1427 items found
An Original, Incredibly Rare  'Damascus' Presentation Sword, Presented to the German Fuhrer of 1898, An Imperial German, Damascus Steel, Blue & Gilt, Presentation Fuhrer's Sword. Set With Genuine Rubies and Silver Crossed Cannon

An Original, Incredibly Rare 'Damascus' Presentation Sword, Presented to the German Fuhrer of 1898, An Imperial German, Damascus Steel, Blue & Gilt, Presentation Fuhrer's Sword. Set With Genuine Rubies and Silver Crossed Cannon

This is a magnificent example of one of the rarest most desirable and valuable German swords made in 200 years. The highest grade possible of German military sword to be commissioned during the 19th and 20th centuries, encompassing the Imperial, Weimar and Third Reich eras of Germany.

This fabulous sword was presented to the ‘Fuhrer’ of 1898, but that was not the last, far more infamous German ‘Fuhrer’ who achieved that title, the notorious Adolf Hitler. After Hitler, the title Fuhrer as an esteemed German rank of status and unlimited authority became forever tainted, and thus it died with him, never to be used again. But before his death in 1945 the highest ‘Fuhrer’ represented a highly respected and revered military and political rank in all Germany.

A 'Grosse Degan', translates to the ‘great size sword’ is around 50% heavier, wider and substantial, and a far superior quality than the regular officer’s sword of the day. Presented in the late 19th century, these significant and important Damascus swords were effectively, the swords of Kings, worn by the highest ranking officers [Generals, Field Marshals, Dukes and Kings] right through WW1 and also WW2. For example we show in the gallery Field Marshal von Kleist with his identical family sword, that was also an antique Imperial sabre, but worn by him in WW2.

Also, a photograph of His Majesty King George Vth [the Queen's grandfather] and Kaiser Wilhelm of Prussia [King George's cousin] in their ceremonial Colonel-in-Chief uniforms. King George Vth is in his full dress ‘honorary’ Imperial German uniform [with pickelhaub helmet] and also wearing his identical grade of ‘Fuhrer’ sword to ours. Before WW2 it was common for foreign kings to be made honorary colonels to other countries regiments. For example until WW1 Kaiser Willhelm was an honorary colonel of a British regiment, the Kaiser’s Own.

The presentation inscription on the sword’s highest grade elite Damascus blade approximately translates to

"Given By The War Veterans of Stade to it's Beloved Fuhrer"

Super quality hilt with fine detailed chiselling of a lion's head pommel with genuine rubies for eyes [the rubies were examined and confirmed by our gemologist]. The quillon terminal is a further head of a lion, and the langet is mounted with a wreathed pair of crossed cannon. Silver wire bound horn grip and the knucklebow bears a portrait bust of the German Kaiser, Queen Victoria’s grandson.

The blade is further marked ‘Damast’. Damascus steel swords were the rarest and most highly prized swords ever made in Germany. A method of creating the finest possible steel, a method that was almost lost after WWI however, Reichmarshall Herman Goring made it his personal task, in the 1930’s, to find the finest blade smiths in Europe and to recreate the lost art of Damascus steel for his finest blades. He succeeded, and those surviving German Damast steel edged weapons, also embellished with gold, such as this sword, are now some of the most valuable ever produced during the 20th century.

Wilhelm II or William II (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht von Preu?en; Frederick William Victor Albert of Prussia; 27 January 1859 4 June 1941) was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. Wilhelm was born on 27 January 1859 at the Crown Prince's Palace in Berlin to Prince Frederick William of Prussia (the future Frederick III) and his wife, Victoria, Princess Royal, the eldest daughter of Britain's Queen Victoria. At the time of his birth, his great-uncle Frederick William IV was king of Prussia, and his grandfather and namesake Wilhelm was acting as Regent. He was the first grandchild of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, but more importantly, as the first son of the Crown Prince of Prussia, Wilhelm was from 1861 second in the line of succession to Prussia, and also, after 1871, to the newly created German Empire, which, according to the constitution of the German Empire, was ruled by the Prussian King.

Crowned in 1888, he dismissed the Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, in 1890 and launched Germany on a "New Course" in foreign affairs that culminated in his support for Austria-Hungary in the crisis of July 1914 that led in a matter of days to the First World War. No Scabbard.  read more

Code: 22370

7995.00 GBP

A Stunning Condition & Very Fine Original Antique Bowie Knife by Manson of Sheffield, An Absolute Delightful Piece of American Civil War History

A Stunning Condition & Very Fine Original Antique Bowie Knife by Manson of Sheffield, An Absolute Delightful Piece of American Civil War History

19th century, a British import from the US Civil War period into the Wild West period. With almost all its original bright polish finish on the blade. Frosted etched motto "Never Draw Me Without Reason Nor Sheath Me Without Honour". Original nickel mounted scabbard in tooled red leather. Embossed grave vine pattern handle

The term "Bowie knife" appeared in advertising by 1835, about 8 years after the Bowie's famous sandbar knife brawl, while James Bowie was still alive. The first knife, with which Bowie became famous, allegedly was designed by Jim Bowie's brother Rezin in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana and smithed by blacksmith Jesse Clift out of an old file. Period court documents indicate that Rezin Bowie and Clifft were well acquainted with one another. Rezin's granddaughter claimed in an 1885 letter to Louisiana State University that she personally witnessed Clift make the knife for her grandfather.
This knife became famous as the knife used by Bowie at the Sandbar Fight, a famous 1827 duel between Bowie and several men including a Major Norris Wright of Alexandria, Louisiana. The fight took place on a sandbar in the Mississippi River across from Natchez, Mississippi, and is the only documented fight in which Bowie was known to have employed his Bowie knife design. In this battle Bowie was stabbed, shot, and beaten half to death but managed to win the fight using the large knife.
From context, "Bowie knife" needed no description then, but the spelling was variable. Among the first mentions was a plan to combine a Bowie knife and pistol. Cutlers were shipping sheath knives from Sheffield England by the early 1830s. By 1838 a writer in a Baltimore newspaper (posted from New Orleans) suggested that every reader had seen a Bowie knife.

The Bowie knife found its greatest popularity in the Old Southwest of the mid-19th century, where several knife fighting schools were established to teach students the art of fighting with the Bowie knife pattern.

Bowie knives had a role in the American conflicts of the nineteenth century. They are historically mentioned in the independence of Texas, in the Mexican War, the California gold rush, the civil strife in Kansas, the Civil War and later conflicts with the American Indians. John Brown (the abolitionist) carried a Bowie (which was taken by J. E. B. Stuart). John Wilkes Booth (assassin of Abraham Lincoln) dropped a large Bowie knife as he escaped. "Buffalo Bill" Cody reportedly scalped a sub-chief in 1876 in revenge for Custer (the Battle of War bonnet Creek).

The popularity of the Bowie knife declined late in the nineteenth century. Large calibre reliable revolvers were available by the mid-1870s, reducing a knife advantage. The frontier rapidly vanished, reducing the number of hunters and trappers. Large knives had limited utility, so Bowies shrunk.
This is a superb small example perfect for boot or ladies garter concealment. 9.75 inches overall, 5 inch blade. Only the scabbard throat button is lacking, very small grey finger print staining to small areas of the blade  read more

Code: 22760

875.00 GBP

A Most Rare & Beautiful US Civil War Moore's Patent 32 Cal. 'Teat Fire' Revolver.

A Most Rare & Beautiful US Civil War Moore's Patent 32 Cal. 'Teat Fire' Revolver.

A rare Moore's patent .32 cal. Teat Fire revolver. Finely engraved silver plated frame, birds head butt. Good action. Fine over lacquered grips. The Teat Fire system, patented by Moore, was a most unusual front loading cartridge action, and his .45 calibre version, of the same action gun, is one of the rarest and most collectable guns of that era. Designed and made in 1864, during the Civil War, this is a very fine pocket sized revolver that saw much good service as a back-up or defensive arm for officers, and was very popular with riverboat and saloon gamblers, such as Doc Holliday and George Devol. There is a picture of an antique 19th century poster advertising Devol's gambling book. For information only not included. It utilized a special .32 caliber teat-fire cartridge designed by Daniel Moore and David Williamson. It was loaded from the front with the "teat" to the rear.
This 6 shot revolver has a 3?" barrel. Overall it measures 7-1/8" It has a fine silver plated frame. The barrel has some remaining original deep blue finish. The bird's head butt has 2 piece walnut grips. This model has a small hinged swivel gate on the right side of the barrel lug in front of the cylinder that prevents the cartridges from falling out after they are inserted.
The barrel markings are "MOORE'S PAT. FIREARMS CO. BROOKLYN, N.Y.", in a single line on the top. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables  read more

Code: 22540

795.00 GBP

A Stunning & Rare Victorian US Civil War Period 'Whitworth' Rifle, One Of The Best Condition Examples We Have See in Over 20 Years

A Stunning & Rare Victorian US Civil War Period 'Whitworth' Rifle, One Of The Best Condition Examples We Have See in Over 20 Years

With an absolutely mouthwatering patina, as good as any Whitworth we have seen in the finest museum collections. Serial number 198. One of the most famous types of rifles used by snipers in the US Civil War in the 1860's. In fact they can be such a significant and rare weapon that with known Confederate provenence with correct serial numbering stamping and the like a Whitworth rifle value has been known to approach $100,000 in today's collectors market. Sadly, this fabulous arm has no known provenence surviving, however, it is a most intriguing and an even rarer example in some respects, in that it was converted in the 1870's to the improved 'Snider' breech loading configuration. We have never seen another surviving example of a Snider converted 'Whitworth' rifle before in over 50 years. From hundreds of yards away, a Confederate sharpshooter carefully aimed his prized Whitworth, the crosshairs of its Davidson telescopic sight outlined against the ramparts of Fort Stevens in Washington, D.C. Through the scope?fitted to the left side of the stock?his eye scanned the ample crowd of Union soldiers and plucky civilians who had ventured by, hoping to observe warfare up close. Suddenly, the shooter?s attention shifted to a tall bearded man wearing a stovepipe hat, realizing it was that Yankee president, within easy range of his English-made precision rifle. As he prepared to fire, though, a Federal officer dragged Abraham Lincoln out of view. When issued, the rifles came with specific rules of engagement. The Whitworth sharpshooter would only use his gun against high-value targets. Artillery positions, cavalry scouts, exposed officers, and enemy sharpshooters were fair game. Furthermore, they were free to operate independently, choosing their own targets and locations on the battlefield. Some Confederate generals?especially Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne of the Army of Tennessee consolidated their sharpshooters into dedicated companies, using them to divert enemy forces where needed.

While many high-ranking Union officers had fallen victim to sharpshooters armed with Whitworth rifles, Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick, in command of the 6th Corps at Spotsylvania, was the most noteworthy witness to their effectiveness. Sedgwick was no stranger to enemy bullets, having been wounded several times prior to Spotsylvania. Ironically, he was hit but not injured by a spent bullet on May 8, 1864. The next day, his luck ran out. The story of the Whitworth and the Civil War; What the Confederacy needed as it prepared for war was a means of equalizing the disparity in arms fielded by the industrially superior North. Unable to produce what they needed, the South looked abroad. Arms buyers secretly visiting Great Britain obtained contracts for hundreds of thousands of regular P1853 Enfield rifles, and many other munitions that could be sent home by blockade-runners. But the available Whitworths were costly and difficult to come by.

Under wartime conditions, the price of a Whitworth rifle quickly jumped from $100 to $500, then again to $1,000 an expensive proposition considering how many regular muskets and rifles that same sum could buy, a Colt revolver in 1863 for example was just $20, and that was considered an expensive pistol at the time. $1,000 then was a simply mind boggling sum by today's standards. The Whitworth projectiles made by swaging, a unique forging process were difficult for the South to manufacture, so cylindrical bullet molds were added to shipments to supplement the smaller stores of hexagonal ammunition. These cylindrical molds then went to Southern arsenals to produce additional loads for distribution once the British rounds had run out. Overall 52 inches long As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables  read more

Code: 23154

5750.00 GBP

A Fine & Very Rare WWI Prussian Regimental Officer’s Sword of The 2nd Imperial Garde Uhlan Lancers Regiment

A Fine & Very Rare WWI Prussian Regimental Officer’s Sword of The 2nd Imperial Garde Uhlan Lancers Regiment

Fully etched blade with the Imperial Garde Garter Star motif and regimental name of the [Imperial Prussian] Garde 2nd Uhlan Regiment. The Imperial German Garde were the regiments that composed the elite bodyguard regiments of the Kaiser.

The regiment of Field Marshal Schlieffen, inventor of the world renown military tactic, the ‘Schlieffen Plan’

Included in the officers of the 2nd Garde Uhlans was Field Marshal Count Alfred Graf von Schlieffen who joined the 2nd Garde Uhlans as a young officer in Berlin. He first saw active war service as a staff officer with the Prussian Cavalry Corps, in the uhlans, at the Battle of Koniggratz of 1866, during the Austro-Prussian War. His career saw rapid promotion due to his obvious tactical skills. He became Lieutenant General on 4 December 1888, and eventually General of the Cavalry on 27 January 1893., followed by Field Marshal. Schlieffen was perhaps the best-known contemporary strategist of his time, although criticized for his "narrow-minded military scholasticism." In World War I the regiment was part of the Guards Cavalry Division fighting on the Western Front. After the mobilization the regiment moved through Belgium and was involved in the First Battle of the Marne before the general retreat to Reims, where it dismounted and was involved in trench warfare as well as signaling operations. By September 1914, the regiment was divided, with 3rd and 4th Squadrons (2nd half-regiment) sent to the 2nd Cavalry Division and the 1st and 2nd Squadrons (1st half-regiment) remaining in the 2nd Guards Infantry Division.

1st half-regiment: On 20 November 1914, it moved into Russian Poland and by August 1915 moved into Vilna, as a part of the Gorlice?Tarn?w Offensive. By the end of October 1915, the half-regiment was involved in operations in Courland and was involved in the capture of Riga in September 1917. In November 1917, the unit moved back to the Western Front where they remained till the end of the war.

2nd half-regiment: It remained first on the Western Front and in April 1915 was transferred to Galicia, but soon returned to the Western Front. In 1917 it again returned to the Eastern Front in action around Vilna before returning to the West, where it remained until the end of the war.

After the end of the war, in December 1918 the squadrons reunified and returned to Berlin, where the regiment was demobilized and then dissolved in 1919.

Schlieffen's operational theories were to have a profound impact on the development of maneuver warfare in the twentieth century, largely through his seminal treatise, Cannae, which concerned the decidedly un-modern battle of 216 BC in which Hannibal defeated the Romans. Cannae had two main purposes. First, it was to clarify, in writing, Schlieffen's concepts of maneuver, particularly the maneuver of encirclement, along with other fundamentals of warfare. Second, it was to be an instrument for the Staff, the War Academy, and for the Army all together. Schlieffen held that the destruction of an attacking force required that it be surrounded and attacked from all sides until it surrendered, and not merely repulsed as in a 'passive' defence: His theories were studied exhaustively, especially in the higher army academies of the United States and Europe after World War I. American military thinkers thought so highly of him that his principal literary legacy, Cannae, was translated at Fort Leavenworth and distributed within the U.S. Army and to the academic community. In 1914, the Imperial German Army included twenty-six Uhlan regiments, three of which were Guard regiments, twenty-one line (sixteen Prussian, two Wurttemberg and three Saxon) and two from the autonomous Royal Bavarian Army. All German Uhlan regiments wore Polish style czapkas and tunics with plastron fronts, both in coloured parade uniforms and the field grey service dress introduced in 1910. Because German hussar, dragoon and cuirassier regiments also carried lances in 1914, there was a tendency among their French and British opponents to describe all German cavalry as "uhlans". No scabbard.  read more

Code: 22670

1495.00 GBP

A Fabulous, and Rare,  19th Century Imperial Russo-Prussian Grenadier's Mitre Cap

A Fabulous, and Rare, 19th Century Imperial Russo-Prussian Grenadier's Mitre Cap

A most rarely surviving form of European service helmet. The highly distinctive mitre cap was in use by grenadier regiments of three principle nations [mostly British, Prussian and Russian] since the mid 18th century, they were used continually by the Russo-Prussians alone into the Napoleonic wars, in the early 19th century, right though in fact to the early 20th century, but they ceased to be used by the British in the end of the 18th century. The mitre cap is an extraordinary form of helmet that was both elaborate and decorative but also as a form of intimidation, to increase the perception of the height of a grenadier, yet still most functional for defence against sword cuts and slashes. Wih the helmets construction, a combination of cloth and pressed metal, creating a most effective ‘crumple zone’ against a slashing blade impact upon the soldiers head. The rarest of all the surviving mitre caps is beyond doubt the British, as they were in use for the shortest period of time and were entirely made of cloth, and that material survives poorly over 3 centuries. The Russian and Prussian examples had elements of metal within the helmets stamped crest frontispieces and frame, and, they were in use for longer, some into the WW1 period. However, all surviving examples are now very scarce indeed, and complete examples are most especially rare. The 18th and 19th century examples being the most rarest of all. The mitre cap, whether in stiffened cloth or metal, had become the distinguishing feature of the grenadier in the armies of Britain, Russia, Prussia and most German states during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. While Northern-European armies such as Britain, Russia, Sweden and various German states (perhaps most famously Prussia) wore the mitre cap, the southern countries, such as France, Spain, Austria, Portugal and various Italian states preferred the bearskin cap. By 1768 Britain too had adopted the bearskin. By the advent of the Napoleonic Wars, both mitres caps and fur caps had begun to fall out of use in favour of the shako. Two major exceptions were France's Grande Armee (although in 1812, regulations changed grenadier uniforms to those more similar to the ones of fusiliers, except in guard regiments) and the Austrian Army. After the Battle of Friedland in 1807, because of their distinguished performance, Russia's Pavlovsk Regiment were allowed to keep their mitre caps and were admitted to the Imperial Guard. In 1914 the Imperial German and Russian Armies still included a number of grenadier regiments. In the Russian Army these comprised the Grenadier Guards Regiment (L-G Grenadierski Polk) as well as the Grenadier Corps of sixteen regiments (plus an independent reinforced company of Palace Grenadiers, guarding the St. Petersburg Imperial residences). Five regiments of the Prussian Guard were designated as Garde-Grenadiers and there were an additional fourteen regiment of grenadiers amongst the line infantry of the German Empire. In both the Russian and German armies the grenadier regiments were considered a historic elite, distinguished by features such as plumed helmets in full dress, distinctive facings (yellow for all Russian grenadiers) or special braiding. A grenadier derived from the word grenade, and was originally a specialized soldier, first established as a distinct role in the mid-to-late 17th century, for the throwing of grenades and sometimes assault operations. At that time grenadiers were chosen from the strongest and largest soldiers. By the 18th century, dedicated grenade throwing of this sort was no longer relevant, but grenadiers were still chosen for being the most physically powerful soldiers and would lead assaults in the field of battle. Grenadiers would also often lead the storming of fortification breaches in siege warfare, although this role was more usually fulfilled by all-arm units of volunteers called forlorn hopes, and might also be fulfilled by sappers or pioneers. A very similar, near identical example appears illustrated and described in the The Lyle Official Arms and Armour Review 1983, page 261  read more

Code: 22034

3950.00 GBP

A Most Beautiful Tachi-kake Samurai Sword Stand With Maki-e Gold Nabeshima Clan Mon

A Most Beautiful Tachi-kake Samurai Sword Stand With Maki-e Gold Nabeshima Clan Mon

In black urushi lacquer, and It bears two mon, 'Daki Myoga' mon of the great Nebeshima clan. Two opposing ginger plants.

the Nabeshima clan did not take the name Nabeshima, however, until the late 15th century, when Shoni Shigenao established himself at Nabeshima in Hizen province (today part of Saga City, Saga prefecture). Later, in the Sengoku period (1467-1603), the Nabeshima were one of a number of clans which clashed over the island. The Nabeshima sided with the Ryuzoji clan against the Otomo clan, though this ultimately ended in failure and the death of Ryuzoji Takanobu at the 1584 battle of Okita Nawate. Several years later, however, the Nabeshima recovered power and prominence by aiding Toyotomi Hideyoshi in his 1587 invasion of Kyushu; Nabeshima Naoshige was granted the region of Saga as his fief, as a reward for his efforts. Naoshige also contributed to Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea in the 1590s.

The clan initially aided Ishida Mitsunari against Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Sekigahara Campaign in 1600. However, they switched sides to support the Tokugawa, who were ultimately victorious, before the campaign had ended, battling and occupying the forces of Tachibana Muneshige, who was thus prevented from contributing directly to the battle of Sekigahara. Though regarded as tozama daimyo ("outside" lords), and assigned particularly heavy corvee duties, the Nabeshima were allowed to keep their territory in Saga, and in fact had their kokudaka increased. The clan's forces served the new Tokugawa shogunate loyally in the years which followed; they remained in Kyushu during the 1615 Osaka Campaign as a check against a possible rebellion or uprising by the Shimazu clan, and aided in the suppression of the Shimabara Rebellion of 1637. In recognition of their service, members of the clan were granted the prestigious family name Matsudaira in 1648.

During the Edo period, the clan's Saga domain became quite famous.

28 inches high overall, base 10 inches wide x 13.25 depth inches  read more

Code: 24456

1350.00 GBP

An Iconic Symbol of Antique Weaponry, and An Exceptionally Fine 18th Century Brass Cannon-Barrel ‘Royal Navy’ Form Blunderbuss by John Rea of London

An Iconic Symbol of Antique Weaponry, and An Exceptionally Fine 18th Century Brass Cannon-Barrel ‘Royal Navy’ Form Blunderbuss by John Rea of London

A very fine example with finest juglans regia walnut stock with exceptional patina, fine brass furniture finely engraved throughout. Acorn finial trigger guard and brass cannon barrel with Tower proofs. This blunderbuss is of the so-called "cannon mouth" pattern. It is typical of the British Naval blunderbuss and dates from circa 1780. This type of weapon fires a multitude of shot about .25 inch in diameter. John Rea is listed as working in London from 1782 to 1793. The Blunderbuss (born of the Dutch word "Donderbus", appropriately meaning "Thunder Pipe" or "Thunder Gun") came to prominence in the early part of the 18th Century (1701-1800) and was more akin to the modern day shotgun than a "long gun" musket or heavy pistol of the time.

As such, she excelled in close-in fighting, be it within the confines of naval warfare where her spread of shot could inflict maximum damage to targets at close ranges. Its manageable size, coupled with its spread shot, ensured some level of accuracy for even the novice user and its appearance was rather intimidating to those unfortunate enough to be staring down the business end.
Even George Washington championed the Blunderbuss

16 inch barrel 31 inches long overall. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables  read more

Code: 20654


A Supurb Trafalger Period Navy Rum, Stoneware Ceramic Rum Barrel, with King George IIIrd Royal Crest And Lions, & 'Fore and Aft' Barrel Tap Apertures

A Supurb Trafalger Period Navy Rum, Stoneware Ceramic Rum Barrel, with King George IIIrd Royal Crest And Lions, & 'Fore and Aft' Barrel Tap Apertures

One imagine the Royal Naval officer's availing themselves daily of tots of rum. For meals, the officer's were supplied with decanted Port.

This is a simply superb navy rum barrel, stunningly impress decorated throughout the whole surface. with the Hanovarian royal crest of the Lion and Unicorn with lion surmounted crown, over the Hanovarian garter and shield. To the base of the crest are twin facing lions, in the same seated pose as can be seen at the base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square.

Prior to 1655, a sailor's ration of alcoholic beverage was originally beer with a daily ration of one gallon (i.e. eight pints). This official allowance continued until after the Napoleonic Wars. When beer was not available, as it would often spoil easily, it could be substituted by a pint of wine or half a pint of spirits depending on what was locally available. In 1655, the difficulty in storing the large quantities of liquid required led to beer's complete replacement with spirits, with the political influence of the West Indian planters giving rum preference over arrack and other spirits. The half-pint of spirits was originally issued neat; it is said that sailors would "prove" its strength by checking that gunpowder doused with rum would still burn (thus verifying that rum was at least 57% ABV).

The practice of compulsorily diluting rum in the proportion of half a pint to one quart of water was first introduced in 1740 by Admiral Edward Vernon (known as Old Grog, because of his habitual grogram cloak). The ration was also split into two servings, one between 10 am and noon and the other between 4 and 6 pm. In 1795 Navy regulations required adding small quantities of lemon or lime juice to the ration, to prevent scurvy. The rum itself was often procured from distillers in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and the British Virgin Islands. Rations were cut in half in 1823 and again in half, to the traditional amount, one-eighth of an imperial pint in 1850.

The abolition of the rum ration had been discussed in Parliament in 1850 and again in 1881 however nothing came of it. However, one dark day in 1970, Admiral Peter Hill-Norton abolished the rum ration as he felt it could have led to sailors failing a breathalyser test and being less capable to manage complex machinery.
This decision to end the rum ration was made after the Secretary of State for Defence had taken opinions from several ranks of the Navy. Ratings were instead allowed to purchase beer, and the amount allowed was determined, according to the MP David Owen, by the amount of space available for stowing the extra beer in ships. The last rum ration was on 31 July 1970 and became known as Black Tot Day as sailors were unhappy about the loss of the rum ration. There were reports that the day involved sailors throwing tots into the sea and the staging of a mock funeral in a training camp. In place of the rum ration, sailors were allowed to buy three one-half imperial pint cans of beer a day and improved recreational facilities. While the rum ration was abolished, the order to "splice the mainbrace", awarding sailors an extra tot of rum for good service, remained as a command which could only be given by the Monarch and is still used to recognise good service. Rum rations are also given on special occasions: in recent years, examples included the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy in 2010 and after the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
Heavy stoneware, around 8 kilos {guess} size, 17 inches high 13 inches across/  read more

Code: 25216

495.00 GBP

A Stunning and Impressively Powerful Koto Katana, Circa 1500. With All Original Edo Period Koshirae Mountings. A Fabulous Sword of Likely a Seieibushi {the Highest Ranked Elite Samurai} Traditionally the Highest Rank of Elite Samurai

A Stunning and Impressively Powerful Koto Katana, Circa 1500. With All Original Edo Period Koshirae Mountings. A Fabulous Sword of Likely a Seieibushi {the Highest Ranked Elite Samurai} Traditionally the Highest Rank of Elite Samurai

Originally made around 500 years ago for a samurai of considerable size and status befitting a sword of this power and presence. Photos of the blade to add Friday 12th

It bears a beautfully fine Koto blade, around 1500, yet, most rarely it shows it is ubu {unshortened} and it displays a very fine suguha hamon, very much the usual tradition during the Koto period.

Most blades of this age have had some element of shortening, which is entirely usual, and most normal.
Shortening most commonly occurs when a successor to the original katana owner, another samurai, was shorter than his predecessor, and thus so on, and thefore needs the blade slightly shortened {always from the bottom of the nakago under the hilt upwards, even if it’s just by an inch or so}. Very ancient blades can often show evidence of several shortenings, by the presence of numerous mekugi ana interspaced down the tang.

The all original Edo period mounts, fuchi kashira, are Higo style in tetsu, decorated with a takebori cormorant fisherman carrying his catch to market, on the fuchi, and his hanging nets on the kashira. The tsuba, also in finely aged tetsu, tsuchime, with very delicate Amidayasuri filemarks, or carving, representing the halo emanating from Amida Buddha, is very beautiful, impressive and signed, with two, most unusually still present, narrow bars of sinchu bordering the inner kogai hitsu-ana and kozuka hitsu-ana, these are more than often lost .
It appears the mei {signature} on the tsuba is 山吉 or Yamakichi bei who was originally an armour smith from Owari or modern Nagoya area.
The shodai worked around the same time as the first Nobuie (end of Muromachi) and nearly as highly regarded, but this example may well be later. Pale gold tsukaito silk binding over pure gold decorated shakudo menuki on the samegawa {giant rayskin}.

The saya is traditional and original Edo period, brown urushi, ishime style, stone finish lacquer, in very fine condition, and the saya is mounted with a Higo sayajiri depicting a dragon in light takebori tettsu.

When one considers this sword was carried by successive samurai from the British timeline of the Tudor kings, starting with King Henry VIIth, King Henry VIIIth’s father, it is in simply remarkable condition. We doubt of there is a single solitary example of a European sword of this great age, preserved anywhere near as well as this blade, that is appearing almost as new.

The samurai were roughly the equivalent of feudal knights. Employed by the Shogun or Daimyo, they were members of hereditary warrior class that followed a strict "code" that defined their clothes, armour and behaviour on the battlefield. But unlike most medieval knights, samurai warriors could read and they were well versed in Japanese art, literature and poetry.
Samurai endured for almost 700 years, from 1185 to 1867. Samurai families were considered the elite. They made up only about six percent of the population and included daimyo and the loyal soldiers who fought under them. Samurai means one who serves."

Samurai were expected to be both fierce warriors and lovers of art, a dichotomy summed up by the Japanese concepts of to stop the spear expanding into bushido (the way of life of the warrior) and bun (the artistic, intellectual and spiritual side of the samurai). Originally conceived as away of dignifying raw military power, the two concepts were synthesised in feudal Japan and later became a key feature of Japanese culture and morality.The quintessential samurai was Miyamoto Musashi, a legendary early Edo-period swordsman who reportedly killed 60 men before his 30th birthday and was also a painting master. Members of a hierarchal class or caste, samurai were the sons of samurai and they were taught from an early age to unquestionably obey their mother, father and daimyo. When they grew older they may be trained by Zen Buddhist masters in meditation and the Zen concepts of impermanence and harmony with nature. The were also taught about painting, calligraphy, nature poetry, mythological literature, flower arranging, and the tea ceremony.

it has been said that part of their military training, samurai were taught to sleep with their right arm underneath them so if they were attacked in the middle of the night and their the left arm was cut off the could still fight with their right arm. Samurai that tossed and turned at night were cured of the habit by having two knives placed on either side of their pillow.

Samurai have been describes as "the most strictly trained human instruments of war to have existed." They were expected to be proficient in the martial arts of aikido and kendo as well as swordsmanship and archery---the traditional methods of samurai warfare---which were viewed not so much as skills but as art forms that flowed from natural forces that harmonized with nature.
An individual didn't become a full-fledged samurai until he wandered around the countryside as begging pilgrim for a couple of years to learn humility. When this was completed they achieved samurai status and receives a salary from his daimyo paid from taxes (usually rice) raised from the local populace. Swords in Japan have long been symbols of power and honour and seen as works of art. 40 inches long overall, blade tsuba to tip, 28.5 inches  read more

Code: 25215

9450.00 GBP