1427 items found
A Fabulous, Most Rare & Large,  Imperial Roman Byzantine Empire, Original, Incised & Pierced Cross 4th to 10th Century AD from Jerusalem. Used from the Time of Emperor Constantine to the Earliest Crusades.

A Fabulous, Most Rare & Large, Imperial Roman Byzantine Empire, Original, Incised & Pierced Cross 4th to 10th Century AD from Jerusalem. Used from the Time of Emperor Constantine to the Earliest Crusades.

In superb condition, extraordinary large yet wearable size with beautiful patination, almost 3" long.
The form of earliest Christian Cross worn around the neck over the Roman toga to clearly show one’s position as, say, a Christian noble or tribune of status in the Eastern Roman Empire of Emperor Constantine, and it may have been worn by subsequent generations as a symbol of continuity and stability and devotion of the new faith of the Empire. Later, in the evolution of Christianity in the East, acquired by or presented to a Crusader Knight and worn upon his tabard as a symbol of his devotion to liberating Jerusalem.

One of our clients bought a fabulous good sized Crusades period bronze cross from us recently, and had a jeweller make a wearable gold mount and hanging ring so it could be worn once more almost 1000 years since it was originally worn to the Holy Land. Another client acquired an encolpion cross and had a bespoke good sized frame made for its display, both looked absolutely stunning.

Just over 1700 years ago, it was written, a cross of light bearing the inscription “in hoc signo vinces” (in this sign you will conquer) miraculously appeared to Roman Emperor Constantine before the battle of Milvian Bridge. The Battle of the Milvian Bridge took place between the Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius on 28 October 312. His victory over his brother-in-law and co- emperor Maxentius and subsequent conversion to Christianity had a profound impact on the course of Western civilization.
Byzantine is the term commonly used since the 19th century to refer to the Greek-speaking Roman Empire of the Middle Ages centred in the capital city of Constantinople. During much of its history, it was known to many of its Western contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks, due to the dominance of the Greek language and culture. However, it is important to remember that the Byzantines referred to themselves as simply as the Roman Empire. As the Byzantine era is a period largely fabricated by historians, there is no clear consensus on exactly when the Byzantine age begins; although many consider the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great, who moved the imperial capital to the glorious city of Byzantium, renamed Constantinople and nicknamed the “New Rome,” to be the beginning. Others consider the reign of Theodosius I (379- 395), when Christianity officially supplanted the pagan beliefs, to be the true beginning. And yet other scholars date the start of the Byzantine age to the era when division between the east and western halves of the empire became permanent.

While Christianity replaced the gods of antiquity, traditional Classical culture continued to flourish. Greek and Latin were the languages of the learned classes. Before Persian and Arab invasions devastated much of their eastern holdings, Byzantine territory extended as far as south as Egypt. After a period of iconoclastic uprising came to resolution in the 9th Century, a second flowering of Byzantine culture arose and lasted until Constantinople was temporarily seized by Crusaders from the west in the 13th Century. Christianity spread throughout the Slavic lands to the north. In 1453, Constantinople finally fell to the Ottoman Turks effectively ending the Byzantine Empire after more than 1,100 years. Regardless of when it began, the Byzantine Empire continued to carry the mantle of Greek and Roman Classical cultures throughout the Medieval era and into the early Renaissance, creating a golden age of Christian culture that today continues to endure in the rights and rituals of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Byzantine art and culture was the epitome of luxury, incorporating the finest elements from the artistic traditions of both the East and the West..
Many items of antiquity we acquire are from the era of the Grand Tour.

Richard Lassels, an expatriate Roman Catholic priest, first used the phrase “Grand Tour” in his 1670 book Voyage to Italy, published posthumously in Paris in 1670. In its introduction, Lassels listed four areas in which travel furnished "an accomplished, consummate traveler" with opportunities to experience first hand the intellectual, the social, the ethical, and the political life of the Continent.

The English gentry of the 17th century believed that what a person knew came from the physical stimuli to which he or she has been exposed. Thus, being on-site and seeing famous works of art and history was an all important part of the Grand Tour. So most Grand Tourists spent the majority of their time visiting museums and historic sites.

Once young men began embarking on these journeys, additional guidebooks and tour guides began to appear to meet the needs of the 20-something male and female travelers and their tutors traveling a standard European itinerary. They carried letters of reference and introduction with them as they departed from southern England, enabling them to access money and invitations along the way.

With nearly unlimited funds, aristocratic connections and months or years to roam, these wealthy young tourists commissioned paintings, perfected their language skills and mingled with the upper crust of the Continent.

The wealthy believed the primary value of the Grand Tour lay in the exposure both to classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music. A Grand Tour could last from several months to several years. The youthful Grand Tourists usually traveled in the company of a Cicerone, a knowledgeable guide or tutor.

The ‘Grand Tour’ era of classical acquisitions from history existed up to around the 1850’s, and extended around the whole of Europe, Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, and the Holy Land.

Hanging loop lacking.  read more

Code: 23736

3995.00 GBP

A Fabulous Walking Stick Dandy Cane Inlaid with Pure Gold

A Fabulous Walking Stick Dandy Cane Inlaid with Pure Gold

One of the most beautiful and finest quality examples we have ever seen. A steel handle inlaid with amazing two colour Koftgari goldwork of simply stunning quality. Koftgari is the Indian form of damascening which closely resembles the damascening found in Persia and Syria.

The inlay process begins after the piece is moulded and fully formed. The intended design is engraved into the base metal and fine gold or silver wire is then hammered into the grooves.

The base metal is always a hard metal, either steel, iron or bronze, and the inlay a soft metal, either gold or silver. This combination prevents the base from deforming when the wire inlay is hammered into the surface and results in the inlaid areas being well defined and of sharp appearance.

Swords, shield and armour were often decorated in koftgari work and domestic items such as boxes and betel containers, were also made. Every other portrait of a Georgian, Victorian, or Edwardian gentleman, shows some nattily dressed fellow with a walking stick pegged jauntily into the ground or a slim baton negligently tucked under the elbow. The dress cane was the quintessential mark of the dandy for three centuries, part fashion accessory, part aid to communication, part weapon, and of course, a walking aid. A dandy, historically, is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of self. A dandy could be a self-made man who strove to imitate an aristocratic lifestyle despite coming from a middle-class background, especially in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain.

Previous manifestations of the petit-maître (French for "small master") and the Muscadin have been noted by John C. Prevost, but the modern practice of dandyism first appeared in the revolutionary 1790s, both in London and in Paris. The dandy cultivated cynical reserve, yet to such extremes that novelist George Meredith, himself no dandy, once defined cynicism as "intellectual dandyism". Some took a more benign view; Thomas Carlyle wrote in Sartor Resartus that a dandy was no more than "a clothes-wearing man". Honoré de Balzac introduced the perfectly worldly and unmoved Henri de Marsay in La fille aux yeux d'or (1835), a part of La Comédie Humaine, who fulfils at first the model of a perfect dandy, until an obsessive love-pursuit unravels him in passionate and murderous jealousy.

Charles Baudelaire defined the dandy, in the later "metaphysical" phase of dandyism, as one who elevates æsthetics to a living religion, that the dandy's mere existence reproaches the responsible citizen of the middle class: "Dandyism in certain respects comes close to spirituality and to stoicism" and "These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons, of satisfying their passions, of feeling and thinking …. Dandyism is a form of Romanticism. Contrary to what many thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of mind."

The linkage of clothing with political protest had become a particularly English characteristic during the 18th century. Given these connotations, dandyism can be seen as a political protest against the levelling effect of egalitarian principles, often including nostalgic adherence to feudal or pre-industrial values, such as the ideals of "the perfect gentleman" or "the autonomous aristocrat". Paradoxically, the dandy required an audience, as Susann Schmid observed in examining the "successfully marketed lives" of Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron, who exemplify the dandy's roles in the public sphere, both as writers and as personae providing sources of gossip and scandal. Nigel Rodgers in The Dandy: Peacock or Enigma? Questions Wilde's status as a genuine dandy, seeing him as someone who only assumed a dandified stance in passing, not a man dedicated to the exacting ideals of dandyism.  read more

Code: 23513

1295.00 GBP

We Just Signed Up To Instagram This Week. Another Way to Connect To our Webstore & Our Daily Updates

We Just Signed Up To Instagram This Week. Another Way to Connect To our Webstore & Our Daily Updates

We signed up on Thursday to Instagram, thanks to the suggestions and guidance of our tech savvy Victoria, and our eldest granddaughter / great neice, Holly {who has her own 500k instagram followers}

copy and paste.

We only have a few pictures to view there at present, and it will take us a while to add our other 20k+ photographs, but we will get it done eventually.

If you use Instagram... why not 'follow' us and enjoy  read more

Code: 25130


A Superb Samurai, Shinto Period, 350 Year Old, Ryo-Shinogi Yari Polearm Spear, Signed Bushu ju Shimosaka Fujiwara Kazunori, In Incredible Polish, Showing Fine Grain in the Hada and Wide Fine Suguha Hamon, With 12 'Notch' Tang

A Superb Samurai, Shinto Period, 350 Year Old, Ryo-Shinogi Yari Polearm Spear, Signed Bushu ju Shimosaka Fujiwara Kazunori, In Incredible Polish, Showing Fine Grain in the Hada and Wide Fine Suguha Hamon, With 12 'Notch' Tang

An Edo Period Samurai Horseman Ryo-Shinogi Yari Polearm on original haft, circa 1680. Fantastic polish showing amazing grain and deep hamon.

The blade is signed Bushu ju Shimosaka Fujiwara Kazunori, and bears 12 hand cut notches to the tang, which often represented the number of vanquished samurai by the yari weilding samurai, likely in a single battle

With original pole and iron foot mount ishizuki. Four sided double edged head. The mochi-yari, or "held spear", is a rather generic term for the shorter Japanese spear. It was especially useful to mounted Samurai. In mounted use, the spear was generally held with the right hand and the spear was pointed across the saddle to the soldiers left front corner.

The warrior's saddle was often specially designed with a hinged spear rest (yari-hasami) to help steady and control the spear's motion. The mochi-yari could also easily be used on foot and is known to have been used in castle defense. The martial art of wielding the yari is called sojutsu. A yari on it's pole can range in length from one metre to upwards of six metres (3.3 to 20 feet). The longer hafted versions were called omi no yari while shorter ones were known as mochi yari or tae yari. The longest hafted versions were carried by foot troops (ashigaru), while samurai usually carried a shorter hafted yari. Yari are believed to have been derived from Chinese spears, and while they were present in early Japan's history they did not become popular until the thirteenth century.The original warfare of the bushi was not a thing for "commoners"; it was a ritualized combat usually between two warriors who may challenge each other via horseback archery and sword duels. However, the attempted Mongol invasions of Japan in 1274 and 1281 changed Japanese weaponry and warfare. The Mongol-employed Chinese and Korean footmen wielded long pikes, fought in tight formation, and moved in large units to stave off cavalry. Polearms (including naginata and yari) were of much greater military use than swords, due to their much greater range, their lesser weight per unit length (though overall a polearm would be fairly hefty), and their great piercing ability.
Swords in a full battle situation were therefore relegated to emergency sidearm status from the Heian through the Muromachi periods.

70.5 inches long overall,5.5 inches long blade, blade with tang overall 15 inches long  read more

Code: 25131

2120.00 GBP

The Lanes Armoury..Everything You Can Imagine, and a Lot, Lot More!

The Lanes Armoury..Everything You Can Imagine, and a Lot, Lot More!

Original pieces from the great ancient civilisations, Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Scythian, Persian, Roman, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Norman, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, British, and beyond, in fact more antiquities, armoury antiques, militaria, that you can imagine, plus leaves from illuminated manuscripts, rare and historical books, incunabula and Ist editions

We may not quite have everything that everyone might be seeking, but you can trust that we have spent over 100 years trying, and every day we do our utmost to scour the collecting world to find yet more, unique ancient or antique pieces. We put in all the hard work, effort and expertise, so that you don't have to!, and remember, every purchase is accompanied with our Certificate of Authenticity, as our unique, lifetime guarantee, backed up by over 100 years of long established experience.

We are asked almost every day by many of our amazed and curious visitors about famous celebrities that have been customers past and present, so here goes, but just a snippet of a few mixed up names including those that Mark has personally assisted since 1970, and David since 1980, but of course there are many here below that our younger viewers will very likely have never even heard of!;

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, actors
Charlton 'Chuck' Heston, actor
Edward G. Robinson, actor,
HRH Princess Margaret, late sister of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth
'Fat Boy' Slim, aka Norman Cook, songwriter +
Ronald Reagan, Potus
John Osborne, author
Lord Olivier, a most well beloved Brighton resident, and actor director..
Barry Humphries, genius writer actor of limitless talent
Max Millar, comedian
Harold, Viscount Watkinson, Winston Churchill's Minister of Defence 1959/62
Garfield [Garry] Weston, proprietor of Fortnum and Mason, chairman Associated British Foods and of the Garfield Weston Foundation
John Montgomery, author
Johnny Rotten, singer and armed forces supporter
The Lord St John of Fawsley
The Tower Armouries, museum
The Higgins Museum, USA
Octav Botnar Chairman, &. Late Owner Nissan UK, formerly Datsun UK
The Metropolitan, New York
The Smithsonian, Washington D.C.
Lord Hailsham
Katy Melua, singer songwriter
Will Young, singer
Douglas Bader, RAF
Mark Williams, character actor par excellence
Sir Ralph Richardson, actor
Jim Davidson major armed services charities benefactor and comedian
Warner Bros. UK,
Sir Henry Cecil One of the world's greatest horse trainers
Macy’s, New York Department Store
St Albans Museum + Gallery, providing their new centrepiece exhibit for their new ‘War of the Roses’ Battle of St. Albans gallery.
Rebekkah Brooks & Ross Kemp in their past to-gether days, journalist and actor
The Horniman Museum, UK.
Major General Lord Fitzalen Howard Life Guards GCVO, CB, CBE, MC.
Howard Blackmore Deputy Master of The Tower of London Armouries, Founder and President The Arms and Armour Society
Steven Berkoff, actor, playwright, theatre director
Kaufhof GmbH German department store chain
Galeria D'Arte Adriana Papiri-Brignoni foremost gallery proprietor of Lugano Switzerland [with her husband Gigi] & Her friends, residents of Lugano;
Gina Lollobrigida, actress
Valentino, fashion designer
Eugene Faberge, in the 1950’s, the eldest son Carl Faberge of Moscow.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche (Jigme Namgyel), renown Buddhist and author.....
Plus, many thousands more...  read more

Code: 23976


A Most Intriguing Tribal Wooden 'Nkisi' Witch Doctor's {Nganga} Sculpture, Twin Nkisi Figures, Two Heads & Two Bodies.  Double-Headed Nkisi Have Double the Visual Powers to See into The City of the Dead & The Realm of the Living At The Same Time

A Most Intriguing Tribal Wooden 'Nkisi' Witch Doctor's {Nganga} Sculpture, Twin Nkisi Figures, Two Heads & Two Bodies. Double-Headed Nkisi Have Double the Visual Powers to See into The City of the Dead & The Realm of the Living At The Same Time

Likely from the Kongo, { aka the former Belgian Congo} 20th century. Twin African folk art primitive Nkisi witch doctor's sacred medicine figures, in hand carved wood, one part of the figure is astride upon the back of another, with long boar hair ornamentation and wide eyes.

Often such figures were placed outside, or within, the hut of a certain form of tribal elder, what we would refer to as, the tribal witch-doctor, called a Nganga as a symbol of his position within the local village, and his ability to cause magical curses and unpleasantness for villagers who had fallen out with others of the village or region, who then sought out the services of the so called 'witch-doctor' to resolve the problem, with, such as, a curse.

Vintage Hand Carved African Medicine Man Nkisi figure. Esoteric collector's piece, connected to the so-called western term of Voodoo {vodou} magic, part of the pantheon of the occult, magic & witchcraft of Africa.

Among the various Kongo peoples, nkisi means a sacred medicine. This word has been extended to include objects containing that medicine as well. The carved wooden statues referred to in the 19th century as nail fetishes and more recently as power figures containing medicine that imbues them with divine power, are therefore nkisi as well. Due to the medicine they contain (which is administered by a witch doctor or nganga), they act as agents of divine power, granting requests. healing or attesting to agreements. Each decision or resolution is literally nailed down in the figure.

A certain class of nkisi, called nkondi, are able to enforce the solutions they provide actively and to seek vengeance against those who heed them not. These figures either menace the viewer with spears and fierce facial expressions, or strike intimidating, belligerent poses.

Nkisi nkondi specialize in different areas of life. The most important nkisi nkondi carries out mangaaka, or preeminent justice.

Surveillance or watchfulness assist the effective enforcement of the power figure’s decisions. This is registered in the size of the eyes or, in some cases, by multiple sets of eyes. The rope wrapped around some figures represents a snake, a watchful predator who lends its powers of observation to the figure. Double-headed figures have double the visual powers and can see into the city of the dead and the realm of the living at the same time.

Each power figure has a distinct personality, ranging from contemplative to angry to soulful to reserved to compassionate. The ability to suggest those qualities visually with such immediacy and precision is one of the most impressive aspect of the surviving figures.

29 inches high.

Kongo religion Kikongo: Bukongo. Bakongo religion was translocated to the Americas along with its enslaved practitioners. Some surviving traditions include conjure, dreaming, possession by the dead to learn wisdom from the ancestors, traditional healing and working with minkisi. The spiritual traditions and religions that have preserved Kongo traditions include Hoodoo, Palo Monte, Lumbalú, Kumina, Haitian Vodou, Candomblé Bantu,

Photo of two Lassa witch doctors PD-USGov-HHS-CDC (None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions  read more

Code: 22514

595.00 GBP

A Superb 1200b.c. Bronze Age Long Dagger From the So-Called Greek 'Heroic Era' Of The Seige of Troy, and The Trojan War, Historically Famed with the Legendary Achilles and Hector

A Superb 1200b.c. Bronze Age Long Dagger From the So-Called Greek 'Heroic Era' Of The Seige of Troy, and The Trojan War, Historically Famed with the Legendary Achilles and Hector

Around 3200 years old
A bronze flanged dagger with integrally preserved bifurcated hilt, triangular blade, the open handle intended to accept organic grip plates of wood or horn bifurcated pommel. Approx 12" long. Fine condition
This is a most handsome ancient bronze long bladed dagger, with a tapering hilt and crescent pommel form, from one of the most fascinating eras in ancient world history, the era of the so called Trojan Wars. The recessed grip panels within the hilt would likely be for slabs of ivory or horn. The ancient Greeks believed the Trojan War was a historical event that had taken place in the 13th or 12th century BC, and believed that Troy was located in modern day Turkey near the Dardanelles. In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey . "The Iliad" relates a part of the last year of the siege of Troy, while the Odyssey describes the journey home of Odysseus, one of the Achaean leaders. Other parts of the war were told in a cycle of epic poems, which has only survived in fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets such as Virgil and Ovid.

The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked "for the fairest". Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the "fairest", should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen's husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years due to Paris' insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, and the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse. The Achaeans slaughtered the Trojans (except for some of the women and children whom they kept or sold as slaves) and desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods' wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores. The Romans later traced their origin to Aeneas, one of the Trojans, who was said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern day Italy.

This dagger comes from that that great historical period, from the time of the birth of known recorded history, and the formation of great empires, the cradle of civilization, known as The Mycenaean Age, of 1600 BC to 1100 BC. Known as the Bronze Age, it started even centuries before the time of Herodotus, who was known throughout the world as the father of history. Mycenae is an archaeological site in Greece from which the name Mycenaean Age is derived. The Mycenae site is located in the Peloponnese of Southern Greece. The remains of a Mycenaean palace were found at this site, accounting for its importance. Other notable sites during the Mycenaean Age include Athens, Thebes, Pylos and Tiryns.
According to Homer, the Mycenaean civilization is dedicated to King Agamemnon who led the Greeks in the Trojan War. The palace found at Mycenae matches Homer's description of Agamemnon's residence. The amount and quality of possessions found at the graves at the site provide an insight to the affluence and prosperity of the Mycenaean civilization. Prior to the Mycenaean's ascendancy in Greece, the Minoan culture was dominant. However, the Mycenaeans defeated the Minoans, acquiring the city of Troy in the process. In the greatest collections of the bronze age there are swords and daggers exactly as this beautiful example. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the bronze sword of King Adad-nirari I, a unique example from the palace of one of the early kings of the period (14th-13th century BC) during which Assyria first began to play a prominent part in Mesopotamian history. Swords daggers and weapons from this era were made within the Persian bronze industry, which was also influenced by Mesopotamia. Luristan, near the western border of Persia, it is the source of many bronzes, such as this piece, that have been dated from 1500 to 500 BC and include chariot or harness fittings, rein rings, elaborate horse bits, and various decorative rings, as well as weapons, personal ornaments, different types of cult objects, and a number of household vessels.

A sword, found in the palace of Mallia and dated to the Middle Minoan period (2000-1600 BC), is an example of the extraordinary skill of the Cretan metalworker in casting bronze. The hilt of the sword is of gold-plated ivory and crystal. A dagger blade found in the Lasithi plain, dating about 1800 BC (Metropolitan Museum of Art), is the earliest known predecessor of ornamented dagger blades from Mycenae. It is engraved with two spirited scenes: a fight between two bulls and a man spearing a boar. Somewhat later (c. 1400 BC) are a series of splendid blades from mainland Greece, which must be attributed to Cretan craftsmen, with ornament in relief, incised, or inlaid with varicoloured metals, gold, silver, and niello. The most elaborate inlays--pictures of men hunting lions and of cats hunting birds--are on daggers from the shaft graves of Mycenae, Nilotic scenes showing Egyptian influence. The bronze was oxidized to a blackish-brown tint; the gold inlays were hammered in and polished and the details then engraved on them. The gold was in two colours, a deeper red being obtained by an admixture of copper; and there was a sparing use of neillo. The copper and gold most likely came from the early mine centres, in and around Mesopotamia, and the copper ingots exported to the Cretans for their master weapon makers. This dagger sword is in very nice condition with typical ancient patina encrustations . 36 cm long. Picture in the gallery of Achilles and Penthesella on the Plain of Troy, with Athena, Aphrodite and Eros. See a similar dagger in Muscarella, O.W., Bronze and Iron Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1988, pp.286-287, with the gold pommel still preserved; see also parallels in Calmeyer, P., 'Datierbare bronzen aus Luristan und Kirmanshah' in Untersuchungen sur Assyriologie und vorderasiatischen Archaeologie, Berlin, 1969.

These flanged type of daggers with bifurcated hilts find parallels in ancient Persia, and are usually dated to the 11th century BC (Calmeyer, 1969, p.61, figs.60-61). Related examples from Hasanlu have a more pronounced splayed pommel and a square guard.
Formerly of the Abelita family collection, 1980-2015.  read more

Code: 24103

945.00 GBP

A 19th Century, Highly Attractive, Antique Stilletto Bladed So-Called Courtesan's Protective Dagger

A 19th Century, Highly Attractive, Antique Stilletto Bladed So-Called Courtesan's Protective Dagger

Spiral carved bone hilt, powerful quatrefoil 'armour piercing' blade, steel teardrop quillon crossguard, nickle scabbard. A so called coutesan's dagger, also often regarded as the gambler's boot dagger when found in North America
A coutesan's dagger was so called due to their attractiveness and useful size for concealment by unaccompanied ladies travelling abroad after dark.
Of course they would never have been sold as such by retailers, and the term has entered the vernacular of collectors probably even after the time they were actually made, however, like the term 'mortuary hilted swords' that bore the engraved visage of the king in the hilt from the English Civil War, they were never actually called that until almost 200 years later.

They are attractively designed elegant daggers, just such as this one, with a powerful and most efficient blade. 'Ladies of the night' became a major concern and a focal point for social reformers in the 19th century. Concerns were seen everywhere including the literature of notables such as Charles Dickens. He created characters (some of which may have had real life versions) like Nancy in Oliver Twist, and Martha Endell in David Copperfield.

No one knows for certain, but there were somewhere between 8,000 and 80,000 ladies of the trade in London during the Victorian Age. It is generally accepted that most of these women found themselves in prostitution due to economic necessity and desperate want.

There were three attitudes towards those in the profession – condemnation, regulation, and reformation. Dickens adopted the last and was intimately involved in a house of reform called Urania Cottage.

The carved handle has some feint natural line age markings  read more

Code: 24160

675.00 GBP

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

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

Antique Japanese Edo period tsuba for wakizashi sword or large o-tanto
Fine engraved with gold and high quality brass inlay Heianjo-style that was established in Yamashiro (Kyoto Pref. today). It was inspired by the Ounin-style.
Heianjo tsuba are elaborate and most decorative. It is mainly iron tsuba, of circular shape with brass inlay. Its designs were simply family crests, or arabesque patterns in the beginning. However, as time past 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.
66mm across.  read more

Code: 24166

375.00 GBP

A Most Fine Circa 1700 year Old Imperial Roman Vassal Warrior's Dagger Blade, Used Up To and Into The 5th Century AD Including By The Personal Guard of Emperor Gratian.

A Most Fine Circa 1700 year Old Imperial Roman Vassal Warrior's Dagger Blade, Used Up To and Into The 5th Century AD Including By The Personal Guard of Emperor Gratian.

in superbly preserved condition, just lacking its wooden hilt as usual, due to wood and organic materials never surviving buried for longer that a few hundred years. The same dagger as used by the personal guard units of Roman Emperor Gratian, who was so impressed by the skills of the Alans in combat, he invited them to be part of his personal guard, and he even went so far in his respect of their prowess in combat as to wear the very same form of armour as they wore.

Used by the warriors known as the 'Alans', they were predecessors of the medieval European knights, and from whence the Christian name Alan, that is still used today, descended from.

The Alans laid the foundation of medieval military tradition in Europe and inspired British mythology.

This is an incredible, original, Alans dagger, known as the a Samartian, blade, in very fine condition, professionally cleaned and superbly conserved.

The Alan guards combat dagger is highly distinctive, bearing two opposing side cuts at the ricasso before the tang. From the time when the Alan's Samartian warriors fought with the Roman Legions against Attila the Hun, and the Hunic invasion, and the battles of the Catalaunian Fields, that led to the death of Attila.

The Alans pursuit of war, a decent opponent and heroic death was legendary in the ancient times. But how did these tribes end up with such a military role and political impact in the West while so far from their homeland, and most often amongst enemies. Clearly, their number or strength was not the answer.

They conquered the West with their military culture and outstanding discipline. Their cavalry, clad in steel armour and arranged in tight rows, had the best skills of the time. German kings eagerly invited the Alans to serve in their armies, while their own subjects, mostly marching troops, learned horse riding and horse battle from them. The Alans impressed the arrogant Roman nobility so much that Emperor Gratian (359-383) invited them to his guard unit, reformed his cavalry based on their model and wore Alan clothes and armour himself.

Since the Alan society was mostly war-oriented, boys were taught horseback riding from early childhood. According to Marcellinus, Alan warriors considered it offensive for a man to walk. Isidore of Seville noted in the 6th century that they even looked somewhat clumsy without their horses.

The warriors and tribes known as Alans were part of the tribes derived from the word and term of the earlier people known as Aryans, from the old Indo-European-Iranian word Arya. Tall and good-looking with fair hair and menacing looks, the Alans were more warlike than other ethnic groups related to them. Later, their source name, Aryan, was used and abused by notorious effect by Hitler's 3rd Reich in the 20th century, as the basis of the true ancient Germanic peoples. This blade shape is highly distinctive and may well itself inspired the very similar blade shape of the German WW2 SS dagger, as much as the Tudor English Holbein dagger worn by Henry the 8th is said to have inspired the entire SS dagger pattern.
This dagger blade is from the 5th-6th century AD. A two-edged leaf-shaped iron blade, lentoid in section with tapering tang, notch above each shoulder. During the first period, the Alans appear as a nomadic, warlike, pastoral people who were professional warriors and took service, at various times, with the Romans, Parthians, and Sasanians.

Their cavalry was particularly renowned. They participated in Mithridates wars with Rome (chronicled by Lucan), as well as in Roman campaigns in Armenia, Media, and Parthia in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. (see Josephus, Jewish Wars 7.244-51, Antiquities 18.97; cf. accounts in Moses of Khoren, History of the Armenians Langlois, Historiens II, pp. 105-06, 125 and the Georgian Chronicle Kartlis tskhovreba, in M. F. Brosset and D. I. Chubinov, Histoire de la Georgie I, St. Petersburg, 1849). Ammianus Marcellinus (31.2) describes the Alans? nomadic economy and warlike customs.

The invasion of the Huns split the Alans into two parts, the European and the Caucasian. Some of the European Alans were drawn into the migration of peoples from eastern into western Europe. With the Germanic tribes of Visigoths and Vandals they passed into Gaul and Spain, some even reaching North Africa. The Alans fought on the side of the Romans in the battle of the Catalaunian Fields (A.D. 451), when Aetius defeated Attila, chief of the Huns. In 461 and 464 they made incursions into Italy. After Attila's death they struggled, together with the Germanic tribes, to free themselves from Hun domination. Large Alan hordes settled along the middle course of the Loire in Gaul under King Sangiban and on the lower Danube with King Candac (the historian Jordanes sprang from the latter group). Another settlement is indicated by the name of the Spanish province Catalonia, which is but a slight deformation of Goth-Alania, provine of the Goths and Alans. The French proper name Alain and English Alan are an inheritance from the tribe. The Alans also left an imprint on Celtic folk-poetry, e.g., the cycle of legends concerning King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table (see M. Hesse, Iranisches Sagengut im Christlichen Epos, Atlantis 1937, pp. 621-28; J. H. Grisward, The motif of the sword thrown into the lake : The death of Arthur and the death of Batradz, Romania 90, 1969, pp. 289-340). Part of the European Alans remained in the lands bordering the Black Sea, including the Crimea. Gratian, Emperor Flavius Gratianus; 18 April 359 – 25 August 383) was emperor of the western part of the Roman Empire from 367 to 383. The eldest son of Valentinian I, Gratian accompanied his father on several campaigns along the Rhine and Danube frontiers and was raised to the rank of Augustus in 367. Upon the death of Valentinian in 375, Gratian took over government of the west while his half-brother Valentinian II was also acclaimed emperor in Pannonia. Gratian governed the western provinces of the empire, while his uncle Valens was already the emperor over the east.

Gratian subsequently led a campaign across the Rhine, attacked the Lentienses, and forced the tribe to surrender. That same year, the eastern emperor Valens was killed fighting the Goths at the Battle of Adrianople, which led to Gratian elevating Theodosius to replace him in 379. Gratian favoured Nicene Christianity over traditional Roman religion, issuing the Edict of Thessalonica, refusing the office of pontifex maximus, and removing the Altar of Victory from the Roman Senate's Curia Julia. The city of Cularo on the Isère river in Roman Gaul was renamed Latin: Gratianopolis after him, which later evolved to Grenoble.

Hilts of Roman era swords and daggers effectively, are almost non existent, as they were made of organic materials, such as wood, horn etc. which rarely survives on edged weapons more than 400 to 500 years or so.  read more

Code: 22083

995.00 GBP