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A Very Rare Incunabule, Vitae Pontificum, Ist Edition, of 1479, By Bartolomaeus Platina

Pope Sixtus IVth's Appointed Vatican Librarian. This remarkable tome is over 525 years old. When Bartolomeo Sacchi ('Platina', 1421-1481) wrote this Vitae pontificum (Lives of the Popes) and personally presented it to Pope Sixtus IV in 1475, he surely could not have imagined how influential it would become over the centuries. His was the first papal history, the lives of the popes from the time of Jesus Christ, to the reign of Sixtus IV, composed as a humanist Latin narrative and, as such, marked a distinct breakthrough in relation to the Liber pontificalis, the standard medieval chronicle of the papacy. Whatever Platina's intentions for the book that was published in 1479, it soon came to be regarded as the official history of the Roman pontiffs, an icon of the earliest printing. Formerly from the library of the renown Abolishionist William Roscoe, sold by him at auction in 1816 for ?1.13/-, due to the financial difficulties of his banking house, and acquired by order of the Library Committee of the City of Bath Reference Library. This book was likely commissioned due to the influences of Pope Sixtus IV [Francesco della Rovere] upon his librarian, it's author, Bartolomaeus Platina. We show in the gallery a painting of Pope Sixtus appointing Platina as the official Vatican Librarian. An Incunable is a most rare book, pamphlet, or broadside (such as the Almanach cracoviense ad annum 1474) that was printed?not handwritten?before the year 1501 in Europe. They are the earliest form of printed books. Incunabula include the Gutenberg Bible of 1455, probably the most valuable book in the world. This is a First Edition of Bartholomaeus Platina's great history of the lives of the Popes, the first systematic papal history, not only to create the first detailed history of the Popes but also to villify his mortal enemy Pope Paul IInd Pietro Barbo. This book was created in the era of the great Rennaiscance, in the time of the notorious Borgias and in the year of the notorious Pazzi conspiracy, which was a plot by members of the Pazzi family and others to displace the de' Medici family as rulers of Renaissance Florence. It was printed at the time that Leonado De Vinci drew the hanging of a Pazzi conspiritor Bernardo di Bandino Baroncelli. On 26 April 1478 there was an attempt to assassinate Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother Giuliano de' Medici. Lorenzo was wounded but survived; Giuliano was killed. The failure of the plot served to strengthen the position of the de' Medici. The Pazzi were banished from Florence. During the time the Platina served as the first librarian at the Vatican under its modern founder, Sixtus IV. Platina started his career as a soldier employed by condottieri, before gaining long-term patronage from the Gonzagas, including the young cardinal Francesco, for whom he wrote a family history. He studied under the Byzantine humanist philosopher John Argyropulos in Florence, where he frequented other fellow humanists, as well as members of the ruling Medici family.

Around 1462 he moved with Francesco Gonzaga to Rome, where he purchased a post as a papal writer under the humanist Pius II (Enea Silvio Piccolomini) and became a member of the pagan-influenced Roman Academy founded by Pomponio Leto. Close acquaintance with the renowned chef Maestro Martino in Rome seems to have provided inspiration for a theoretical treatise on Italian gastronomy entitled De honesta voluptate et valetudine ("On honourable pleasure and health"), which achieved considerable popularity and has the distinction of being considered the first printed cookbook.

Platina's papal employment was abruptly curtailed on the arrival of an anti-humanist pope, Paul II (Pietro Barbo), who had the rebellious Platina locked up in Castel Sant'Angelo during the winter of 1464-65 as a punishment for his remonstrations. In 1468 he was again confined in Castel Sant'Angelo for a further year, where he was interrogated under torture, following accusations of an alleged pagan conspiracy by members of Pomponio's Roman academy involving plans to assassinate the pope.

Platina's fortunes were revived by the return to power of the strongly pro-humanist pope, Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere), who in 1475 made him Vatican librarian?an appointment which was depicted in a famous fresco by Melozzo da Forl?. He was granted the post after writing an innovative and influential history of the lives of the popes that gives ample space to Roman history and pagan themes, and concludes by vilifying Platina's nemesis, Paul Iia paragraph from Platina's Vit? Pontificum first gave rise to the legend of the excommunication of Halley's comet by Pope Callixtus III,
Vit? Pontificum ("Lives of the Popes", 1479) "Incunable" is the anglicised singular form of "incunabula", Latin for "swaddling clothes" or "cradle", which can refer to "the earliest stages or first traces in the development of anything." A former term for "incunable" is "fifteener", referring to the 15th century. Vitae pontificum, FIRST EDITION, 239 leaves (of 240, lacking first leaf), 39 lines, roman (and a little Greek) letter, capital spaces with guide letters, a few early marginal ink annotations, tears repaired to 2 leaves, small worm trace in upper margin of approximately 30 leaves (touching letters on approximately 20), inner margins of final leaves strengthened at gutter margins and a few other small paper repairs, gnawing to some fore-corners, blindstamp on approximately 6 leaves, late seventeenth/early eighteenth century red morocco gilt, sides panelled with corner, side and central decorations, spine gilt-tooled (including title and publication date) in 7 compartments within raised bands, rebacked preserving most of original spine. [Venice], Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen, 11 June 1479. William Roscoe's copy of the first editon of Platina's history of the Popes.

Provenance: William Roscoe (1753-1832), historian and author of Lorenzo de Medici (1796) and The Life of Pope Leo X (1805), with a 10-line pencil note in his hand, above which an ink note reads "Notes by Wm. Roscoe vide infra. Coll. By him". One of this books former owners was the renown William Roscoe (8 March 1753 ? 30 June 1831). He was an English historian, leading abolitionist, art collector, M.P. Lawyer, banker, botanist and miscellaneous writer, perhaps best known today as an early abolitionist. 11.25 inches x 7.5inches x 2.25 inches.

Code: 20006

4950.00 GBP

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The Indian Mutiny of 1857 by Colonel G.B. Malleson

Full leather binding with stunning blue marble paper fronts. The Grange Folkstone gilt crest to front cover. Signs of very light use and wear, but overall excellent. Published by Seeley & Co, Great Russel st. London 1901

Contemporary review from the Athenaeum: It only be remarked that Colonel Malleson wields his pen with so much skill that while giving a realistic account of all important operations, passing over no really noteworthy act of talent or heroism, and acutely criticising everything which demands criticism, he abstains from overlaying his narrative with details which would have increased the bulk of his book beyond all reason. Another characteristic of Colonel Malleson is that he never hesitates to condemn conduct of which he disapproves or to draw attention to errors which he conceives were committed, whatever the rank or position of those who are the objects of his criticism. The result is that many of the actors in the drama will find their laurels somewhat injured, while others, who from official prejudice have not yet received full credit for their exploits, obtain from the author due praise for their services. The rewards given for the Mutiny were liberal, but it is distressing to find that some of them were undeserved, while on the other hand, many able and gallant men have received no recognition at all There are many highly-placed officials whose fame is sadly tarnished by the frank, truthful criticisms of the fearless, uncompromising author of the book before us. 7.75 inches by 5.5 inches x 1.5 inches

Code: 23814

110.00 GBP

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20% Amazing Special Anniversary Discount!!!

Back due to incredible demand from our regulars, On this Fabulous Anniversary year, of David's 40th year at The Lanes Armoury, by way of a special thank you, we are offering for a brief period a huge 20% discount on all of our diverse collection.
Save an incredible 2000 gbp on every 10000 gbp, or, 200 gbp on every 1,000 gbp, or 20 on each 100 gbp etc. that you spend!

IMPORTANT!!, our basket system DOES NOT show the 20% discount, so contact us on 01273 321357 or 07721010085 or email us direct, if you want to buy with a card and we can re adjust the price online accordingly, or, we can send you a complimentary 20% of the purchase value Gift Voucher

Please note * The 20% Discount does NOT apply as well to any items that are already especially discounted ie Price Drop

Code: 23909


A Japanese WW2 Officer’s Katana With a Circa 450 year old Antique Ancestral Blade, and Type 94 Military Mounts

It has lain untouched since its return as a trophy of war in 1945. Combat covered saya, regulation type 94 shingunto military mounts, leather combat covered steel scabbard, tsuke and tsuba. Koto to early shinto blade with good undulating notare hamon, in 85% original polish, just a finger marks and light surface scratching. Very elegant typical koto period blade style. Gold covered habaki with engraved oblique raindrop pattern.
During the Meiji period, the samurai class was gradually disbanded, and the Haitorei Edict in 1876 forbade the carrying of swords in public except for certain individuals such as former samurai lords (daimyōs), the military and police. Skilled swordsmiths had trouble making a living during this period as Japan modernised its military and many swordcsmiths started making other items such as cutlery. Military action by Japan in China and Russia during the Meiji Period helped revive the manufacture of swords and in the Showa period (1926–1989) before and during World War II swords were once again produced on a large scale.

During the pre World War II military buildup and throughout the war, all Japanese officers were required to wear a sword. Traditionally made swords were produced during this period but, in order to supply such large numbers of swords, blacksmiths with little or no knowledge of traditional Japanese sword manufacture were recruited. In addition, supplies of the type of Japanese steel (tamahagane) used for sword making were limited so several other types of steel were substituted. Shortcuts in forging were also taken, such as the use of power hammers and tempering the blade in oil rather than hand forging and water tempering; these measures created swords without the usual characteristics associated with Japanese swords.
however, families of great standing or with samurai backgrounds and ancestry were permitted to allow their son's to wear military mounted swords but containing ancient ancestral blades, usually of great significance to the family's history. this is one of those swords. it was once estimated only 1 in 100 had such historical swords to carry in combat, while serving their divine emperor Hirohito in WW2.

The Type 94 shin gunto ( kyuyon-shiki gunto) officers' sword's mounts replaced the Western style kyu gunto mounts in 1934. It had a traditionally constructed hilt (tsuka) with ray skin (same) wrapped with traditional silk wrapping (ito). A cherry blossom (a symbol of the Imperial Japanese Army) theme was incorporated into the guard (tsuba), pommels (fuchi and kashira), and ornaments (menuki).

The scabbard for the Type 94 was made of metal with a wood lining to protect the blade, and the option of adding a combat leather cover, or, a wooden scabbard covered with combat leather. It was often painted brown and was suspended from two brass mounts, one of which was removable and only used when in full dress uniform. The fittings on the metal scabbard were also decorated with cherry blossom designs. Blade 27.5 inches long tsuba to tip, overall 39.5 inches long

Code: 23908

3495.00 GBP

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A Very Good & Intriguing 19th Century 'Cult' Stiletto Dagger

A wonderfully fascinating Victorian secret society dagger from one of the mysterious mystical cults. Signed blade, twin headed four breasted goddess dagger hilt. The scabbard's belt hook is a hand holding a snake and the scabbard is engraved with symbolic plants and leaves. It would be from one of the cult that existed in 19th century society and the took many forms, such as 'The Decadent Movement'
In Europe, around the mid-19th century, artists began to rebel against the wide eyes, determined naturalism, and apple-cheeked wholesome idealism of the romantic movement. Tired of celebrating "naturally" good humans and unaffected art, they turned to darker themes, heavy symbolism, and a kind of spiritual subversiveness. And they found Satan. These were the people who started toying with Satan as an intriguing, sympathetic, or even heroic figure. Charles Baudelaire was a famous Decadent, and wrote, "The Flowers of Evil," and "Litanies to Satan."

Code: 22762

675.00 GBP

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A Very Good Decorated Spanish Antique Albacete Fighting Knife

A 19th Century Spanish Fighting knife of Albacete, Spain; The knife measures 28cm in length with an elaborate ornately pierced blade. The blade has two holes and an open panel incised for decoration, with added pin point engraved decoration. The hilt is brass, inlaid with carved bone. The bone has been fluted length ways and further inlaid with decorative brass panels. A Handbook for Travellers in Spain (printed in 1855), by Richard Ford, has a commentary on the knife culture that prevailed in Spain at the time. When we read an account of an exotic land written by an English traveler in 19th century Albacete, Abula, he describes that as owing to its central position, from whence roads and rails branch to Aragon, Murcia, Valencia, and Madrid, it is a place of great traffic, and is a town of locomotives, from the English rail, the French dilly, to the Spanish donkey. . . . "Albacete is called the Sheffield of Spain, as Chatelherault is the knife making centre of France; but everything is by comparison, and the coarse cutlery turned out in each, at whose make and material an English artisan smiles, perfectly answers native ideas and wants. The object of a Spanish knife is to "chip bread and kill a man," "

Code: 20810

325.00 GBP

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A Fine Lobed Pommel 14th 15th Century Wide Blade Medieval Baselard Dagger

A hand forged, iron, narrow tanged heavy weight and very powerful dagger with lentoid section triangular blade tongue pierced in two places to lobed pommel. Items such as this were oft acquired in the 18th century by British noblemen touring Northern France and Italy on their Grand Tour. Originally placed on display in the family 'cabinet of curiosities', within his country house upon his return home. A popular pastime in the 18th and 19th century, comprised of English ladies and gentlemen traveling for many months, or even years, througout classical Europe, acquiring antiquities and antiques for their private collections. Depictions of mid-14th-century examples are preserved as part of tomb effigies (figuring as part of the full military dress of the deceased knight). One early attestation of the German form pasler (1341) is from a court document of Nuremberg recording a case against a man who had injured a woman by striking her on the head with this weapon. Several German law codes of the 14th to 15th centuries outlaw the carrying of a basler inside a city. By the late 14th century, it became fashionable in much of Western Europe, including France, Italy, Germany and England. Sloane MS 2593 (c. 1400) records a song satirizing the use of oversized baselard knives as nobleman's fashion accessories. Piers Plowman also associates the weapon with vain gaudiness: in this case, two priests, "Sir John and Sir Geoffrey", are reported to have been sporting "a girdle of silver, a baselard or a ballok knyf with buttons overgilt."

Wat Tyler was slain with a baselard by the mayor of London, William Walworth, in 1381, and the original weapon was "still preserved with peculiar veneration by the Company of Fishmongers" in the 19th century. The point of most weapons was to incapacitate rather than to kill. Prisoners, especially those of high status, could be ransomed for money or leveraged for political influence. But when killing was ordered, as on Henry V?s orders at Agincourt, the daggers came out.
Medieval knights often carried daggers designed not for cutting but for punching through the gaps in armour. These were used against incapacitated enemies, as happened to Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Based on Richard?s remains, DeVries believes that his helmet was cut off with daggers, exposing him to the attacks that killed him. This dagger is 15 inches long overall, approx 12 ozs [350gms] in weight, and in fine condition for age, a strong and powerful dagger with just overall aged russetting. Pictures in the gallery of carved stone and marble tombs of medieval knights each bearing a knife such as this or a slight variant. The hilt/grip has long since perished away, as they all are from this era, would have been twin plates of wood, horn or ivory, with small carved quillons or crossguard and rivetted together through the two holes.

Code: 23018

3750.00 GBP

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A Scarce Pattern of Imperial German 121st infantry Officers Sword XIII Royal Wurtemberg Corps

Bronze hilt with folding guard. Overall very nice condition and beautiful regimental markings to hilt and scabbard. Made by Gebruder Wayersberg of Solingen. Scabbard bottom section lacking. Potentially used by a Wurttemberg officer who knew or fought with another Wurttemberg officer at the same time, Erwin Rommel. On mobilization in 1914, the corps was subordinated to the 5th Army and saw action on the Western Front. It was transferred to the 6th Army during the Race to the Sea. In October 1914, the corps headquarters formed Corps Fabeck, which by the end of the month had become a provisional army group, commanding XV Corps, II Bavarian Corps and Corps Urach. In November, the XIII Army Corps was transferred from the 6th Army to the 9th Army on the Eastern Front. By 1916, the corps had returned to the Western Front and was subordinated to the 4th Army under Army Group Crown Prince Rupprecht. From April 1917 to March 1918, the corps commanded Group Caudry, another provisional command. In September 1918, it took over command of Group Ebene under Army Group Duke Albrecht of Württemberg, and commanded Group Ebene until war's end.

It was still in existence at the end of the war in Armee-Abteilung C, Heeresgruppe Gallwitz on the Western Front.

Württemberg mountain battalion

In 1915 a Württemberg mountain battalion was also formed, on drafts from the Württemberg line regiments, which became a part of the Alpenkorps division in 1917. This was the unit in which the young Erwin Rommel distinguished himself on the Romanian and Italian fronts, winning the Pour le Mérite (Imperial German equivalent of the Victoria Cross) at the Batlle of the Isonzo in 1917. Erwin Rommel was undoubtedly one of the finest generals of the Second World War, his strategic mind and patient approach led his men to victory after victory early in the war. But, while his fame and glory came as a General and Field Marshal, it was as a Lieutenant in the First World War that he earned his greatest honor.

Rommel started out the war in command of a reserve artillery company but immediately transferred to the 124th Wurtemberg Infantry regiment. By the middle of August 1914, he was in contact with the French, and showed his daring and genius in combat. The II Battalion, to which Rommel’s platoon was attached, halted at Bleid, a small French farming town. They sent out scouting parties, testing the various hedgerows and farms for French resistance.

Taking just three men from his platoon Rommel advanced to the edge of the town, where they found 15 French soldiers taking a nervous breakfast in the dense fog. Rather than retrieving his full platoon and assaulting, Rommel gave the order to open fire, and this four man party scattered the French troops, killing 5 of them. After receiving a stiff bout of rifle fire in response, he and his men returned to their platoon, then advanced with the rest of the battalion.

Code: 23897

425.00 GBP

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A Very Good Gew 98 1905 Pattern German Mauser Bayonet Ohne Soge of WW1

Made by the Mauser war production factory in Obendorf. Dated 1916, the height of the notorious trench warfare era. With traditional 'butcher' blade, date stamped 1916. Designed to fit the Mauser Gew 98 rifle. The Seitengewehr 98/05 was introduced into the the Prussian army in late 1905, as a replacement for the 98/02 for engineers and pioneer troops, as the 98/02 was deemed to long and heavy for it's intended purpose. Initial production was in two versions, the first plain backed, and the second with 29 double teeth. The scabbard was leather with steel throat and chape mounts, later changed to all steel that was better for trench warfare combat. The bayonet as typical of German blades did not have more than a vestigial muzzle ring, relying on the length of the hilt mounting to fix the blade to its rifle. The plain back version was identified as the S98/05 or S98/05 o.S. (ohne Soge - without saw) and the saw back as the S98/05 S or m.S. (mit Soge - with saw). The overall condition is good, with wooden grips, and denting to principally one side of the scabbard. Likely defensive dents due to trench combat. Overall 20.5 inches long, blade length 14.5 inches. no scabbard

Code: 23905

185.00 GBP

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A Beautiful Omani Silver Al Saidi 'Royal' Khanjar

Rare complete, Omani Sa'idiyyah khanjar, a Royal Khanjar with the distinctive 7 Rings to denote high status, and all silver scabbard and hilt. Decorated in intricate silver filigree wirework with a pattern similar to the 'tree of life'.
Also known as the Jambiya, daggers of this quality were almost always usually custom made for presentation. Lawrence of Arabia had several very similar ones presented to him, they were his favourite dagger, and he was frequently photographed wearing them. One picture is a portrait of Lawrence with his silver Jambiya, near identical to this one. [Information only not included] Silver, usually more often than not, coin silver, not English hallmarked silver. The jambia, a curved Islamic dagger, is the main customary accessory to the clothing worn by Arabian men. For centuries the people of South Arabia have inherited the their jambiahs from generation to generation. There are several theories about the origin of the Jambia. There are historical facts, concerning the existence of the Jambia revealing that it used to be worn at Sheban times, in the Himiarite kingdom. They take the statue of the Sheban king (Madi Karb 500 bc ) as proof. This statue, which was discovered by an American mission in Marib in the 1950s, was found to be wearing a Jambia.
Since The most expensive and famous jambiya was purchased by Sheikh Naji Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Sha'if, who was able to pay US $1 million for one prized and ancient piece. This jambiah had a historical importance, belonging to Imam Ahmed Hamid Al-Din, who ruled Yemen from 1948 to 1962. The Imam's most precious possession was transferred to Sheikh Hussein Al-Watari, who in turn sold it to Sheikh Al-Sha'if.
According to Sheikh Muhammad Naji, the son of current owner of the most precious jambiah, his father?s prize is the most expensive and famous one in the country. Its cost was made so high because it is one of the best jambiahs ever made by Al-Saifani, and a piece of history, as well.
The second highest price ever paid for a jambiah was for the one that Sheikh Ahmed Hamid Al-Habari sold to Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hussein Al-Ahmar for £440,000 GBP.

A picture in tha gallery from the 1950's shows a khanjar being given to a British member (Colonel Watson) of the Trucial Oman Levies

for reference see
Ernst Hieke; Zur Geschichte des Deutschen Handels Mit Oastafrika Teil, 1 Wm Oswald & Co, page 40 1939
Robert Elgood; The Arms and armour of Arabia
Approx 27 cm top to bottom

Code: 23903

750.00 GBP

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