Antique Arms & Militaria

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A Stunning Collection Of Original Victorian British Regimental Heavy Cavalry Helmets Just Arrived Today!!

A Stunning Collection Of Original Victorian British Regimental Heavy Cavalry Helmets Just Arrived Today!!

They will be added to the website with information and photographs tomorrow.  read more

Code: 25330

Price
on
Request

Archaic Zhou Dynasty Bronze Halberd or ‘Ge’ Circa 5th Century BC the Period of the Great Military Doctrine 'The Art of War' by General Sun-Tzu

Archaic Zhou Dynasty Bronze Halberd or ‘Ge’ Circa 5th Century BC the Period of the Great Military Doctrine 'The Art of War' by General Sun-Tzu

Another from our collection of stunning ancient Chinese swords and weaponry that we recently acquired, including halbeard axe called a 'Ge'.

This is the very type of original ancient ceremonial halberd, defined by the ancient Chinese as a dagger axe 'Ge' and exactly the type as used by the warriors serving under the world renowned General Sun Tzu, in the Kingdom of Wu, who is thought by many to be the finest general, philosopher and military tactician who ever lived. His 2500 year old book on the methods of warfare, tactics and psychology are still taught and highly revered in practically every officer training college throughout the world.

In excavated condition, cast in one piece, slightly curved terminal blade of flattened-diamond section, pierced along a basal flange with three slots, and a hole with fabulous areas of crystallized malachite, blue/green patina.

We also show in the gallery a painting of how this 'Ge' halbard would have been used once mounted 2500 odd years ago on its long haft, and used by a Zhou warrior, there is also one depicted being carried in a painting that we show in the gallery being used in an infantry charge in the Zhou dynasty.

This is a superb original ancient piece from one of the great eras of Chinese history, it is unsigned but near identical to another that was signed and inscribed with details that have now been fully translated, deciphered and a few years ago shown at Sothebys New York estimated to a sale value of $300,000. Its research details are fully listed below, and it is photographed within our gallery for the viewers comparison. Naturally, our un-inscribed, but still, very rare original version, from the same era and place, is a much more affordable fraction of this price

The signed and named Sotheby's of New York example that we show in the gallery, was formerly made for its original warrior owner, Qu Shutuo of Chu, it is from the same period and in similar condition as ours. We reference it's description below, and it is photographed within the gallery, it is finely cast with the elongated yuan divided by a raised ridge in the middle of each side and extending downward to form the hu, inscribed to one side with eight characters reading Chu Qu Shutuo, Qu X zhisun, all bordered by sharply finished edges, the end pierced with three vertically arranged chuan (apertures), the nei with a further rectangular chuan and decorated with hook motifs, inscribed to one side with seven characters reading Chuwang zhi yuanyou, wang zhong, and the other side with five characters reading yu fou zhi X sheng, the surface patinated to a dark silver tone with light malachite encrustation
An Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Ritual Bronzes. Loaned by C.T. Loo & Co., The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, 1940, pl. XXXIII.
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, March - June 1948.

This inscribed bronze halberd blade, although typical in form, is uniquely important as its inscription serves as a critical primary source that reveals the name of its original owner: Qu Shutuo of Chu. The only known close counterpart to this blade is a damaged bronze halberd blade, missing the yuan, and inscribed on the hu with seven characters, which can be generally translated to ‘for the auspicious use of Qu Shutuo of Chu’. That halberd is now in the collection of the Hunan Provincial Museum, Hunan, and published in Wu Zhenfeng, Shangzhou qingtongqi mingwen ji tuxiang jicheng Compendium of inscriptions and images of bronzes from Shang and Zhou dynasties, vol. 32, Shanghai, 2012, no. 17048

The remaining thirteen inscriptions can be translated as: 'Qu Shutuo of Chu, Qu X's grandson, yuanyou of the King of Chu'. Based on the inscription, the owner of this blade can be identified as such.

See for reference; The Junkunc Collection: Arts of Ancient China / Sotheby's New York
Lot 111

We also show in the gallery a photo of another similar halberd from a museum exhibition, of a Chinese ancient king bodyguard’s halberd gilt pole mounts for his personal charioteer

This is one of a stunning collection of original archaic bronze age weaponry we have just acquired. Many are near identical to other similar examples held in the Metropolitan in New York, the British royal collection, and such as the Hunan Provincial Museum, Hunan, China. As with all our items, every piece is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Approx 9.75 inches across.  read more

Code: 24390

1995.00 GBP

A Most Rare 1800's French 1st Empire Napoleonic Sabre, Bearing the Napoleonic Imperial Eagle Hilt With Exotic Carved Grip

A Most Rare 1800's French 1st Empire Napoleonic Sabre, Bearing the Napoleonic Imperial Eagle Hilt With Exotic Carved Grip

Napoleonic period swords with Napoleon's Imperial Eagle twin langets are very scarce indeed, but with a hand carved and chequered ivory hilt is beyond rare. Although frequently seen on British high ranking officer's swords of the period, it is simply never seen on the domestically made French swords of the same period, in fact in 50 years we cannot ever recall ever seeing one before, possibly not even in Les Invalides Musee D'Armee in Paris, and probably because France had little or no trade access to ivory from Africa and India. This sword must have been made for a most senior general officer or possibly even made to be a presented sword awarded by Napoleon. The sabre has almost all its original mercurial gilt present and remaining on the hilt, with wolf's head quillon, and a lion's head to the knuckle bow top at the pommel. The sword's copper gilt hilt pommel has been field repaired during its service life. Good blade with fine engraving of stands of arms, and florid scrolls etc. It has a maker's name engraved beneath the langet, of Ve. AK & F

The ideal Napoleonic battle was to manipulate the enemy into an unfavourable position through manoeuvre and deception, force him to commit his main forces and reserve to the main battle and then undertake an enveloping attack with uncommitted or reserve troops on the flank or rear. Such a surprise attack would either produce a devastating effect on morale, or force him to weaken his main battle line. Either way, the enemy's own impulsiveness began the process by which even a smaller French army could defeat the enemy's forces one by one.

After 1807, Napoleon's creation of a highly mobile, well-armed artillery force gave artillery usage increased tactical importance. Napoleon, rather than relying on infantry to wear away the enemy's defences, could now use massed artillery as a spearhead to pound a break in the enemy's line. Once that was achieved he sent in infantry and cavalry. The Napoleonic Wars brought radical changes to Europe, but the reactionary forces returned to power and tried to reverse some of them by restoring the Bourbon house on the French throne. Napoleon had succeeded in bringing most of Western Europe under one rule. In most European countries, subjugation in the French Empire brought with it many liberal features of the French Revolution including democracy, due process in courts, abolition of serfdom, reduction of the power of the Catholic Church, and a demand for constitutional limits on monarchs. The increasing voice of the middle classes with rising commerce and industry meant that restored European monarchs found it difficult to restore pre-revolutionary absolutism and had to retain many of the reforms enacted during Napoleon's rule. Institutional legacies remain to this day in the form of civil law, with clearly defined codes of law an enduring legacy of the Napoleonic Code.

While Napoleon is best known as a master strategist and charismatic presence on the battlefield, he was also a tactical innovator. He combined classic formations and tactics that had been used for thousands of years with more recent ones, such as Frederick the Great's "Oblique Order" (best illustrated at the Battle of Leuthen) and the "mob tactics" of the early Levée en masse armies of the Revolution. Napoleonic tactics and formations were highly fluid and flexible. In contrast, many of the Grande Armée's opponents were still wedded to a rigid system of "Linear" (or Line) tactics and formations, in which masses of infantry would simply line up and exchange vollies of fire, in an attempt to either blow the enemy from the field or outflank them. Due to the vulnerabilities of the line formations to flanking attacks, it was considered the highest form of military manoeuvre to outflank one's adversary. Armies would often retreat or even surrender if this was accomplished. Consequently, commanders who adhered to this system would place a great emphasis on flank security, often at the expense of a strong centre or reserve. Napoleon would frequently take full advantage of this linear mentality by feigning flank attacks or offering the enemy his own flank as "bait" (best illustrated at the Battle of Austerlitz and also later at Lützen), then throw his main effort against their centre, split their lines, and roll up their flanks. He always kept a strong reserve as well, mainly in the form of his Imperial Guard, which could deliver a "knockout blow" if the battle was going well or turn the tide if it was not. If we knew the name of the general officer to whom it was presented to or belonged, and with it's scabbard, it could likely be valued at ten times our asking price. Not available to export. To buy in the UK the new owner will require an antique ivory exemption certificate. ( cost 20 gbp)

No scabbard.  read more

Code: 25322

2995.00 GBP

A Good and Most Sound Victorian-Edwardian Antique Swordstick. In Bamboo with Staghorn Handle

A Good and Most Sound Victorian-Edwardian Antique Swordstick. In Bamboo with Staghorn Handle

Overall in nice and sound condition, six sided blade, and a very snug fit.

Lord Byron was a most accomplished exponent of the use and carrying of the gentleman’s sword stick. His was exhibited in King's College London, bearing a mercurial gilt collar bearing his name, coronet and adopted surname Noel. Upon the death of Byron's mother-in-law Judith Noel, the Hon. Lady Milbanke, in 1822, her will required that he change his surname to "Noel" so as to inherit

An interesting 19th century conversation and collector's piece, and one can ponder over of the kind of gentleman who would have sought and required such a piece of personal defence paraphernalia. Although one likes to think that jolly old England had a London full of cheerful cockneys and laddish chimney sweeps, it was also plagued with political intrigue, nefarious characters and caddish swine prowling the endless foggy thoroughfares and dimly lit passageways. The swordstick was a popular fashion accessory for the wealthy during the 18th and 19th centuries. While the weapon's origins are unknown, it is apparent that the cane-sword's popularity peaked when decorative swords were steadily being replaced by canes as a result of the rising popularity of firearms, and the lessening influence of swords and other small arms.

The first sword canes were made for nobility by leading sword cutlers. Sixteenth century sword canes were often bequeathed in wills. Sword canes became more popular as the streets became less safe. Society dictated it mandatory that gentlemen of the 18th and especially 19th centuries would wear a cane when out and about, and it was common for the well-dressed gentleman to own and sport canes in a variety of styles, including a good and sound sword cane. Although Byron was proficient in the use of pistols, his lameness and his need to defend himself in some potentially dangerous situations made a swordstick doubly useful to him. He received lessons in London from the fencing master Henry Angelo and owned a number of swordsticks, some of which were supplied by his boxing instructor Gentleman John Jackson.

On Byron’s sword cane was the name NOEL BYRON, upon the ferrule of his one indicated that it was used after 1822, when Byron added the surname Noel after the death of his mother-in-law.

There are several references to sword sticks in the correspondence of Byron and his circle. Byron wrote to Hobhouse from Switzerland on 23 June 1816 asking him to Bring with you also for me some bottles of Calcined Magnesia a new Sword cane procured by Jackson he alone knows the sort (my last tumbled into this lake ) some of Waite's red tooth-powder & tooth-brushes a Taylor's Pawrsanias Pausanias and I forget the other things. Hobhouse responded on 9 July: Your commissions shall be punctually fulfilled whether as to muniments for the mind or body pistol brushes, cundums, potash Prafsanias Pausanias tooth powder and sword stick.

In the entry for 22 September 1816 in Byron's Alpine Journal he describes how, at the foot of the Jungfrau,
"Storm came on , thunder, lightning, hail, all in perfection and beautiful, I was on horseback the Guide wanted to carry my cane I was going to give it him when I recollected it was a Sword stick and I thought that the lightning might be attracted towards him kept it myself a good deal encumbered with it & my cloak as it was too heavy for a whip and the horse was stupid & stood still every other peal."

In a letter to Maria Gisborne of 6-10 April 1822, Mary Shelley described the "Pisan affray" of 24 March, in which Sergeant-Major Masi was pitch-forked by one of Byron's servants. She recounted how Byron rode to his own house, and got a sword stick from one of his servants.

Sword sticks came in all qualities, and for numerous purposes, from the simplest bamboo sword cane personal defender to stout customs officer’s ‘prod’, to offensive close quarter stiletto dagger canes and even to the other side of the world in the form of Japanese samurai’s shikome-sue, hidden swords.

We show two famous sword sticks in the gallery, one that belonged to Lord Byron, and another in a Presidential Centre Library collection, a historic sword stick is part of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Centre Library collection in Fremont, Ohio from the Waggoner family, the sword-cane was said to have been presented to Mr Waggoner by General George Washington in honour of Waggoner's service in Washington's Life Guard during the American Revolutionary War.

But it was Louis XIII who brought the cane to importance as a royal accessory. The king, as his portraits depict, supposedly always held one in his hands. He also gave them – along with valuable snuffboxes – as gifts of honour. Accordingly, gentlemen who wanted to be fashionable never went without this accessory from that time on. At the time, these were sort of ornate rods without a curved handle that were held in the hand or carried under the arm.

The 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century became the age of the cane. The tremendous popularity then created the desire to be seen with a cane. And so a wealth of unique
pieces with practical and strange handles and a mysterious inner life were created. The painter
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, for example, owned a cane containing a bottle that held a pint of absinthe.
In the mid-18th century Saxony's prime minister, Heinrich Graf von Brühl, possessed 300 sticks to go with 300 suits, together with just as many snuffboxes which he weared in turn. King Friedrich II, too, had a huge collection of luxurious walking sticks and snuffboxes. After the Seven-Years War one particular type of sticks with a handle formed like a rope, which was King Friedrich’s constant companion, became so popular, that it was dubbed the "Fritz crutch".

Overall 37.5 inches long, blade 28 inches long  read more

Code: 25321

350.00 GBP

A Simply Fabulous & Incredibly Rare 18th Century Hand Held, Military Grenade & Mortar Launcher 'Cohorn' Pistol, A Huge Cannon Barrelled Blunderbuss

A Simply Fabulous & Incredibly Rare 18th Century Hand Held, Military Grenade & Mortar Launcher 'Cohorn' Pistol, A Huge Cannon Barrelled Blunderbuss

A Fabulous piece, and such a rare cohorn pistol, somewhat with an appearance of an amazing short type of huge cannon barrelled blunderbuss, but designed not to fire swan shot or ball but to launch an explosive grenade or mortar, rare pistol size.

Made in the 1760's, it is a hand portable grenade or mortar launcher sometimes known in its day as a cohorn, named after its inventor, and also known as a pyrotechnic gun. A Coehorn or cohorn) is a lightweight mortar originally designed by Dutch military engineer Menno van Coehoorn. Van Coehoorn demonstrated them in May 1701 to William III of England, and they were first used in action at the siege of Kaiserswerth in 1702

It is such a rarity today as to be a near unique survivor of its type.
We show in the gallery photo 10 another example of a rare hand held mortar / grenade gun, that sold at auction 3 years ago in Germany, for a remarkable 120,000 euros although it was certainly much more elaborate as it was a civilian type.

The two stage barrel is stunning and has traces and of scrolling flames engraved across the top. The butt has a grotesque cast mask, as was popular for fun guns in the early 18th century, and a most finely engraved trigger guard, depicting and ancient helmeted warrior, and an engraved brass side plate.

During its working life in has certainly seen use in the Americas during the 18th and early 19th century, as it has an American lock-makers percussion conversion.

Around four years ago or so we were absolutely delighted to have albeit very briefly a very, very rare, early shoulder mounted grenade launcher, just as was used by the early grenadiers, it was also a hand held version, but larger, yet a pistol sized version such as this, is, in some respects is even rarer still. It has had a percussion conversion lock by R Ashmore an American maker converted by him in the first quarter part of the 19th century. His name is engraved on the lock but worn.

The hand mortar is a firearm that was used in the late 17th century and 18th century to throw fused grenades. The action was similar to a flintlock, matchlock, or wheellock firearm (depending on the date of production), but the barrel was short, usually less than 2 inches (5 cm) to 4 inches (10 cm) long (though some are reported to have barrels up to 13 inches (33 cm) long), and had a large bore to accommodate the grenade; usually between 2 and 2.5 inches (5 to 6 cm). Between 1672 and 1740, the Royal Foundry of Berlin (Knigliches Giehaus zu Berlin) produced 302 hand mortars (Handmorser). Additionally, a mortar at the Museum of Artillery in Woolwich, Great Britain bears the inscription Fondeur Strasbourg (made in Strasbourg (France)) and several other surviving pieces bear the coat of arms of Wurttemberg indicating that they might have been made there. The first references to the type of grenade used in a hand mortar occur in a 1472 work entitled Valturius, where an incendiary prototype may have been produced. However, widespread use of the explosive grenade does not occur until the early-to-mid-16th century under Francis I of France. An early casualty of this type of grenade was Count de Randan who died of shrapnel wounds to the legs from a grenade during the Siege of Rouen (probably the battle of Issoire) in 1562. Explosive grenades were made from brass, glass, and possibly clay, and incendiary projectiles were made from canvas, however, Nathanael Nye, Master Gunner of the City of Worcester in a work entitled Art of Gunnery published in 1647, remarks that the soldiers of his day were not fond of handling the grenades because they were too dangerous. While there are substantial records of infantry units called grenadiers throughout the 18th century in Europe, these units generally threw the grenades by hand, but maybe a few men of the regiment could be armed with launchers such as this. After priming the firearm and adding the gunpowder, the shooter would light a grenade fuse, place the grenade in the muzzle of the mortar, then fire it at the enemy. However, accidents could occur if the weapon misfired and the lit grenade remained in the barrel. Additional modifications attempted to light the grenade using the burning gunpowder, but accounts say that the fuse would be forced into the grenade which would explode immediately.

The low number of surviving specimens of this firearm indicate that it was not a popular weapon, possibly due to the safety issues. In his essay on the weapon, Hewitt opines that the mortar is among a variety of "projects for destruction which have never destroyed anything but the fortunes of their inventors". At least one version of the hand mortar was probably invented by John Tinker in 1681. However, his mortar may have been an improvement on an earlier piece. A reference to this mortar may have appeared in a work entitled Ancient Armour which refers to a tinker's mortar. Another account refers to a hand mortar as a cohorn, and attributes its invention to a Dutch engineer, Menno Van Coehoorn, who lived from 1641 to 1704. Hand Mortars were also to be found in the New World. References to a hand mortar being transferred in Maryland are found in the record of The Proceedings of the Council of Maryland in 1698. Another account in the journal of Alexander Henry the younger tells of a hand mortar (called a cohorn; after Menno van Coehoorn) being loaded with a pound of powder, 30 balls, and fired in an action against Sioux indians in 1808.

Another reference to the use of cohorns in the New World can be found in The Life of Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) including the Border Wars of the American Revolution by William L. Stone (two volumes) published Albany NY 1865. Stone in describing Sir William Johnson's Niagara campaign of 1759 notes the following: "The youthful warrior likewise accompanied Sir William during the Niagara Campaign of 1759, and in the brilliant achievements of the Baronet, after the chief command had devolved upon him upon the death of General Prideaux, is said to have acquitted himself with distinguished bravery. General Prideaux, commanding the expedition, was killed by the accidental explosion of a cohorn on the 20th of July?" (Stone, Vol 1, p. 20). The action is tight and the forend has old working life stock repairs. 12.5 inches long , barrel 6.75 inches long 1.25 inch bore  read more

Code: 23197

5995.00 GBP

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

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 by the nobility in the Raj in Bihar, Purvanchal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab  read more

Code: 23371

7995.00 GBP

A Wonderful Original 16th Century Map of America By Giovanni Antonio Magini

A Wonderful Original 16th Century Map of America By Giovanni Antonio Magini

A fabulous original historical artifact ideal for the collector with an interest in early maps and the earliest period of modern America. Magini (Giovanni Antonio), Plate XXXIIII, Descrittione Dell'America, O Dell'India Occidentale, no date [ printed in 1598], engraved map of America [North and South] with Italian text below, map plate 140mm x 180mm, uncoloured, mounted, framed and glazed. Giovanni Antonio Magini (in Latin, Maginus) (13 June 1555 11 February 1617) was an Italian astronomer, astrologer, cartographer, and mathematician. He was born in Padua, and completed studies in philosophy in Bologna in 1579. His father was Pasquale Magini, a citizen of Padua. Dedicating himself to astronomy, in 1582 he wrote Ephemerides coelestium motuum, translated into Italian the following year.

In 1588 he was chosen over Galileo Galilei to occupy the chair of mathematics at the University of Bologna after the death of Egnatio Danti. He died in Bologna. Magini supported a geocentric system of the world, in preference to Copernicus's heliocentric system. Magini devised his own planetary theory, in preference to other existing ones. The Maginian System consisted of eleven rotating spheres, which he described in his Novo colestium orbium theoric congruentes cum observationibus N. Copernici (Venice, 1589).

In his De Planis Triangulis (1592), he described the use of quadrants in surveying and astronomy. In 1592 Magini published Tabula tetragonica, and in 1606 devised extremely accurate trigonometric tables. He also worked on the geometry of the sphere and applications of trigonometry, for which he invented calculating devices. He also worked on the problem of mirrors and published on the theory of concave spherical mirrors. Framed 38cm x 30.5cm  read more

Code: 19811

935.00 GBP

A Beautiful & Superb Quality, Antique, Late Victorian, Finely Engraved Silver & Mother O'Pearl Handled Sword-Cane. A Most Elegant & Sophisticated Work of Art In Near Mint Condition.

A Beautiful & Superb Quality, Antique, Late Victorian, Finely Engraved Silver & Mother O'Pearl Handled Sword-Cane. A Most Elegant & Sophisticated Work of Art In Near Mint Condition.

Long silver and mother o'pearl handle. A long bamboo haft with superb patination and a quatrefoil four sided edged blade. Overall in stunning condition for age, as much a work of art as a former functional walking cane sword.

Lord Byron's was a most exponent of the use and carrying of the gentleman’s sword stick. His was exhibited in King's College London, bearing a mercurial gilt collar bearing his name, coronet and adopted surname Noel. Upon the death of Byron's mother-in-law Judith Noel, the Hon. Lady Milbanke, in 1822, her will required that he change his surname to "Noel" so as to inherit

An interesting 19th century conversation and collector's piece, and one can ponder over of the kind of gentleman who would have sought and required such a piece of personal defence paraphernalia. Although one likes to think that jolly old England had a London full of cheerful cockneys and laddish chimney sweeps, it was also plagued with political intrigue, nefarious characters and caddish swine prowling the endless foggy thoroughfares and dimly lit passageways. The swordstick was a popular fashion accessory for the wealthy during the 18th and 19th centuries. While the weapon's origins are unknown, it is apparent that the cane-sword's popularity peaked when decorative swords were steadily being replaced by canes as a result of the rising popularity of firearms, and the lessening influence of swords and other small arms.

The first sword canes were made for nobility by leading sword cutlers. Sixteenth century sword canes were often bequeathed in wills. Sword canes became more popular as the streets became less safe. Society dictated it mandatory that gentlemen of the 18th and especially 19th centuries would wear a cane when out and about, and it was common for the well-dressed gentleman to own and sport canes in a variety of styles, including a good and sound sword cane. Although Byron was proficient in the use of pistols, his lameness and his need to defend himself in some potentially dangerous situations made a swordstick doubly useful to him. He received lessons in London from the fencing master Henry Angelo and owned a number of swordsticks, some of which were supplied by his boxing instructor Gentleman John Jackson.

On Byron’s sword cane was the name NOEL BYRON, upon the ferrule of his one indicated that it was used after 1822, when Byron added the surname Noel after the death of his mother-in-law.

There are several references to sword sticks in the correspondence of Byron and his circle. Byron wrote to Hobhouse from Switzerland on 23 June 1816 asking him to Bring with you also for me some bottles of Calcined Magnesia a new Sword cane procured by Jackson he alone knows the sort (my last tumbled into this lake ) some of Waite's red tooth-powder & tooth-brushes a Taylor's Pawrsanias Pausanias and I forget the other things. Hobhouse responded on 9 July: Your commissions shall be punctually fulfilled whether as to muniments for the mind or body pistol brushes, cundums, potash Prafsanias Pausanias tooth powder and sword stick.

In the entry for 22 September 1816 in Byron's Alpine Journal he describes how, at the foot of the Jungfrau,
"Storm came on , thunder, lightning, hail, all in perfection and beautiful, I was on horseback the Guide wanted to carry my cane I was going to give it him when I recollected it was a Sword stick and I thought that the lightning might be attracted towards him kept it myself a good deal encumbered with it & my cloak as it was too heavy for a whip and the horse was stupid & stood still every other peal."

In a letter to Maria Gisborne of 6-10 April 1822, Mary Shelley described the "Pisan affray" of 24 March, in which Sergeant-Major Masi was pitch-forked by one of Byron's servants. She recounted how Byron rode to his own house, and got a sword stick from one of his servants.

Sword sticks came in all qualities, and for numerous purposes, from the simplest bamboo sword cane personal defender to stout customs officer’s ‘prod’, to offensive close quarter stiletto dagger canes and even to the other side of the world in the form of Japanese samurai’s shikome-sue, hidden swords.

We show two famous sword sticks in the gallery, one that belonged to Lord Byron, and another in a Presidential Centre Library collection, a historic sword stick is part of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Centre Library collection in Fremont, Ohio from the Waggoner family, the sword-cane was said to have been presented to Mr Waggoner by General George Washington in honour of Waggoner's service in Washington's Life Guard during the American Revolutionary War.

But it was Louis XIII who brought the cane to importance as a royal accessory. The king, as his portraits depict, supposedly always held one in his hands. He also gave them – along with valuable snuffboxes – as gifts of honour. Accordingly, gentlemen who wanted to be fashionable never went without this accessory from that time on. At the time, these were sort of ornate rods without a curved handle that were held in the hand or carried under the arm.

The 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century became the age of the cane. The tremendous popularity then created the desire to be seen with a cane. And so a wealth of unique
pieces with practical and strange handles and a mysterious inner life were created. The painter
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, for example, owned a cane containing a bottle that held a pint of absinthe.
In the mid-18th century Saxony's prime minister, Heinrich Graf von Brühl, possessed 300 sticks to go with 300 suits, together with just as many snuffboxes which he weared in turn. King Friedrich II, too, had a huge collection of luxurious walking sticks and snuffboxes. After the Seven-Years War one particular type of sticks with a handle formed like a rope, which was King Friedrich’s constant companion, became so popular, that it was dubbed the "Fritz crutch".

Overall 39 inches long, blade 25.75 inches long, silver & mother o'pearl handle, 12.5 inches long.  read more

Code: 25319

1250.00 GBP

A Superb, Rare, Original, French Napoleonic Wars Deluxe Grade Sabre of a French General of Napoleon's General Staff, a Wonderful & Most Beautiful Sabre of Napoleon's Grand Armee. Consulate to Ist Empire Period

A Superb, Rare, Original, French Napoleonic Wars Deluxe Grade Sabre of a French General of Napoleon's General Staff, a Wonderful & Most Beautiful Sabre of Napoleon's Grand Armee. Consulate to Ist Empire Period

A general officer's 'blue and gilt' sword, with deluxe scabbard, that is very similar indeed to Napoleon's *Austerlitz Sword's scabbard, supposedly presented to Napoleon after Austerlitz, with the 'Cartouche médian au trophée avec tambours et piques' including classical figure panels of Victory standing and a portrait bust of the face of Minerva. the scabbard chape bears what the French called 'a la toile d'araignee sur les armes est anterieur a l'empire'. It is a spider's web, that was as a symbol used on superior arms in the Consular period. The spider symbolised the Biblical 'son' and the link that exists between the 'creator', and the 'creature', is the web that allows the second {the son} to reattach itself to the first {the creator} and, thus to get closer to it. In more simple terms the thread of the web constitutes the canvas which becomes a symbol of loyalty. The scabbard, amazingly has much of its remaining, original, mercurial gilt finish, that due to constant combat handling though, is no longer present on the hilt.

During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars the French armies had approximately 2,000,000 plus serving soldiers, of those there were around 2000 generals commanding them in the armies of France, directly under their commander-in-chief, the Emperor Napoleon. However, for example, at the Battle of Borodino, Napoleon lost 1928 of his officer's including 49 Generals, in just one day!

This sword would have been used and carried in combat by one of those commanding generals of the general staff. Napoleon was, and remains, famous for his battlefield victories, and historians have spent enormous attention in analysing them.
In 2008, Donald Sutherland wrote:

The ideal Napoleonic battle was to manipulate the enemy into an unfavourable position through manoeuvre and deception, force him to commit his main forces and reserve to the main battle and then undertake an enveloping attack with uncommitted or reserve troops on the flank or rear. Such a surprise attack would either produce a devastating effect on morale, or force him to weaken his main battle line. Either way, the enemy's own impulsiveness began the process by which even a smaller French army could defeat the enemy's forces one by one.

After 1807, Napoleon's creation of a highly mobile, well-armed artillery force gave artillery usage increased tactical importance. Napoleon, rather than relying on infantry to wear away the enemy's defences, could now use massed artillery as a spearhead to pound a break in the enemy's line. Once that was achieved he sent in infantry and cavalry. The Napoleonic Wars brought radical changes to Europe, but the reactionary forces returned to power and tried to reverse some of them by restoring the Bourbon house on the French throne. Napoleon had succeeded in bringing most of Western Europe under one rule. In most European countries, subjugation in the French Empire brought with it many liberal features of the French Revolution including democracy, due process in courts, abolition of serfdom, reduction of the power of the Catholic Church, and a demand for constitutional limits on monarchs. The increasing voice of the middle classes with rising commerce and industry meant that restored European monarchs found it difficult to restore pre-revolutionary absolutism and had to retain many of the reforms enacted during Napoleon's rule. Institutional legacies remain to this day in the form of civil law, with clearly defined codes of law an enduring legacy of the Napoleonic Code.

While Napoleon is best known as a master strategist and charismatic presence on the battlefield, he was also a tactical innovator. He combined classic formations and tactics that had been used for thousands of years with more recent ones, such as Frederick the Great's "Oblique Order" (best illustrated at the Battle of Leuthen) and the "mob tactics" of the early Levée en masse armies of the Revolution. Napoleonic tactics and formations were highly fluid and flexible. In contrast, many of the Grande Armée's opponents were still wedded to a rigid system of "Linear" (or Line) tactics and formations, in which masses of infantry would simply line up and exchange vollies of fire, in an attempt to either blow the enemy from the field or outflank them. Due to the vulnerabilities of the line formations to flanking attacks, it was considered the highest form of military manoeuvre to outflank one's adversary. Armies would often retreat or even surrender if this was accomplished. Consequently, commanders who adhered to this system would place a great emphasis on flank security, often at the expense of a strong centre or reserve. Napoleon would frequently take full advantage of this linear mentality by feigning flank attacks or offering the enemy his own flank as "bait" (best illustrated at the Battle of Austerlitz and also later at Lützen), then throw his main effort against their centre, split their lines, and roll up their flanks. He always kept a strong reserve as well, mainly in the form of his Imperial Guard, which could deliver a "knockout blow" if the battle was going well or turn the tide if it was not.

Overall the condition is very good for age and considering its service. The scabbard has inner side surface contact denting, and the throat mount rim is lacking. In the 20th century generals plotted campaigns and were not often in the thick of combat. In the Napoleonic wars era generals fought, more often than not alongside their men in hand to hand combat, hence, Napoleon lost so many of his generals.

* The Sword given to Napoleon after his victory at Austerlitz appeared after 80 years in private hands in 2010, but hasn't been seen since  read more

Code: 25287

8495.00 GBP

A Fabulous, Original,13th century Knightly Sword of the Henry IIIrd and Simon de Montfort Period, the Battle of Lewes of the 1200's

A Fabulous, Original,13th century Knightly Sword of the Henry IIIrd and Simon de Montfort Period, the Battle of Lewes of the 1200's

What a fabulous original ‘statement piece’ for any collection or decor. In the world of collecting there is so little remaining in the world from this highly significant era in European and British history. And to be able to own and display such an iconic original representation from this time is nothing short of a remarkable privilege. A wonderful example piece, from the ancient knightly age, of the IInd Baron’s War era between Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and King Henry IIIrd.

The battle site is still not completely agreed upon, but part of the conflict was recorded at Offham hill, and this is was just 4 miles south of our farm, Thousands of the protagonists soldiers were supposedly camped within our grounds, but at present it is not certain for which side they fought. Our farm was originally part of Earl Godwin’s estate, later more famously known as King Harold, who also supposedly camped here on our land immediately before his disastrous Battle of Hastings in 1066 {actually fought inland in the town, that is now called Battle, and not at Hastings at all}. A Canadian funded documentary was filmed here recently.

Effectively, from this time of around eight hundred years ago, from a collectors point of view, nothing else significant survives at all, only the odd small coin or very rarely seen, and almost impossible to own, carved statuary. Medieval 'Oakeshott type XII' Single-Handed Sword
13th century. Oakeshott is the standard that describes and by which defines Medieval swords, their types, and periods of use. A superb original knightly double-edged iron sword with broad, flat, evenly tapering blade, the blade tending to widen perceptibly below the hilt, and the fullers are well defined, extending from below the guard for more than half of the blade's length, the blade's cross-section is of of straight lenticular design, the style of guard one of the most common of the category, i.e. a not exaggeratedly long and straight, with flattened cross-section, the pommel is a handsome thick rhomboid piece, fitted with fastening central rivet. The blade has been broken in combat and lost around quarter of its original length.
See Oakeshott, E., The Sword in the Age of the Chivalry, London,1964 (1994).

A fine example piece, from the ancient knightly age, from almost 800 years past. Although this sword is now in an obvious ancient, and historical, russetted condition, with some elements lacking, every item made of iron from this era, such as the rarest of swords and daggers, even in the Royal Collection, are in this very same state of preservation.

Henry III (1 October 1207 - 16 November 1272), also known as Henry of Winchester, was King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitaine from 1216 until his death. He was the fourth king of the House of Plantagenet. The son of King John and Isabella of Angouleme, Henry assumed the throne when he was only nine in the middle of the First Barons' War. Cardinal Guala declared the war against the rebel barons to be a religious crusade and Henry's forces, led by William Marshal, defeated the rebels at the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich in 1217. Henry promised to abide by the Great Charter of 1225, which limited royal power and protected the rights of the major barons. His early rule was dominated first by Hubert de Burgh and then Peter des Roches, who re-established royal authority after the war. In 1230, the King attempted to reconquer the provinces of France that had once belonged to his father, but the invasion was a debacle. A revolt led by William Marshal's son, Richard Marshal, broke out in 1232, ending in a peace settlement negotiated by the Church.
Later on the Henry's reign came The Second Barons' War (1264-1267) it was a civil war in England between the forces of a number of barons led by Simon de Montfort against the royalist forces of King Henry III, led initially by the king himself and later by his son, the future King Edward I. The war featured a series of massacres of Jews by Montfort's supporters including his sons Henry and Simon, in attacks aimed at seizing and destroying evidence of Baronial debts.

The Battle of Lewes was one of two main battles of the conflict known as the Second Barons' War. It took place at Lewes in Sussex, on 14 May 1264, just around fourteen miles from our Brighton shop, and four miles south of our farm North of Lewes. It marked the high point of the career of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, and made him the "uncrowned King of England". Henry III left the safety of Lewes Castle and St. Pancras Priory to engage the Barons in battle and was initially successful, his son Prince Edward routing part of the baronial army with a cavalry charge. However Edward pursued his quarry off the battlefield and left Henry's men exposed. Henry was forced to launch an infantry attack up Offham Hill where he was defeated by the barons' men defending the hilltop. The royalists fled back to the castle and priory and the King was forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, ceding many of his powers to Montfort. After a rule of just over a year, Montfort was killed by forces loyal to the King in the Battle of Evesham.

The swords of this era have the following characteristics. The fuller is well-marked and occupies two-thirds to three-quarters of the blade-length. It often starts on the tang within the hilt, and may be double or treble. The grip is a little longer than in the preceding types XI, X etc, averaging about 11.5cm. The tang is generally flat with almost parallel sides, or swelling a little in the middle. The cross can be of almost any style, though a short, straight one is most common, like in this case. The pommel, too, can be of any type though the thick disc with strongly bevelled edges (Type I) predominates. Here however the specimen shows similarity with a sword represented in a sculpture from the cathedral of Bamberg, dated at 1250 AD Douce Apocalypse, c. 1265-70. The dragon, who is Satan, comes forth again (Rev. 20:7). One contemporary painting in the gallery is of the rebel Earl of Gloucester, depicted with his alleged ally, Satan. Among the flags of the host of Satan is that of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, who had opposed Henry III. Usually the type XII presents a broad, flat, evenly tapering blade, generally with a good sharp point and tending to widen perceptibly below the hilt.(Oakeshott, 1964 (1994), p.42). Weight 1.2 kg, 73cm (28 3/4" inches long overall). As with all our items they are accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity and thus a lifetime guarantee. As usual the wood grip perished centuries past.Almost every iron weapon that has survived today from this era is now in a fully russetted condition, as is this one, because only the swords of kings, that have been preserved in national or Royal collections are today still in a good state and condition. We will include for the new owner a complimentary wooden display stand, but this amazing ancient artefact of antiquity would also look spectacular mounted within a bespoke case frame, or, on a fine cabinet maker constructed display panel.  read more

Code: 22937

10925.00 GBP