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A Super, Early 19th Century, Long Flintlock Trade Musket Of The Royal African Trading Company, Founded by The Stuart Royal Family & the City of London Merchants.

A Super, Early 19th Century, Long Flintlock Trade Musket Of The Royal African Trading Company, Founded by The Stuart Royal Family & the City of London Merchants.

Originally known as the Company of Royal Adventurers Trading into Africa. With very long octagonal barrel, and the flintlock that was designed based on the India pattern Brown Bess musket lock, is struck with the company mark of the Elephant & Castle of the Royal African Company, and further marked 'Warranted' on the tail. Very good age patinated walnut stock with raised moulding at the barrel tang, brass mounts, and iron ramrod. Birmingham proof marks. Very good, tight and crisp action, and with the highly distinctive oversized trigger guard to facilitate the optional use of gloves by its user.

The Royal African Company (RAC) was an English mercantile (trading) company set up in 1660 by the royal Stuart family and City of London merchants to trade along the west coast of Africa. It was led by the Duke of York, who was the brother of Charles II and later took the throne as James II. It shipped more more goods to the Americas than any other company.
It was established after Charles II gained the English throne in the Restoration of 1660. While its original purpose was to exploit the gold fields up the Gambia River, which were identified by Prince Rupert during the Interregnum. It also extracted other commodities, mainly from the Gold Coast. In 1663, as a prelude to the Dutch war, Captain Holmes's expedition captured or destroyed all the Dutch settlements on the coast, and in 1664 Fort James was founded on an island about twenty miles up the Gambia river, as a new centre for English trade and power. This, however, was only the beginning of a series of captures and recaptures. In the same year de Ruyter won back all the Dutch forts except Cape Coast Castle and also took Cormantin. The treaty of Breda confirmed Cape Coast Castle to the English. After becoming insolvent in 1708, it survived in a state of much reduced activity until 1752 when its assets were transferred to the new African Company of Merchants, which lasted until 1821.
From 1668 to 1722, the Royal African Company provided gold to the English Mint. Coins made with such gold are designed with an elephant below the bust of the king and/or queen. This gold also gave the coinage its name, the guinea.The Royal African Company was dissolved by the African Company Act 1750, with its assets being transferred to the African Company of Merchants. These principally consisted of nine trading posts on the Gold Coast known as factories: Fort Anomabo, Fort James, Fort Sekondi, Fort Winneba, Fort Apollonia, Fort Tantumquery, Fort Metal Cross, Fort Komenda, and Cape Coast Castle, the last of which was the administrative centre. In keeping with the ethos of liberal reform, administrative authority over the African Company's territory was transferred to Governor Charles MacCarthy of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone having been founded as a refuge colony for freed formerly enslaved people. (Governor McCarthy was subsequently killed in the First Anglo-Asante War.) In 1817, the company signed a treaty of friendship recognising the Asante claims to sovereignty over large areas of the coast, including areas claimed by the Fante.Oval bronze seal-matrix of the Royal African Company with moulded socket at back. A shield of arms, or, an elephant azure, on his back a quadrangular castle argent masoned proper; on the sinister tower a flagstaff and banner gules, on banner a cross, on the dexter corner of the escutcheon a canton quarterly of France and England. Crest, on a ducal coronet or an anchor erect sable, cabled of the first, between two dragons' wings expanded argent. Supporters, two Africans proper vested round the waist with a skirt argent, banded round the temples or thereon feathers erect of various colours; each holding in his hand an arrow or barbed and feathered argent Latin
Inscription translation: "By Royal patronage trade flourishes, by trade the realm"or "Business is flourishing due to royal patronage and the kingdom is flourishing due to business". The other pictiure in the gallery is an 1868 guinea with the profile bust of King James IInd and under his bust the Royal African Company symbol of an Elephant and Castle to show the source of the gold for the coinage. 52inch barrel, overall 68 inches long

Code: 23893



SOLD A Good German WW1 Iron Cross, Issued in WW1 But Worn in both WW1 and WW2.

SOLD A Good German WW1 Iron Cross, Issued in WW1 But Worn in both WW1 and WW2.

A good medal with silver rim and iron centre. issued in WW1 but worn by German soldiers, officers and men who were awarded it earlier and still served in WW2, such as Adolf Hitler who only ever ever wore his WW1 in WW2. Iron Cross Next to the Victoria Cross, it is the most famous medal in the world. The Iron Cross was awarded for bravery in battle as well as other conspicuous military contributions in a battlefield environment. The Iron Cross 2nd Class came with a ribbon and was worn in one of two different methods: When in formal dress, the entire cross was worn mounted alone or as part of a medal bar. For everyday wear, only the ribbon was worn from the second hole in the tunic button.
The Iron Cross is a black four-pointed cross with white trim, with the arms widening toward the ends, similar to a cross pattée. It was designed by the neoclassical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and reflects the cross borne by the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century.

The ribbon for the 1813, 1870 and 1914 Iron Cross (2nd Class) was black with two thin white bands, the colours of Prussia. The non-combatant version of this award had the same medal, but the black and white colours on the ribbon were reversed.

Initially the Iron Cross was worn with the blank side out. This did not change until 1838 when the sprig facing could be presented.

Since the Iron Cross was issued over several different periods of German history, it was annotated with the year indicating the era in which it was issued. For example, an Iron Cross from the First World War bears the year "1914", while the same decoration from the Second World War is annotated "1939". The reverse of the 1870, 1914 and 1939 series of Iron Crosses have the year "1813" appearing on the lower arm, symbolizing the year the award was created. The 1813 decoration also has the initials "FW" for King Frederick William III, while the next two have a "W" for the respective kaisers, Wilhelm I and Wilhelm II. The final version shows a swastika.

It was also possible for a holder of the 1914 Iron Cross to be awarded a second or higher grade of the 1939 Iron Cross. In such cases, a "1939 Clasp" (Spange) would be worn on the original 1914 Iron Cross. (A similar award was made in 1914 but was quite rare, since there were few in service who held the 1870 Iron Cross.) For the First Class award the Spange appears as an eagle with the date "1939" that was pinned above the Cross. Although two separate awards, in some cases the holders soldered them together.

A cross was the symbol of the Teutonic Knights (a heraldic cross pattée), and the cross design (but not the specific decoration) has been the symbol of Germany's armed forces (now the Bundeswehr) since 1871. Designed to be worn and combat and its condition certainly shows this to be the case with this medal. As with all our items, each one comes with our unique, lifetime guarantee, certificate of authenticity.

Code: 23857



SOLD A Fabuous Victorian Regiment-of-the-Line Issue Infantry 3 Band 1853 Pattern Enfield Rifle & Bayonet. The First Form of Rifle Issued To The Rank & File Infantrymen of the British Army

SOLD A Fabuous Victorian Regiment-of-the-Line Issue Infantry 3 Band 1853 Pattern Enfield Rifle & Bayonet. The First Form of Rifle Issued To The Rank & File Infantrymen of the British Army

It would be almost impossible to find today a more beautiful looking example of this highly collectible regulation British infantryman’s service rifle of the Victorian era, and complete with its service issue bayonet. This was also one of the most successfully used and prolifically issued rifles of the American Civil War, as thousands of former British service issued Enfield 1853 pattern rifles, such as this, were sold to the American government and exported straight to the US War Department.

This stunning rifle has a most beautiful walnut stock, tight and lock with strong spring, with good Enfield and VR Crown markings, ordnance inspection mark and dated 1861. Three steel barrel bands, excellent steel rifled barrel, ladder site without slide. Very good original socket bayonet with locking retaining ring and leather scabbard, socket stamped Enfield and Broad Arrow. All the steel parts, including the barrel and lock, are essentially devoid of pitting. A British, Light Infantry and Infantry Rifle, made at Enfield and issued to British front line regiments during the Victorian period in 1861. The Enfield Pattern 1853 rifle-musket (also known as the Pattern 1853 Enfield, P53 Enfield, and Enfield rifle-musket) was a .577 calibre Minié-type muzzle-loading rifled musket, used by the British Empire from 1853 to 1867; after which some were replaced in service by the cartridge-loaded Snider–Enfield rifle. Made as a replacement for the British Army pattern '42 musket, this was a superb pattern of rifle that was created just in time for the Crimean War against Russia. First issued to the Light Infantry regiments, such as the Durham Light Infantry and the 72nd, [see photos in the gallery] it was was then distributed to the regular Infantry Divisions. In 1861 many of these guns were supplied to the Americans for the Civil War, as, after the Springfield, the Enfield was the second most used rifle in the US Civil War. This gun has numerous ordnance and War Dept stock markings, full Crown VR lock markings, and full barrel proof marks. Traditional brass butt plate and trigger guard. The term "rifle-musket" originally referred to muskets with the smooth-bored barrels replaced with rifled barrels. The length of the barrels were unchanged, allowing the weapons to be fired by rank, since a long rifle was necessary to enable the muzzles of the second rank of soldiers to project beyond the faces of the men in front. The weapon would also be sufficiently long when fitted with a bayonet to be effective against cavalry. Such weapons manufactured with rifled barrels, muzzle loading, single shot, and utilizing the same firing mechanism, also came to be called rifle-muskets. A great gun of amazing history. The gun stock and mounts etc. have just commensurate wear for age and use, but overall it is in remarkable and excellent condition. This would be a superb addition to any good collection , or the start of a very good one. It would be very difficult indeed to find another front rank issued example better than this. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables

Code: 23447

1850.00 GBP


A Fabulous, Original, King George IIIrd Mezzotint Engraving of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson by Lemuel Francis Abbot, in Original  Hand Made Elm Frame

A Fabulous, Original, King George IIIrd Mezzotint Engraving of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson by Lemuel Francis Abbot, in Original Hand Made Elm Frame

An original mezzotint engraving by King George IIIrd's personal engraver, James Heath, from the original oil portrait of Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson, by Lemuel Francis Abbott.'
Probably the best portrait and mezzotint version of Lord Nelson ever commissioned, and this engraving by James Heath from it is simply superb, and wonderfully presented in its original hand crafted elm wood frame, an example of Georgian, master cabinetmaker craftsmanship. At the base of the mezzotint it states, 'Engraved by Ja. Heath Engraver to His Majesty, of the original painting by Abbot in the possession of John MacArthur esq.

Overall in excellent condition. 15 inches x 13.1/2 inches in its frame

Young Horatio was sent at first to the grammar school in Norwich. His mother died when he was nine, leaving her eight children to the care of her inadequate husband. A spirited boy, he made up his mind to go to sea and, in March 1771, he joined Captain Suckling’s ship, the Raisonnable, as a midshipman. When he clambered up the warship’s towering side, the gangway’s ropes were too thick for his twelve-year-old hands to close round. It was Captain Suckling who made sure that Horatio got a good education in seamanship and his first opportunities for command. Although he suffered all his life from seasickness, the sea proved to be his element and the Napoleonic Wars gave him his opportunity. The whole nation went into mourning when he was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 at the age of forty-seven.

Trafalgar ended for ever Napoleon’s hope of having sufficient naval control of the English Channel to mount an invasion of England. Nelson’s earlier annihilation of the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile in 1798, by stranding Napoleon’s army in Egypt without lines of communication to France, quashed his plans for expanding French power in the Middle and Far East.
The remarkable story of Admiral Lord Nelson's most precious jewel, his admiral's hat adornment a chelengk [of which a replica is shown in our gallery, fixed in place atop his cocked hat] vanished from a museum 66 years ago. Nelson knew it was an extraordinary jewel and asked for permission from the king to wear it on his hat as part of his official uniform.

Nelson was gifted the stunning seven-inch chelengk by Sultan Selim III of Turkey after the Battle of the Nile in 1798. A specially-made chelengk [the highest Ottoman military decoration] was awarded to Horatio Nelson by Sultan Selim III in honour of the Battle of the Nile in 1798. This was the first time that a chelengk was conferred on a non-Ottoman. The usual seven rays were augmented to thirteen, as described in a contemporary letter:

The Aigrette is a kind of feather; it represents a hand with thirteen fingers, which are of diamonds, and allusive to the thirteen ships taken and destroyed at Alexandria, the size that of a child's hand about six years old when opened; the centre diamond and the four round it may be worth about £1000 each, and there are about 300 others well set

The hat decoration contained over 300 diamonds and a central diamond Ottoman star which was powered by clockwork to rotate and sparkle in candlelight.
It remained in his family for generations before it was sold in 1895 for £710 to ease the family's financial difficulties.

The chelengk was then bought for £1,500 by the Society for Nautical Research in 1929 following a national appeal and placed in London's National Maritime Museum.

But it was stolen in 1951 by career criminal George Chatham, who sold the jewel for a 'few thousand' to a criminal gang who he believes broke it up into little pieces.
London jeweller Philip Denyer has used 350 18th century diamonds to make an exact replica of the chelengk.

The jewel, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, is on display in the Victory Gallery at Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard alongside a black felt cocked hat. [see the photograph of a replica made with 350 diamonds]

Code: 24012

1395.00 GBP


A British WW1 Close Combat Trench Knife Made From a Converted 1888 Lee Metford Bayonet

A British WW1 Close Combat Trench Knife Made From a Converted 1888 Lee Metford Bayonet

While mired in the endless miles of dirt-faced trenches day after day, soldiers on both sides found abundant uses for personal utility knives. Because of their locale, the soldiers gave the utilitarian weapons the nickname, “trench knives.” These blades could perform both the mundane service of food and camp preparations. In the event of the sudden hand-to-hand combat that often took place in the confined trench spaces, the knives would serve the second purpose as potent weapons accompanying clubs, pistols, and grenades. For covert missions that involved special teams going into the enemy areas, small knives were capable of silently ending a sentry’s life without warning his comrades of the impending attack.

the first major battle fought with the Lee Metford were the British soldiers who fought at Omdurman with Lee Metford rifles and bayonets. The massacre of the army of Sudanese Dervishes on a plain near Omdurman in the Sudan was an occasion that a new military technology was tested – to devastating effect – by Britain in battle. It proved a major factor in Kitchener’s victory, in his efforts to re-conquer Sudan from the Madhists who had killed General Gordon in 1885.

The key to Britain's presence in Egypt and the Sudan (Egypt's backdoor and the source of the Nile) was the Suez Canal, opened in 1869. The new quick route to India had to be safeguarded.

As ‘Sirdar’ or commander-in-chief of the Anglo-Egyptian army, Major-General Herbert Kitchener, an engineer and veteran of the Indian army, had spent over two years training his troops and building up extensive railway and steamship supply lines with a view to attacking the Mahdist state to the south.

The Khalifa Abdullahi, leader of the Sudanese and religious successor to the Mahdi, aware of Kitchener’s intentions, had assembled a large army near Omdurman, since 1885 the Mahdist capital, across the Nile from Khartoum.

Kitchener’s army of 17,600 Egyptian and Sudanese troops and 8,200 British regulars, was heavily outnumbered, but had at its disposal fifty pieces of artillery, ten gunboats and five auxiliary steamers on the Nile. It also possessed forty single-barrelled, water-cooled Maxim machine-guns, each capable of firing six hundred rounds a minute. The British infantry was equipped with Lee Metford rifles, or its successor, the .303 Lee Enfield. They both had a range of 2,800 yards, and a skilled rifleman could fire up to ten rounds a minute.

The Khalifa’s army consisted of about 60,000 tribesmen, mainly ansars or servants of Allah, referred to as Dervishes by the British. According to the young war correspondent, Winston Churchill, it resembled nothings so much as a ‘twelfth-century Crusader army’ armed with spears, swords, and with hundreds of banners embroided with Koranic texts.

In terms of weaponry, however, the Khalifa’s army was not quite as primitive as it looked. The Dervishes possessed some 15,000 captured shoulder arms, even though they were poorly maintained. Their riflemen were dispersed among the spearmen and swordbearers in the hopes of giving the latter a better opportunity of getting to grips with the enemy. They also possessed some captured pieces of artillery and machine guns but hardly any appropriate ammunition.

The Anglo-Egyptian front line had been hastily constructed. The soldiers had their backs to the Nile, behind a zeriba – some mimosa scrub – near the village of Egaiga. Not a single Dervish, however, got within 300 yards of it.

The shelling of Omdurman by the British occupied the first day of the attack. In the process of testing a new explosive called Lyddite, the Mahdi’s tomb was targetted and destroyed.

The Dervishes’ frontal assault on the British position the following day, September 2nd, was catastrophic – with thousands of men mown down by the British rifles and machine-guns. It was, though, not quite as suicidal as it seemed, or as subsequent accounts have described it. The Khalifa planned to entice Kitchener away from the zeriba towards reserve divisions hidden behind the Jebel Surgham heights. The plan might have succeeded, though their assault on Kitchener as he marched triumphantly to Omdurman was unco-ordinated and another force arrived too late. Even so MacDonald’s Sudanese Brigade had to stand firm against 3,000 Dervishes attacking from three directions, and for the 21st Lancers to charge their lines. This was a rare moment in the battle when the odds were reversed, seventy-one Lancers were killed or wounded in a few minutes, but again superior fire power proved decisive.

The battle lasted a little more than five hours. As many as 11,000 Dervishes were massacred and 16,000 wounded. The Anglo-Egyptian losses numbered only 500 (dead and wounded).

Perhaps to avenge Gordon’s death at the hands of the Mahdists, Kitchener left the wounded enemy to die on the plain

The victory at Omdurman sealed the political future of the Sudan and the control of the Nile by Britain and her ally, Egypt, forcing the French to abandon their own ambitions for further colonisation.

Code: 24011

165.00 GBP


A Scarce German WW1 Machine Gunner's Knife

A Scarce German WW1 Machine Gunner's Knife

A Scarce WW1 German Machine Gunner's bayonet cum combat knife, bright steel eagle profile pommel and bright steel quillon, black celluloid chequered grip, short steel blade, no scabbard. Souvenir of a British WW1 veteran, taken from a former German Maxim MG machinegunner within his gun emplacement, after, quote, 'he had no further need of it'.

Its featured form is like a bayonet, but not used for that purpose. This near perfect example of the short bayonet was used by a German machinegunner, and it was certainly the perfect trench warfare close combat weapon. The German army had been a late convert to the potential of machine guns, but its tactical employment of them in 1914 proved superior to that of its enemies. German machine gunners exploited the weapon’s long-range accuracy, and the fact that the guns were a regimental (rather than battalion) asset allowed them to be grouped to achieve maximum effect. This efficiency created a myth that Germany deployed far more machine guns than its opponents in 1914.

Following the onset of positional warfare, machine guns gained notoriety as highly effective direct-fire weapons. They could theoretically fire over 500 rounds per minute (rpm), but this was not normal in combat, where "rapid fire" generally consisted of repeated bursts amounting to 250 rpm. The effectiveness of these bursts of between ten and fifty bullets was enhanced by exploitation of ballistics and the precision offered by firing from adjustable mounts. At ranges of 600 metres or less, machine guns could create fixed lines of fire which would never rise higher than a man's head, with deadly results for those attempting to advance across them. Or the gun could be traversed between bursts to offer what the French called feu fauchant (mowing fire). At longer range, their bullets fell in an elliptical "beaten-zone", giving them an area-fire capability.

Groups of guns could interlock their fire. In favourable circumstances, such as at Loos on 26 September 1915, or on the Somme on 1 July 1916, this could prove devastating. But although this is how machine guns are now best remembered, new methods of using them were developed from 1915 onwards.

Code: 24008

185.00 GBP


A Fabulous and Rare Early 19th Century King George IIIrd Explosive 10

A Fabulous and Rare Early 19th Century King George IIIrd Explosive 10" Mortar Bomb Shell From the War of 1812 In America. .

The second of two we were thrilled to acquire, the first has just sold to an esteemed private museum in Florida USA. Fired by the 10" mortars used by Admiral Cochrane against Fort McHenry, Baltimore Harbour, and the resulting 10" mortar bomb shell's mid air explosions, against the backdrop of the US flag flying at Fort McHenry, inspired the patriotic anthem, the "Star Spangled Banner".
It was the sight of these very 10" mortar bombshells that weighed around 90 pounds each and that when they exploded it inspired Francis Scott Key to write his poem that became the US anthem. Naturally, this is a perfectly intact surviving example, and one of the 10" mortar shells that either wasn't fired, or, failed to explode.
With Washington in ruins, the British next set their sights on Baltimore, then America’s third-largest city. Moving up the Chesapeake Bay to the mouth of the Patapsco River, they plotted a joint attack on Baltimore by land and water. On the morning of September 12, General Ross’s troops landed at North Point, Maryland, and progressed towards the city. They soon encountered the American forward line, part of an extensive network of defences established around Baltimore in anticipation of the British assault. During the skirmish with American troops, General Ross, so successful in the attack on Washington, was killed by a sharpshooter. Surprised by the strength of the American defences, British forces camped on the battlefield and waited for nightfall on September 13, planning to attempt another attack under cover of darkness.

Meanwhile, Britain’s naval force, buoyed by its earlier successful attack on Alexandria, Virginia, was poised to strike Fort McHenry and enter Baltimore Harbour. At 6:30 AM on September 13, 1814, Admiral Cochrane’s ships began a 25-hour bombardment of the fort. Rockets whistled through the air and burst into flame wherever they struck. Mortars fired 10- and 13-inch bombshells that exploded overhead in showers of fiery shrapnel. It is said many exploded to soon as the fuses were set to short, which created the firework effect. Major Armistead, commander of Fort McHenry and its defending force of one thousand troops, ordered his men to return fire, but their guns couldn’t reach the enemy’s ships. When British ships advanced on the afternoon of the 13th, however, American gunners badly damaged them, forcing them to pull back out of range. All through the night, Armistead’s men continued to hold the fort, refusing to surrender. That night British attempts at a diversionary attack also failed, and by dawn they had given up hope of taking the city. At 7:30 on the morning of September 14, Admiral Cochrane called an end to the bombardment, and the British fleet withdrew. The successful defense of Baltimore marked a turning point in the War of 1812. Three months later, on December 24, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent formally ended the war. "The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from the "Defence of Fort M'Henry", a poem written on September 14, 1814, by 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large U.S. flag, with 15 stars and 15 stripes, known as the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the U.S. victory. During the bombardment, HMS Terror and HMS Meteor provided some of the "bombs bursting in air".

The 15-star, 15-stripe "Star-Spangled Banner" that inspired the poem
Key was inspired by the U.S. victory and the sight of the large U.S. flag flying triumphantly above the fort. This flag, with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, had been made by Mary Young Pickersgill together with other workers in her home on Baltimore's Pratt Street. The flag later came to be known as the Star-Spangled Banner, and is today on display in the National Museum of American History, a treasure of the Smithsonian Institution. It was restored in 1914 by Amelia Fowler, and again in 1998 as part of an ongoing conservation program. Pictures in the gallery of the siege from contemporary paintings and engravings, a commemorative stamp issued in 2014, and an original War of 1812 bronze British mortar now kept at Yorktown Visitor Centre. Empty, inert and completely safe. Seated on an old iron ring for safe display

Code: 23997

1650.00 GBP


A Very Inexpensive Original, Ancient, 500 Year Old Koto Period Chisa Katana, with Original, Edo Period Fine Mounts

A Very Inexpensive Original, Ancient, 500 Year Old Koto Period Chisa Katana, with Original, Edo Period Fine Mounts

A very nice and ancient samurai sword, that has very fine original Edo period mounts of gold onlaid décor of samurai arrow flights over a fine nanako ground on the swords kashira with it's matching nanako ground fushi. The tsuba is signed, deep takebori of a pony and figure and bundles of wheat sheaves with highlight in gold. The tsukaito is traditional black silk over giant ray-skin [samegawa] and a pair of menuki of shakudo and gold phoenix. This sword originally came together from an early collection with an original samurai’s Yabusami, a samurai bowman's sleeve [see stock code number 21518] as would be worn with tradition samurai combat armour, so it may indeed have been originally the bowman's katana. The blade has a very nice hamon with a brightly polished kissaki, and a very small face impact line, [about 5 mm] on one blade face, no doubt in our opinion caused during its use in combat. It is a beautiful historical piece of original samurai weaponry around 500 years old. The Chisa Katana is a slightly shorter Katana highly suitable for two handed, or two sword combat, or, combat within enclosed areas such as castles or buildings. As such they were often the sword of choice for the personal Samurai guard of a Daimyo, and generally the only warriors permitted to be armed in his presence. Chisa katana, Chiisagatana or literally "short katana", are shoto mounted as katana. Of all the weapons that man has developed since caveman days, few evoke such fascination as the samurai sword of Japan. To many of us in the West, the movie image of the samurai in his fantastic armour, galloping into battle on his horse, his colourful personal flag, or sashimono, whipping in the wind on his back, has become the very symbol of Japan, the Empire of the Rising Sun. And, truly, to the samurai of real life, nothing embodied his warrior’s code of Bushido more than his sword, considered inseparable from his soul. Overall in saya 35 inches, blade tsuba to tip 21.5 inches. The samurai bowman sleeve is for sale separately. The blade is absolutely beautiful and its surface shows the hamon pattern very well indeed, but it does have some near invisible blade features and marks etc. But absolutely as one might expect due to its continual use as a combat sword for likely an incredible 350 years. In many respects it is, in our opinion, our greatest privilege to own, even briefly, such incredible pieces of samurai art as this one, to hold in one’s hands an item that has been used by so many noble warriors, for so many hundreds of years, and to look as good as the day it was made, up to 500 years ago is actually remarkable. For example, we have many dozens of steel swords, late medieval, for example, up to and between 500 to 700 years old, and certainly some up to 2000 years old, but, those swords are not from Japan, but from Europe, and every one of those will have all the usual signs of great ageing and wear, likely being very russeted, and certainly no surviving additional mounts to speak of, and this is totally the norm, and absolutely as to be expected and thus accepted. In every great collection around the world, all such steel swords from early European history, that have survived as long as these Japanese swords, look worn, aged, and somewhat tired, compared to how they once beautifully looked when first made and carried into combat. However, this not at all so with almost all surviving ancient Japanese swords, and that some, can and do, look as almost good as new, even if some of their blades are surface grey and lack bright polish, so, by comparison, effectively, there is no comparison between the great ancient samurai swords and every other countries similarly aged surviving swords.

Code: 23996

2550.00 GBP


Please View Our Archive Gallery That Shows An Illustration of Just Some of our Past Collectables Sold To Collectors & Museums Around The World

Please View Our Archive Gallery That Shows An Illustration of Just Some of our Past Collectables Sold To Collectors & Museums Around The World

Code: 23995



A Stunning, Historical, Norman, King Stephen of England period Single-Handed Knight's Sword 12th century AD, Used In the Early Crusades Era

A Stunning, Historical, Norman, King Stephen of England period Single-Handed Knight's Sword 12th century AD, Used In the Early Crusades Era

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. Effectively, from this time of almost a thousand 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.
A wondrous hand-forged iron knight's sword with slender blade and shallow fuller to each face, shallow point, gently curved rectangular-section cross guard, broad flat-section tang; the original pommel has been replaced by a plain domed type, perhaps Oakeshott's designated Type B.1 pommel. 12th-early 13th century, used in the early Crusades Period by Knights, such as the Knights of Jerusalem the Knights Templar, Knights of St John, made from time of King Stephen, and used into the times of King Henry the IInd, and King Richard the Ist. Made around the time of the reign of the Norman king, King Stephen,
Stephen of Blois, King of England who reigned from 22 December 1135 till 1154..
He was Count of Boulogne, from 1125 until 1147, and Duke of Normandy from 1135 until 1144. His reign was marked by the Anarchy, a civil war with his cousin and rival, the Empress Matilda, whose son, Henry II, succeeded Stephen as the first of the Angevin kings of England. The first of the Plantagenets,
Henry the II 1154-1189. Henry of Anjou was a most strong king, and a brilliant soldier, and he thus extended his French lands until he ruled most of France. He laid the foundation of the English Jury System and raised new taxes (scutage) from the landholders to pay for a militia force. Henry is mostly remembered for his quarrel with Thomas Becket, and Becket’s subsequent murder in Canterbury Cathedral on 29th December 1170. His sons turned against him, even his favourite John. A very small portion of his reign was depicted in the film ‘The Lion in Winter’ starring Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn. It was a remarkable depiction of the latter part of his reign which showed with great aplomb the relationship between him, his wife the Queen of Anjou and his sons Geoffrey, John and Richard,[played by Anthony Hopkins] his eventual successor, King Richard Ist [The Lionheart] 1189 – 1199
Richard was the third son of Henry II. By the age of 16, he was leading his own army putting down rebellions in France. Although crowned King of England, Richard spent all but 6 months of his reign abroad, preferring to use the taxes from his kingdom to fund his various armies and military ventures. He was the leading Christian commander during the Third Crusade. On his way back from Palestine, Richard was captured and held for ransom. The amount paid for his safe return almost bankrupt the country. Richard died from an arrow-wound, far from the kingdom that he so rarely visited. He had no children. . Incredibly swords of this time, providing they stayed within the ancestral family of the knights for whom it was originally made in the 1100s, could still have been used up to and including the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Sword design had not changed a great deal in that time and if an English knight had had a famous ancestor from several generations before using the sword, it is easily conceivable that he would continue to use it in combat into the 15 century. The Battle of Agincourt was a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War. The battle took place on 25 October 1415 (Saint Crispin's Day) in the County of Saint-Pol, Artois, some 40 km south of Calais. Along with the battles of Crécy (1346) and Poitiers (1356), it was one of the most important English triumphs in the conflict. England's victory at Agincourt against a numerically superior French army crippled France, and started a new period in the war during which the English began enjoying great military successes.

After several decades of relative peace, the English had renewed their war effort in 1415 amid the failure of negotiations with the French. In the ensuing campaign, many soldiers perished due to disease and the English numbers dwindled, but as they tried to withdraw to English-held Calais they found their path blocked by a considerably larger French army. Despite the disadvantage, the following battle ended in an overwhelming tactical victory for the English.

King Henry V of England led his troops into battle and participated in hand-to-hand fighting. The French king of the time, Charles VI, did not command the French army himself, as he suffered from severe psychotic illnesses with moderate mental incapacitation. Instead, the French were commanded by Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party.

This battle is notable for the use of the English longbow in very large numbers, with the English and Welsh archers forming up to 80 percent of Henry's army. The decimation of the French cavalry at their hands is regarded as an indicator of the decline of cavalry and the beginning of the dominance of ranged weapons on the battlefield.

Agincourt is one of England's most celebrated victories. The battle is the centrepiece of the play Henry V by Shakespeare. Juliet Barker in her book Agincourt: The King, the Campaign, the Battle ( published in 2005) argues the English and Welsh were outnumbered "at least four to one and possibly as much as six to one". She suggests figures of about 6,000 for the English and 36,000 for the French, based on the Gesta Henrici's figures of 5,000 archers and 900 men-at-arms for the English, and Jean de Wavrin's statement "that the French were six times more numerous than the English". The 2009 Encyclopædia Britannica uses the figures of about 6,000 for the English and 20,000 to 30,000 for the French.

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.

Formerly the property of a private family; previously acquired from a collection formed before 1990; thence by descent.
Cf. Oakeshott, E., Records of the Medieval Sword, Woodbridge, 1991, item Xa.8, for type. 85cm (33 1/2" long). Exceptionally fair condition, very good indeed for age..

Code: 23251

10250.00 GBP


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