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A Good Antique Edo Period 1700's Wakazashi Maru Gata Heianjo Tsuba

A Good Antique Edo Period 1700's Wakazashi Maru Gata Heianjo Tsuba

Antique Japanese Edo period Tsuba for Wakizashi sword, or large o-tanto, onlaid with copper and sinchu-gold alloy aoi leaves, with a chiselled cut away rock and water formation.
Fine engraved with gold and high quality brass inlay Heianjo-style was established in Yamashiro (Kyoto Pref. today), it was inspired by the Ounin-style. Heianjo Tsuba is elaborate and decorative. It is mainly iron Tsuba circle shape with brass inlay. Its design was simply family crest or arabesque patterns in the beginning. However, after that, they made different shapes of Tsuba and started using gold, silver, or copper for inlaying.

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.
67mm across  read more

Code: 24167

360.00 GBP

A 13th Century Iron Head, Crusader Knight's Battle Mace, 800 Years Old, Mounted Upon A Later Museum's Display Haft

A 13th Century Iron Head, Crusader Knight's Battle Mace, 800 Years Old, Mounted Upon A Later Museum's Display Haft

Pineapple shaped lobes on circular head with large mounting hole through which the haft slots. it was fitted to a plain wood haft for a museum display, as its original rotted away centuries ago as usual, in order to show how it looked and was used 800 years ago.
This type of mace head were also used as a Flail Mace, by filling out the hollow iron head with lead and a chain mounted hook placed within it, a chain would then be added to the end of a similar but shorter wooden haft. This subsequent mace head weapon could thus then became a flail, often called a scorpion at the time.

This very fine and rare iron mace head has flattened pyramidal protuberances, and is possibly English. Made for a mounted Knight to use as an armour and helmet crusher in hand to hand mortal combat upon his war horse, or then for use dismounted.

It would have been used for several hundred years, up to the 15th to 16th century.
Used as a flail it had the sobriquet of a Scorpion in England or France, or sometimes a Battle-Whip. It was also wryly known as a 'Holy Water Sprinkler'.

King John The Ist of Bohemia used exactly such a weapon, as he was blind, and the act of 'Flailing the Mace' meant lack of site was no huge disadvantage in close combat. Although blind he was a valiant and the bravest of the Warrior Kings, who perished at the Battle of Crecy against the English in 1346. On the day he was slain he instructed his Knights both friends and companions to lead him to the very centre of battle, so he may strike at least one blow against his enemies. His Knights tied their horses to his, so the King would not be separated from them in the press, and they rode together into the thick of battle, where King John managed to strike not one but at least four noble blows. The following day of the battle, the horses and the fallen knights were found all about the body of their most noble King, all still tied to his steed. In fact so noble were his actions regarded, it is said his banner of three erect and standing feathers became the symbol of the then Prince of Wales, Edward, the Black Prince, and as such, is still used by the current Prince of Wales today.

During the Middle Ages metal armour such as mail protected against the blows of edged weapons. Solid metal maces and war hammers proved able to inflict damage on well armoured knights, as the force of a blow from a mace is great enough to cause damage without penetrating the armour. Though iron became increasingly common, copper and bronze were also used, especially in iron-deficient areas.
It is popularly believed that maces were employed by the clergy in warfare to avoid shedding blood (sine effusione sanguinis). The evidence for this is sparse and appears to derive almost entirely from the depiction of Bishop Odo of Bayeux wielding a club-like mace at the Battle of Hastings in the Bayeux Tapestry, the idea being that he did so to avoid either shedding blood or bearing the arms of war. One of the Crusades this type of mace may have been used was the Crusade of 1239, which was in territorial terms the most successful crusade since the First. Called by Pope Gregory IX, the Barons' Crusade broadly spanned from 1234-1241 and embodied the highest point of papal endeavour "to make crusading a universal Christian undertaking." Gregory called for a crusade in France, England, and Hungary with different degrees of success. Although the crusaders did not achieve any glorious military victories, they used diplomacy to successfully play the two warring factions of the Muslim Ayyubid dynasty (As-Salih Ismail in Damascus and As-Salih Ayyub in Egypt) against one another for even more concessions than Frederick II gained during the more well-known Sixth Crusade. For a few years, the Barons' Crusade returned the Kingdom of Jerusalem to its largest size since 1187.
This crusade to the Holy Land is sometimes discussed as two separate crusades: that of King Theobald I of Navarre, which began in 1239; and, the separate host of crusaders under the leadership of Richard of Cornwall, which arrived after Theobald departed in 1240. Additionally, the Barons' Crusade is often described in tandem with Baldwin of Courtenay's concurrent trip to Constantinople and capture of Tzurulum with a separate, smaller force of crusaders. This is because Gregory IX briefly attempted to redirect the target his new crusade from liberating the Holy Land from Muslims to protecting the Latin Empire of Constantinople from heretical Christians.

Despite relatively plentiful primary sources, scholarship until recently has been limited, due at least in part to the lack of major military engagements. Although Gregory IX went further than any other pope to create an ideal of Christian unity in the process of organizing the crusade, in practice the crusade's divided leadership did not reveal a unified Christian action or identity in response to taking a cross. Approx. 2.5 inch wide lobed iron head.

Painting in the gallery by Julian Russel Story of the Black Prince at the battle of Crecy. At his feet lies the body of the dead King John of Bohemia painted in 1888.  read more

Code: 21534

1250.00 GBP

Gold Metal Watch Fob, With a Zeppelin Model Top Mount Representing The Hindenburg Zeppelin, Gifted by Kapitan Max Pruss, Kapitan of the Ill Fated Zeppelin Airship LZ.129 Hindenburg. & the Hindenburg Kapitan's Saucer

Gold Metal Watch Fob, With a Zeppelin Model Top Mount Representing The Hindenburg Zeppelin, Gifted by Kapitan Max Pruss, Kapitan of the Ill Fated Zeppelin Airship LZ.129 Hindenburg. & the Hindenburg Kapitan's Saucer

Apparently given by Kapitan Max Pruss, the last Kapitan of the Hindenburg, accompanied with his boxed, original, WW2 Luftwaffe pilot's Leitz goggles, and his personal, named ‘Hindenburg’ porcelain saucer, not to be confused with the LZ standard livery porcelain, to a visiting British RAF officer in the 1950's, while he was attempting to resurrect with the post-war German government, his new Zeppelin project, with his former Hindenburg Chief Engineer, Rudolf Sauter. The fob is very heavy quality, and weighs as it should if it was solid gold, however, it bears no gold hallmark, so we cannot sell it as solid gold, and we cannot thus assume it is solid gold, therefore we offer it as ‘gold coloured metal’. The fitted Zeppelin miniature model top mount is certainly gold plate as the plate is fractionally worn in places. He Sauter worked with Captain Max Pruss, the Hindenburg's former commander, during the post-war years to try and revive the Zeppelin airships. In the early 1950s, in fact, Sauter and Pruss drew up plans for a new Zeppelin and made the case to the West German government and the press that (in Sauter's words,) "The use of Zeppelins in air traffic is absolutely economical. The West German government is planning to spend 150 million marks on a new airline flown by airplanes. We would need only 50 million marks to build new Zeppelins." Sauter showed the new Zeppelin plans to Dr. Hugo Eckener, by then in his late 80s and retired. As Eckener later told a news reporter, "I told him that he had my blessing, but that I do not want to have anything to do with it. Today, a Zeppelin would not have a chance against an airplane.". More photos of the fob and saucer to follow tomorrow. One photo in the gallery Is of Kapitan Pruss, with a fellow Kapitan Von Schiller colleague making a time check while aboard the Hindenburg.

Kapitan Pruss commanded the Zeppelin airship, Hindenburg, during its tragic explosion and destruction in Lakehurst, America. Amazingly he survived but with severe burns.

The Hindenburg disaster was an airship accident that occurred on May 6, 1937, in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States. The German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst. The accident caused 35 fatalities (13 passengers and 22 crewmen) from the 97 people on board (36 passengers and 61 crewmen), and an additional fatality on the ground.

The disaster was the subject of newsreel coverage, photographs and Herbert Morrison's recorded radio eyewitness reports from the landing field, which were broadcast the next day.A variety of hypotheses have been put forward for both the cause of ignition and the initial fuel for the ensuing fire. The publicity shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and marked the abrupt end of the airship era.

We also have a souvenir German porcelain Hindenburg saucer from the captain’s personal porcelain set, said by Pruss to have been given to him by Hitler’s deputy, Herman Goring, however, if so, this must have been before the dramatic argument and falling out between Goring and Pruss at Frankfurt Airport in 1940.

Pruss was the commander of the airship during the Hindenburg disaster of 6 May 1937. This was his first time commanding a trip to Lakehurst. Pruss and several crew members rode the Hindenburg down to the ground as it burned, then ordered everybody out. He carried radio operator Willy Speck out of the wreckage, then looked for survivors until rescuers were forced to restrain him. Pruss, however, suffered extensive burns and had to be taken out by ambulance to Paul Kimball Hospital in Lakewood. The burns were so extensive that he was given last rites, but although his face was disfigured for the rest of his life, his condition improved over the next few months. Pruss was unable to testify at investigative committees, but officially he was not held responsible.

Pruss, along with other airship crewmen, maintained that the disaster was caused by sabotage, and dismissed the possibility that it was sparked by lightning or static electricity. Although Hugo Eckener did not rule out other causes, he criticized Pruss' decision to carry out the landing in poor weather conditions, expressing his belief that sharp turns ordered by Pruss during the landing approach may have caused gas to leak, which could have been ignited by static electricity. Pruss insisted that such turns were normal procedure, and that the stern heaviness experienced during the approach was normal due to rainwater being displaced at the tail.

Apparently Kapt. Pruss was exceptionally polite, and the exchange of gifts was most warmly given and received.  read more

Code: 24145

995.00 GBP

A Superb 19th Century French Chassepot M1866 Sword Bayonet, Franco Prussian War Issue, Manufactured at the Armoury of StEtienne 1870

A Superb 19th Century French Chassepot M1866 Sword Bayonet, Franco Prussian War Issue, Manufactured at the Armoury of StEtienne 1870

Stunning example, with very good steel and brass,
Its inventor was, Antoine Alphonse Chassepot, and it became the French service weapon in 1866. It was first used at the battlefield at Mentana, November 1867, where it inflicted severe losses on Garibaldi's troops. The event was reported at the French Parliament: "Les Chassepots ont fait merveille!", {The Chassepots did marvelous execution !} In the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) it proved greatly superior to the German Dreyse needle gun, outranging it by 2 to 1. Although it was a smaller caliber but the chassepot ammunition had more gunpowder and thus faster muzzle velocity. The Chassepots were responsible for most of the Prussian and other German casualties during the conflict. This is the most widely copied of all the sword bayonets. Many countries - including the United States, Egypt, Belgium, and Argentina - have manufactured or used very similar bayonets. The French model was designed to fit on the French Model 1866 Chassepot Rifled Infantry Musket (the musket was revolutionary in itself). It was manufactured from 1866 to about 1874 and was replaced by the French Model 1874 "Gras" Bayonet.
The bayonets are brass-hilted The crossguard is iron (steel) and has a screw-type tightening arrangement on the muzzle-ring. The lower quillon is a hooked "blade-breaker" type.
The blade is steel, single-edged, fullered (both sides), with a re-curved or "yataghan-shape." The blades marked on the back-edge (opposite the cutting edge) with the arsenal, month, and year of manufacture; this is done in engraved cursive fashion
Arsenals encountered may be such as Chatellerault, Mutzig, St. Etienne, Paris-Oudry, Tulle, and perhaps Steyr (not confirmed on the 1866). The French wars during the life-span of this bayonet were: French Intervention in Mexico (1861-1867);
Franco-Prussian War (July 19, 1870 - May 10, 1871)
French Indo-China (1873-1874, 1882-1883);
Sino-French War (1883-1885);
Madagascar Wars (1883-1885, 1895);
1st Mandingo-French War (1883-1886);
1st Dahomeyan-French War (1889-1990);
2nd Dahomeyan-French War (1892-1894);
Franco-Siamese War of (1893)
2nd Mandingo-French War (1894-1895);
Conquest of Chad (1897-1914);
3rd Mandingo-French War (1898);
Moroccan War (1907-1912);
The Wadai War (1909-1911);
World War I (early).

These bayonets were widely copied and used by many countries - including the United States, Belgium, and Germany. Many of the actual French-marked bayonets can be found with German manufactured blades. It is believed some of these were used during the American Civil War when many European arsenals were emptied of their surplus arms.
These bayonets are the French Model 1866 "Chassepot" Bayonet.
The crossguard are iron (steel) and with a "cock's comb" muzzle-ring finial. The lower quillon is a hooked "blade-breaker" type.
The blade is steel, single-edged, fullered (both sides), with a re-curved or "yataghan-shape." One blade is marked on the back-edge (opposite the cutting edge) with the arsenal, month, and year of manufacture; this is done in engraved cursive fashion.  read more

Code: 25133

175.00 GBP

An Amazing Original Souvenir of Tank Warfare in WW2. A German 88mm Tiger Tank Shell, Superior Early War Brass Case Type, High Explosive, Ground Combat, Impact Fuze AZ23

An Amazing Original Souvenir of Tank Warfare in WW2. A German 88mm Tiger Tank Shell, Superior Early War Brass Case Type, High Explosive, Ground Combat, Impact Fuze AZ23

Shell case in brass and dated Photo in the gallery of Hitler inspecting different forms of 88mm rounds. Rare German WW2 88mm Shell Used by the German 88 mm Cannon during WW2. A simply superb example, impact fuze AZ23 with a 1938 brass shell case. The world famous 88's were the bane of the Allies in WW2. The 88 millimetre cannon and the Tiger Tank 88 cannons fired these huge shells. Superb maker codes stamps etc. with full Waffenamt Nazi Eagle markings. To get an impression of the difference between the size and power of Allied shells against the German equivalent, in 1942 an Allied Tank Round was approximately the size of a small Coca Cola bottle, the German Tank Shell was the size of a small child!. The 88 performed well in its original role of an anti-aircraft gun, and it proved to be a superb anti-tank, and anti-soft skinned vehicle gun as well. Its success was due to its versatility: the standard anti-aircraft platform allowed gunners to depress the muzzle below the horizontal, unlike most of its contemporaries. During the initial stages of the war, as it was becoming increasingly clear that existing anti-tank weapons were unable to pierce the armour of heavier enemy tanks, gunners were more likely to put the weapon to use against enemy tanks, a situation that was aided by the prevalence of the 88 among German forces.

Similarly to the anti-aircraft role, as an anti-tank weapon the 88 was tactically arranged into batteries, usually four guns to each. The higher-level tactical unit was, most commonly, a mixed anti-aircraft battalion (Flak-Abteilung, gemischte). It totalled 12 such guns on average, supplanted by light cannons.

The German Condor Legion made extensive use of the 88 in the Spanish Civil War, where its usefulness as an anti-tank weapon and a general artillery piece exceeded its role as an anti-aircraft gun.The success of the 88 caused the Allies to take steps to defend against it in new tank designs. On July 18 and 19 1944 a Luftwaffe 8.8 cm anti-aircraft battery was re-purposed by then Major Hans von Luck to attack British tanks near Cagny taking part in Operation Goodwood. 20 tanks were killed by these guns within the first few seconds and at least 40 tanks were knocked out by 88's during the engagement.

Not suitable to export, for sale to over 18s only, safe inert and empty 37 inches high  read more

Code: 25132

1275.00 GBP

An Edo Period Armourer's Chrysanthemum Katana Tsuba

An Edo Period Armourer's Chrysanthemum Katana Tsuba

Iron plate tsuba in circular shape with omote and ura surfaces showing multiple hot stamp kiku stamp designs.

Tsuba were made by whole dynasties of craftsmen whose only craft was making tsuba. They were usually lavishly decorated. In addition to being collectors items, they were often used as heirlooms, passed from one generation to the next. Japanese families with samurai roots sometimes have their family crest (mon) crafted onto a tsuba. Tsuba can be found in a variety of metals and alloys, including iron, steel, brass, copper and shakudo. In a duel, two participants may lock their katana together at the point of the tsuba and push, trying to gain a better position from which to strike the other down. This is known as tsubazeriai pushing tsuba against each other.  read more

Code: 20740

295.00 GBP

A Most Attractive Late King George IIIrd English Long Barrel Fowling Piece

A Most Attractive Late King George IIIrd English Long Barrel Fowling Piece

Very long barrel, and good walnut stock. Percussion action. The earliest smoothbore firearms loaded with shot were the fowling pieces that appeared in 16th-century Europe. In the early 17th century, the barrels were made as long as 6 feet in an attempt to gain maximum accuracy. Hunting has been practised in Britain since prehistoric times; it was a crucial activity of hunter-gatherer societies before the domestication of animals and the dawn of agriculture.

In Britain, hunting with hounds was popular in Celtic Britain before the Romans arrived, using the Agassaei breed. The Romans brought their Castorian and Fulpine hound breeds to England, along with importing the brown hare (the mountain hare is native) and fallow deer as quarry. Wild boar was also hunted.

The earliest known attempt to specifically hunt a fox with hounds was in Norfolk, in the East of England, in 1534, where farmers began chasing down foxes with their dogs as a form of pest control. Packs of hounds were first trained specifically to hunt foxes in the late 17th century, with the oldest such fox hunt likely to be the Bilsdale in Yorkshire. By the end of the 17th century, many organised packs were hunting both hare and fox.

Shotguns were improved during the 18th and 19th centuries and game shooting became more popular. To protect the pheasants for the shooters, gamekeepers culled vermin such as foxes, magpies and birds of prey almost to extirpation in popular areas, and landowners improved their coverts and other habitats for game. Game Laws were relaxed in 1831 which meant anyone could obtain a permit to shoot rabbits, hares, and gamebirds, although shooting and taking away any birds or animals on someone else's land without their permission continued to be the crime of poaching, as it still is.

Hunting was formerly a royal sport, and to an extent shooting still is, with many Kings and Queens being involved in hunting and shooting, including King Edward VII, King George V (who on 18 December 1913 shot over a thousand pheasants out of a total bag of 3937), King George VI and the present day Prince Philip, although Queen Elizabeth II does not shoot. Shooting on the large estates of Scotland has always been a fashionable country sport. This trend is generally attributed to the Victorians, who were inspired by the romantic imagery of the Scottish Highlands.

The modern shotgun evolved principally from a series of 19th-century improvements in gunpowder, cartridges, and guns. The barrel was shortened and lightened, making possible the double-barreled gun, in which two barrels shoot to the same point of aim at normal ranges. The choke bore was introduced to limit the spread of the shot and increase range and accuracy. As with all our antique guns, no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables

Barrel 50.5 inches long, overall 67 inches long  read more

Code: 22357

750.00 GBP

A Most Beautiful All Brass Large Boxlock King George IIIrd Napoleonic Wars Flintlock Pistol

A Most Beautiful All Brass Large Boxlock King George IIIrd Napoleonic Wars Flintlock Pistol

Just one example of the many dozens of finest quality pistols we have from the 18th and 19th century, we have the privilege to currently offer. Finest London maker Philip Bond of Cornhill. Very good tight and crisp action. Boxlock pistols were pocket pistols popular in the late 1700's and early 1800’s. The most unique feature of their design was the boxlock mechanism. Unlike most firearms which have the cock located off to the side of the pistol, a boxlock pistol had the cock located directly on top of the pistol. They were called a boxlocks because all of the working mechanisms for the cock and the trigger was located in a box or receiver directly below the top mounted hammer. While the cock obstructed the aim of the user, this system had the advantage of making the gun more compact and concealable than other pistols. The first boxlock pistols were flintlock and where later made in percussion lock. Unlike modern firearms, these pistols were not mass produced, but were meticulously hand made by the most highly skilled specialist gunsmith artisans, in their bespoke gunsmith's workshops. In their day there were thousands of such artisans based in workshops around the entire country, today there are just a handful left remaining with the skill to create such masterpieces of the gunmakers art. Finest English bespoke guns today can start from £100,000 each, and it is not unusual to approach £200,000 for a top grade example.
Gun collecting and restoration attracts those from all walks of life who appreciate the joy and satisfaction such historical and beautiful pieces bring. For example, one of the greatest and most famous, senior, cinematic and stage actors in the world today, admired and respected by millions, young and old alike, is also a highly talented gunsmith, restorer and collector of the finest antique pistols. The possessor of a unique and remarkable additional skill, equal to that of his acting ability, a talent and passion that he most discreetly keeps very close to his chest. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables

 read more

Code: 23629

1795.00 GBP

A Fabulous Circa 1808, A Year XII Silex Pistol for General Staff Officers, Octagonal Rifled Barrel in 17 mm calibre, Napoleonic Period Pistol By Napoleon’s Personal Gunsmith,The Great Jean Le Page of Paris

A Fabulous Circa 1808, A Year XII Silex Pistol for General Staff Officers, Octagonal Rifled Barrel in 17 mm calibre, Napoleonic Period Pistol By Napoleon’s Personal Gunsmith,The Great Jean Le Page of Paris

A Napoleonic pistol made by one of the greatest and collectable makers of France. Chequered grip, octagonal butt cap, octagonal barrel heavy scroll engraved with Le Page of Paris, flared muzzle octagonal barrel with multi groove rifling. Converse silex action, to enable ignition in foul weather.

The first modern use of a General Staff was in the French Revolutionary Wars, when General Louis-Alexandre Berthier (later Marshal) was assigned as Chief of Staff to the Army of Italy in 1795. Berthier was able to establish a well-organised staff support team. Napoleon took over the army the following year and quickly came to appreciate Berthier's system, adopting it for his own headquarters, although Napoleon's usage was limited to his own command group.

The Staff of the Grande Armée was known as the Imperial Headquarters and was divided into two major sections: Napoleon's Military Household and the Army General Headquarters. A third department dependent on the Imperial Headquarters was the office of the Intendant Général (Quartermaster General), providing the administrative staff of the army.

Made and used by a staff officer, from the period of Napoleon’s Grand Armee. The Grand Armee was the main military component of the French Imperial Army commanded by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1804 to 1808, it won a series of military victories that allowed the French Empire to exercise unprecedented control over most of Europe. Widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest fighting forces ever assembled, however, it suffered enormous losses during the disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812, after which it never recovered its strategic superiority.

The Grande Armée was formed in 1804 from the L'Armée des côtes de l'Océan (Army of the Ocean Coasts), a force of over 100,000 men that Napoleon had assembled for the proposed invasion of Britain. Napoleon later deployed the army in Central Europe to eliminate the combined threat of Austria and Russia, which were part of the Third Coalition formed against France. Thereafter, the Grande Armée was the principal military force deployed in the campaigns of 1806/7, the French invasion of Spain, and 1809, where it earned its prestige, and in the conflicts of 1812, 1813–14, and 1815. In practice, however, the term Grande Armée is used in English to refer to all the multinational forces gathered by Napoleon in his campaigns.

Upon its formation, the Grande Armée consisted of six corps under the command of Napoleon's marshals and senior generals. When the Austrian and Russian armies began preparations to invade France in late 1805, the Grande Armée was quickly ordered across the Rhine into southern Germany, leading to Napoleon's victories at Ulm and Austerlitz. The French Army grew as Napoleon seized power across Europe, recruiting troops from occupied and allied nations; it reached its peak of one million men at the start of the Russian campaign in 1812,3 with the Grande Armée reaching its height of 413,000 French soldiers and over 600,000 men overall when including foreign recruits.4

In summer of 1812, the Grande Armée marched slowly east, and the Russians fell back with its approach. After the capture of Smolensk and victory at Borodino, the French reached Moscow on 14 September 1812. However, the army was already drastically reduced by skirmishes with the Russians, disease (principally typhus), desertion, heat, exhaustion, and long communication lines. The army spent a month in Moscow but was ultimately forced to march back westward. Cold, starvation, and disease, as well as constant harassment by Cossacks and Russian partisans, resulted in the Grande Armée's utter destruction as a fighting force. Only 120,000 men survived to leave Russia (excluding early deserters); of these, 50,000 were Austrians, Prussians, and other Germans, 20,000 were Poles, and just 35,000 were French.5 As many as 380,000 died in the campaign.6

Napoleon led a new army during the campaign in Germany in 1813, the defence of France in 1814, and the Waterloo campaign in 1815, but the Grande Armée would never regain its height of June 1812. In total, from 1805 to 1813, over 2.1 million Frenchmen were conscripted into the French Imperial Army

Jean Le Page continued the success of his predecessors as gunsmith to the House of Orleans, King Louis XVI, of the First Consul Bonaparte and then Emperor Napoleon I and King Louis XVIII. The factory is famous for its pistols, guns, luxury white arms and page swords during the First French Empire. During this era, many technical innovations were made such as over oxygenated powder in 1810, a water resistant gun in 1817, and invented the fulminate percussion system for firearms which replaced the flintlock.

Jean Le Page cemented the company’s reputation and position in history. As a gunsmith he is mentioned in numerous pieces of literature, and the firearms produced during this period are those most sought after and displayed in museums and the like, particularly due to their often famous provenance.
As a purveyor of arms to kings he brought in an extremely prestigious clientele and this includes Armand Augustin Louis de Caulaincourt, Duke of Vincence, baron Gaspard Gourgaud, the Marshall Emmanuel de Grouchy, General Charles de Flahaut, the Marchioness Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon, the Marshall André Masséna, Duke of Rivoli, Baron Daru, General Carlo Andrea Pozzo di Borgo, and the perfumier Jean-François Houbigant, among others.

Many pieces bear testimony to this sumptuous period, Jean Le Page "is, without doubt, the imperial gunsmith most quoted both in literary texts and in arms notices exhibited in museums". A shooting gun for Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans (future Philippe Égalité) is presented to the Museum of the Porte de Hal in Brussels. First Consul Bonaparte's sword is exhibited at the Château de Malmaison. The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris also has several beautiful Le Page pieces including two of Emperor Napoleon I's shooting guns belonging to a series made in 1775 for King Louis XVI and modified around 1806 ; a silex gun that had belonged to King Louis XVIII and a nécessaire box containing a pair of silex guns for children, a gift from King Charles X to the Duke of Bordeaux, future Count of Chambord

The pistol has had an old contemporary thin crack repair at the buttstock, replaced rammer  read more

Code: 20866

1675.00 GBP

A Fabulous and Stunning, Original, Edo Period Mounted Long Tanto with Koto era Sengoku Period, Circa 1500's Blade & a Remarkable Secret Compartment for a Secret Letter or Gold

A Fabulous and Stunning, Original, Edo Period Mounted Long Tanto with Koto era Sengoku Period, Circa 1500's Blade & a Remarkable Secret Compartment for a Secret Letter or Gold

A wonderful Japanese art sword in the truest sense of the word, with a Koto blade circa 1500. All the wonderful koshirae are based on sea creatures, such as numerous gold Japanese spiney lobster on the sayajiri and menuki, with a takebori octopus Akkorokamui kurigata, and the shakudo fushi kashira are katakiribori engraved with a koi carp, an Akkorokamui octopus and a turbot, an eel on the shakudo tsuba, and a silver fish at the base of the kozuka pocket, and the kozuka has a stunning gold spiny lobster to match the mountings. The blade is fixed into place, as the hidden secret compartment, hidden under the rare removable kashira, would be where the tang would normally be, thus the hilt would normally be solid and the secret compartment, in the hollow tsuka [hilt], would not be remotely suspected. Original Edo period black stripe and counter stripe lacquer saya
Akkorokamui is a gigantic octopus-like monster from Ainu folklore, which supposedly lurks in Funka Bay in Hokkaidō and has been allegedly sighted in several locations including Taiwan and Korea since the 19th century. John Batchelor most notably records an account of this monster in his book The Ainu and Their Folklore when noting, “...three men, it was said, were out trying to catch a sword-fish, when all at once a great sea-monster, with large staring eyes, appeared in front of them and proceeded to attack the boat. The monster was round in shape, and emitted a dark fluid which has a very powerful and noxious odour.” It is said that its enormous body can reach sizes of up to 120 meters in length. The coloration of the Akkorokamui is said to be a striking red, often described as glowing and sometimes likened to the color of the reflection of the setting sun upon the water. Due to its coloration and immense size, it is visible from great distances. It is possibly a giant squid or a giant octopus.

Ainu reverence of this monster has permeated into Shintoism, which has incorporated Akkorokamui as a minor kami. Self purification practices for Akkorokamui are often strictly followed. While Akkorokamui is often presented as a benevolent kami with powers to heal and bestow knowledge, it is fickle and has the propensity to do harm. Akkorokamui’s nature as an octopus means that it is persistent and it is near impossible to escape its grasp without permission. Like other Shinto purification rituals, prior to entering the shrine of Akkorokamui, one’s hands must be cleaned with water with the exception that one’s feet must also be cleaned as well. Akkorokamui enjoys the sea and offerings which reflect this: fish, crab, mollusks, and the like are particular favorites of Akkorokamui, which give back that which it gave. Homage to Akkorokamui is often for ailments of the limbs or skin, but mental purification and spiritual release is particularly important.

Shrines in dedication to Akkorokamui and associated octopus deity are found throughout Japan. In particular, well known shrines include one in Kyoto and the island of Hokkaido that pay homage to Nade yakushi. These shrines, while named to different entities, come from and share various characteristics with Akkorokamui, and as such practices involving healing, renewal, and purification are similar. Koi fish are associated with positive imagery. Because of the dragon legend, they are known as symbols of strength and perseverance, as seen in their determinative struggle upstream. And because of the lone koi that made it to the top of the waterfall, they are also known as symbols of a destiny fulfilled. Resulting from its bravery in swimming upstream, the koi is oftentimes associated with Samurai Warriors in Japan. The Sengoku period [ Sengoku Jidai, "Warring States period") is a period in Japanese history of near-constant civil war, social upheaval, and intrigue from 1467 to 1615.

The Sengoku period was initiated by the Ōnin War in 1467 which collapsed the feudal system of Japan under the Ashikaga Shogunate. Various samurai warlords and clans fought for control over Japan in the power vacuum, while the Ikkō-ikki emerged to fight against samurai rule. The arrival of Europeans in 1543 introduced the arquebus into Japanese warfare, and Japan ended its status as a tributary state of China in 1549. Oda Nobunaga dissolved the Ashikaga Shogunate in 1573 and launched a war of political unification by force, including the Ishiyama Hongan-ji War, until his death in the Honnō-ji Incident in 1582. Nobunaga's successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi completed his campaign to unify Japan and consolidated his rule with numerous influential reforms. Hideyoshi launched the Japanese invasions of Korea in 1592, but their eventual failure damaged his prestige before his death in 1598. Tokugawa Ieyasu displaced Hideyoshi's young son and successor Toyotomi Hideyori at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and re-established the feudal system under the Tokugawa Shogunate. The Sengoku period ended when Toyotomi loyalists were defeated at the siege of Osaka in 1615.

The Sengoku period was named by Japanese historians after the similar but otherwise unrelated Warring States period of China. Small natural wear marks to the lacquer. Blade 14 inches long tsuba to tip, 19.5 inches long overall. More details to follow.....  read more

Code: 23929

7900.00 GBP