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NOW SOLD Waterloo Medal & Peninsula Bar. One Of The Finest History Waterloo Medals We Have Had the Privilege To Offer of Serjeant Alexander Mc Leod Hero of the ‘Black Watch’ the 42nd Foot, a Giant of a Man of his Day and One Of Wellington’s ‘Waterloo Men

NOW SOLD Waterloo Medal & Peninsula Bar. One Of The Finest History Waterloo Medals We Have Had the Privilege To Offer of Serjeant Alexander Mc Leod Hero of the ‘Black Watch’ the 42nd Foot, a Giant of a Man of his Day and One Of Wellington’s ‘Waterloo Men

Engraved SERJ. ALEX. McLEOD 42nd Or R.H. REG. INFANTRY. It is said the serjeants of the 42nd, were respected more by Wellington than any other regiment under his command. Thus, it is likely, as Sjt. McLeod towered above all his other officer's NCO's and men, being almost 6'2", that Wellington couldn't possibly have failed to notice him.
Photographed by us in its original Georgian wooden frame, with leather mount [cut from a book] the yellowing colour as can be seen on the silver bar mount appears to be just silver tarnish, but we are not polishing it, just leaving it as is.

From one of the greatest British Regiments, Serjeant Alexander McLeod, was born in Inverness, he joined [aged 19 years and 6’1 3/4” tall] The Black Watch, the 42nd foot, in 1809, and they later became the heroes of the Peninsular, Quatre Bras, and Waterloo.
Before Quatre Bras and Waterloo Sjt. McLeod had fought with distinction, and was severely wounded twice in the Peninsular War, first severely in the arm at the Pyrenees, on the 10th November 1813, at again at Orthez on the 27th February 1814, by cannon shrapnel wounds to both knees, and then later wounded at Waterloo, in June 1815, with a French sword cut to the head.

6 foot 1 3/4 inches may not sound like that much of a giant now, but at the time a regular infantry man's height was deemed as 5 foot 4 inches tall.

He was subsequently, after the war, demoted twice, first to corporal, then private, and eventually discharged from the regiment, with pension, in 1825, after 16 years of service in the 42nd the Black Watch, [aka Royal Highlanders] for‘misconduct', and his record states his general conduct during his service period since he joined in 1809, was, ‘Bad’. A Scottish hero, none the less.

It is often the way that great, valorous and skillfull combat soldiers will be promoted in wartime, as he demonstrably was, to serjeant, but in peacetime it often falls apart, and rapid promotion in war can lead to an equally rapid fall from grace in peace.

A Highlanders Waterloo Medal, with the [unnofficia] silver 'Peninsular' engraved bar mount for a ‘Waterloo Man’ a famed serjeant of the Black Watch, is literally as rare as hen’s teeth to appear on the market today, in fact we cannot recall seeing another example anywhere in the past 50 years. And for that recipient, furthermore, to also be a hero of the Peninsular War, wounded twice in action there, is simply icing on a rather impressive cake. As usual for a man that survived Waterloo, and received his medal, he wore it frequently and with pride, as it is recognised that a 'Waterloo Man' rarely ever had to dip his hands into his pocket to pay for a drink. Thus it was likely polished by him regularly, and therefore lost an element of crispness. But, this is absolutely not a medal unworn and 'as new', it has all the 5 star character as one could positively hope for, with all its hard won patina and wear just as its veteran owner would show. Its ribbon is original, and the silver mounting bar, engraved Peninsula, is also named [hand engraved] to Sjt. McLeod on the reverse.

There was no Peninsular bar ever issued by the Crown, but those that deserved it could have one added by a silver smith.

Sjt McLeod was part of Capt. Mungo Macpherson's company.

The 42nd, the Black watch, Royal Highlander's at
Quatre Bras, 16 June 1815

The 42nd were quartered in Brussels, having 39 officers and more than 500 men, commanded by Lt-Col Robert Macara KCB. They were in Picton's 5th Division, brigaded with the 3rd Btn Royal Scots, 2nd Btn 44th and the 92nd under Sir Denis Pack. Leaving Brussels in the early hours of 16 June they marched south through the Foret de Soignes, stopping for 2 hours at Waterloo and marching on to Quatre Bras along the road that went past La Haye Saint and La Belle Alliance. When they arrived after 3pm the battle had already started. The battleground of Quatre Bras contained the Wood of Bossu to the west, fields of wheat and tall rye grass. Picton's division was placed south of the Namur-Nivelles road and southeast of the Charleroi-Brussels road with Pack's brigade on the right. Marshal Ney who commanded the French sent two columns into the valley east of Gemioncourt to threaten the Brunswickers, so Wellington, at 4pm, ordered Picton's men to advance against the columns. They fired at and charged the French who fell back in disorder. The 42nd and 44th almost captured Gemioncourt Manor but it was too strongly held.

Quatre Bras
The Brunswick Hussars found themselves in trouble when they were counter-attacked by French Chasseurs. The 92nd opened their ranks to let the Hussars through but the pursuing Chasseurs a Cheval followed and attacked the 92nd from the rear. Wellington was almost killed by a Chasseur officer but some soldiers acted quickly and cut down the assailant. The 42nd and 44th were unsure whether to fire on the cavalry as it was difficult to see who was who through the long grass. It was at this point that French Lancers of Werthier's brigade appeared and attacked the Highlanders. A square was hastily formed but not quickly enough to prevent a lancer squadron getting inside. A desperate fight took place with most of the lancers being bayoneted. They in turn speared many highlanders, most notably the CO Lt-Col Macara who took a lance under the chin which penetrated his brain. Command passed to Lt-Col Dick who was soon wounded, then Brevet-Major Davidson who was mortally wounded, then Brevet-Major Campbell who commanded for the rest of the campaign. The 44th also had a hard fight with the lancers and Ensign Christie performed heroics to save the Colour. The two depleted battalions had to combine to form a single square for defence but they were short of ammunition and had to beg for more off Halkett's brigade who had recently arrived.

The 42nd/44th square suffered from artillery and skirmishers but they were witnesses to the tragedy that befell the 69th Regiment. They had been ordered to form square to prepare for an attack by Kellerman's cuirassiers but the interfering Prince of Orange appeared and ordered them to form line. This they did reluctantly and were attacked mercilessly by the French horsemen who killed 150 of them. But the cuirassiers did not get away Scot free as they were fired on by infantry and artillery so that they turned and fled. The battle ended with both sides having gained no ground and lost many brave men. The 42nd had 4 officers and 50 men killed, 22 officers and 337 men wounded.

It is said that without Quatre Bras there would never have been a Battle of Waterloo.

Waterloo, 18 June 1815

The 42nd, with the rest of the army, took up positions near Waterloo the following evening, 17 June. During the battle on the 18th the regiment was on the left of the line behind La Haye Sainte. In the early part of the fighting they had to face heavy enemy artillery fire and later in the day some subsidiary attacks. The battalion took part in the general advance when the French army finally broke. Their casualties were 5 men killed, 6 officers, 39 rank and file wounded. The six officers had already been wounded at Quatre Bras, and were wounded again at Waterloo. They were; Captain Mungo Macpherson, Lt John Orr, Lt George Gunn Munro, Lt Hugh Angus Fraser, Lt James Brander, and QM Donald Macintosh. The CO

In Wellington's reports he remarked that the 42nd,along with three other regiments, were remarkable in their prowess in battle, especially the abilities of the serjeants of the 42nd.

After the victory at Waterloo, the House of Commons voted that a medal be struck for all those who participated in the campaign. The Duke of Wellington was supportive, and on 28 June 1815 he wrote to the Duke of York suggesting:

... the expediency of giving to the non commissioned officers and soldiers engaged in the Battle of Waterloo a medal. I am convinced it would have the best effect in the army, and if the battle should settle our concerns, they will well deserve it.
On 17 September 1815 Duke of Wellington wrote to the Secretary of State for War, stating:

I recommend that we should all have the same medal, hung to the same ribbon as that now used with the [Army Gold] Medal.
The medal was issued in 1816–1817 to every soldier present at one or more of the battles of Ligny, Quatre Bras and Waterloo. Each soldier was also credited with two years extra service and pay, to count for seniority and pension purposes, and were to be known as "Waterloo Men".

This was the first medal issued by the British Government to all soldiers present during an action. The Military General Service Medal commemorates earlier battles, but was not issued until 1848. The Waterloo Medal was also the first campaign medal awarded to the next-of-kin of men killed in action.

At the time the medal was granted, when such things were not at all the norm, it was very popular with its recipients, though veterans of the Peninsular War may have felt aggrieved that those present only at Waterloo – many of them raw recruits – should receive such a public acknowledgement of their achievements. Meanwhile, those who had undergone the labours and privations of the whole war, had had no recognition of their services beyond the thirteen votes of thanks awarded to them in Parliament. There was no doubt some truth in this discontent on the part of the old soldiers; at the same time British military pride had hitherto rebelled against the practice common in Continental armies, of conferring medals and distinctions on every man, or every regiment, who had simply done their duty in their respective services. The medal was as much a symbol of the importance of the victory as it was of a desire to give general campaign medals to soldiers.

Eligibility British Army
Campaign(s)
Battle of Ligny (16 June 1815)
Battle of Quatre Bras (16 June 1815)

It was announced in the London Gazette on 23 April 1816 that the Prince Regent had been graciously pleased, in the name and on the behalf of His Majesty, to confer The Waterloo Medal upon every officer, non-commissioned officer and soldier of the British Army (including members of the King's German Legion) who took part in one or more of the following battles: Ligny (16 June 1815), Quatre Bras (16 June 1815) and Waterloo (18 June 1815).
After the victory at Waterloo, the House of Commons voted that a medal be struck for all those who participated in the campaign.

"... there are no troops in the British service
more steady in battle than the Scottish regiments."
- French General Foy

The closest historically interesting examples we could find to this medal, was a Waterloo Medal recipient, an infantry officer, Major A.R. Heyland, 40th Foot, who was also wounded several times during the Peninsular War, including at Talavera and Badajoz.
His Waterloo medal sold for £28,000 in April 2015. However, he was awarded his medal posthumously, as he was killed due to a head wound at the battle, like Sjt. McLoed but perished. Thus he never actually ever handled or wore his medal, unlike Sjt. McLeod.
Another historical past sold Waterloo Medal, in June 2012, was awarded to a cavalry officer, Major & Lieutenant-Colonel S. Ferrior, 1st Life Guards, Who ´Is Said to Have Lead His Regiment to the Charge No Less Than 11 Times, And Most of the Charges Were Not Made Till After His Head Had Been Laid Open By the Cut of a Sabre and His Body Was Pierced With a Lance´; He was killed in action, also by head wound, whilst in command of his regiment.
he also was awarded his medal posthumously, it sold in 2012 for
£33,000

Photos in the gallery are photocopies of his official records, these copies will accompany the medal

Code: 24250

Price
on
Request


A Good Koto Period O Sukashi Tsuba

A Good Koto Period O Sukashi Tsuba

Cirtca 1550. Probably Owari school. The OWARI school should be divided into three periods. The first period comprises those pieces made in the Muromachi age. The earliest tsuba of the first period are a little younger than the earliest Kanayama tsuba. The second period is the work of the Momoyama age. The third period is from the early Edo age to the Genroku era (1688-1703). A few facts may be stated based on examination of the work of this school. They are always of positive silhouette design. The subjects of the designs vary greatly but they always have in common a strong masculine feeling. They are a noble tsuba whose influence may be seen in many contemporary schools.
Yamasaka Kichibei was the name of the first tsuba artist of this family. Later members of this school shortened the name to Yamakichibei, still later onwe see the name Yamakichi. The working period of the first Yamasaka Kichibei is from Tensho to Keicho eras (1575-1615), about contemporary with the second Nobuiye. The first generations lived in the Kiyosu area, but the later generations lived at Nagoya in Owari Province. 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.

Code: 20801

495.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Superb, Original, British Pattern 1856

A Superb, Original, British Pattern 1856 "2-Band" Enfield Sword Bayonet

An exceptionally good example of a British 19th Century 1856/58 Pattern Enfield Yataghan sword bayonet.
In many respects it could be distinctly possible to never find a better once used example.
With black chequered leather grips and distinctive wavy Yataghan blade synonymous with this pattern. Good official inspection marks to blade, with regimental marks to the scabbard stud, and HP on the blade tang. At present unidentified. With a clean very bright blade in fabulous condition, and complete with its original excellent plus leather and steel mounted scabbard, with superb condition leather. Blade length is 23 inches (28.5 inches overall).
Armies during the American Civil War used a variety of weapons. Soldiers attached bayonets to the ends of rifles -- providing stabbing power during charges when loading a rifle quickly was impossible. Both Union and Confederate armies used this type of a model 1856 Enfield sabre bayonet. the Enfield 1856 short rifle, with long Yataghan sword bayonet, was in fact one of the most favoured arms used in the Civil War.

See two original photographs in the gallery of the Enfield rifle and sword bayonet held proudly by Civil War soldiers.

Pommel form: beaked with well-rounded end housing broad and deep T- shaped attachment slot. A small plain press stud, located on left side, operates locking catch via long steel leaf spring recessed within right side of pommel and grip. Back of pommel straight and flat, underside rounded. Pommel meets grips vertically. Grips form: two-piece black chequered leather. Left grip secured by four small steel rivets, right grip retained by three rivets and the leaf spring securing screw. Back and underside rounded and straight. Crossguard form: straight steel crosspiece, lower guard tapers to swept forward disc finial. Upper guard formed into full muzzle ring, 20mm aperture, topped by swept forward oval finial. Blade form: broad heavy yataghan blade with long false edge, deeply fullered. Blade back, after false edge, flat. Blade finish: bright steel.
History The P-1856 was the first short rifle in the new .577 calibre family of muskets made by the Enfield factory in England for the British Army.
The P-1856 was issued to all sergeants of Line Regiments, the Rifle Brigade and the 60th Regiment, the Cape Mounted Rifles and the Royal Canadian Rifles. Unlike the P-53 that was called a "rifle musket" the P-56 was called a "short rifle" or just a "rifle" to separate them from the long three band P-53 with a 39" barrel and the short carbine with 24" barrel. The P-56 had a 33" barrel. The P-56 replaced the old Baker and Brunswick rifles which was used in the British Army prior to the adoption of the minié system in 1851. Then in the 1860's tens of thousands were exported to America for the Civil War.

Code: 24249

295.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Early, Koto Period Ko Katchushi Iron Sukashi Mon Katana Tsuba Sword Guard

Early, Koto Period Ko Katchushi Iron Sukashi Mon Katana Tsuba Sword Guard

Uchigatana tsuba are known as Ko Tosho (sword smiths), Ko Katchushi (armour smiths) and Ji Sukashi tsuba. In regards to Ko Tosho and Ko Katchushi tsuba, it is generally thought that the Ko Tosho sword guards were introduced in or around the early Kamakura period [1192-1396ad] and were for the most part, the product of sword smiths. Ko Katchushi are thought to be a secondary line of work produced by Armour makers. The general theory is that these guards came into production at either the end of the Kamakura period or the early Nambokucho period. Both Ko Tosho and Ko Katchushi tsuba are also known as Mon-sukashi which refers to an openwork method used in their design. Shapes are pierced in negative silhouette into the flat body of the guard. The image is defined by the removal of the iron from the base.
72mm

Code: 24248

395.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Belgium's First Airship the Belgique, A Bronze Plaquette, by D Weygers of Louis Godard's Airship 'Belgique' Circa 1910

Belgium's First Airship the Belgique, A Bronze Plaquette, by D Weygers of Louis Godard's Airship 'Belgique' Circa 1910

Most rare early aeronautical medal of one of the very earliest airships, from Belgium, issued by the towns of d’Auderghem and Watermael-Boitsfort.

It depicts a semi-draped nude figure holding informative scroll, looking up at the airship, 52mm x 70mm. Engraved on the reverse Souvenir of the Derigible 'Belgique' the type of construction by Louis Godard. The "Belgique" was a 4.200m3 airship constructed by Louis Goddard at Paris and used by the Service Aérostatique from 1910 onwards.

The Belgique III was in fact the third extensive modification of the basic Belgique airship previously owned by Mrs. Goldschmidt and Solvay, who donated the machine to King Albert. Transferred to the Compagnie d'Aérostiers du Génie, the Belgique III was used up to September 1914 from Wilrijk, Antwerp. When the Germans took this town, the machine was disassembled and transported to France.

Still manned by the Belgian Commandant Soucy, the Belgique III was equipped with the gondola of the vedette Zodiac to become the VZ 5 based at La Rochelle and later Rochefort for coastal surveillance duties.

The VZ 5 having been operational until at least 1919 was offered back to Belgians but the government didn't have any use for an airship anymore.

Code: 24175

175.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Royal Naval Issue Wilkinson 1907 Pattern, SMLE MkIII Rifle Sword Bayonet in Scabbard, Adapted in the Field to Drill Purpose, Physical Training.

A Royal Naval Issue Wilkinson 1907 Pattern, SMLE MkIII Rifle Sword Bayonet in Scabbard, Adapted in the Field to Drill Purpose, Physical Training.

Overall in good condition with hand carved P.T. on one grip slab, and the blade tip rounded off. V.good condition overall. Royal Naval ‘N’ issue stamp to the pommel. WW1 issue used in both WW1 & WW2.

according to its previous collector owner it was issued and used aboard British submarine boat X2 [all submarines are classified as boats not ships]

X2 was the designation of an Italian submarine the Gallileo Gallilei, shot and captured by the Royal Navy in 1940.
After her capture, Galileo Galilei was berthed at Port Said and served as a generating station to charge the batteries of British submarines. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy in June 1942 as HMS X2 (later changed to P 711), and was operated as a training boat in the East.

The British valued the bayonet for its psychological effects at least as much as for its ability to inflict harm. Use of the bayonet was intended to give soldiers a sense of confidence and aggression. On the receiving end, only a highly-disciplined enemy could withstand a bayonet charge; the weapon was intended as much to drive the enemy from his position as to wound or kill. Bayonet training was intended to instill the soldier with confidence and a sense of aggression, as well as to develop teamwork and cooperation within the rifle section. At the outbreak of World War II, bayonet training was based on the official pamphlet published in 1937. Recruits were taught two main positions: the “high port” and the “on guard”. In the high port position, the soldier held his rifle diagonally across his body, the magazine facing forward, with the right hand on the wrist of the stock (“the small of the butt”) and the left hand at the barrel band. This was considered the best position for controlling the weapon while overcoming obstacles; it was essential to keep the rifle muzzle and bayonet pointed up so as not to risk injuring one’s comrades. From the high port, the rifle could be quickly moved into the shoulder ready to fire, or into the on guard position for using the bayonet.
Designed by American James Lee and built at the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, the SMLE was first produced in 1903. With a ten-bullet magazine and high rate of fire, it had an enviable reputation. At Mons, advancing Germans believed that they were under fire from British machine guns. But it was the well drilled infantry of the BEF using their standard issue Lee Enfields. A good infantryman would expect to shoot off about twelve well-aimed bullets in a minute. The report below from the Lee Enfield Rifle Association* elaborates:

Britain declared war on the 4th Aug 1914. By mid August the Belgians were no more than an irritating hitch to the German advance. Only one intact force stood in the way of the Germans – the BEF. The first shots that the British fired were at Malpaquet, the Germans were pulled up short near Mons as the withering rifle fire of the British caused them heavy casualties.
2 days later on the 25 August 1914 at Le Cateau the storey of Mons was repeated only on a bloodier scale. Once again the Germans attacked in tightly bunched waves and again they were met with rifle fire so intense that they thought the British were equipped with machine guns. At the end of the day 3 British Divisions fell back with the loss 7,812 men and 38 field guns. Some 2000 of which became POW’s.
By September 1st 1914 the forward elements of the German Army were a mere 30 miles from Paris. The BEF had earned the title ‘Contemptible Little Army’ from the Kaiser, and the reputation of the SMLE rifle was born.

An account from Lt R A Macleod 80th Bty XV Bde RFA stated: “Our Infantry were splendid they had only scratchings in the ground made with their entrenching tools, which didn’t give much cover, but they stuck it out and returned a good rate of fire. The German Infantry fired from the hip as they advanced but their fire was very inaccurate.”
What was conclusively proved in 1914 was the awful power of the SMLE in skilled hands. From the Boer War the Army had worked unceasingly to achieve a standard of speed and accuracy of rifle fire never before considered possible in any Army. The battles of Mons, The Marne and First Ypres showed how successful the training had been.
In a sense the first few months of the Great War represented the high¬water mark for the SMLE as an infantry weapon, since time and skilled instructors necessary to achieve such standards were just not available thereafter.

Trench warfare saw the return of many weapons thought to be obsolete; mortars, grenades being amongst them but above all was the rise in importance of the machine gun which was soon to rule the battlefield.

This said, what is not stated is that the main reason for the Army placing such an emphasis on rapid rifle fire between the Boer War and the start of the First World War was that the Treasury would not unduly fund machine guns so the army had to place ever more stress on rapid musketry as a substitute for machine gun fire. Also a lot of the armies hierarchy still believed that cavalry and bayonet charges were still the way wars should be fought.

Whilst it has been often claimed by some that the Short Magazine Lee Enfield is inferior to the Mauser System, particularly as regards the strength of the action and accuracy, it is most likely one of the most “soldier proof” rifles ever designed. It was also preferred for it’s reliability under the most adverse conditions, as well as it’s speed of operation. In 1912, trials conducted at Hythe against the German Service rifle, it was found that about 14 – 15 rounds a minute could be fired from the Mauser, compared with 28 for the SMLE. The .303 inch SMLE 110 years ago was sighted to 2800 yards, accurate for over a mile. The current British rifle SA80 is sighted to 400 meters and the 5.56 bullet narrower that a .22 air rifle pellet.
Photo in the gallery shows two Scots Guards, one in the rear, with the Mk III Enfield SMLE rifle and long sword bayonet, the closer guardsman in the foreground with the new Enfield No. 4 with short spike bayonet

Code: 24247

145.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Regular WW1 Issue .303 SMLE MK III Rifle Sword-Bayonet in Scabberd with Canvas Frog

A Regular WW1 Issue .303 SMLE MK III Rifle Sword-Bayonet in Scabberd with Canvas Frog

Overall russetted and combat trench used, and hand sharpened. An honest and regular issue well aged example.
Designed by American James Lee and built at the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, the SMLE was first produced in 1903. With a ten-bullet magazine and high rate of fire, it was fitted with a long sword/bayonet, bar on the band mounted, with long single edged blade, and leather and steel scabbard, designed not only for a regular bayonet charge, but to enable the combatant to attack a horse mounted assailant, as effectively and similar as a pike once would, both the rifle and its sword bayonet had an enviable reputation. At Mons, advancing Germans believed that they were under fire from British machine guns. But it was the well drilled infantry of the BEF using their standard issue Lee Enfields. A good infantryman would expect to shoot off about twelve well-aimed bullets in a minute. The report below from the Lee Enfield Rifle Association* elaborates:

Britain declared war on the 4th Aug 1914. By mid August the Belgians were no more than an irritating hitch to the German advance. Only one intact force stood in the way of the Germans – the BEF. The first shots that the British fired were at Malpaquet, the Germans were pulled up short near Mons as the withering rifle fire of the British caused them heavy casualties.
2 days later on the 25 August 1914 at Le Cateau the storey of Mons was repeated only on a bloodier scale. Once again the Germans attacked in tightly bunched waves and again they were met with rifle fire so intense that they thought the British were equipped with machine guns. At the end of the day 3 British Divisions fell back with the loss 7,812 men and 38 field guns. Some 2000 of which became POW’s.
By September 1st 1914 the forward elements of the German Army were a mere 30 miles from Paris. The BEF had earned the title ‘Contemptible Little Army’ from the Kaiser, and the reputation of the SMLE rifle was born.

An account from Lt R A Macleod 80th Bty XV Bde RFA stated: “Our Infantry were splendid they had only scratchings in the ground made with their entrenching tools, which didn’t give much cover, but they stuck it out and returned a good rate of fire. The German Infantry fired from the hip as they advanced but their fire was very inaccurate.”
What was conclusively proved in 1914 was the awful power of the SMLE in skilled hands. From the Boer War the Army had worked unceasingly to achieve a standard of speed and accuracy of rifle fire never before considered possible in any Army. The battles of Mons, The Marne and First Ypres showed how successful the training had been.
In a sense the first few months of the Great War represented the high¬water mark for the SMLE as an infantry weapon, since time and skilled instructors necessary to achieve such standards were just not available thereafter.

Trench warfare saw the return of many weapons thought to be obsolete; mortars, grenades being amongst them but above all was the rise in importance of the machine gun which was soon to rule the battlefield.

This said, what is not stated is that the main reason for the Army placing such an emphasis on rapid rifle fire between the Boer War and the start of the First World War was that the Treasury would not unduly fund machine guns so the army had to place ever more stress on rapid musketry as a substitute for machine gun fire. Also a lot of the armies hierarchy still believed that cavalry and bayonet charges were still the way wars should be fought.

Whilst it has been often claimed by some that the Short Magazine Lee Enfield is inferior to the Mauser System, particularly as regards the strength of the action and accuracy, it is most likely one of the most “soldier proof” rifles ever designed. It was also preferred for it’s reliability under the most adverse conditions, as well as it’s speed of operation. In 1912, trials conducted at Hythe against the German Service rifle, it was found that about 14 – 15 rounds a minute could be fired from the Mauser, compared with 28 for the SMLE. The .303 inch SMLE 110 years ago was sighted to 2800 yards, accurate for over a mile. The current British rifle SA80 is sighted to 400 meters and the 5.56 bullet narrower that a .22 air rifle pellet.

Photo in the gallery shows two Scots Guards, one in the rear, with the Mk III Enfield SMLE rifle and long sword bayonet, the closer guardsman in the foreground with the new Enfield No. 4 with short spike bayonet

Code: 24246

95.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Early War M1910 Feldgrau & Wine Red Wool Cloth Representing the Colours of a Prussian Uhlans Lancers Regiment

Early War M1910 Feldgrau & Wine Red Wool Cloth Representing the Colours of a Prussian Uhlans Lancers Regiment

The very same form of Imperial German army cap worn by Adolf Hitler in WW1 [see photos] A rare survivor of early WW1 German trench warfare head dress of 1914. In super condition with no mothing. The cockades used during WW1 to represent the National colours and Prussian state was black and white, and the upper cockade, red, white and black.
The type of cap worn by. Adolf Hitler is shown in a photo in the gallery wearing his very same type of cap, while serving as a gefreiter in the trenches in WW1. The infantry Mutze was adorned with two roundels (Kokarden) sewn one over the other. The upper Kokarde was known as the Deutsche or Reichs Kokarde, and it was painted in the national colors of red-white-black. The lower Kokarde was painted in the State colours and was known as the Landeskokarde. 1897 Reich's Kokarde
In 1897 a new Reich's Kokarde in Red/White/Black was introduced for all ranks to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kaiser Wilhelm 1st. The Reich's Kokarde was to be worn on the right side of the Pickelhaube, and worn centered between the band and the top row of piping on Kratzchen (Feldmutze)The lower Kokarde was painted in the State colors and was known as the Landeskokarde, and is based in Schlesien - a Prussian State Because the Krätzchen was a vital link in the rather complicated unit colour-coding system, it had a wide-range of colour combinations for the band and piping. A wide coloured band in combination with piping at the cap’s top, and sometimes on the band, indicated the wearer’s branch, or in the cavalry’s case, regiment. It sounds simple, yet the almost endless colour-coding made it so complicated it had little utility. For example, all infantrymen would have a poppy red band and piping. Various shades of red band and piping would also apply to certain regiments of Dragoons, Uhlans, Schwere Reiter and Chevaulegers. Some cavalry regiments, such as Hussars and Cuirassiers, would have their own unique unit colour combination. Certain branches of the army would wear the identical colour combination, such as the technical branches, including engineers, field artillery and transport troops (black band with red piping). This cap has wine red coloured band and piping which usually denotes an Uhlan Regt. The cotton lining is good and complete but the interior wear marks have worn away the interior black regimental ink stamps.

Code: 23679

695.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Singularly Magnificent Original Antique Presentation Samurai Daisho. A Signed Original Edo Period Daisho By Muneyoshi Presented to Yoshifuji, In the Fortuitous Time of The Midwinter, In The Year of the Rabbit, in The Reign of Emperor Keio.

A Singularly Magnificent Original Antique Presentation Samurai Daisho. A Signed Original Edo Period Daisho By Muneyoshi Presented to Yoshifuji, In the Fortuitous Time of The Midwinter, In The Year of the Rabbit, in The Reign of Emperor Keio.

The shoto [short sword] is Sukesada school koto to shinto period, the daito [long sword] is a shinshinto sword signed Muneyoshi.
A Beautiful original antique Edo period (1596-1871) Daisho mounted with beautifully patinated copper koshirae based on hand carved botanical designs of incredible miniscule detail, gold tsukaito, with their very fine, original Edo period, decoratively embossed two tone black lacquer saya. The kodzuka is gold to match the ito and decorated with cranes. The daito has a superb midare hamon. Only the daito blade is shown in detail here at present. The daito is, signed Muneyoshi, the shoto is mumei [unsigned].The shoto has a good suguha hamon .

The tsuke bore an inscription, signed on a parchment [see photo] under the tsukaito, to date the occasion when and to whom they were presented, during the Keio Emperor's reign in 1867.

The presentation inscription reads;
“Keio san nen usagi Yoshi Chuto Kichi no tatsu Izumi ryu Koi, Koi Kawa Yoshifuji.’

Effectively, it translates to;

Presented to Yoshifuji, In the fortuitous time of the midwinter, in the year of the rabbit, [the third year] in the reign of Emperor Keio. Emperor Keio died in 1868, succeeded by the Meiji Emperor..

This form of parchment inscription, concealed under the tsuka-ito, is very rare indeed and we have never seen a complete inscription such as this to survive before.

The daisho has a pair of very fine kikubana sukashi daisho tsuba with a tetsumigakiji, possibly Sunagawa Masayoshi school, Edo period.

The Sunagawa tsuba school derived from the artists trained by teachers from within the Yokoya school founded by Yokoya Somin. The Ishiguro (by way of the Sunagawa school) and Iwamoto schools had the same antecedents. The botan (peony) was a common theme in this school.

The daisho is a Japanese term referring to the traditional weapons of the samurai. The daisho is composed of a katana daito and wakizashi shoto. The daito, meaning big sword, and shoto, meaning small sword, The katana, the longer of the two swords, was typically employed in man-to-man combat. The wakizashi made an effective main-gauche or close-combat weapon. A daisho allows for defense while fighting or the fighting of two enemies. Also, the daisho allows the fighter to have a longer or more widespread fighting range. The concept of the daisho originated with the pairing of a short sword with whatever long sword was being worn during a particular time period. It has been noted that the tachi would be paired with a tantō, and later the uchigatana would be paired with another shorter uchigatana. With the advent of the katana, the wakizashi eventually was chosen by samurai as the short sword over the tantō. The ancient custom of leaving the katana at the door of a castle or palace when entering facilitated the continuing to wear the wakizashi within the host's castle.

The wearing of daishō was strictly limited to the samurai class, and became a symbol or badge of their rank. Daishō may have became popular around the end of the Muromachi period (1336 to 1573) as several early examples date from the late sixteenth century. An edict in 1629 defining the duties of a samurai required the wearing of a daishō when on official duty. During the Meiji period an edict was passed in 1871 abolishing the requirement of the wearing of daishō by samurai, and in 1876 the wearing of swords in public by most of Japan's population was banned; this ended the use of the daishō as the symbol of the samurai, and the samurai class was abolished soon after the sword ban. Picture of Last Fight of the Soga Brothers, 1858 by Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861). Both saya have small areas of natural wear and use. The stand shown is for illustration only and not included. however it will come with another complimentary daisho stand. The shoto blade is being carefully cleaned so can be photographed later.

Special offer item, part one of a personal private collection, sourced from a former Far Eastern specialist fine samurai sword collector

Code: 24245

24995.00 GBP


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A Simply Magnificent 17th century Museum Quality Edo Period 'Dragon'  Chisa Katana

A Simply Magnificent 17th century Museum Quality Edo Period 'Dragon' Chisa Katana

Tadatsuna School, shinto era circa 1690.

Goto school takebori 'dragon' in clouds, of pure hammered gold over shakudo, koshirae, blade by the school of Tadatsuna of Osaka, progenitor of a highly regarded line who were especially notable for their carving of fine horimono on blades. It has a breathtaking quality chisseled horimono blade, with a dragon entwined with Buddhist varjira and ken on one side, the kurikara, and bo hi with Buddhist bonji on the other. the saya has two clam mon, one the Seigaiha mon, plus a superb sayajiri in silver with dragon and clouds with gold. The tsuba is superb a round tettsu plate with an interspersed dragon flying between one side and another Sunamoguri ryu zu (dragon diving in the sand, a pair of dragon menuki under the original Edo tsukaito. Sanskrit characters (or rather pictograhs) used on swords are called Bonji or Shuji. They are readings of the various incarnations of Buddha. Tadatsuna was a swordsmith from the Asai family, and hails from Banshu Himeji. He claimed lineage back to the koto Awataguchi smith Kunitsuna, and worked for a time in Kyoto. After moving to Osaka with his son, he obtained first the title of Omi no Daijo, then was promoted to Omi no Kami.

His son was named Asai Mandayu, and went on to become the Nidai Tadatsuna and surpassed even his talented father in skill. He would go on to be known as one of the best of the Osaka swordsmiths, and was also famous for his horimono which decorated his swords and the works of his father. Both father and son received rankings for the cutting prowress of their swords, wazamono, and ryo-wazamono respectively. As well Fujishiro ranks them at Jo saku, and Jo-jo saku. Work of this school is much admired and the quality of this swords fittings show just how much this blade was revered when it was fitted for wear and use.

The quality of the original Edo mounts, lacquer saya, and blade is totally superb, with gold silver and patinated copper koshirae of remarkable beauty. The blade is immensely powerful, and stunningly engraved with very high quality strong horimono of dragon and bonji. The bladeis absolutely wondrous The saya is decorated within the lacquer with twin family mon.

The most common blade cutting edge lengths for Chisa katana was approximately eighteen to twenty-four inches. They were most commonly made in the Buke-Zukuri mounting (which is generally what is seen on katana and wakizashi). The chisa katana was able to be used with one or two hands like a katana (with a small gap in between the hands) and especially made for double sword combat [a sword in each hand]. It was the weapon of preference worn by the personal Samurai guard of a Daimyo [Samurai war lord clan chief], as very often the Daimyo would be more likely within his castle than without. The chisa katana sword was far more effective a defence against any threat to the Daimyo's life by assassins [or the so-called Ninja] when hand to hand sword combat was within the Castle structure, due to the restrictions of their uniform low ceiling height. The hilt was usually around ten to eleven inches in length, but could be from eight inches or up to twelve inches depending on the Samurai's preference.

The blade is 22 inches long from tsuba to tip

Special offer item, part one of a personal private collection, sourced from a former Far Eastern specialist fine samurai sword collector

Code: 24244

12770.00 GBP


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