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A Superb Norman Invasion Period 12th Century Magical Talismanic Ring, Around 900 Years Old

Quasi cross symbols, vertical bars with 30 degree angle cross bars.Image magic
The combination of rare natural materials, engraved representations and a supernatural source of power was central to image magic.
Image magic was the most common genre of magic translated from Arabic into Latin and consisted of rituals to be performed over a three dimensional object (an image or talisman) in order to induce a spirit or heavenly body toimbue it with power. The magical object could be created by sculpting metal or wax, inscribing a piece of parchment or cloth, or engraving an object like a ring, mirror or knife.
Rituals including the invocation of spirits and suffumigations (the ritual burning of incense) were then performed over the image. When the rituals were complete the image was placed
somewhere appropriate to the operation, for example on a merchant’s stall to increase trade
or on the body to protect it from harm. In some cases God was also asked to help the
practitioner achieve his goal, allowing the Christian practitioner to express his piety in the form of a prayer. During the period of Europe’s conversion to Christianity (c. 300–1050), magic was strongly identified with paganism, the label Christian missionaries used to demonize the religious beliefs of Celtic, Germanic, and Scandinavian peoples. Church leaders simultaneously appropriated and Christianized native practices and beliefs. For example, medicinal remedies found in monastic manuscripts combined Christian formulas and rites with Germanic folk rituals to empower natural ingredients to cure ailments caused by poisons, elf-attack, demonic possession, or other invisible forces. Another Christianized practice, bibliomancy (divination through the random selection of a biblical text), was codified in the 11th-century Divinatory Psalter of the Orthodox Slavs. Although co-opted and condemned by Christian leaders of this period, magic survived in a complex relationship with the dominant religion. In high medieval Europe (c. 1050–1350), the battle between religion and magic occurred as the struggle against heresy, the church’s label for perverted Christian belief. Magicians, like heretics, were believed to distort or abuse Christian rites to do the Devil’s work. By the 15th century, belief in the reality of human pacts with the Devil and the magical powers acquired through them contributed to the persecution of those accused of actually harming others with their magic.Although magic was widely condemned during the Middle Ages, often for political or social reasons, the proliferation of magic formulas and books from the period indicates its widespread practice in various forms. Richard Kieckhefer has identified two major categories of magic: "low" magic includes charms (prayers, blessings, adjurations), protective amulets and talismans, sorcery (the misuse of medical and protective magic), divination and popular astrology, trickery, and medical magic through herbs and animals; and "high," or intellectual, magic, includes more learned forms of astrology, astral magic, alchemy, books of secrets, and necromancy. There is also evidence of courtly interest in magic, particularly that involving automatons and gemstones. Moreover, magic served as a literary device of the time, notably the presence of Merlin in the Arthurian romances.

Code: 23856

375.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Fabulous Viking Bronze Ring Engraved With Old Norse 'Yggdrasill' Meaning Odin's Horse, Great Tree of the Nine Realms or the Tree of Terror

One piece bronze Viking ring, made, circa 9th century to 12th century, engraved with the pagan image of Ygdrasill's spiral trunk with stylized branches, both angular and cursive. One of the most beautiful original Viking warrior's rings, around 1000 years old, that we have seen in years Yggdrasil (from Old Norse Yggdrasill , in Norse cosmology, is an immense and central sacred tree. Around it exists all else, including the Nine Realms.

Yggdrasil is attested in the Poetic Edda compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and in the Prose Edda written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Yggdrasil is an immense ash tree that is centre to the cosmos and considered very holy. The gods go to Yggdrasil daily to assemble at their traditional governing assemblies, called things. The branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, and the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other locations; one to the well Urðarbrunnr in the heavens, one to the spring Hvergelmir, and another to the well Mímisbrunnr. Creatures live within Yggdrasil, including the dragon Níðhöggr, an unnamed eagle, and the stags Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Duraþrór. The generally accepted meaning of Old Norse Yggdrasill is "Odin's horse", meaning "gallows". This interpretation comes about because drasill means "horse" and Ygg(r) is one of Odin's many names. The Poetic Edda poem Hávamál describes how Odin sacrificed himself by hanging from a tree, making this tree Odin's gallows. This tree may have been Yggdrasil. Gallows can be called "the horse of the hanged" and therefore Odin's gallows may have developed into the expression "Odin's horse", which then became the name of the tree.

Nevertheless, scholarly opinions regarding the precise meaning of the name Yggdrasill vary, particularly on the issue of whether Yggdrasill is the name of the tree itself or if only the full term askr Yggdrasil (where Old Norse askr means "ash tree") refers specifically to the tree. According to this interpretation, askr Yggdrasils would mean the world tree upon which "the horse [Odin's horse] of the highest god [Odin] is bound". Both of these etymologies rely on a presumed but unattested *Yggsdrasill.

A third interpretation, presented by F. Detter, is that the name Yggdrasill refers to the word yggr ("terror"), yet not in reference to the Odinic name, and so Yggdrasill would then mean "tree of terror, gallows". F. R. Schröder has proposed a fourth etymology according to which yggdrasill means "yew pillar", deriving yggia from *igwja (meaning "yew-tree"), and drasill from *dher- (meaning "support")

Code: 23855

695.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Original Greek Set of Four Arrowheads From the Time of Alexander The Great 334BC Acquired on A grand Tour in 1820

Original, four different types of Greek arrow heads in delightful condition showing good and beautiful natural aged ancient patina. Acquired in the 1820's while on a Grand Tour of Northern France and the Ottoman Empire. From part three of our ancient arrow heads, spears, lead sling bullets, antiquities and rings from an 1820 Grand Tour Collection. Discovered around 180 years ago in the region of The Battle of the Granicus River during what was known at the time as 'The Grand Tour'. Fought in May 334 BC it was the first of three major battles fought between Alexander the Great and the Persian Empire. Fought in Northwestern Asia Minor, near the site of Troy, it was here that Alexander defeated the forces of the Persian satraps of Asia Minor, including a large force of Greek mercenaries led by Memnon of Rhodes.

The battle took place on the road from Abydos to Dascylium (near modern-day Ergili, Turkey), at the crossing of the Granicus River. Where the ancient Greeks best perceived the need for archers was
when an expeditionary force came to them: if an ancient city knew a siege was facing them, what preparations would they make As Mitylene prepares to secede from the Athenian Empire (428) we see the city taking three preparations to undergo a siege: one was to buy
grain, second was to raise the height of the walls, and the third was to bring in archers from Thrace.
In a siege, the defenders always have the height advantage. They are throwing or shooting from the city walls, the offense is shooting from the ground. Mathematically, the height advantage goes with the square root of two. If, for instance, you are shooting from twice as high, your arrow goes 1.414 times as far. If you are on a battlement
50 feet high, and your opponent is shooting from five feet high, your arrow goes seven times farther than his. (This is purely mechanical, ignoring aerodynamics.)
The bow, among the Greeks, was the principal weapon for the city besieged. The bow being so effective in this situation explains why the first advance in ancient siege machinery was the movable tower. This
is the invention of Dionysius of Syracuse. You build it out of range, as high as the city walls, or even higher, armour the front with hides, move it up and give your archers a fair chance to clear the city walls.
Here, for once, is a situation where archers are fi ghting archers as the main event in ancient Greece. Though siege-towers were constructed out of range, their could always be over-achievers: Philip II, king of Macedon (359-336) and father of Alexander the Great, was inspecting
siege-works when he got his most famous wound an arrow from the city walls knocked his eye out.
Archers on city walls turned many a tide, as victorious besiegers routed a city’s land forces, and, in the excitement of pursuit, got too close to the city walls!

Code: 23854

395.00 GBP


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A 1st Roman Legion, Late 1st century AD, Rectangular Building Block With Stamped Text 'LEG I ITAL' for 1st Legion 'Italica';

A notable and substantial piece formerly from the renown Scammell Collection of ancient artifacts. Its original mortar is still attached to the reverse. LEG I ITAL was the first legion raised by Emperor Nero in September 66 AD. In 181 AD, Marcus Valerius Maximianus, an important Roman general, was the general of the 1st Legion Italica, and he was a confident of Emperor Marcus Aurelias, during the period of the Marcomannic Wars. It is said he inspired the composite fictional general Maximus Decimus Meridius, the main character and Roman General in Gladiator played by Russell Crowe, and it was the Marcomannic wars that are depicted in the earliest scenes in Gladiator in which the fictional Marcus Valerius Maximis was a commanding general. Marcus Valerius Maximianus was placed in charge of detachments of the praetorian fleets of Misenum and Ravenna and also of African and Moorish cavalry used for scouting duties in Pannonia. While on active service with the cavalry Maximianus killed a Germanic chieftain named as "Valao, chief of the Naristi" with his own hand and was publicly praised by the Emperor, who granted him the chieftain's "horse, decorations and weapons". He was appointed prefect of the lance-bearing cavalry and was in charge of the cavalry. The Ist Legion was still based on the Danube in the 5th century. We show a Roman marble bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius who was played by Richard Harris in Gladiator. The main fighting unit of the Roman army was the legion. During the first three centuries of the empire the army contained between 25 and 34 legions. Each legion was made up of about 5000 men recruited from the citizens. Although the soldiers of the legion were Roman citizens, they were drawn from all walks of life and legions often consisted of natives from conquered countries.

The legion contained within its ranks troops trained and equipped to perform many duties in wartime and peace. Although the vast majority of soldiers served as heavy infantry, other legionaries fought as cavalry, archers or light infantry. Other troops operated artillery such as the ballista, onagar and scorpio The troops were however not solely prepared for combat. Legionaries regularly served as engineers constructing fortifications, roads and bridges. As the legion counted among its complement a vast number of men with special skills, it was in many ways self-supporting. A large part of its military equipment could be produced by craftsmen drawn from the ranks. Soldiers trained as surveyors, engineers and architects ensured that the legion needed little outside help for its building requirements. As far as a Legion travelled it built buildings, bridges, even sewer systems. And their efforts were stamped upon some of their building bricks to show which legion had constructed them. There are some parts of London that still bear bricks stamped by their engineers of the Roman Legions. Bricks, blocks and tiles stamped P.P.BR.LON or some variant of this has been found associated with the traces of the old Roman palace off Cannon St. Whatever the meaning of the first P, it is clear that the P.BR.LON or PR.BR., as it sometimes appears, is an abbreviation for PROVINCIAE BRITANNIAE LONDINII. At the site of a Roman bath house in Jerusalem, three of the bricks recovered bore the same style of rectangular stamped impression of the Roman Legio X Fretensis – stamped thus LE X FR. Legio X Fretensis ("Tenth legion of the Strait") was a legion of the Imperial Roman army. It was founded by the young Gaius Octavius (later to become Augustus Caesar) in 41/40 BC to fight during the period of civil war that started the dissolution of the Roman Republic. X Fretensis is then recorded to have existed at least until the 410s. This Roman block is from the private collection of Antony John Scammell (1937-2019); acquired on the UK art market from 1960. Antony John Scammell (1937-2019) was born, and lived his entire life, in the city of Bristol, England. Already from an early age he was enthralled by history and the heroes that it created. While serving overseas with the British Army, Antony began collecting coins and banknotes and this led to collecting a variety of different items throughout his life. From the early 1960s onward, Antony invested in acquiring ancient artefacts. Antony's vast collections started with Egyptian antiquities, but soon branched into Greek and Roman civilisations. The Roman civilisation fascinated him most and, when family commitments allowed, archaeological digs were coordinated in the west of England. These digs uncovered numerous artefacts, many of which were donated to local museums. In retirement, the collecting continued apace, branching into UK coins, British Empire banknotes and fossils. It weighs 4.6 kg, and is 19 x 19cm (7 1/2 x 7 1/2").

Code: 23424

1450.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Fabulous Quality King George IIIrd Cased Double Barrel Sporting Gun By World Renowned Gunsmith S.Nock, Early Transitional Flintlock To Percussion

Very fine sighted damascus barrels of the finest quality, engraved Saml. Nock 180 Fleet St. London Maker to His Majesty, case colour hardened gold lined breech engraved with a hound, border and foliate engraved, signed lock converted from flintlock using the drum and nipple principle, half stocked with chequered wrist, border and scroll engraved steel mounts, the trigger guard decorated with a hound, serial numbered to the underside of the barrels, contained in its green baize lined oak case, the lid with trade label for Samuel Nock at the Regent Circus address, complete with commensurate and later accessories.
Samuel Nock was the nephew of famed innovative gunmaker Henry Nock and apprenticed under him. He was also a highly rated and accomplished gunmaker and worked through the transitional period from flintlocks to percussion systems. He served as a royal gunmaker to the English monarchy from King George III in 1805 up to Queen Victoria starting in 1837. He died in 1851. To replicate such a fine hand made ‘bespoke’ double barrelled gun today, only Purdey or Boss of London could have the skills required to replicate it. A finely engraved, bespoke single Purdey side by side sporting gun, with a Damas barrels, costs today £113,500, with an 18 months to 2 year waiting time, and additional costs for casing and tools. The double-barrelled sporting gun was seen as a weapon of prestige and authority, especially in the days of the East India Company and the later Raj in India, where it was known as Dunali (literally "two pipes"). It was especially valued in Bihar, Purvanchal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab

Code: 23371

7995.00 GBP


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A Very Fine Pair of Cased WW1 Great War Imperial German Epaulettes

For the Imperial German 40th Infantry officer. Used by the German regimental officers that fought in the trenches with Adolf Hitler's infantry, and apparently the 40th relieved Hitler's company within the List Regiment, the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 16 (1st Company of the List Regiment). In their original storage case in mint condition overall. Mid blue cloth background with gilt crescent and Infantry number 40. Red back cloth. During the war, Hitler served in France and Belgium in the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 16 (1st Company of the List Regiment). He was an infantryman in the 1st Company during the First Battle of Ypres (October 1914), which Germans remember as the Kindermord bei Ypern (Ypres Massacre of the Innocents) because approximately 40,000 men (between a third and a half) of nine newly-enlisted infantry divisions became casualties in 20 days. Hitler's regiment entered the battle with 3,600 men and at its end mustered 611. By December Hitler's own company of 250 was reduced to 42. Biographer John Keegan claims that this experience drove Hitler to become aloof and withdrawn for the remaining years of war. After the battle, Hitler was promoted from Sch?tze (Private) to Gefreiter (Lance Corporal). He was assigned to be a regimental message-runner The List Regiment fought in many battles, including the First Battle of Ypres (1914), the Battle of the Somme (1916), the Battle of Arras (1917), and the Battle of Passchendaele (1917). During the Battle of Fromelles on 19?20 July 1916 the Australians, mounting their first attack in France, assaulted the Bavarian positions. The Bavarians repulsed the attackers, suffering the second-highest losses they had on any day on the Western Front, about 7,000 men

Code: 22240

375.00 GBP


Shortlist item
An Exceptional Mortimer Box lock Pistol, By Master Gunsmith, Mr Mortimer

With silver flowering scroll inlaid walnut grip, lions head butt pommel and ribbed turn-off barrel. Concealed spring loaded trigger. There were two Harvey Walklate Mortimers, the Senior and Junior, who both worked at 89 Fleet Street. The firm began in the mid-18th century, and was well known for its high quality firearms. 29 June 1799 Harvey Walklate Mortimer the younger of Fleet Street apprenticed to Mr Harvey Walklate Mortimer gun maker of the same place admitted into the freedom of the City of London in the company of farriers by servitude. Cased pairs of similar silver inlaid box lock pistols by Mortimer have been recorded to have made in excess of ?8,000. such is their desirability, with their pairs of duellers demanding upwards of ?50,000. Some small silver inlay losses. Good tight action.

Code: 20122

995.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Very Fine Pair of 'Cased' 1800's English, Rifled Duelling Pistols, of Capt Robert Lloyd RN By John and William Calvert, With Finest Silver Inlaid Barrels by Johann Christoph Kuchenreiter.

it's case arrives in October!! From the time of King George IIIrd'. A stunning pair of original case English duelling pistols, with a pair of silver inlaid rifled barrels by one of Europe's finest barrel makers of his day, Christoph Kuchenreiter of Bavaria. Photographed at present without its fabulous case, as its previous owner was stuck in lockdown. When it arrives in October we will adjust the photos accordingly. It was often the case that a gentleman when commissioning a pair of finest pistols would request the addition of the finest imported barrels for the German rifle barrel maker's were, with good reason, considered to be some of the finest in the world. The stocks are finest Juglans Regia walnut, and the steel mounts and lock bear some of the best England had to offer. After very considerable, and diligent family research the intriguing potential history of these finest duelling pistols is detailed herein. They were originally from the estate [over some 150 years ago] of the late Admiral Robert Lloyd RN 'Admiral of the White' a Royal naval flag rank officer of distinction who served at the Glorious Ist of June, in the Anglo French War, the Napoleonic Wars against Napoleon, and in the War of 1812 in America. During the War of 1812 the US government approved the innovative and experimental use of a Torpedo in order to sink his ship, HMS Plantagenet, and thus sabotage its blockade of New London. The pistols bear his personal family monogram and his personal Lloyd's family silver crest of a demi lion argent in two cartouches at the pistols wrists. It would be wonderful to think these pistols accompanied the then Captain Lloyd aboard his ships during these incredible eventful times in his career. They were made by John & William Calvert, who were fine English gunsmith's with premises together at 73 Briggate Leeds, between 1804-1822. The barrels are by one of the greatest Bavarian rifled barrel makers in Europe, Johann Christoph Kuchenreiter, and are thus inlaid with his name in gold. These are simply outstanding examples of the highest-grade flintlock pistol barrels produced by the famous Bavarian gunsmith Johann Christoph Kuchenreiter. Kuchenreiter was part of a dynasty of Bavarian gunsmiths that produced highest quality arms for many of the royal houses of the various Germanic states and Austria. His pistols are in the British Royal Collection, and examples of his work are in all of the finest museum arms collections in the world. Robert H Lloyd. Vice-Admiral of the White, was born 24 March, 1765, and died 17 Jan. 1846, at his family seat, at Tregayan, county Anglesey.

He entered the Navy, on the 31 March, 1779, as a Captain's Servant, on board the HMS Valiant a 74 gunner, then as a Midshipman berth in HMS Fairy under Capts. Berkeley, Keppel, and Brown, he was wounded in a sharp action which preceded the capture of that sloop by the French frigate Madame. After a captivity of some time in France, he was prisoner-exchanged around March, 1781, and on his return to England was received on board the Medway a 74 gunner, under Capts. Harwood and Edgar. He next, between May, 1782, and July, 1787, served on the Channel station in HMS Hebe a frigate, under Capts. Keppel and Edw. Thornbrough, and on 22 Nov. 1790, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Obtaining an appointment, in Dec. 1792, to the Latona 38, Capts. Thornbrough and Hon. Arthur Kaye Legge, Mr. Lloyd fought under the former of those officers in the action of 1 June, 1794; and on rejoining him as Senior Lieutenant in HMS Robust, he served in Lord Bridport's action, and was severely wounded in the expedition to Quiberon. On 6 Dec. 1796 he was promoted to the command of HMS Racoon in the North Sea; where, after a short running fight, in which the Racoon had 1 person, the Master, killed, and 4 wounded, he succeeded in taking, on 11 Jan. 1798, Le Policrate a French privateer, of 16 guns and 72 men;and, on 22 of the same month, La Pensee, of 2 guns, 9 swivels, and 32 men. Capt. Lloyd, who had previously captured Les Amis, of 2 guns, 6 swivels, and 31 men, made further prize, 20 Oct. following, at the end of a running action of two hours, of La Vigilante, of 14 guns and 50 men. Prior to his attainment of Post-rank 6 Dec. 1799, he had the increased good fortune to sink a French lugger, and to eifect the capture of the privateers Le Vrai Decide, of 14 guns, 4 swivels, and 41 men, and L'Intrepide, of 16 guns and 60 men, 13 of whom were killed and wounded. On the latter occasion he unfortunately received a wound in the head from a half-Pike. His last appointments were ? 12 Jan. 1801, to the Mars 74, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Thornbrough in the Channel, where he remained until April, 1802 to 25 March, 1807, to the Hussar 38, in which ship, after assisting at the reduction of Copenhagen, he visited North America and the West Indies 31 May, 1809, and 25 Sept. 1810, to the Guerriere 40, and Swiftsure 74, flagship of Sir John Borlase Warren, both on the North American station and, 11 Feb. 1812 (after ten months of half-pay), to the Plantagenet 74. Continuing in the latter vessel until paid off in April, 1815, Capt. Lloyd was at first employed in the Baltic, and afterwards again in North America, where he captured a large number of coasters, and accompanied the expeditions against Washington and New Orleans. He commanded HMS Plantagenet in the Chesapeake campaigns 1813-15 in the War of 1812. In Spring 1813, the US Congress passed the Torpedo Act, offering rewards to any private citizen who succeeded in blowing up a British vessel. During the British blockade of New London, Connecticut, on June 25, 1813, a schooner loaded with explosives blew up next to the 74-gun ship of the line HMS Ramillies killing one British naval officer and ten Royal Navy seamen. While not exactly a torpedo attack, the incident sent a clear message that open warfare was declared on enemy war vessels while in United States waters. Adm. Sir John Borlase Warren, chief of the North American naval station blustered, "the Enemy are disposed to make use of every unfair and Cowardly mode of warfare." Another British naval officer labelled the use of torpedoes "a most dastardly method of carrying on the war."
On the 26th of September, 1814, the General Armstrong was lying at anchor in the road of Fayal. Her aster was Samuel Chester Reid, 3 and she had a crew of ninety men on board. A British squadron, composed of the Plantagenet, 74, Captain Robert Lloyd, Rota, 38, Captain Philip Somerville; and Carnation, 18, Commander George Bentham, hove in sight towards sundown. Experience had taught the Americans not to trust to the neutrality of a weak Power for protection; and Reid warped his brig near shore, and made ready to repel any attempt to cut her out. Soon after dark Captain Lloyd sent in four boats. He asserted that they were only sent to find out what the strange brig was; but of course no such excuse was tenable. Four boats, filled with armed men, would not approach a strange vessel after nightfall merely to reconnoitre her. At any rate, after repeatedly warning them off, Reid fired into them, and they withdrew. He then anchored, with springs on his cables, nearer shore, and made every preparation for the desperate struggle which he knew awaited him. Lloyd did not keep him long in suspense. Angered at the check he had received, he ordered seven boats of the squadron, manned by about a hundred and eighty picked men, to attack the privateer. He intended the Carnation to accompany them, to take part in the attack; but the winds proved too light and baffling, and the boats made the attempt alone. Under the command of Lieutenant William Matterface, first of the Rota, they pulled in under cover of a small reef of rocks, .where they lay for some time; and, at about midnight, they advanced to the attack.

The Americans were on the alert, and, as soon as they saw the boats rowing in through the night, they opened with the pivot-gun, and immediately afterwards with their long 9's. The British replied with their boat carronades, and, pulling spiritedly on amidst a terrific fire of musketry from both sides, laid the schooner aboard on her bow and starboard quarter. A murderous struggle followed. The men-of-wars' men slashed at the nettings and tried to clamber up on the decks, while the privateersmen shot down the assailants, hacked at them with cutlass and tomahawk, and thrust them through with their long pikes. The boats on the quarter were driven off; but on the forecastle the British cut away the nettings, and gained the deck. All three of the American mates were killed or disabled, and their men were beaten back; but Reid went forward on the run, with the men of the after division, and tumbled the boarders back into their boats. This put an end to the assault. Two boats were sunk, most of the wounded being saved as the shore was so near; two others were captured; and the others, crippled from their losses, and loaded with dead and disabled men, crawled back towards the squadron. The loss of the Americans was slight. Two were killed and seven wounded. The fearful slaughter in the British boats proved that they had done all that the most determined courage could do. Two-thirds of the assailants were killed or wounded. The number killed was 34, including Lieutenants William Matterface and Charles E. Norman. The number wounded was 86, including Lieutenant Richard Rawle, Lieutenant Thomas Park, R.M., Purser William Benge Basden, and two Midshipmen.

The brig's long 24 had been knocked off its carriage by a carronade shot, but it was replaced and the deck again cleared for action. Next day the Carnation came in to destroy the privateer, but was driven off by the judicious use of the long-gun. However, as soon as the wind became favourable, the Carnation again advanced. Further resistance being hopeless, the General Armstrong was scuttled and burned, and the Americans retreated to the land.
Use of Fulton's torpedo in the Chesapeake Bay was sanctioned by Secretary of the Navy William Jones who told Capt. Charles Gordon of the Baltimore U.S. Navy station to give every aid to a Mr. Elijah Mix. In a secret memo of May 7, Jones instructed Gordon to furnish [Mix] with 500 lbs of powder, a Boat, or Boats, and Six men. Mix made several attempts to blow up the ship of the line HMS Plantagenet on blockade duty off the Virginia capes. On July 24, Mix almost succeeded in his plans but the torpedo exploded prematurely, deluging the decks of the British vessel with seawater. It appears from Elijah Mix's April 27, 1815 letter to Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield requesting his furlough from the Navy that Mix had been kicking his heels waiting for new employment after his efforts to sink Plantagenet, because Crowninshield's predecessor, Secretary William Jones, suspended the torpedo program:

"Permit me. . . To remark that I have [a]waited orders at this port [New York City] since October 1814 when I was released from the torpedo service from the compliment that I had the Honor to receive from the President, after my expedition against the Plantagenet, I had no doubt but I should resume my Command again, in the Chesapeake; but unfortunate for me and my country Mr. Jones was Opposed to torpedoes. I have spent independent of my pay upwards of two thousand Dollars and one years hard service to acquire a perfect knowledge of the use and certainty using those formidable Engines with Effect, but to my mortification all aid has been withdrawn. . . ."

While it possible that Secretary of the Navy Jones caved into British pressure against the use of such a dastardly method of warfare, Hamlin mentions a letter from Jones in which the Secretary gave Elijah Mix a sharp reprimand for not continuing with his efforts to sink the Plantagenet. Thus, the suspension of the program may have had more to do with Jones?s distrust of Elijah Mix's diligence than any submission to British pressure. On the 29th December 1813, HMS Plantagenet was off Bermuda and her commander, Captain Robert Lloyd wrote to his Admiral with a list of his successes against America so far. It was very long:

Sloop Jolly Robin of 4 men and 50 tons, from Boston bound to Charleston, captured September 8 1813.
Schooner Torpedo of 40 tons from New York bound to New Orleans, captured September 11 1813.
Sloop Olive Branch of 50 tons captured same date.
Schooner Delight of 50 tons captured September 15 1813.
Schooner name unknown captured same date.
Schooner Jacks Delight of one gun from New Orleans bound to New York captured October 12 1813.
Schooner Sparrow of 1 gun and 100 tons from New Orleans bound to New York captured November 3 1813.
Sloop Elizabeth of 30 tons captured November 5 1813.
Sloop James Madison of 1 man and 25 tons from New Orleans bound to New York captured November 7 1813.
Sloop Active of 5 men and 57 tons from New York bound to Savannah captured November 12 1813
Sloop Lady Washington of 15 men and 70 tons from Savannah bound to New York captured November 15 1813.
Schooner Betsy of 5 men and 60 tons from Savannah bound to New York, captured November 21 1813.
Schooner Margaret and Mary of 5 men and 37 tons from Philadelphia boudn to New York captured November 27 1813.
Sloop Anna Maria of 7 men and 60 tons from Philadelphia bound to New York captured same date.
Schooner John and Mary of 60 tons from New Orleans bound to New York captured November 29 1813.
Sloop Five Sisters of 5 men and 60 tons from New York bound to Philadelphia captured December 2 1813.
Sloop New Jersey of 42 tons from Barnygatebound to New York captured same date.
Sloop Two Peters of 3 men and 38 tons from Little Egg bound to New York captured same date.
Schooner Batsch of 3 men and 61 tons from New York bound to Little Eggcaptured December 4 1813.
Schooner Unicorn of 6 men and 30 tons from Savannah bound to New York captured December 5 1813.
Schooner Margaret of 2 men and 36 tons from New York bound to Barnygate captured December 8 1813
Sloop Victory of 60 tons from Savannah bound to New York captured December 10 1813.
Schooner Little Mary of 3 men and 26 tons from New York bound to Charleston captured December 12 1813.
Schooner Rapid of 21 men, 1 gun and 115 tons from Havannah bound to New York captured December 16 1813.
Schooner Mary of 4 men and 34 tons from Philadelphia bound to Salem captured December 17 1813. sighted octagonal polygroove rifled barrels fitted with rear leaf sights, inlaid in silver with scrolls and I Christoph Kuchenreiter, the breeches are set with the maker's tablet embossed with horse and rider and the initials ICL, border engraved stepped locks signed by the maker, incorporating an automatic safety on half cock, French style cocks, rainproof pans, roller frizzens, full stocked with steel mounts, the trigger guards engraved with the owner's initials of Robert Lloyd and with pineapple finials, circular white metal escutcheons engraved with the owner's crest of a demi-lion, slab-sided butts chequered to the fore and rear, brass capped wooden ramrods. Small stock repair at the lock area during its working life.

Code: 22120

28950.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Superb, original, Early 15th Century Azincourt Medieval Longbow Tanged Arrowhead

In very nicely preserved condition. Acquired in the 1820's while on a Grand Tour of Northern France near Azincourt, in the Pas-de-Calais. From part three of our ancient arrow heads, spears, lead sling bullets, antiquities and rings from an 1820 Grand Tour Collection,however most of the French campaign arrowheads have now been sold. The Battle of Agincourt was an English victory in the Hundred Years' War. It took place on 25 October 1415 (Saint Crispin's Day) near Azincourt, in northern France.The unexpected English victory against the numerically superior French army boosted English morale and prestige, crippled France and started a new period of English dominance in the war.

After several decades of relative peace, the English had resumed the war in 1415 amid the failure of negotiations with the French. In the ensuing campaign, many soldiers died from disease, and the English numbers dwindled; they tried to withdraw to English-held Calais but found their path blocked by a considerably larger French army. Despite the numerical disadvantage, the battle ended in an overwhelming victory for the English.

King Henry V of England led his troops into battle and participated in hand-to-hand fighting. King Charles VI of France did not command the French army as he suffered from psychotic illnesses and associated mental incapacity. The French were commanded by Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party. This battle is notable for the use of the English longbow in very large numbers, with the English and Welsh archers comprising nearly 80 percent of Henry's army.

Agincourt is one of England's most celebrated victories and was one of the most important English triumphs in the Hundred Years' War, along with the Battle of Crécy (1346) and Battle of Poitiers (1356). It forms the centrepiece of William Shakespeare's play Henry V, written in 1599. A wide variety of arrows were shot from the English longbow. Variations in length, fletchings and heads are all recorded. Perhaps the greatest diversity lies in arrows, with varieties like broad-arrow, wolf-arrow, dog-arrow, Welsh arrow and Scottish arrow being recorded. War arrows were ordered in the thousands for medieval armies and navies, supplied in sheaves normally of 24 arrows. For example, between 1341 and 1359 the English crown is known to have obtained 51,350 sheaves (1,232,400 arrows). The range of the medieval weapon is not accurately known, with much depending on both the power of the bow and the type of arrow. It has been suggested that a flight arrow of a professional archer of Edward III's time would reach 400 yd (370 m) but the longest mark shot at on the London practice ground of Finsbury Fields in the 16th century was 345 yd (315 m). Computer analysis by Warsaw University of Technology in 2017 has estimated that bodkin-point arrows could penetrate typical plate armour of the time at up to 225 metres (738 ft).A typical military longbow archer would be provided with between 60 and 72 arrows at the time of battle. Most archers would not shoot arrows at the maximum rate, as it would exhaust even the most experienced man. "With the heaviest bows [a modern war bow archer] does not like to try for more than six a minute." Not only do the arms and shoulder muscles tire from the exertion, but the fingers holding the bowstring become strained; therefore, actual rates of shooting in combat would vary considerably. Ranged volleys at the beginning of the battle would differ markedly from the closer, aimed shots as the battle progressed and the enemy neared. On the battlefield English archers stored their arrows stabbed upright into the ground at their feet, reducing the time it took to nock, draw and loose.

Arrows were not unlimited, so archers and their commanders took every effort to ration their use to the situation at hand. Nonetheless, resupply during battle was available. Young boys were often employed to run additional arrows to longbow archers while in their positions on the battlefield. "The longbow was the machine gun of the Middle Ages: accurate, deadly, possessed of a long range and rapid rate of fire, the flight of its missiles was likened to a storm".

In tests against a moving target simulating a galloping knight it took some approximately seven seconds to draw, aim and loose an armour-piercing heavy arrow using a replica war bow. It was found that in the seven seconds between the first and second shots the target advanced 70 yards and that the second shot occurred at such close range that, if it was a realistic contest, running away was the only option.

Code: 23852

190.00 GBP


Shortlist item
An 1888 Regimental Irish Lee Metford Mk1 Pattern 2 Bayonet With Original Scabbard

Maker marked Wilkinson.
The Lee-Metford rifle (a.k.a. Magazine Lee-Metford, abbreviated MLM) was a bolt action British army service rifle, combining James Paris Lee's rear-locking bolt system and ten-round magazine with a seven groove rifled barrel designed by William Ellis Metford. It replaced the Martini-Henry rifle in 1888, following nine years of development and trials, but remained in service for only a short time until replaced by the similar Lee-Enfield.
Also for use with the earliest form of Long Lee Rifle, the Boer War and early WW1 Enfield Rifle Fitting the early Long Lee Rifle until 1903/4 when the Long Lee had a new narrower bayonet bar fitted and the cleaning rod channel removed, the later 1903 Metford bayonet thus altered to fit, but retaining the same blade until the 1907 long bladed SMLE bayonet was devised. The rifle and bayonet used in the Chinese Legations during the Boxer Rebellion in Peking in June 1900. The Battle of Peking, or historically the Relief of Peking, was the battle on 14–15 August 1900, in which a multi-national force, led by Britain, relieved the siege of foreign legations in Peking (now Beijing) during the Boxer Rebellion. From 20 June 1900, Boxer forces and Imperial Chinese troops had besieged foreign diplomats, citizens and soldiers within the legations of Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the United States within the city of Peking

A poem dedicated to the 1888 pattern bayonet in the Boer War was written by soldier and poet PT Ross.
A Yeoman's Letters,PT Ross, 1901
Did I ever use the bay'nit, sir?
In the far off Transvaal War,
Where I fought for Queen and country, sir,
Against the wily Boer.
Aye, many a time and oft, sir,
I've bared the trusty blade,
And blessed the dear old Homeland, sir
Where it was carefully made.

Chorus
Then here's to the British bay'nit
Made of Sheffield steel,
And here's to the men who bore it -
Stalwart men and leal.

You notice the dents on the edge, sir
At Bronkhurst Spruit they were done;
I was getting a door for a fire,
For out of wood we had run.
I was smiting hard at the door, sir,
Or rafter, I'm not sure which,
When I struck on an iron screw, sir,
And the bay'nit got this niche
'Tis my mighty Excalibur, sir,
I've use it in joy and grief,
For digging up many a tater,
Or opening bully beef.
I have used it for breaking wire,
Making tents 'gainst rain and sun;
I have used it as a hoof-pick,
In a hundred ways and one.
Oh, how did the point get blunted, sir?
I was driving it home
As a picketing peg for my horse,
So that he should not roam.
I drove it in a little, sir,
And then in my haste, alas,
I stubbed the point on a rock, sir
Some inches below the grass.
You ask if it e'er took a life, sir?
Aye, I mind the time full well;
I had spotted him by a farm, sir,
And went for him with a yell.
He tried to escape me hard, sir,
But I plunged it in his side,
And there by his own backyard, sir,
A healthy porker died.

But did I draw it in action?
You ask me roughly now.
Yes, we were taking a kopje,
The foe were on the brow.
We drew and fixed our bay'nits,
The sun shone on the steel:
Death to the sniping beggars
We were about to deal.
Then, sweating and a-puffing,
We scaled the rocky heights,
But when we reaches the top, sir,
The foe was out of sight.
Has it e'er drawn human blood?
Yes once, I grieve to say;
It was not in a battle,
Or any bloody fray;
'Twas just outside Pretoria,
The deed was never meant,
I slipped and fell on the point, sir,
'Twas quite by accident.
Chorus
Then here's to the British bay'nit
Made of Sheffield steel,
And here's to the men who bore it -
Stalwart men and leal.
And here's to the Millennium,
The time of peaceful peace,
When neighbours shall love each other
And wicked wars shall cease.

Code: 23851

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