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A Good 1796 Pattern Infantry Officer's Sword, With Near Mint Hilt of Almost All Its Original Mercurial Gilt and Silver Grip Wire.

A Good 1796 Pattern Infantry Officer's Sword, With Near Mint Hilt of Almost All Its Original Mercurial Gilt and Silver Grip Wire.

Mercurial gilt hilt with double shell fold down guard and silver bound grip, and fully engraved blade with Royal cypher and crest, and some dark blue remaining. From the Napoleonic Wars, the Peninsular war, The War of 1812 in America, then in 1815 at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, and with around 95% of the gilt remaining on the hilt. A simply stunning sword in wonderful condition. British infantry officer's sword of the Napoleonic Wars. The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire led by Emperor Napoleon I against an array of European powers formed into various coalitions. They revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly owing to the application of modern mass conscription. The wars are traditionally seen as a continuation of the Revolutionary Wars, which broke out in 1792 during the French Revolution. Initially, French power rose quickly as the armies of Napoleon conquered much of Europe. In his military career, Napoleon fought about 60 battles and lost seven, mostly at the end. The great French dominion collapsed rapidly after the disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812. Napoleon was defeated in 1814, and then once more in 1815 at Waterloo after a brief return to power. The Allies then reversed all French gains since the Revolutionary Wars at the Congress of Vienna.

Before a final victory against Napoleon, five of seven coalitions saw defeat at the hands of France. France defeated the first and second coalitions during the French Revolutionary Wars, the third (notably at Austerlitz), the fourth (notably at Jena, Eylau, and Friedland) and the fifth coalition (notably at Wagram) under the leadership of Napoleon. These great victories gave the French Army a sense of invulnerability, especially when it approached Moscow. But after the retreat from Russia, in spite of incomplete victories, France was defeated by the sixth coalition at Leipzig, in the Peninsular War at Vitoria and at the hands of the seventh coalition at Waterloo.

The wars resulted in the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and sowed the seeds of nationalism that would lead to the consolidations of Germany and Italy later in the century. Meanwhile, the global Spanish Empire began to unravel as French occupation of Spain weakened Spain's hold over its colonies, providing an opening for nationalist revolutions in Spanish America. As a direct result of the Napoleonic wars, the British Empire became the foremost world power for the next century, thus beginning Pax Britannica.

No consensus exists about when the French Revolutionary Wars ended and the Napoleonic Wars began. An early candidate is 9 November 1799, the date of Bonaparte's coup seizing power in France. However, the most common date is 18 May 1803, when renewed war broke out between Britain and France, ending the one-year-old Peace of Amiens, the only period of general peace in Europe between 1792 and 1814. Most actual fighting ceased following Napoleon's final defeat at Waterloo on 18 June 1815, although skirmishing continued as late as 3 July 1815 at the Battle of Issy. The Second Treaty of Paris officially ended the wars on 20 November 1815. Overall this battle cum dress sword is in fabulous condition, from a large former museum collection of original Napoleonic Battle of Waterloo swords

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

No scabbard.  read more

Code: 25233

825.00 GBP

An Original and Superb WW2 RAF Air Ministry Issue 'Scramble Bell', Cast Bronze With Turned Hardwood Handle On A Brass Socket Mount With Brass Ball Top. Interior Bears The AM Crown Mark of the Air Ministry Contract

An Original and Superb WW2 RAF Air Ministry Issue 'Scramble Bell', Cast Bronze With Turned Hardwood Handle On A Brass Socket Mount With Brass Ball Top. Interior Bears The AM Crown Mark of the Air Ministry Contract

An iconic centre piece of any collection from the most renowned and famed era of the British RAF. This would would make an amazing addition to any collection, or display, or a unique historic gift for any collector of aeronautica.

A most scarce, original, 'Battle of Britain' piece of original, RAF Air Ministry issue aeronautica, an original brass bracket mounted then hand-held 'scramble' bell, complete with its wooden handle, stamped AM Crown, marked with crown and initials AM, Used at an RAF air base. Made in the period when the RAF knew very well that war was imminent and very likely, and it was used throughout the entire war, right from the 'Battle of Britain' period. It’s diameter of the bell is 200 mm, and height 300 mm approx, it weighs, 3.15 kilos.

A very fine example, in super condition, of an original RAF scramble bell from a RAF base, such as RAF North Weald, as it likely came from that location area, another that came from RAF Debden, an airfield 3 miles south east of Saffron Waldon in Essex, was sold over six years ago for 2,500 at auction in New York.

This hand bell would have been rung when instructions came through from HQ of an imminent attack by the feared and deadly Luftwaffe Bombing Squadrons, in order to scramble the bravest of the brave, the frighteningly young, RAF, RAAF or RCAF pilots into the air. During the Battle of Britain and beyond the average age of the pilots was just 20 years old, of the 2,937 British and Allied aircrew. Britain aircrew were flying multiple sorties a day to intercept the relentless Luftwaffe raids over the British skies, Aircrew from sixteen nationalities flew and fought together against the Luftwaffe, who outnumbered the RAF in both aircraft and pilots.

Against all odds, the RAF defeated the Luftwaffe. Hitler was forced to abandon his plans to invade Britain.
544 aircrew were killed during the Battle of Britain. A further 422 aircrew were wounded. Almost a third of all the men that flew.

British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, famously expressed the incredible debt owed to the Battle of Britain aircrew:

“Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.”

During WW2 the world's premier gallantry medals were granted to air Force personnel, 22 Victoria Crosses were awarded, and 2,001 Air Force Crosses were Awarded, 26 were awarded to the same recipient twice, and just 1 was awarded to the same man three times.

Throughout the summer of 1940, across England, on hundreds of grass makeshift runways, with young eager pilots that awaited in huts for the bell to be rung, then rushing ‘hell for leather’ to their fighter planes, in order to attack the German bomber and fighter formations descending on vulnerable Southern England. Such as RAF Debden, in Essex, that was built in April 1937, with the tarmac airstrip laid in 1940. It was a sector station for 11 Group RAF. Many British Hurricane and Spitfire squadrons were based at Debden, including number 17 squadron throughout the Battle of Britain. In September 1942, it was handed over to the USAAF, as part of British support for the American bombing campaign in Europe. The Battle of Britain (German: Luftschlacht um England, literally "The Air Battle for England") was a military campaign of the Second World War, in which the Royal Air Force (RAF) defended the United Kingdom (UK) against large-scale attacks by Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe. It has been described as the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces. The British officially recognise the battle's duration as being from 10 July until 31 October 1940, which overlaps the period of large-scale night attacks known as the Blitz, that lasted from 7 September 1940 to 11 May 1941. German historians do not accept this subdivision and regard the battle as a single campaign lasting from July 1940 to June 1941, including the Blitz.

The primary objective of the German forces was to compel Britain to agree to a negotiated peace settlement. In July 1940 the air and sea blockade began, with the Luftwaffe mainly targeting coastal-shipping convoys, ports and shipping centres, such as Portsmouth. On 1 August, the Luftwaffe was directed to achieve air superiority over the RAF with the aim of incapacitating RAF Fighter Command; 12 days later, it shifted the attacks to RAF airfields and infrastructure. As the battle progressed, the Luftwaffe also targeted factories involved in aircraft production and strategic infrastructure. Eventually it employed terror bombing on areas of political significance and on civilians.

The Germans had rapidly overwhelmed France and the Low Countries, leaving Britain to face the threat of invasion by sea. The German high command knew the difficulties of a seaborne attack and its impracticality while the Royal Navy controlled the English Channel and the North Sea. On 16 July, Adolf Hitler ordered the preparation of Operation Sea Lion as a potential amphibious and airborne assault on Britain, to follow once the Luftwaffe had air superiority over the UK. In September, RAF Bomber Command night raids disrupted the German preparation of converted barges, and the Luftwaffe's failure to overwhelm the RAF forced Hitler to postpone and eventually cancel Operation Sea Lion. Germany proved unable to sustain daylight raids, but their continued night-bombing operations on Britain became known as the Blitz.

Historian Stephen Bungay cited Germany's failure to destroy Britain's air defences to force an armistice (or even outright surrender) as the first major German defeat in World War II and a crucial turning point in the conflict. The Battle of Britain takes its name from a speech by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons on 18 June: "What General Weygand has called The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin." The scramble bell came three different forms, the larger mounted bell, with the same AM Air Ministry marks, but much heavier, so they had to be wall mounted, or on a free standing bracket, hanging outside of say, a hut, and this type the medium sized bracket mounted for hanging outside of a hut, but as this one with an added handle, which was naturally much somewhat portable, and ideal for emergency RAF bases and landing strips, created with makeshift or tented non-permanent buildings. And the smaller regular contract hand-bell was also ideal in those bases.  read more

Code: 25232

1795.00 GBP

A Rare & Beautiful, Early 19th Century, Scottish Rams Horn Butt, All Steel, Highlander's Flintlock Pistol Made by Macleod. In Super Condition, With All The Features As to Be Expected For a Fine, Original, Highland Officer's Regimental Pistol

A Rare & Beautiful, Early 19th Century, Scottish Rams Horn Butt, All Steel, Highlander's Flintlock Pistol Made by Macleod. In Super Condition, With All The Features As to Be Expected For a Fine, Original, Highland Officer's Regimental Pistol

A most fine and stunning, early 19th century, Scottish all steel highlander's flintlock belt pistol by MacLeod {a gunsmith works that was founded in the mid 18th century in Doune, Scotland} with flared octagonal muzzle and proved barrel, a signed lock of "highland" type and finely engraved with typical scrolls and a fern border, the entire stock finely and lightly etched overall with iconic thistles, scrolls and trophies. With fine highland ramshorn butt, with removable ball pricker between, and round ball trigger, side belt hook, and a fancy turned steel ramrod. A typical example of the "highland" type lock, but with a fine, automatic hook-cock, half-cock safety to stop accidental missfire. It ejects from the lock plate when cocking the hammer to safely and firmly hold it in place until full-cock is engaged. Beautifully tight and crisp action.

Highland regiment officer's and sergeants wore one steel pistol under the left arm, hung through the pistol's belt hook on a thin buff leather belt. See the original 18th century portrait painting of Captain Gorry of the Highland Volunteer Regiment, with his pistol belt-hook mounted under his left arm. {For illustrative purposes only}

Pistols were considered requisite items for the Highland soldier as early as the 1730s. By the 1740s the elegant pistol styles of Christie & Murdoch (armourers of Doune, Stirlingshire) had became the most sought after amongst Highland officers. The unique elements of the Doune pistols were the scroll or rams horn butt, fluted barrels at the breech and the octagonal flared muzzles. Soon pistol makers all across Scotland (and in England) began to copy the styles of Doune.

Another same form and age pistol by the same maker, signed MacLeod, with the highlanders scroll butt of an 18th century form, with flintlock and rainproof pan, stock, lock and barrel of decorated steel, silver butt escutcheons engraved with the crest of Scott of Abbotsford, sold for £18750 three years ago, in Edinburgh at auction.

A pair of pistols by the same maker which are still within the collection of Sir Walter Scott and on display at Abbotsford. The pistols on display are not only by the same maker but bear a similar armorial engraving as on the pistol sold in Edinburgh. More remarkably, the pistols are recorded in correspondence between Scott and the gunsmith, Mr.MacLeod, being commissioned by him for King George IV’s visit to Scotland in 1822.

Sir Walter Scott’s personal interest in Scottish history and life is well recorded and his collection of historical arms and armour is famous, much of which still decorates his remarkable Borders home, Abbotsford.

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet FRSE FSAScot (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832), was a Scottish novelist, poet and historian. Many of his works remain classics of European and Scottish literature, notably the novels Ivanhoe (1819), Rob Roy (1817), Waverley (1814), Old Mortality (1816), The Heart of Mid-Lothian (1818), and The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), along with the narrative poems Marmion (1808) and The Lady of the Lake (1810). He had a major impact on European and American literature.

Barrel length 7½", 13" overall length,  read more

Code: 25228

6995.00 GBP

A Superb 15th Century, Ancient, Signed Samurai Sword, From the Famous Sukesada Line of Early Samurai Sword Smiths

A Superb 15th Century, Ancient, Signed Samurai Sword, From the Famous Sukesada Line of Early Samurai Sword Smiths

This sword is an absolute ancient beauty, in fabulous condition for its age.

As with all fine samurai swords that have been owned, cared for correctly, and appreciated for centuries, it’s blade condition belies its great age.

John Keats once wrote that ‘a thing of beauty is a joy forever’, well this sword has certainly been a joy for almost 600 years.

Made and signed by one of the early Sukesada school of master swordsmiths, in around 1450, between 570 to 600 years ago. The blade has a spectacular curvature and a typical, early, Koto period narrow suguha hamon [super hardened edge temper line]. The saya is in superb condition, with pristine and perfect bright black urushi lacquer. It is a great historical ancient sword with its last all original Edo period mounts. Edo iron sukashi pierced mokko tsuba, sinchu fushi kashira, and the fuchi is decorated with takebori dragon. It has a pair of dragon menuki under the original Edo period lacquered cotton tsuka-ito binding.

The Sukesada line of swordsmiths descended in the Osafune school and are recorded as far back as the end of the Nambokucho period (around 1394). This blade here is from around 1450, placing it in the pre Sue-Koto Period (1469-1596).

It is known that some Sue-Koto Sukesada swordsmith’s produced many swords (Kazu-uchi mono) in order to keep up with the demand of battlefield swords. Mainly for the samurai foot soldier where were the combat factor was far more important than the artistic beauty.

The early Sukesada smiths however produced swords of outstanding quality. This is from one of the early pre Sue-Koto period Sukesada smiths. The Sukesada line of swordsmiths extend into the Bizen tradition with its roots coming from the Ichimonji line. (For those unaware, The Ichimonji swords of the Kamakura period are perhaps some of the finest swords to have ever been made, many would say these far exceed even Masamune in terms of quality and artistic beauty). The Bizen sword making tradition has long been considered the largest of sword making traditions, this has much to do with the Sukesada swordsmiths. Bizen Province was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of Honshu, in what is today the southeastern part of Okayama Prefecture. It would become home to what would be the biggest of the 5 mainline sword making traditions ( Yamato, Yamashiro, Bizen, Soshu, Mino). 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 behavior 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 could be trained by Zen Buddhist masters in meditation and the Zen concepts of impermanence and harmony with nature. They were also taught about painting, calligraphy, nature poetry, mythological literature, flower arranging, and the tea ceremony.

As part of their military training, it has been said, but possibly as part of the myth of samurai training, that 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. It is further said that 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, in certain circumstances, apparently didn't become a full-fledged samurai until, some say, he wandered around the countryside as begging pilgrim for a couple of years to learn humility. Again this may be part of the myth. However, when all his training was completed a samurai trainee that achieved samurai status and received a salary from his daimyo, paid from taxes (usually rice) raised from the local populace, he truly became the very best at his art in the world of sword combat

Swords in Japan have long been symbols of power and honour and seen as works of art.

Note on the photograph of the tang, around the signature can be seen five mekugi ana peg mounting holes, it appears to be four but on close examination one ana is actually two that overlap. This is one the desirable traditional indicators of a sword’s great antiquity, as each one represents a bespoke mounting and adaption, over the many centuries, of the blade for its various samurai owner's needs. It has remarkably already been a thing of great beauty, and universally admired for around 600 years, and we would like to think there is no reason it shouldn’t continue to do so for another 600 years.

25.70 inch blade tsuba to tip  read more

Code: 24472

7450.00 GBP

A Pair of late Ming to Early Ching Dynasty 16th to 17th Century Cavalry Stirrups

A Pair of late Ming to Early Ching Dynasty 16th to 17th Century Cavalry Stirrups

In antiquity, the earliest foot supports consisted of riders placing their feet under a girth or using a simple toe loop. Later, a single stirrup was used as a mounting aid, and paired stirrups appeared after the invention of the treed saddle. The stirrup was invented in China in the first few centuries AD and spread westward through the nomadic peoples of Central Eurasia. The use of paired stirrups is credited to the Chinese Jin Dynasty and came to Europe during the Middle Ages. Some argue that the stirrup was one of the basic tools used to create and spread modern civilization, possibly as important as the wheel or printing press. The stirrup, which gives greater stability to a rider, has been described as one of the most significant inventions in the history of warfare, prior to gunpowder. As a tool allowing expanded use of horses in warfare, the stirrup is often called the third revolutionary step in equipment, after the chariot and the saddle. The basic tactics of mounted warfare were significantly altered by the stirrup. A rider supported by stirrups was less likely to fall off while fighting, and could deliver a blow with a weapon that more fully employed the weight and momentum of horse and rider. Among other advantages, stirrups provided greater balance and support to the rider, which allowed the knight to use a sword more efficiently without falling, especially against infantry adversaries. The Ming Dynasty ruled China from 1368 to 1644 A.D., during which China’s population would double. Known for its trade expansion to the outside world that established cultural ties with the West, the Ming Dynasty is also remembered for its drama, literature and world-renowned porcelain.

RISE OF THE MING DYNASTY

The Ming Dynasty ruled China from 1368 to 1644 A.D., during which China’s population would double. Known for its trade expansion to the outside world that established cultural ties with the West, the Ming Dynasty is also remembered for its drama, literature and world-renowned porcelain.

Ming dynasty founder Emperor Taizu, or Zhu Yuanzhang, was born into poverty, and spent part of his youth wandering the country after his parents died following a series of natural disasters centered around the Yellow River.

The Qing [or Ching] dynasty, officially the Great Qing, also called the Qing Empire by itself or the Manchu dynasty by foreigners, was the last imperial dynasty of China, established in 1636 and ruling China from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted almost three centuries and formed the territorial base for the modern Chinese state. After conquering "China proper", the Manchus identified their state as "China", and referred to it as Dulimbai Gurun in Manchu (Dulimbai means "central" or "middle," gurun means "nation" or "state"). The emperors equated the lands of the Qing state (including present-day Northeast China, Xinjiang, Mongolia, Tibet and other areas) as "China" in both the Chinese and Manchu languages, defining China as a multi-ethnic state, and rejecting the idea that "China" only meant Han areas. The Qing emperors proclaimed that both Han and non-Han peoples were part of "China". They used both "China" and "Qing" to refer to their state in official documents, international treaties (as the Qing was known internationally as "China" or the "Chinese Empire") and foreign affairs, and "Chinese language" (Dulimbai gurun I bithe) included Chinese, Manchu, and Mongol languages, and "Chinese people" referred to all subjects of the empire. In the Chinese-language versions of its treaties and its maps of the world, the Qing government used "Qing" and "China" interchangeably.  read more

Code: 20708

975.00 GBP

A Really Fine and Interesting Late 18th Century Early Sikh Empire Lahore Talwar, With Possibly a Wootz Blade

A Really Fine and Interesting Late 18th Century Early Sikh Empire Lahore Talwar, With Possibly a Wootz Blade

The hilt [also known as tulwar] comprises langets with lotus-head outlines, domed quillons, and a centrally swollen grip. A knuckle guard with a terminal that recurves toward the disc-pommel which has been attached with a pointed sunburst plaque, a decorative feature further fitted at its centre with a dome and lotus bud finial. The surface has square sectional patterned engraving that once contained silver inlay.

There are clear indications that this particular hilt is of Punjab manufacture: the fat vase shape of the grip section, the slightly forward angle of the quillons and the former geometric pattern of silver koftgari. The hilt is of slightly larger than average proportions and fits comfortably in the hand.

The blade of considerable size, yet slender, and good quality is fitted to the hilt and could possibly be of wootz - this can only be revealed through a professional etch, polish and cleaning of the blade. We have chosen not to do this to keep the historical integrity of the sword and its age.

The blade shape is purely Persian, of shamshīr (شمشیر‎) form with a narrow, pointy blade of deep curvature. Such blades are ideal for close-quarters cutters, with the deep curve helping it target specific places that normal swords could not attach. The type of blade is a referred to as a ‘goliya’ (meaning round) in India. The blade is a highly practical one, with several indications [impacts etc. ] that show that it was clearly used in battle.

The blade has an early engraved armoury storage number MN42. What this most beautiful sword lacks somewhat in condition due to combat. It most easily more than makes up for it in historical interest, quality and beauty.

30 inch blade  read more

Code: 24484

775.00 GBP

A Very Fine Antique Longsword, Likely German, 16th-17th Century Style, With Double Edged Graduating Diamond Shaped Blade, Bearing Armourers Mark, Crossguard With Single Oval Side Ring

A Very Fine Antique Longsword, Likely German, 16th-17th Century Style, With Double Edged Graduating Diamond Shaped Blade, Bearing Armourers Mark, Crossguard With Single Oval Side Ring

The longsword might have had longer blades than the arming sword, also called the knightly sword which was designed purely for single-handed use, but not necessarily. The difference was the longsword’s longer grip that allowed hand-and-a-half or two-handed use. However, these swords were generally shorter than the German two-hander or zweihander, which was not light enough for single-handed use.

For hilt type see; hilt 10, page 72, A.B.V Norman around 1510 to 1650, The Rapier and Small Sword 1460-1820

Blade Type, Ewart Oakshott XVIIIb and XVIIIc that represent the later longswords of the mid-15th to early 16th centuries. They have a flattened diamond cross-section, often with pronounced mid-rib, some being hollow-ground.

Combining an Oakshott type XVIiic, with the shorter than usual AVB Norman hilt type 10 indicates a hybrid form with the blade of a more usual two handed sword, and the more practical hilt of the shorter bastard style. A most impressive long sword ideal for sword combat competition in many ways.

107 cm blade, cm hilt and 19cm grip

The German school of fencing (Deutsche Schule; Kunst des Fechtensa) is a system of combat taught in the Holy Roman Empire during the Late Medieval, German Renaissance, and early modern periods. It is described in the contemporary Fechtbücher ("fencing books") written at the time. The geographical center of this tradition was in what is now Southern Germany including Augsburg, Frankfurt, and Nuremberg. During the period in which it was taught, it was known as the Kunst des Fechtens, or the "Art of Fighting".b The German school of fencing focuses primarily on the use of the two-handed longsword; it also describes the use of many other weapons, including polearms, medieval daggers, messers (with or without a buckler), and the staff, as well as describing mounted combat and unarmed grappling (ringen).
Most authors of writings on the system are, or claim to be, in the tradition of the 14th-century master Johannes Liechtenauer. The earliest surviving treatise on Liechtenauer's system is a manuscript dated to possibly the late 14th, or early 15th century, known as Ms. 3227a. More manuscripts survive from the 15th century, and during the 16th century the system was also presented in print, most notably by Joachim Meyer in 1570.
The German tradition was largely eclipsed by the Italian school of rapier fencing by the early 17th century. Practitioners of the German school persisted at least until the end of the 18th century, though.

The "longsword" type exists in a morphological continuum with the medieval knightly sword and the Renaissance-era Zweihänder. It was prevalent during the late medieval and Renaissance periods (approximately 1350 to 1550), with early and late use reaching into the 12th and 17th centuries.  read more

Code: 25226

6750.00 GBP

A Magnificent Antique, Original, French Dragoon Helmet 1872. Possibly The Best Example You May Ever See

A Magnificent Antique, Original, French Dragoon Helmet 1872. Possibly The Best Example You May Ever See

With liner, black horsehair tail and red feather plume original chinscales with strap and buckle, virtually dent free throughout, and in fabulous overall condition. Maker marked on the steel skull, behind the tail, Alexis Godillot.

A magnificent French Dragoon helmet of the M1872/1874 pattern. Designed immediately after the defeat of France at the Franco Prussian War. These were still in combat wear in August 1914 by the troops of the French Dragoons who were in that early period engaged in reconnaissance, guarding the flanks & covering the infantry as well as liaison & escort.

The Dragoon helmet is identical to that worn by the Cuiraissiers with the minor difference of no plume socket (marmouset) to the top of the crest. The skull, peak & neckguard are made from cast sheet steel which from a lobster tail to the rear with Medusas head to the front of the crest & thirteen palmettes separated by water lillies. All of the fittings & the badge are of brass this including the chin scales which are adjusted by use of a partially concealed strap inner buckle system. The plume socket is set into the side of the helmet with it's red plume. The front plate has a grenade set into two laurel branches this integrating with the bottom edge of the crest as the top grenade flame reaches upwards. To the crest is mounted black horsehair with a pleat which allowed it to be tied up so it did not flutter in the face of the cavalryman. Interior of the helmet has survived in very good order. The leather liner tongues are all good with no damage to holes.

Looking back at the pre-war 1870 landscape, there are parallels that can be drawn today, including notably the role of populist disruptors in triggering international conflict. Emperor Napoleon III of France and Prussia's Otto von Bismarck were both products of the 1848 revolutions and master media manipulators who exploited the power of nationalism. Napoleon did so first, sweeping to power in the December 1848 presidential elections on the promise of ‘making France great again’, as it had been under his uncle, the first Napoleon. Four years later, just before his original term should have expired, he made himself emperor, and quickly reasserted French prestige by launching a succession of wars, including against Russia in the Crimea (1853-56).

Napoleon III's wars had unintended outcomes. One of these was that they turned Russia from being a bastion of the international order into a revisionist power. This in turn gave space to Bismarck to wreck what remained of the European system in a way that was definitely not to France's advantage. Austria was the main victim initially in the shake-up that followed, losing its position in Italy following military defeat at the hands of France in 1859, and more spectacularly forfeiting its prime role in Germany to Prussia after defeat in 1866.

This set the scene for the 1870 Franco-Prussian war. France, determined to thwart Prussia’s further rise, sought to block the candidacy of a Prussian prince to the Spanish throne in what looked like a good, old-fashioned, dynastic succession crisis. What made things different from earlier centuries was the weight of public opinion, in an age of universal male suffrage. Policy makers in Berlin and Paris sought to exploit the rising tide of nationalism on both sides of the Rhine, and this increased the risk of an explosion. That explosion came on 19 July.

A rapid French rout

Experts at the time expected the French to win. They overlooked serious weaknesses on the French side, which Sir Michael Howard's analysis shows extended far beyond the narrow military field, to wider political and societal disadvantages. These were reflected above all in the French conscription system, inherited in its essentials from the first Napoleon. This imposed upon the male population an obligation to serve, but in practice, only a small fraction was ever called up, who then served for seven years and often more. In consequence, the French army lacked the ability to 'scale-up' by calling on a mass of reservists.



The Prussian army, in contrast, drew upon the entire male population, producing a substantial body of trained reservists upon mobilisation. Prussian military planning, conducted by the famed General Staff headed by Helmuth von Moltke, made best use of the resulting numerical advantage, not least through the clever exploitation of railways.

Many military observers nonetheless preferred the French system, which produced an essentially professional force that was far better-suited to the near-continuous overseas deployments that Napoleon III's global ambitions demanded. Most damaging of all, despite its elitist pretensions, the French army was socially rather low-status. This was because the rich were allowed to pay for replacements to serve instead of their sons, should they be unlucky enough to be called up. No such facility existed in Prussia, with the result that its army more fairly approximated the nation-in-arms.

The consequence in 1870 was a French rout. General Philip Sheridan, American Civil War veteran, observed the Franco-German conflict at first hand, and his summary of the reasons for the outcome can hardly be bettered:

"The earlier advantages gained by the Germans may be ascribed to the strikingly prompt mobilization of their armies, one of the most noticeable features of their perfect military system, devised by almost autocratic power; their later successes were greatly aided by the blunders of the French, whose stupendous errors materially shortened the war, though even if prolonged it could, in my opinion, have had ultimately no other termination."  read more

Code: 25225

1895.00 GBP

A Fabulous & Rare US Civil War General's Sabre With Its Original Civil War General Officer's Pattern 'Acorn' Sword Knot, & Steel Combat Scabbard. Superb Deluxe Etched Blade

A Fabulous & Rare US Civil War General's Sabre With Its Original Civil War General Officer's Pattern 'Acorn' Sword Knot, & Steel Combat Scabbard. Superb Deluxe Etched Blade

A near pair to three other Civil War General's swords, currently in American museums or in private ownership, of, General W.T.Sherman, Major General J.E.B. Stuart, and Lt General John Bell Hood. The sword knot is also a near pair to one {with its sword} of Civil War Brigadier General Champlin. We also show in the gallery General JEB Stuarts hat, that has a pair of interlinked Civil War General's pattern acorn sword knots around the brim. General Sherman's sword is currently offered at auction with a suggested price of $60,000

Our sword has superb quality elaborate hilt embellished decor for a general, and a stunning, deluxe etched blade with maker's name, and the original wirebound sharkskin grip. In its steel, blackened, combat scabbard. All in superb condition. the General’s knot is also in very good condition for age.

An American Civil War import, commissioned from either French or German swordsmiths, and interestingly, almost all the other General's swords within the various US museums were either commissioned in France or Germany, and not domestically produced.
One of the most famous Colonel’s of the Civil War was Robert Gould Shaw of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Robert Gould Shaw (1837-1863) carried his British import sword at the assault on Fort Wagner, Folly Island, S.C. on 18 July 1863. Where sadly he was KIA. The sword was a gift from his uncle George R. Russell, and in a letter to his father, dated 1 July 1863, Shaw acknowledges receiving “a box of Uncle George’s containing a beautiful English sword...” With sword in-hand, Colonel Shaw, of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, was shot in the chest and killed while mounting the parapet of Ft. Wagner. The sword and other personal effects were taken from his body during the night and presumed lost. In June of 1865, the U.S. Colored Troops, under the command of Gen. Charles Jackson Paine, U.S.V., found the sword "in the possession of a rebel officer" near Goldsboro, N.C. The sword was returned to the Shaw family in 1865 by Capt. Solon A. Carter, U.S.V. but was misplaced after 1900 until it's recent discovery in 2017. That sword is now within the collections of the Massachuetts Historical Society, donated to them by the Shaw family.

James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart (February 6, 1833 – May 12, 1864) was a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War. He was known to his friends as "Jeb,” from the initials of his given names. Stuart was a cavalry commander known for his mastery of reconnaissance and the use of cavalry in support of offensive operations. While he cultivated a cavalier image (red-lined gray cape, the yellow waist sash of a regular cavalry officer, hat cocked to the side with an ostrich plume, red flower in his lapel, often sporting cologne), his serious work made him the trusted eyes and ears of Robert E. Lee's army and inspired Southern morale.3

Stuart graduated from West Point in 1854 and served in Texas and Kansas with the U.S. Army. Stuart was a veteran of the frontier conflicts with Native Americans and the violence of Bleeding Kansas, and he participated in the capture of John Brown at Harpers Ferry. He resigned his commission when his home state of Virginia seceded, to serve in the Confederate Army, first under Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, but then in increasingly important cavalry commands of the Army of Northern Virginia, playing a role in all of that army's campaigns until his death.

He established a reputation as an audacious cavalry commander and on two occasions (during the Peninsula Campaign and the Maryland Campaign) circumnavigated the Union Army of the Potomac, bringing fame to himself and embarrassment to the North. At the Battle of Chancellorsville, he distinguished himself as a temporary commander of the wounded Stonewall Jackson's infantry corps.

Stuart's most famous campaign, the Gettysburg Campaign, was flawed when his long separation from Lee's army left Lee unaware of Union troop movements so that Lee was surprised and almost trapped at the Battle of Gettysburg. Stuart received criticism from the Southern press as well as the proponents of the Lost Cause movement after the war. During the 1864 Overland Campaign, Union Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan's cavalry launched an offensive to defeat Stuart, who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern.

J.E.B Stuart’s sword was made in Paris. U.S. Army officers were responsible for providing their own side arms, so Stuart either ordered it himself or was given it as a gift. It now resides with his hat, in the American Civil War Museum

John Bell Hood (June 12 or June 29,3 1831 – August 30, 1879) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. Hood's impetuosity led to high losses among his troops as he moved up in rank. Bruce Catton wrote that "the decision to replace Johnston with Hood was probably the single largest mistake that either government made during the war." Hood's education at the United States Military Academy led to a career as a junior officer in the infantry and cavalry of the antebellum U.S. Army in California and Texas. At the start of the Civil War, he offered his services to his adopted state of Texas. He achieved his reputation for aggressive leadership as a brigade commander in the army of Robert E. Lee during the Seven Days Battles in 1862, after which he was promoted to division command. He led a division under James Longstreet in the campaigns of 1862–63. At the Battle of Gettysburg, he was severely wounded, rendering his left arm mostly useless for the rest of his life.4 Transferred with many of Longstreet's troops to the Western Theater, Hood led a massive assault into a gap in the U.S. line at the Battle of Chickamauga but was wounded again, requiring the amputation of his right leg.

Hood returned to field service during the Atlanta Campaign of 1864 and, at the age of 33, was promoted to temporary full general and command of the Army of Tennessee at the outskirts of Atlanta, making him the youngest soldier on either side of the war to be given command of an army. There, he dissipated his army in a series of unsuccessful assaults and was forced to evacuate the besieged city. Leading his men through Alabama and into Tennessee, his army was severely damaged in a massive frontal assault at the Battle of Franklin. The Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864 in Franklin, Tennessee; in Williamson County. John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee (around 33,000 men) faced off with John M. Schofield's Army of the Ohio and the Cumberland (around 30,000 men). Often cited as "the bloodiest five hours" during the American Civil War, the Confederates lost between 6,500 - 7,500 men, with 1,750 dead. The Federals lost around 2,000 - 2,500 men, with just 250 or less killed. Hood lost 30,000 men in just six months (from July 1864 until December 15). The Battle of Franklin was fought mostly at night. Several Confederate Generals were killed, including Patrick Cleburne, and the Rebels also lost 50% of their field commanders. Hood would limp into Nashville two weeks later before suffering his final defeat before retreating to Pulaski in mid December. Hundreds of wounded Confederate soldiers were taken to the John and Carrie McGavock home - Carnton - after the battle. She became known as the Widow of the South. The McGavock's eventually donated two acres to inter the Confederate dead. Almost 1,500 Rebel soldiers are buried in McGavock Confederate Cemetery, just in view of the Carnton house.

Hood’s sword was purchased from Coulaux & Cie, Klingenthal, France. Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood used his cavalry saber during his service in the Confederate Army. It now resides in the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond Va. Hood also had another sword an infantry Militia pattern dress sword, imported from Germany made by P.D.Lunschloss & Companie, that now resides in the American Civil War Museum.

Sadly, we do not know the name of the general officer to whom our sabre once originally belonged.  read more

Code: 25224

8995.00 GBP

An Over 500 Year Old Samurai Ninjutsu Battle-Sword Katana. Fitted in Total Black For Camouflaged Combat. It’s Simplicity is In Fact Most Elegant. The Black on Black Livery is The Apex of Sophistication As Much For Works Art as For Personal Attire.

An Over 500 Year Old Samurai Ninjutsu Battle-Sword Katana. Fitted in Total Black For Camouflaged Combat. It’s Simplicity is In Fact Most Elegant. The Black on Black Livery is The Apex of Sophistication As Much For Works Art as For Personal Attire.

A super samurai or even ninjutsu sword, all original Edo fittings, excellent highly distinctive original Edo period full black décor, the hallmark of the traditional Samurai or a ninjutsu combat sword, worn with the intention of displaying no decorative plumage, this sword was for a serious no nonsense samurai or ninja who had no need for displays of status that more embellished swords would have, and would be in fact a great disadvantage. It is why the infamous exponent of the martial art of ninjutsu, the ninja, were often traditionally adorned in all black, armed with an all black mounted sword, in order to remain entirely as unseen and unnoticed as possible, hence their mythical ability to become invisible, not the fantasy of actual invisibility, but the reality of being so unnoticeable and near impossible to see at dusk or at night, they were ‘effectively’ invisible.
Black leather binding over fine dragon and ken shakudo menuki, in turn on fine black giant ray skin. Hilt and saya in dark patinated suite of handachi mounts, and the lacquer in an ishime stone ground finish. The sword bears a powerful blade, in beautiful polish showing a most extravagent hamon and hada.
The swordsmith has signed the tang, Ni Jyu Hachi, that are three nen kanji on the bottom of the nakago, this is very unusual indeed.

The origin of the so-called ninjutsu;
Spying in Japan dates as far back as Prince Shotoku (572–622). According to Shoninki, the first open usage of ninjutsu during a military campaign was in the Genpei War, when Minamoto no Kuro Yoshitsune chose warriors to serve as shinobi during a battle. This manuscript goes on to say that during the Kenmu era, Kusunoki Masashige frequently used ninjutsu. According to footnotes in this manuscript, the Genpei War lasted from 1180 to 1185, and the Kenmu Restoration occurred between 1333 and 1336. Ninjutsu was developed by the samurai of the Nanboku-cho period, and further refined by groups of samurai mainly from Koka and the Iga Province of Japan in later periods.

Throughout history, the shinobi were assassins, scouts, and spies who were hired mostly by territorial lords known as daimyo. Despite being able to assassinate in stealth, the primary role was as spies and scouts. Shinobi are mainly noted for their use of stealth and deception. They would use this to avoid direct confrontation if possible, which enabled them to escape large groups of opposition.

Many different schools (ryū) have taught their unique versions of ninjutsu. An example of these is the Togakure-ryū, which claims to have been developed after a defeated samurai warrior called Daisuke Togakure escaped to the region of Iga. He later came in contact with the warrior-monk Kain Doshi, who taught him a new way of viewing life and the means of survival (ninjutsu).

Ninjutsu was developed as a collection of fundamental survivalist techniques in the warring state of feudal Japan. The ninja used their art to ensure their survival in a time of violent political turmoil. Ninjutsu included methods of gathering information and techniques of non-detection, avoidance, and misdirection. Ninjutsu involved training in what is called freerunning today, disguise, escape, concealment, archery, and medicine. Skills relating to espionage and assassination were highly useful to warring factions in feudal Japan. At some point, the skills of espionage became known collectively as ninjutsu, and the people who specialized in these tasks were called shinobi no mono.
There were no female ninja, however, the late 17th century the ninja handbook Bansenshukai describes a technique called kunoichi-no-jutsu (くノ一の術, "the ninjutsu of a woman") in which a woman is used for infiltration and information gathering, which Seiko Fujita considers evidence of female ninja activity.
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Han-dachi originally appeared during the Muromachi period when there was a transition taking place from Tachi to katana. The sword was being worn more and more edge up when on foot, but edge down on horseback as it had always been.

A samurai was recognised by his carrying the feared daisho, the big sword daito, little sword shoto of the samurai warrior. These were the battle katana, the big sword, and the wakizashi, the little sword. The name katana derives from two old Japanese written characters or symbols: kata, meaning side, and na, or edge. Thus a katana is a single-edged sword that has had few rivals in the annals of war, either in the East or the West. Because the sword was the main battle weapon of Japan's knightly man-at-arms (although spears and bows were also carried), an entire martial art grew up around learning how to use it. This was kenjutsu, the art of sword fighting, or kendo in its modern, non-warlike incarnation. The importance of studying kenjutsu and the other martial arts such as kyujutsu, the art of the bow, was so critical to the samurai, a very real matter of life or death, that Miyamoto Musashi, most renowned of all swordsmen, warned in his classic The Book of Five Rings: The science of martial arts for warriors requires construction of various weapons and understanding the properties of the weapons. A member of a warrior family who does not learn to use weapons and understand the specific advantages of each weapon would seem to be somewhat uncultivated.

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

Cutting edge 27 inches long, overall in saya  read more

Code: 23407

5950.00 GBP