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A Fabulous & Beautiful Edo Period Shinto Wakazashi.Circa 1650

Museum grade quality. A fine Edo polished blade with straight suguha hamon, the tang with one mekugi-ana, fully bound tsuka. With gold silk and original Edo period pure gold decor shakudo floral menuki, the fuchi, kashira and tsuba all decorated with pure gold and pure silver decor cockerels and chicken on fine shakudo, contained in its polished giant rayskin covered saya, the kodzuka blade is signed and decorated to match with pure gold and silver decor cockerels and chicken on shakudo. Wakizashi have been in use as far back as the 15th or 16th century. The wakizashi was used as a backup or auxiliary sword; it was also used for close quarters fighting, and also to behead a defeated opponent and sometimes to commit ritual suicide. The wakizashi was one of several short swords available for use by samurai including the yoroi toshi, the chisa-katana and the tanto. The term wakizashi did not originally specify swords of any official blade length and was an abbreviation of "wakizashi no katana" ("sword thrust at one's side"); the term was applied to companion swords of all sizes. It was not until the Edo period in 1638 when the rulers of Japan tried to regulate the types of swords and the social groups which were allowed to wear them that the lengths of katana and wakizashi were officially set.

Kanzan Sato, in his book titled "The Japanese Sword", notes that the wakizashi may have become more popular than the tanto due to the wakizashi being more suited for indoor fighting. He mentions the custom of leaving the katana at the door of a castle or palace when entering while continuing to wear the wakizashi inside. Wakizashi were worn on the left side, secured to the obi [waist sash]. Although they appear to be likely a relative expensive luxury compared to other antique swords from other nations, they are in fact incredible value for money, for example a newly made bespoke samurai style sword blade from Japan will cost, today, in excess of £11,000, take up to two years to complete, will come with no fittings at all, and will be modern [naturally] with no historical context or connection to the ancient samurai past in any way at all. Our fabulous original swords can be many, many, hundreds of years old, stunningly mounted as fabulous quality works of art, and may have been owned and used by up to 30 samurai in their working lifetime. Plus, due to their status in Japanese society, look almost as good today as the did possibly up to 400 years ago, or even more. Blade tsuba to tip 18.5 inches, overall in saya 25.33 inches long.

Code: 23382

8250.00 GBP


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A Superb Royal Naval Officer's Fighting Sword/Cutlass Circa 1790's Monogrammed For A Junior Officer, Apparently Wounded at Trafalgar

This combat sword bears one of the rarest features we have ever seen on a Napoleonic period sword of a Royal Naval officer. It has a blade engraved with a Royal Naval warship, bearing the usual British royal crown of King George IIIrd, but also an engraving of British Naval Man O'War, along with his monogram J.S.C.S. We can't recall how long ago it was that we saw a depiction of a British warship engraved on such an early sword before. In fact it is very rare to be seen on British swords at all, although it can seen on German naval officer's dirks from the 20th century. As it is a typical purchased naval battle sword for an officer from the 1790's it could conceivably been used first by his father Capt John Samuel as a combat cutlass, and then given to his son when he joined the service, but this we can never know. The hilt and wire bound sharkskin grip is very good indeed, as is the blade, very grey with worn out areas of engraving, but all the engraving is easily identifiable. Obvious signs of combat use, as to be expected, but still very good overall. A tremendous amount of research has been undertaken, and that research has determined that the monogram is almost certainly for Lt. John Samuel C. Smith RN. He was serving as a midshipman, [and later lieutenant in 1813] on HMS Minotaur, a 74 gunner, and was wounded at Trafalgar. He died in 1840. He was the son of Captain John Samuel Smith who died in 1796. His grandfather sailed in Commodore George Anson's circumnavigation of the globe during the early 1740 s.
In 1772 his father John Samuel Smith was serving in the West Indies as a midshipman, and by 1777 was employed on that station as a sailing master. He was commissioned lieutenant in August 1778.

In July 1781 he was promoted commander, and in the summer of 1782 joined the store-ship San Carlos [22 gunner], serving in the East Indies and being present at the Battle of Trincomale on 3 September. Having already been posted captain on 29 July 1782 he was commanding the Exeter [64 gunner] in the spring of 1783 and fought at the Battle of Cuddalore on 20 June where she lost four men killed and nine wounded. After sailing for the Cape his command was deemed to be un-seaworthy and was destroyed on 12 February 1784.

During the Spanish Armament of 1790 Smith commissioned the new Castor [32 gunner] before paying her off later that year. He then recommissioned the Saint George 98 for the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Richard King during the spring of 1791, retaining her through the Russian Armament and paying her off that autumn.

He was the flag captain to Rear-Admiral Sir Richard King, the commander-in-chief of the Newfoundland station aboard the Assistance [50 gunner] from April 1792 and the new Stately [64 gunner] from March 1793, returning home each winter.
[
Smith commanded the Excellent [74 gunner] during May and June 1794 and in August 1795 joined the Captain [74 gunner], serving in the Mediterranean. Suffering from ill health, he exchanged with Captain Horatio Nelson of the Agamemnon [64 gunner] in the Mediterranean on 11 June 1796.

Captain Smith died at Gibraltar shortly after joining the Agamemnon, which ship returned home to be paid off at Chatham on 19 September.

His sons, William, who served with him from 1792 and John S. C. Smith, both entered the navy.

In the late 1780 s Smith was a witness to a House of Lords committee regarding his witnessing of the abhorrent treatment of slaves in the West Indies.

The Minotaur was built at Woolwich in 1793. Her
dimensions are given as: length on the lower deck,
172 feet; breadth, 48 feet; depth, 19 feet; and tons
burthen, 1721. She was commissioned in 1794 by
Captain Thomas Louis, one of Nelson’s band of brothers, and under him she joined the fleet in the Mediterranean, bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral MacBride; later on serving with Rear-Admiral George Montagu's force. She bore a distinguished part in the battle of the Nile, the 1st August 1798, in which she was sixth in the line, and the biggest ship
engaged.Minotaur fought at the battle of the Nile in 1798, engaging the Aquilon with HMS Theseus and forcing her surrender. In the battle Minotaur lost 23 men dead and 64 wounded.

After the French surrendered Rome on 29 September 1799, Captain Thomas Louis had his barge crew row him up the Tiber River where he raised the Union Jack over the Capitol.

In May 1800, Minotaur served as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Lord Keith at the siege of Genoa.The naval squadron consisted of Minotaur, Phoenix, Mondovi, Entreprenante, and the tender Victoire.

On 28 April, the squadron captured the Proteus, off Genoa.

On 8 January 1801 Penelope captured the French bombard St. Roche, which was carrying wine, liqueurs, ironware, Delfth cloth, and various other merchandise, from Marseilles to Alexandria. Swiftsure, Tigre, Minotaur, Northumberland, Florentina, and the schooner Malta, were in sight and shared in the proceeds of the capture.

She was present at the landings in Aboukir Bay during the invasion of Egypt in 1801 where she lost a total of three men killed, and six wounded.[10] Because Minotaur served in the navy's Egyptian campaign (8 March to 8 September 1801), her officers and crew qualified for the clasp "Egypt" to the Naval General Service Medal that the Admiralty authorised in 1850 to all surviving claimants.

On 28 May 1803 Minotaur, in company with Thunderer, and later joined by Albion, captured the French frigate Franchise. Franchise was 33 days out of Port-au-Prince, and was pierced for twenty-eight 12-pounder guns on her main deck and sixteen 9-pounders on her quarterdeck and forecastle, ten of which were in her hold. She had a crew of 187 men under the command of Captain Jurien.

Minotaur was present at the surrender of the French garrison at Civitavecchia on 21 September 1804. She shared the prize money for the capture of the town and fortress with Culloden, Mutine, Transfer, and the bomb vessel Perseus. The British also captured the French polacca Il Reconniscento.

Minotaur, under Captain Charles John Moore Mansfield, participated in the Battle of Trafalgar. There she was instrumental in capturing the Spanish ship Neptuno, although Neptuno's crew recaptured her in the storm that followed the battle.

Minotaur was towards the rear of Nelson's wing of his fleet at Trafalgar. Mansfield pledged to his assembled crew that he would stick to any ship he engaged "till either she strikes or sinks – or I sink". Late in the battle he deliberately placed Minotaur between the damaged Victory and an attacking French ship; he was later awarded a sword and gold medal for his gallantry. Both are now in the National Maritime Museum
The Minotaur at the battle of Trafalgar
An hour before the battle, Captain Mansfield mustered the ships company and spoke to them as follows:

"Men, we are now in the sight of the enemy whom there is every probability of engaging; and I trust that this day, or tomorrow, will prove the most glorious our country ever saw. I shall say nothing to you of courage: our country never produced a coward. For my own part I pledge myself to the officers and ship’s company not to quit the ship I may get alongside of till either she strikes or sinks – or I sink. I have only to recommend silence and strict attention to the orders of your officers. Be careful to take good aim, for it is to no purpose to throw shot away. You will now, every man, repair to your respective stations, and depend, I will bring the ship into action as soon as possible.
God save the King!"
Captain Mansfield kept his pledge, and not by sinking.
By the end of the day the Minotaur had played a pivotal role in defending the Victory against the counter attack by Rear Admiral Dumanoir's squadron, and had captured the Spanish Neptuno. The sword has no surviving scabbard. We have shown the monogram with added black script below in the photo for illustration purposes.

Code: 23392

3950.00 GBP


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Blunderbuss Pistols Will Be Found in the Pistol Section

Full size blunderbuss will be found in the Blunderbuss section. Ship's Captains found such impressive guns so desireable as they had two prime functions to clear the decks with one shot, and the knowledge to an assailant that the pistol hads the capability to achieve such a result. In the 18th and 19th century mutiny was a common fear for all commanders, and not a rare as one might imagine. The Capt. Could keep about his person or locked in his gun cabinet in his quarters a gun just as this. But without doubt its best purpose could be used by the captain and his officers in the melee of close combat during their boarding of enemy vessels, or, to counter the boarding by the crews of enemy vessels.

Code: 23394

Price
on
Request


A Most Beautiful and Very Rare Medieval Erotically Carved Ivory Hilted Knife or Dagger 500 to 600 Years Old

A most delightful and original piece of early carved ivory erotica. That is also a functioning knife or dagger. Likely early Tudor Period, 15th to 16th century. Carved in form of a lady in traditional dress in a demi-seated position, exposing her decolletage and her lower legs, with her hand clasping the hem of her dress, resting at her knees. Single edged blade with natural well aged russeted sound blade The pose is most intriguing portraying semi nudity, in a bawdy and erotic pose. Knives of the medieval era could mounted with carved ivory hilts for of those status and great worth, but it is very unusual to see an example with such an erotic figural design. Cutlery manufacture involved a number of specialists: the blademaker, grinder, hafter (the person who made the handle), sheather (the maker of the sheath in which the knife was carried) and the furbisher or cutler, who assembled the parts, forging the blade, and sold the finished items. The London Cutlers Company, set up in 1415, regulated the trade until the 18th century. It obliged cutlers to mark their wares with their personal devices. In the Medieval era men carried their knives, not in their pockets, if indeed they had any, but usually in sheaths hanging from a girdle which went round the body just above the hips. It was the business of the girdler, as he was called, to supply these girdles, and we shall see that in the inventory of a York girdler, dated 1439, there were many girdles and knives. Most knives although made for protection, could double as an eating knife.
There were few table-knives, in this era. and when at table nearly everybody used the knife of his or her own. In 1392 a lady bequeathed "my knife which I use," in her last will and testament. Even in the last century, in taverns, in many countries, particularly in some towns of France, knives were not placed on the table, because it was expected that each person should have one of his own. 8.25 inches overall.

Code: 19762

1795.00 GBP


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A Beautiful Noble's Early Antique Sinhalese Ceylonese Piha Kaetta Knife Dagger

A most engaging ornate pihas and likely made exclusively by the Pattal Hattara (The Four Workshops). They were employed directly by the Kings of Kandy. Kandy, the independent kingdom, was first established by King Wickramabahu (1357-1374 AD). The last Kandyan king was in the early 1800's, and the workshops are no longer in existence today.The simplest are of plain steel, but very graceful form, with wooden or horn handles, and carried in the belt, to lop off inconvenient branches as one passes through the jungle, or, to open coconuts, or cut jungle ropes. From these knives there are all transitions to the finest versions of nobles and princes, the most elaborate and costly of silver or gold inlaid and overlaid knives worn by the greatest chiefs as a part of their formal dress, and possibly never intended for regular use. The workmanship of many of these is most exquisite but this fine work is done rather by the higher craftsmen, the silversmiths and ivory carvers, than by the mere blacksmith. Many of the best knives were doubtless made in the Four Workshops, such as is this example, the blades being supplied to the silversmith by the blacksmiths.
"The best of the higher craftsmen (gold and silversmiths, painters, and ivory carvers, etc.) working immediately for the king formed a close, largely hereditary, corporation of craftsmen called the Pattal-hatara (Four Workshops). They were named as follows; The Ran Kadu [Golden Arms], the Abarana [Regalia], the Sinhasana [Lion Throne], and the Otunu [Crown] these men worked only for the King, unless by his express permission (though, of course, their sons or pupils might do otherwise); they were liable to be continually engaged in Kandy, while the Kottal-badda men were divided into relays, serving by turns in Kandy for periods of two months. The Kottal-badda men in each district were under a foreman (mul-acariya) belonging to the Pattal-hatara. Four other foremen, one from each pattala, were in constant attendance at the palace.This beautiful noble's dagger is stunningly decorated with veka deka liya vela [double curve vine motif] and the flower motif sina mal, and a bold vine in damascene silver. The blade is traditonal iron and the hilt beautifully carved black coral

Code: 14577

695.00 GBP


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An 18th C. Bichwa, 'Scorpion Sting', A Serpentine Bladed Assassin's Dagger

An most interesting dagger called a Bichwa from Southern India. Known as a 'scorpion sting' dagger for the recurved shape of its blade and presumably its lethalness, these forms of dagger were used primarily by assassins, and for concealment in close fighting, the looped grip fitting into the palm of the hand and the guard over the finger could be used to parry and to punch. A famous figure from Indian history was attacked by this very form of assassin dagger, his name was Afzal Khan. He was an Afghan commander who served the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, and fought against the Marathas. After he treacherously tried to murder the Maratha chief Shivaji during a meeting, he was violently killed by the Marathas, and his army was defeated in the Battle of Pratapgad in 1659. A meeting was arranged before the battle, between the two great warrior Generals, Afzal Khan and Shivaji, likely to discuss proposals for surrender or truce. However, Shivaji was warned of Khan's intended treacherous nature, so he protected himself by wearing concealed armour and carried a tigers claw and a scorpion's sting. At the pre-arranged meeting Afzal Khan graciously embraced Shivaji as per custom. But then he suddenly tightened his clasp, gripped Shivaji's neck in his left arm and struck him with a katar. Shivaji, saved by his concealed armour, recovered and counter-attacked Afzal Khan with wagh nakh [tiger's claw], disemboweling him. He then stabbed Khan with his bichwa [scorpion sting dagger], and ran out of the tent towards his men.

Afzal Khan cried out and Sayeed Banda, his protector who was regarded the best swordsman in the whole of Decca at that time, rushed to the scene and attacked Shivaji with his patta, cutting his turban. Shivaji's bodyguard Jiva Mahala intervened, chopping off Sayeed Banda' s right arm in a quick combat before killing him.

Meanwhile, Afzal Khan's bearers placed their wounded leader in his palki (litter vehicle), but they were attacked by Sambhaji Kavji. Sambhaji eventually killed Afzal Khan by decapitating him

Code: 18649

395.00 GBP


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A Beautiful Koto Period Tanto With Original Edo Period Fittings

Isime stone finish lacquer saya with sinchu kozuka, black silk tsukaito, ovoid iron tsuba inliad with silver dots around the rim. Very interesting mounts in sinchu including the fushi that has a takebori carved bat in flight. Funa gata boat shaped tang. Sinchu in Japan was an alloy of brass, that in certain periods valued as much as gold in Japan. The tanto is commonly referred to as a knife or dagger. The blade can be single or double edged with a length between 15 and 30 cm (6-12 inches, in Japanese 1 shaku). The tanto was designed primarily as a stabbing weapon, but the edge can be used for slashing as well. Tanto are generally forged in hira-zukuri style (without ridgeline), meaning that their sides have no ridge line and are nearly flat, unlike the shinogi-zukuri structure of a katana. Some tanto have particularly thick cross-sections for armour-piercing duty, and are called yoroi toshi. Small foil area of the habaki lacking. The old lacquer on the saya has old comtempoary wear marks etc. Overall 18 inches long, blade around 13 inches long

Code: 23393

2995.00 GBP


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1st Edition Napoleon, Copies of the Original Letters and Despatches of the Generals, Ministers, Grand Officers of State, &c. at Paris, to the Emperor Napoleon, at Dresden;

This would make a fabulous Christmas gift for a loved one or oneself. Part of a Napoleonic collection we are detailing on our website over the next few days, including stunning naval and military swords, pistols, books and a rare early infantry musket from the French forces in Alexandria. First edition of this interesting collection of primary source material, reprinting documents and letters covering diplomacy, military service, private letters, and correspondence and bulletins from Napoleon's Minister of Police, published following Napoleon's impressive victory over the combined forces of Austria, Russia and Prussia at Dresden (26-27 August 1813). Sandler remarks that "there are interesting details of the organisation, reinforcement and morale of the Grand Armée during the 1813 campaign". The anonymous editor notes in his preface that "The light troops... intercepted a considerable number of the enemy's expresses and couriers. It is known that the Cossacks have a peculiar talent for this sort of capture".

Octavo. Mid-19th century green half calf, decorative gilt spine, red label, sides and corners trimmed with a blind foliate roll, Spanish pattern marbled sides, edges and endpapers.
Text in French and English.

Copies of the Original Letters and Despatches of the Generals, Ministers, Grand Officers of State, &c. at Paris, to the Emperor Napoleon, at Dresden;
intercepted by the advanced troops of the Allies in the north of Germany.
Armorial bookplate printed in pale red of James O'Byrne (arms of O'Byrne of Wicklow). Spine sunned, joints cracked at foot, binding rubbed, some wear to corners, recent presentation inscription to a preliminary blank. 8.75 inches x 5.75 x 1 inch

Code: 23378

495.00 GBP


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1st Edition Napoleon, by Hewiston W. B. The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte. In Two Volumes

London: Printed & Published by J. Wallis, and sold by S. A. Oddy, J. Goodwin, and Davies & Eldridge, Exeter, c. 1810 This would make a fabulous Christmas gift for a loved one or oneself. Part of a Napoleonic collection we are detailing on our website over the next few days, including stunning naval and military swords, pistols, books and a rare early infantry musket from the French forces in Alexandria.
London: Wallis, 1814. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Two volume set. Good condition.

Illustrated with numerous b/w engraved plates. A popular British life of Napoleon. The two volumes are the first edition which ends with Napoleon's abdication to Elba. Photos to add of both books on Monday 23rd. Each volume is 8.25 inches x 5.25 inches x 1.25 inches
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), also known as Napoleon I, was a French military leader and emperor who conquered much of Europe in the early 19th century. Born on the island of Corsica, Napoleon rapidly rose through the ranks of the military during the French Revolution (1789-1799). After seizing political power in France in a 1799 coup d’état, he crowned himself emperor in 1804. Shrewd, ambitious and a skilled military strategist, Napoleon successfully waged war against various coalitions of European nations and expanded his empire. However, after a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812, Napoleon abdicated the throne two years later and was exiled to the island of Elba. In 1815, he briefly returned to power in his Hundred Days campaign. After a crushing defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, he abdicated once again and was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, where he died at 51. 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.

Code: 23379

750.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Most Impressive Volume of The Early Napoleonic Wars in Egypt by Wilson Robert Thomas. History of the British Expedition to Egypt; to which is subjoined, a Sketch of the Present State of that Country and its Means of Defence. The Second Edition. London,

From the library of Robert Cassidy with his ex libris armorial crested label. This would make a fabulous Christmas gift for a loved one or oneself. Part of a Napoleonic collection we are detailing on our website over the next few days, including stunning naval and infantry swords, pistols, books and a rare early infantry musket from the French forces in Alexandria.
Second edition, of this popular first-hand account of the British expedition to wrest Egypt from French control, written by Sir Robert Thomas Wilson (1777-1849), who served under the expedition's leader, Sir Ralph Abercromby. Wilson "landed at Abu Qir Bay on 7 March 1801, and took part in the action of the 13th and in the battle of Alexandria on the 21st. Upon Abercromby's death Major-General (later Lord) Hutchinson succeeded him and employed Wilson on several missions. In July Wilson entered Cairo with Hutchinson, and was at the siege of Alexandria in August and its capitulation on the 25th. He left Egypt on 11 September and returned to England via Malta and Toulon, arriving at the end of December. For his services in Egypt he was made a knight of the order of the Crescent of Turkey" . The first edition was published in 1802.

Quarto. (285 x 229 mm). Recent quarter sheep to style, gilt-banded smooth spine, red label, sides trimmed with a blind scrolling foliate roll, marbled sides.
Stipple-engraved portrait frontispiece of Sir Ralph Abercromby by Henry Meyer after his uncle, John Hoppner, 3 folding maps, dispositions coloured, (Western Branch of Nile, Cairo to Rosetta; plan of the Action of the 21st of March fought near Alexandria;
Contemporary armorial bookplate of Robert Cassidy (1817-1873). Flaring brown stain in gutter at foot of title page (affecting also half-title verso and frontispiece), a few gatherings lightly toned, otherwise a tall, and most beautiful copy, with the half-title. 11.75 inches x 9.25 inches x 2 inches

Code: 23380

495.00 GBP


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