancient classical iron and bronze daggers we have ever seen, and only Tutankhamun's iron and gold dagger is known to exist that is that much older than this finest example. A near identical dagger is decorated upon an archaic attic ware amphora, circa 550 bc, a scene of ancient, warring mythical figures, that resides in a famed Paris museum.
We show in the gallery a piece of decorated ancient Greek attic ware, with a scene of Hercules and Geryon, and the warrior, on the right of three winged warriors in the photo, bears a so similar dagger, as could be deemed identical, swinging from his waist. It is on display at the Cabinet des Médailles, in Paris, catalogued as an Attic Black Figure Shape Amphora. ca. 550 - 540 B.C. from the Archaic period
This dagger is in very good excavated condition, found around 250 years ago, so its blade's condition is very aged, yet it is in fantastic condition bearing it mind it is around 3200 years old.
One cannot over emphasise the rarity of such as this wonderful piece, and to find a Bronze Age and earliest Iron Age combination metals dagger, it a rare treasure indeed. From the ancient pre-history era, made in the time of the Siege of Troy, the ancient Phoenicians, and the earliest period of ancient Greek and Minoan pre-history.
It is incredible to comprehend that this fine piece would have been a revered weapon when it was likely used around the time of the Siege of Troy, and during the earliest Greek-Persian Wars. It would have already been 700 years old and a piece of great antiquity, at the time when Alexander The Great was embarking on his extraordinary campaign to conquer the Persian Empire in 335 BC.
He eventually conquered half the known world and was to become the greatest ruler in history. This exceptionally beautiful and rare artefact, around 3000 years old, and it superbly demonstrates the skill of the artisans from the bronze age and iron age combined.
With a flanged eared pommel in iron, a bronze hilt and grip, and a double ribbed double edged blade in iron/steel. In 3000 BC plus, iron was a tremendously scarce and precious metal, scarcely know around most of the world.
The earliest known iron artefacts, apart from Tutankhamun's Dagger, are nine small beads, dated to 3200 BC, from burials in Gerzeh, northern Egypt, and they were also made from meteoric iron, and shaped by careful hammering. King Tut continues to astound the archaeological community, as new research shows that the ancient Egyptian child pharaoh was buried with a dagger that part originated from the heavens.
The iron bladed dagger placed in his sarcophagus, next to the right thigh of his mummified body, was manufactured from a meteorite, according to researchers from Milan Polytechnic, Pisa University and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
The team carried out an analysis using non-invasive, portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and published their results in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.
Archaeologist Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 sparked worldwide fascination with the 14th Century BC pharaoh. Three years later, two blades one iron and one gold were found in the wrapping of the 18th Dynasty mummy. Iron's qualities, in contrast to those of bronze, were not understood. Between 1200 BC and 1000 BC, diffusion in the understanding of iron metallurgy and use of iron objects was fast and far-flung. In the history of ferrous metallurgy, iron smelting, the extraction of usable metal from oxidized iron ores, is more difficult than tin and copper smelting. These other metals and their alloys can be cold-worked, or melted in simple pottery kilns and cast in moulds; but smelted iron requires hot-working and can be melted only in specially designed furnaces. It is therefore not surprising that humans only mastered iron smelting after several millennia of bronze metallurgy. We show in the gallery Tutankhamun's iron bladed dagger and Carter's photograph of its discovery in his tomb. 11.5 inches overall, approx. 16 ozs read more
A Fabulous Historical Revolutionary War & Napoleonic Wars Chasseurs Cheval Sabre, From the King's Cousin's Castle, Where the Late Queen Spent Her German State Visit in 1965 with Prince Philip
With incredible historical provenence, part of the French war souvenirs from Schloss Langenburg, which is the ancestral seat of the Princes Hohenlohe-Langenburg in Southern Germany, and is today the family home of Princess Saskia and Prince Philipp zu Hohenlohe- Langenburg. The historical arms and armour from the Schloss Langenburg armoury were sold some years ago, and included this fabulous French sword, that was formerly with other weapons cap-tured from the military campaigns of Field Marshal Friedrich Karl Wilhelm, Furst zu Hohenlohe, who served the Habsburg Monarchy, and fought in many campaigns against France. This fabulous and rare French sword was used from the revolution, in the Nile campaign and the Napoleonic wars by the Chasseurs a Cheval. It is mounted absolutely correctly with a blade modelled on the 1781 regulation, with characteristic residual ricasso, gilt-brass hilt of the successive issue type, retaining its original leather-covered grip bound with brass single-strand wire, the blade and the knuckle-guard struck with War Administration acceptance marks, a fasces and a cockerel respectively, and the inner face of the guard with the maker's stamped signature 'Liorard' 92 cm; 36" in blade The fasces and cockerel State acceptance marks were introduced by the Comite de Salut Public in 1793, in place of the marks of military inspectors absent within the revolutionary period. Liorard is recorded as a fourbisseur working at 163, rue de la Verrerie, Paris, in the 18th and 19th century. See M. Petard 1999, pp.122-3, figs. 112a & 112b, pp.180-1, figs. 11 & 17. also Armes Blanches Symbolisme Inscriptions Marquages Fourbousseurs Manufactures by Jean Lhoste and Jean-Jacques Buigne. In 1828, there was the marriage at Kensington Palace of Prince Ernst zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg to Princess Anna Feodora zu Leiningen, the half-sister of the future Queen Victoria. In 1896 Princess Feodora's grandson, Ernst II zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, married Queen Victoria's granddaughter Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Princess Alexandra was the third daughter of H.R.H. Prince Alfred, son of Queen Victoria and H.R.H. The Prince Albert, she was also the grand-daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. The family link between the Windsors and the Hohenlohe-Langenburgs remains a strong one. H.M. The Queen visited Schloss Langenburg during her German State Visit in 1965, together with H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh and his sister, H.R.H. Princess Margarita. The original Mercedes 600 in which they toured is today preserved in the Car Museum at the castle. In 1792, Field Marshal Friedrich Karl Wilhelm, Furst zu Hohenlohe was initially placed in command of the 50,000 Austrian forces in the Upper Rhine Valley. In August, his forces crossed the Rhine by Mannheim, and participated in the bombardment of Thionville, on the Moselle, in early September. Although the invading forces of the allies readily captured Longwy on 23 August and slowly marched on to Verdun, which was even less defensible than Longwy. The Duke of Brunswick now began his march on Paris and approached the defiles of the Argonne. In combination with the Army of Conde and Hessian troops, a portion of his force, 15,000, covered the left (southern) flank of the Prussian advance on Valmy.
As a seasoned and experienced officer, he had been chosen as a mentor for the young Archduke Charles, and the archduke was assigned to his force; they were not at Valmy, but could hear the cannonade. The Duke of Brunswick's force was to engage the northern flank of the French army, called the Army of the Sedan, while Hohenlohe-Kirchberg's force engaged the southern flank (Army of the Metz).
In December 1792, Hohenlohe-Kirchberg's forces defended Trier from the Army of the Moselle so well that its commander, General of Division Pierre de Ruel, marquis de Beurnonville, was removed from his command by his superiors in Paris. On 31 December, Hohenlohe-Kirchberg was awarded the Grand Cross of Military Order of Maria Theresa for his success at Trier.
In May 1793, his forces played a decisive role in the victory at the Battle of Famars. He was appointed as General Quarter Master and Chief of Staff to the Coalition's main army in Flanders, succeeding General Karl Mack. As part of the Belgian Corps under Field Marshal Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld he played a decisive role in the action at Avesnes-le-Sec and later at the Battle of Fleurus (1794). Subsequently, Hohenlohe-Kirchberg commanded a corps on the upper Rhine and was responsible for the recapture of Speyer from the French on 17 September 1794. His second in command was Friedrich Karl Wilhelm, F?rst (prince) zu Hohenlohe-IngelfingenIn later Field Marshal. Ijn 1801, Prince Friedrich Karl Wilhelm was appointed Colonel (Inhaber) of 7th Dragoon Regiment. Prior to the Capitulation of Ulm, he, Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, and Archduke Ferdinand d'Este broke out of the French cordon surrounding the city and escaped to Bohemia, hotly pursued by the French cavalry. On the 5th of November, he commanded an Austrian cavalry column at the Battle of D?renstein and a few weeks later, he commanded the Austrian cavalry at the Allied defeat at the Battle of Austerlitz. This wonderful sword has its original wire binding over the original leather grip, it is in very good condition indeed and has an excellent blade. No scabbard. read more
An Edo Period 1603 -1867, Katana Tsuba Tenbo Saotome Style, Hammered Iron With Formed Rim Mimi
A most attractive form of tsuba with fabulous patina, the hitsu-ana infills are extremely well done, and very nicely surface decorated. The hammering of the surface is superb and to us this is an exceptional piece for a collection or to compliment a suitable blade. Likely early Shinto, 1600’s. With pierced kozuka and kogai hitsu-ana both metal filled, possibly in a silver alloy. The tsuba, is a fundamental element in the mounting of the Japanese sword, it is the guard, the most important element of the fittings, and has two main functions: the first to protect the hand against the slashes and lunges of an opposing sword; the second is to prevent that the hand ends up directly on the cutting edge of the blade. Over the course of more than ten centuries of history, the tsuba has undergone a number of important changes, as regards the materials used for its manufacture and its appearance.
During the centuries of wars that characterised Japan until the advent of the Tokugawa Shogunate during the first half of the 17th century, the tsuba was essentially made of iron or steel. From the mid-17th century onwards the tsuba became a real work of art, with the use of soft metals used in various ways, with engravings, incrustations; well made tsuba were the pride of hundreds of craftsmen’s schools whose value sometimes exceeded that of the same blades of the mounting where tsuba was part of
75mm read more
A WW2 Japanese Officer's 'Shin Gunto' Occupation Sword, Made During The Imperial Japanese Army's Occupation of Java in Circa 1943/44
Untouched since its return from WW2 from a naval family. Combat leather covered mounts, over plain wood shirasaya, with a locally Javan cast Japanese cherry blossom decorated military tsuba. Very, very sharp grey blade. Very likely made in Sumaran Semerang, a Japanese Garrison on the island of Shiyawaka. It had an occupation steelworks that made swords for Japanese officers, who could no longer at the latter part of the war, obtain swords from Japan. They also produced swords for the Indonesian collaborating officers. The sword has been stored since around 1947. A basic officer's sword of regular quality but an especially and incredibly interesting piece from the Japanese Pacific campaign.
As it is an original WW2 issue occupation sword it is probably one of the least expensive examples of an original Japanese officer’s service swords of WW2 available on the market today, but also one of the most intriguing, to specifically come from the occupation of the Indonesian Islands by Japan in WW2
The Japanese Empire occupied Indonesia, known then as the Dutch East Indies, during World War II from March 1942 until after the end of War in 1945. The period was one of the most critical in Indonesian history. Under German occupation, the Netherlands had little ability to defend its colony against the Japanese army, and less than three months after the first attacks on Borneo the Japanese navy and army overran Dutch and allied forces. Initially, most Indonesians optimistically and even joyfully welcomed the Japanese as liberators from their Dutch colonial masters. This sentiment changed as Indonesians were expected to endure more hardship for the war effort. In 1944–45, Allied troops largely by-passed Indonesia and did not fight their way into the most populous parts such as Java and Sumatra. As such, most of Indonesia was still under Japanese occupation at the time of their surrender in August 1945. On 29 April 1945, Japanese occupation force formed BPUPKI (Indonesian Independence Effort Exploratory Committee) (Japanese: Dokuritsu Jyunbi Choosakai ), a Japanese-organized committee for granting independence to Indonesia. The commanding officer of 16 IJA was General Nagano Lt-General Nagano Yuichiro. Indonesian independence meeting and discussion were prepared through this organization. The final stages of warfare were initiated in October 1945 when, in accordance with the terms of their surrender, the Japanese tried to re-establish the authority they relinquished to Indonesians in the towns and cities. Japanese military police killed Republican pemuda in Pekalongan (Central Java) on 3 October, and Japanese troops drove Republican pemuda out of Bandung in West Java and handed the city to the British, but the fiercest fighting involving the Japanese was in Semarang. On 14 October, British forces began to occupy the city. Retreating Republican forces retaliated by killing between 130 and 300 Japanese prisoners they were holding. Five hundred Japanese and 2000 Indonesians had been killed and the Japanese had almost captured the city six days later when British forces arrived. Picture in the gallery of Indonesian boy volunteers training for the Japanese volunteer army. Major Kido, in charge of a Kido Butai (an Officer Training School with an armoury in Semarang), was recommended for a British DSO for his assistance in securing the city and for subsequent help in the relief of internee camps at Ambarawa. (In fact the Japanese mistakenly opened fire upon the arriving British forces killing several members of 3/10 GR.) The DSO for Kido was not approved (which was hardly surprising, as it was just a few weeks since the Japanese surrender, and it would have caused uproar in Britain). This recommendation is mentioned in General Christison's memoirs held in the IWM, quoted by the following scholars:
The Secret of Major Kido: The battle of Semarang, 15-19 October 1945.’ Han, Bing Siong. Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, Volume 152, Issue 3 (1996), pages 382–428.
‘Sleeping with the Enemy: Britain, Japanese Troops and the Netherlands East Indies, 1945–1946.’ Roadnight, A. History, Volume 87, Number 286, April 2002 , pp. 245-268(24).
‘Side-stepping Geneva: Japanese Troops under British Control, 1945-7.’
Connor, S, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 45 (2) April 2010: 389-405. Kido Butai (battalion) was so well regarded by the British forces that it was afforded the unique honour of departing Java carrying its small arms for disposal at sea. Kido Butai was then interned on Rempang island (south of Singapore in Dutch territorial waters) before being repatriated to Japan. Interestingly the Semarang kenpeitai (military police corps), which suffered considerable casualties carrying out British orders, were arrested and handed over to the Dutch military courts for subsequent for 'war guilt' investigations and trial. No account was taken of their assistance against Indonesian nationalists. There was considerable post war ill-feeling in Japanese ex-servicemen's circles over the actions of Kido Butai with former kenpeitai being contemptuous of 'treacherous' and 'anti-Indonesian' actions by pro-Indonesian Japanese veterans. (From interviews with former IJA personnel, including ex-Kido Butai, in Connor's PhD thesis.)
The battle for Semarang, Anglo-Dutch friction and the combined British-Japanese operation to relieve internee camps as well as the British military disaster at Surabaya in October 1945 (430 dead in three days!) are the subject of the new and controversial story Black Sun, Red Moon: A Novel of Java by Rory Marron. Mr Marron suspects many of the PETA militia officers, trained by the Japanese, would have been carrying swords such as these and carried them throughout the revolution until Indonesia gained independence from the Dutch in 1949. Much of the above history was by courtesy of Mr Rory Marron author of Black Sun, Red Moon:
The original habaki small blade collar split in service and replaced with bound cord but we can have a correct copper replacement one bespoke made for around £140. read more
A Fabulous & Most Rare Large Irish Brass Barrelled Flintlock Blunderbuss Pistol, Circa 1700's
A stunning and beautiful flintlock, with a lock bearing the maker's name, within a lozenge shaped poincon stamp, of its Irish gunsmith. Through diligent research we can find no other example of his fine workmanship surviving in the world today. Therefore, this may well be a uniquely surviving example of his finest quality pistols remaining and still in existence. This is not to say definitively there are no other examples of his work remaining somewhere, maybe within a darkened corner of a distant museum, but we can certainly find no trace of one. The fine brass barrel is not proved which is exactly as we would expect to find, for prior to 1712, there was no requirement or legislation in place, to cover barrel proofing in Ireland, and although officially 1712 was the official date, some were finished with unproved barrels for a decade or so later. Indeed following the Act of Union in 1801 it could be surmised that all barrels would be subject to British proof, either by the Birmingham or London Proof Houses. However, this obviously did not occur, but when barrels were imported from Irish cities, they were later marked with the relevant British proofs. But arms that remained in Ireland may have spent their entire working lives unproved. The barrel is brass and its wonderful walnut stock has a magnificent patina. The butt cap bears the Queen Anne type grotesque butt mask, but most unusually this has a double face, both grimacing one way, and sad, when viewed from the opposite side.
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
Approx 15 inches long overall read more
A Very Fine & Beautiful Katana, Signed and Attributed to Hizen Kuni ju Tadayoshi, Circa 1640
The whole sword is an fine beauty, fitted with excellent quality and finest gold enhanced mounts, Its fittings are stunning, Edo Period, koshirae mounts of depictions of galloping and grazing samurai ponies throughout. This fine samurai sword has been completely untouched since it arrived from Japan as an esteemed antique gift some 145 years ago.
The signed blade bears a stunning and most beautiful hamon temper line.
The fushi is sublime, premier quality, with a pure hammered gold pony over a shakudo nanako ground, and it is signed by the fitting maker. The menuki are shakudo ponies, and the tsuba of a grazing pony enhanced with gold, beneath a gilt flowered cherry blossom tree, on a mokko form iron plate ground.
It has excellent hand applied 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 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.
The tsuba also bears a gilt pony, and there are a pair of shakudo menuki underneath the Edo silk tsuka-ito wrap. The gold horse or pony has an ancient place in Japanese culture, the Ainus of Japan are the first indigenous Japanese, believed a belief in a world with three levels, and that one may travel from one world to the next via the golden horse. It may be from the following story that the significant place of ponies in Japanese culture and status began. The Ainus tale 'The Man who lost his Wife'. A man had lost his wife, and was searching for her everywhere, over hill and dale, forest and sea-shore. At last he came to a wide plain, on which stood an oak-tree. Going up to it he found it to be not so much an oak-tree as a house, in which dwelt a kind-looking old man. Said the old man: "'I am the god of the oak-tree. I know of your loss, and have seen your faithful search. Rest here awhile, and refresh yourself by eating and smoking. After that, if you hope to find your wife again, you must obey my orders, which are as follows: Take this golden horse, get on his back, fly up on him to the sky, and, when you get there, ride about the streets, constantly singing."
So the man mounted the horse, which was of pure gold. The saddle and all the trappings were of gold also. As soon as he was in the saddle, the horse flew up to the sky. There the man found a world like ours, but more beautiful. There was an immense city in it; and up and down the streets of that city, day after day, he rode, singing all the while. Every one in the sky stared at him, and all the people put their hands to their noses, saying: "How that creature from the lower world stinks!" At last the stench became so intolerable to them that the chief god of the sky came and told him that he should be made to find his wife if only he would go away. Thereupon the man flew back to earth on his golden horse. Alighting at the foot of the oak-tree, he said to the oak-god: "Here am I. I did as you bade me. But I did not find my wife." "Wait a moment," said the oak-god; "you do not know what a tumult has been caused by your visit to the sky, neither have I yet told you that it was a demon who stole your wife. This demon, looking up from hell below, was so much astonished to see and hear you riding up and down the streets of heaven singing, that his gaze is still fixed in that direction. I will profit hereby to go round quietly, while his attention is absorbed, and let your wife out of the box in which he keeps her shut up."
The oak-god did as he had promised. He brought back the woman, and handed over both her and the gold horse to the man, saying: "Do not use this horse to make any more journeys to the sky. Stay on earth, and breed from it." The couple obeyed his commands, and became very rich. The gold horse gave birth to two horses, and these two bred likewise, till at last horses filled all the land of the Ainos. The Ainu people are historically residents of parts of Hokkaido (the Northern island of Japan) the Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin. According to the government, there are currently 25,000 Ainu living in Japan, but other sources claim there are up to 200,000. The origin of the Ainu people and language is, for the most part, unknown. However, there have been many theories on the subject.
One theory suggests that the Ainu people are remnants of the Jomon-jin, or the hunter-gathers who inhabited Japan during the Jomon Period (14,500 BC ? 300 AD) and perhaps even before. Around the year 300 AD, another group of immigrants known as the Yayoi people made their way to the islands of Japan, introducing new agricultural techniques and technology and integrating with the Jomon people. It is believed that the Yayoi group may not have reached as far as the Northern island of Hokkaido, allowing the Jomon hunter-gatherer way of life to survive in that area.
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