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A Very Fine 16th Century Italian Field Armour Breast Plate Circa 1520

For field combat and with mountings for use in the tilt. A very fine and original piece of finest Italian armour. Medially ridged breast plate with moveable gusset and roped arm and neck-openings. With two alligned holes for resting a lance for the tilt. The plate also has a key slot for an addition of reinforcing plate also for the tilt or joust. Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two horsemen and using lances, often as part of a tournament. The primary aim is to strike the opponent with the lance while riding towards him at high speed, if possible breaking the lance on the opponent's shield or armour, or by unhorsing him.

Jousting emerged in the High Middle Ages based on the military use of the lance by heavy cavalry. It transformed into a specialised sport during the Late Middle Ages, and remained popular with the nobility both in England and Germany throughout the whole of the 16th century (while in France, it was discontinued after the death of king Henry II in an accident in 1559). In England, jousting was the highlight of the Accession Day tilts of Elizabeth I and James I, and also was part of the festivities at the marriage of Charles I. The medieval joust took place on an open field. Indeed the term joust meant "a meeting" and referred to arranged combat in general, not just the jousting with lances. At some point in the 14th century, a cloth barrier was introduced as an option to separate the contestants. This barrier was presumably known as tilt in Middle English (a term with an original meaning of "a cloth covering"). It became a wooden barrier or fence in the 15th century, now known as "tilt barrier", and "tilt" came to be used as a term for the joust itself by ca. 1510. The purpose of the tilt barrier was to prevent collisions and to keep the combatants at an optimal angle for breaking the lance. This greatly facilitated the control of the horse and allowed the rider to concentrate on aiming the lance. The introduction of the barrier seems to have originated in the south, as it only became a standard feature of jousting in Germany in the 16th century, and was there called the Italian or "welsch" mode. Dedicated tilt-yards with such barriers were built in England from the time of Henry VIII.

Specialized jousting armour was produced in the late 15th to 16th century. It was heavier than suits of plate armour intended for combat, and could weigh as much as 50 kg (100 lb), compared to some 25 kg (50 lb) for field armour; as it did not need to permit free movement of the wearer, the only limiting factor was the maximum weight that could be carried by a warhorse of the period

Code: 22317

3950.00 GBP

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A Good German WW2 K98 Bayonet, With Bakelite Grip

Maker stamped and waffenampt marked, dated blade 1941 and scabbard 1942. The Karabiner 98 kurz (German; "carbine 98 short", often abbreviated Kar98k or K98k and often incorrectly referred to as a "K98" (which was a Polish Carbine), is a bolt-action rifle chambered for the 7.92 ×57mm Mauser cartridge that was adopted on 21 June 1935 as the standard service rifle by the German Wehrmacht. It was one of the final developments in the long line of Mauser military rifles. Although supplemented by semi- and fully automatic rifles during World War II, it remained the primary German service rifle until the end of the war in 1945.

Code: 23603

165.00 GBP

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Original 19th Century Emperor Menelik IInd Ethiopian Shotel With Exotic Carved Horn Hilt Deeply Curved Fully Etched Blade With Scrolling, Amharic Script & a 1780 Silver Austro Hungarian Thaler Pommel

Curved blade fully etched in its tooled brown leather scabbard. These very unusual swords with very curved blades come from the "Horn of Africa," which includes Abyssinia, which we now know as Ethiopia. Made famous just before WWII by the Italian Invasion of that Country, and the appeal by it's Emperor Haile Selassie to the League of Nations, which the Western Powers basically ignored. It's Capital is Addis Ababa, a city dating back some 2,000 years and more. A country much in the news but also a land largely still in the middle ages in some respects.
The sword, oft described as a shotel but actually it is a gorade, with its very characteristic curved blade. The swords dates back to the reign of Amda Seyon the 1st, known as "the Pillar of Zion" who was Emperor from 1314 - 1344. Called shotel, while technically the proper term locally for sabre was 'gorade'. Shotel which is not an Amharic word, Amharic for sword is gorade .The blade is etched with the profile of Emperor Menelik II, and also the symbol of the emperor, the Lion of Judah. The rest of the blade is etched with fancy scrolls. Menelik II baptised as Sahle Maryam (17 August 1844 – 12 December 1913) was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to his death in 1913 and King of Shewa from 1866 to 1889. At the height of his internal power and external prestige, the process of territorial expansion and creation of the modern empire-state was completed by 1898. He is widely honoured by many Ethiopians and commemorated during the celebration of the Battle of Adwa, which is celebrated on March 1 or 2 across Ethiopia and in the diaspora. Many Pan-Africans regard him as an advocate for African independence against European powers during the Scramble for Africa. Selassie
Haile Selassie was one of the most famous leaders in Ethiopian history. As the emperor, he was exiled during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia due to the status he held. Selassie would go onto return to Ethiopia and help in taking back control of the country from Italy. On April 2, 1930, Ras Tafari Makonnen became Emperor Haile Selassie. Selassie was the last reigning monarch of Ethiopia’s Solomonic Dynasty. The Solomonic Dynasty traces its ancient ancestry to King Solomon of Israel and the Queen of Sheba, biblical figures who may have lived during the 10th century BCE.

Ethiopia is often acknowledged as the only nation in Africa never to have been colonized, and Selassie emerged as a powerful international figure as other African countries sought independence in the 20th century. His long reign and enduring policies (such as support for African unity and the abolition of slavery in Ethiopia) earned him a privileged position at international summits. For instance, Selassie was one of the highest-ranking diplomats at the funeral of U.S. President John Kennedy.

Selassie’s greatest impact may have been on the island of Jamaica. Jamaican religious leaders adopted a version of his birth name, Tafari (Ras was an official title) and Rastafarians regard Selassie as a god. (Selassie himself remained a Christian throughout his life.). Photo in the gallery of Emperor Hallie Selassie in full dress uniform. The Maria Theresa taler is a silver bullion coin and a type of Conventionstaler, first minted in 1741. The official weight is 28.0668 grams (0.99003 oz) and contains 23.386 grams (0.752 troy ounces) of fine silver. It has a silver content of .833 and a copper content of .166 of its total millesimal fineness. In 1751 this new standard Conventionstaler was effectively adopted across the German-speaking world when it was accepted formally in the Bavarian monetary convention. This new, post-1751 thaler has continued as a trade coin ever since. The last year of minting was in 1780, the year in which Maria Theresia died. As this cointype was very popular they continued the production, always been dated 1780. The Maria Theresia taler quickly became a standard trade coin and several nations began striking Maria Theresa talers. The following mints have struck Maria Theresia talers: Birmingham, Bombay, Brussels, London, Paris, Rome and Utrecht, in addition to the Habsburg mints in Günzburg, Hall, Karlsburg, Kremnica, Milan, Venice Prague, and Vienna. The Maria Theresa talers could also be found throughout the Arab world, especially in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Muscat and Oman, in Africa, especially in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya. This item is not suitable for export.

Code: 23600


A Very Nice Bronze Spear of Ancient Greek Antiquity, Minoan Era, Around 4000 Years Old

One of our two Minoan spears we were thrilled to acquire [originally used in the ancient Greek mainland and outlying islands] but we are selling separately. This one is the longer and narrower of the two. Examples similar have been found elsewhere in Cyprus and Crete from the same era. Three similar were discovered some years ago in Vounous, Cyprus dated around 2300-2000 BC from the tomb 78 of the ancient cemetery in Vounous. These kind of spear heads have a tang, ending in a hook, which was fixed into the wood. The blade was than further secured to the wood shaft by a wrap of laching cord. Minoan Crete, named after the legendary King Minos, was ruled from great palaces, most of which were founded around 2000 BC. Material from the palace of Knossos is displayed in this gallery, along with pottery, bronzes and stone vases from elsewhere in Crete, including from tombs and shrines. There is also evidence for writing in the form of the undeciphered Linear A script. The later Greek Bronze Age is named after Mycenae, the capital city of Agamemnon who according to myth led the Greeks at the siege of Troy. Mycenaean culture extended throughout mainland Greece, the Aegean islands and Crete. The Greek language is first recorded in this period in the Linear B script derived from Minoan Crete. Following the collapse of this civilisation in the 12th century BC, Greece entered a period of relative poverty and isolation when writing was forgotten. During this time, stories about the grand lifestyles of Mycenaean rulers continued to be told, influencing later poets such as Homer, whose Iliad and Odyssey were set in what we call the Bronze Age. In the epic poem The Odyssey, the Greek poet Homer praised an island that lies “out in the wine-dark sea . . . a rich and lovely sea-girt land, densely peopled, with 90 cities and several different languages.” This sophisticated place is not just a random spot in the Mediterranean—Homer is describing Crete, southernmost of the Greek islands and home to one of the oldest civilizations in Europe. Located some 400 miles northwest of Alexandria in Egypt, Crete has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, around 7000 B.C. The culture that developed there during the second millennium B.C. spread throughout the entire eastern Mediterranean world. Crete’s command of the seas would allow its stunning art and architecture to deeply influence the Mycenaean Greek civilization that would succeed it. Photo in the gallery of a Bull’s head rhyton [ritual pouring vessel] from the palace at Knossos, c. 1550-1500 B.C.E., in black steatite, jasper, and mother-of-pearl, 26 cm high (Archaeological Museum of Heraklion,] From a private collection formed in the Netherlands before the 1980's . This spear is 27cm long

Code: 23599

545.00 GBP

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An Interesting Dagger Cane of Renown Victorian Surgeon to Queen Victoria, Emperor Napoleon IIIrd and King Leopold of Belgium

A bamboo trefoil bladed dagger stick, with a silver collar, engraved Sir Henry Thompson, and his address 35 Wimpole St. he was surgeon to H.M.Queen Victoria, King Leopold's I & II of Belgium and emperor napoleon IIIrd of France. He obtained his medical degree in 1851 with the highest honours in anatomy and surgery and set up a practice at 35 Wimpole Street in London, where he lived and worked until his death in 1904.

In 1853 he was appointed assistant surgeon at University College Hospital, becoming full surgeon in 1863, professor of clinical surgery in 1866, and consulting surgeon in 1874. In 1884 he became professor of surgery and pathology in the Royal College of Surgeons. Specialising in surgery he studied in Paris under Jean Civiale, who in the first quarter of the 19th century had developed a revolutionary procedure

After his return from Paris, Thompson soon acquired a reputation.

In the gallery is Sir Henry Thompson in a portrait painted by John Everett Millais
In 1863, when King Leopold I of Belgium was suffering from kidney stones, Thompson was called to Brussels to consult in the case, and after some difficulties was allowed to perform the operation of lithotripsy. It was successful, and in recognition of his skill Thompson was appointed surgeon-extraordinary to the King, an appointment which was continued by Leopold II. Nearly ten years later Thompson carried out a similar operation on the Emperor Napoléon III.

Code: 23598

745.00 GBP

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Wonderful High Grade Samurai Koto Tanto By Kanesada Of Takeda Shingen Clan

Probably for a high ranking retainer in service of the great samurai commander of legend Takeda Shingen. Armour piercing koto blade circa 1530, with superb original Edo period fittings 'koshirae] including silver copper alloy mounts and a gilt dragon saya ornament. Hammered gold over copper alloy oval tsuba, and silver clan mon menuki within the tsuka [hilt wrap] of the four interlocking diamonds of the Takeda clan. The saya is decorated in superb cinnabar lacquer, the favoured colour and symbol of Takeda Shingen [his armour was entirely based on this colour] and the tsuka wrapped in black silk over Takeda kamon on giant rayskin. In 1548, Shingen defeated Ogasawara Nagatoki in the Battle of Shiojiritoge and then took Fukashi in 1550.
After conquering Shinano, Shingen faced another rival, Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo. The feud between them became legendary, and they faced each other on the battlefield five times in the Battles of Kawanakajima. These battles were generally confined to controlled skirmishes, neither daimyo willing to devote himself entirely to a single all-out attempt. The conflict between the two that had the fiercest fighting, and might have decided victory or defeat for one side or the other, was the fourth battle, during which the famous tale arose of Uesugi Kenshin's forces clearing a path through the Takeda troops and Kenshin engaging Shingen in single combat. The tale has Kenshin attacking Shingen with his sword while Shingen defends with his iron war fan or tessen. Both lords lost many men in this fight, and Shingen in particular lost two of his main generals, Yamamoto Kansuke and his younger brother Takeda Nobushige. In 1563, allied with Hojo Ujiyasu, he captured Matsuyama Castle in Musashi Province. Takeda Shingen then took Kuragano in 1565 and Minowa Castle. He then moved against the Hojo by attacking Hachigata Castle then engaged in the Siege of Odawara (1569). He successfully withdrew after Hojo Ujiteru and Hojo Ujikuni failed to stop him in the Battle of Mimasetoge.Shingen and Tokugawa Ieyasu "came to terms" and occupied the "former Imagawa territory." They both fought against Yoshimoto's heir, Imagawa Ujizane. After defeating the intervention forces commanded by Hojo Ujimass of Sagami, Shingen finally secured the Suruga, formerly base of the prestigious Imagawa clan, as a Takeda asset in 1569.
Upon securing Takeda control over Suruga, northern Shinano, and western Kozuke, Shingen moved to challenge the Oda-Tokugawa alliance, leading a formidable force of over 30,000 into the latter's territories in Totomi, Mikawa, and Mino in 1572.

Code: 21324

6995.00 GBP

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A Very Fine Early Japanese Armour Piercing Tanto Signed and Dated 1558

Signed Bizen Osafune Kiyomitsu. With gilt and patinated handled kozuka. O-sukashi koto tsuba inlaid with silver boars eyes. A delightful tanto in all original fittings and an Edo brown stone lacquer finish. Nice and beautiful blade in good polish showing a fine sugaha hamon. A very thick bladed tanto specifically designed to penetrate using a powerful thrust, either samurai armour or even a helmet. Wide narrow straight sided blade, with a narrow suguha hamon typical of the Koto era. Mounted in a plain wooden shirasaya mount that bears some kanji text on both sides of the tsuka. We have not had this translated yet. The bottom of the saya bears a carved image of a stern face. The yoroi-doshi "armour piercer" or "mail piercer" were one of the traditionally made Japanese swords (nihonto) that were worn by the samurai class as a weapon in feudal Japan. The yoroi-d?shi is an extra thick tanto, a long knife, which appeared in the Sengoku period (late Muromachi). The yoroi-doshi was made for piercing armour and for stabbing while grappling in close quarters. The weapon ranged in size from 20 cm to 24 cm, but some examples could be under 15 cm, with a "tapering mihaba, iori-mune, thick kasane at the bottom, and thin kasane at the top and occasionally moroha-zukuri construction". The motogasane (blade thickness) at the hamachi (the notch at the beginning of the cutting edge) can be up to a half-inch thick, which is characteristic of the yoroi-doshi. The extra thickness at the spine of the blade distinguishes the yoroi-doshi from a standard tanto blade.

Yoroi-doshi were worn inside the belt on the back or on the right side with the hilt toward the front and the edge upward. Due to being worn on the right, the blade would have been drawn using the left hand, giving rise to the alternate name of metezashi or "horse-hand (i.e. rein-hand, i.e. left-hand) blade".

Code: 21094

2750.00 GBP

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Koto Tanto By Masaiye With A Full Matching Suite of Edo Mounts

Around 500 years old. A stunning tanto with carved steel mounts decorated with geometric Ha-kenkoroitsu pattern, a version of the Hachisuka clan mon, it also has a matching kozuka with gold inlay to match the gold inlay workmanship on the tsuba. Cockeral menuki and a super oni demon mount on the two tone banded lacquer saya. Signed koshirae and blade by Masaiye circa 1530. Although called the manji in Japan symbolising 10,000 years and infinity, and usually used as a Buddhist symbol for temples, this version though is the Ha-kenkoroitsu (from the German word Hakenkreuz, or crooked cross ) and it describes it as the 45-degree clockwise manji used by the Nazi party. It?s first recorded occurrence of the swastika [named from a sanskirt word] dates all
the way back the the 6th to 5th millennium BC when it was used in the ?Vinca script? of Neolithic Europe. After that it has been used by primitive society consitently from China to the Americas passing by Greece and Africa. The crooked cross is a historical sacred symbol in all
Indian religions. It is used in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. It rose
to importance in Buddhism during the Mauryan
Empire and in Hinduism with the decline of Buddhism in
India during the Gupta Empire. It followed the silk road with
Buddhism to reach Tibet and China. The symbol was also introduced
to Bali with Hinduism by Hindu kings. The use of the
swastika by the Bon faith of Tibet, as well as later
religions like Cao Dai of Vietnam and Falun
Gong of China, can also be traced to Buddhist influence. The oni is the demon of Japanese folklore. It takes on many other names, sometimes referred to as a devil. Unlike most western cultures, the oni is not necessarily seen as an evil being. It is said to be of a dual nature, meaning it's powers can be good or evil, depending on if it likes the subject it attaches itself too. Oni are credited with bringing good health, safety, peace and avoiding disaster. A typical oni mask has horns, bulging eyes, a sinister looking smile and sharp teeth.

Code: 21724

4750.00 GBP

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A Most Elaborate Early to Mid 19th Century Short Tailed Cavalry Coatee

A very fine antique hussars uniform collectors piece, but just as ideal for a stunning display, interior decoration, or wear. A simply iconic piece of historical British flamboyant clothing immortalised by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson and Adam Ant. With silver bullion braid detailing of amazing complexity. The title and distinctive dress of these horsemen was subsequently widely adopted by light cavalry regiments in European and other armies. The hussars played a prominent role as cavalry in the Napoleonic Wars (1796?1815). As light cavalrymen mounted on fast horses, they would be used to fight skirmish battles and for scouting. Most of the great European powers raised hussar regiments. The armies of France, Austria, Prussia, and Russia had included hussar regiments since the mid-18th century. In the case of Britain, four light dragoon regiments were converted to hussars in 1806?1807.

Hussars were notoriously impetuous, and Napoleon was quoted as stating that he would be surprised for a hussar to live beyond the age of 30, due to their tendency to become reckless in battle, exposing their weaknesses in frontal assaults. The hussars of Napoleon created the tradition of sabrage, the opening of a champagne bottle with a sabre. Moustaches were universally worn by Napoleonic-era hussars; the British hussars were the only moustachioed troops in the British Army?leading to their being taunted as being "foreigners", at times. French hussars also wore cadenettes, braids of hair hanging on either side of the face, until the practice was officially proscribed when shorter hair became universal.

The uniform of the Napoleonic hussars included the pelisse, a short fur-edged jacket which was often worn slung over one shoulder in the style of a cape and was fastened with a cord. This garment was extensively adorned with braiding (often gold or silver for officers) and several rows of buttons. The dolman or tunic, which was also decorated in braid, was worn under it. The hussar's accoutrements included a Hungarian-style saddle covered by a shabraque, a decorated saddlecloth with long, pointed corners surmounted by a sheepskin. Some areas of mothing in the blue melton cloth at the shoulder and body but suitable for so called 'invisible mending'. Small size.

Code: 20270

1295.00 GBP

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A Fine 19th Century Ivory and Silver Mounted Burmese Dha Dagger

This fine example of a Burmese dagger (dha-hmyaung) a slightly curved, single-edged steel blade; and an ivory hilt with silver mounts.
The hilt collar is of silver embellished with a band of finely plaited silver. The blade is fully inlaid with silver mythical beast and mythical bird surrounded by scrolls and a Burmese script panel. Far more frequently they a found with plain blades, and sometimes with small silver inlays but most infrequently with fully inlaid silver decor. 11 inches long overall

Code: 19854

225.00 GBP

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