A Fine 19th Century Box-Lock Breech Loading Percussion Pocket PistolTurn-off barrel, fine scroll engraving and dolphin form hammer. Micro-checqured carved walnut grip with oval escutcheon. Good tight action, circa 1830 Boxlock pistols were pocket pistols popular in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. The most unique feature of their design was the boxlock mechanism. Unlike most firearms which have the cock located off to the side of the pistol, a boxlock pistol had the cock located directly on top of the pistol. They were called a boxlocks because all of the working mechanisms for the cock and the trigger was located in a “box” or receiver directly below the top mounted hammer. While the cock obstructed the aim of the user, this system had the advantage of making the gun more compact and concealable than other pistols. The first boxlock pistols were flintlock and where later made in percussion lock. Unlike modern firearms, these pistols were not mass produced, but were hand made in gunsmith's workshops
Code: 22703Price: 325.00 GBP
A Good Queen's Own Hussars, 1960's Service Cap, With Gilt and Silver BadgeWinston Churchill was commissioned as a cornet in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars in February 1895. This regiment was formed at Tidworth in November 1958 by amalgamating the 3rd Hussars and the 7th Hussars, which had both existed as independent regiments since the 1680s. The badge depicts the white horse of Hanover, which had been granted to the 3rd Hussars by George I in 1715. Made by Herbert Johnson New Bond St. London. Very good used condition overall, just a few small moth holes.
Code: 22702Price: 135.00 GBP
Fine Antique Callaghan's Mountaineer or Airman's Pocket Barometer AltimeterA very popular form of pocket barometer altimeter for use up to 8,000 feet chosen by mountaineers and pilots of airships and balloonists. Set within its original travelling case, but the case is in a very tired state. Pocket barometers were used by hikers and balloonists since they double as an altimeter as well as being a barometer. Starting at sea level 1/10th of an inch of barometric pressure is lost for every 90 feet ascended, so travelers can handily determine altitude. Pocket barometers use the same mechanism as the larger aneroid barometers, but in miniature. These barometers typically came with nice cases.
When these barometers appear with American names on them, they were actually made in England for the named company. On the outer rim there is often a rotating bezel; one can set the zero on the bezel opposite the barometer hand, and can read altitude during climbing. Pocket barometers were made from about the 1860's. Callaghan was a famous and fine London maker and he made these barometers from around 1867. In unknown working condition.
Code: 22701Price: 265.00 GBP
Royal Mail Coach Contractor Pocket Pistol, W. &. S. Rooke, London 1780'sMakers for His Majesty's Government pistols for the Royal Coach Services, the Royal Mail. A perfect small boxlock barrel pocket pistol for the personal protection of the Royal Mail Coach driver and his mail guard companion of the earliest Royal Mail coaches. A small British Government contract pistol with the maker's contract stamp next to the barrel proof stamps. Folding concealed trigger, sliding safety and engraved stand of arms at the breech. On 4 December 1775, a Norwich stagecoach was attacked by a gang of seven highwaymen. The guard shot three robbers before being killed and the coach robbed. Richard ‘Dick’ Turpin, a famous highwayman of the time, was known to torture his victims and would even kill one of his companions to aid his own escape.
‘… recommending the Guarding of all the Horse Mails, as a measure of national importance to which the Public in some degree conceived themselves entitled…’
A plan was written to guard all horse mails, which included the arming of all guards. In doing so the Post Office would not only secure the vast property conveyed by horse, but also save the expenses incurred in prosecuting a robber. Furthermore, it would maintain regularity of service and eliminate what was seen as a disgrace to both the Office and to the nation.
Surveyors observed that the revenue lost to robbery was twice the sum it would cost to guard the mail: it was the obvious choice. In 1793 Thomas Hacker reported after inspection that many weapons had been forgotten, lost or were in poor condition. In 1784, John Palmer introduced the first mail coach from Bristol to London. This faster and well-armed postal service proved to be a great deterrent to robbers, as they risked being shot or, if caught, tried and hanged. The first recorded robbery of a mail coach did not occur until 25 July 1786.
A letter to joint Postmaster Generals asking for the establishment of a regional mail coach was signed by over 100 people, whose businesses had been damaged due to the frequency of robberies. Mail coaches were a better way of securing the post’s safe passage, though there are a few recorded instances of attempted robberies even of them.
In January 1816, an Enniskillen coach was attacked and robbed by a gang of 14 men who had barricaded the road. The guards fired off all of their ammunition but the mail bags and weapons were all stolen. In 1816 it was reported that too many accidents were happening. The journey must have been dull at times and a turnpike, swinging inn sign or mail post was a tempting target, and so a fine of £5 was made for any firing of arms that was not in defence of the property or passengers.
‘… use the utmost vigilance to compel the Guards to keep their Arms in a clean and proper state fit for defence of the important property they are trusted with.’
Francis Freeling to the Surveyors. The lawless character of the 18th century promoted the development of the ‘pocket pistol’, a weapon that suited the increasingly popular style of fitted pockets in garments. It would have been easy to conceal, proving useful if attacked. Weapons were not only used on the roads to protect the post: overseas mail was carried by packet ships, small fast vessels which, like their crews, were well armed. Henry Nocks, a well-known gun maker in London, supplied many pistols for these voyages like the flintlock pistol pictured above.
However, packet ships proved too expensive for the Post Office, and in 1836 service was transferred to the Admiralty. Armed Mail Guards began to disappear. This pistol is in very nice order with a nice and tight crisp mechanism
Code: 22700Price: 745.00 GBP
American Revolutionary War Period, French Grenadier of Infantry SwordA rarely surviving French sword of the American and French Revolutionary Wars, and also used into the Napoleonic Wars. With brass hilt and steel blade. The hilt has a loss of quillon and half langet. A scarce sword from a most turbulent era of French history. Used from the era of France's alliance to America in the Revolutionary War of 1777, right through the French Revolution 1792. There are several such swords in Smithsonian in America. French participation in North America was initially maritime in nature and marked by some indecision on the part of its military leaders. In 1778 American and French planners organized an attempt to capture Newport, Rhode Island, then under British occupation. The attempt failed, in part because Admiral d'Estaing did not land French troops prior to sailing out of Narragansett Bay to meet the British fleet, and then sailed for Boston after his fleet was damaged in a storm. In 1779, d'Estaing again led his fleet to North America for joint operations, this time against British-held Savannah, Georgia. About 3,000 French joined with 2,000 Americans in the Siege of Savannah, in which a naval bombardment was unsuccessful, and then an attempted assault of the entrenched British position was repulsed with heavy losses.
Support became more notable when in 1780; 6,000 soldiers led by Rochambeau were landed at Newport, abandoned in 1779 by the British, and they established a naval base there. Rochambeau and Washington met at Wethersfield, Connecticut in May 1781 to discuss their options. Washington wanted to drive the British from New York City, and the British force in Virginia, led first by turncoat Benedict Arnold, then by Brigadier William Phillips, and eventually by Charles Cornwallis, was also seen as a potent threat that could be fought with naval assistance. These two options were dispatched to the Caribbean along with the requested pilots; Rochambeau, in a separate letter, urged de Grasse to come to the Chesapeake Bay for operations in Virginia. Following the Wethersfield conference, Rochambeau moved his army to White Plains, New York and placed his command under Washington.
De Grasse received these letters in July, at roughly the same time Cornwallis was preparing to occupy Yorktown, Virginia. De Grasse concurred with Rochambeau, and sent back a dispatch indicating that he would reach the Chesapeake at the end of August, but that agreements with the Spanish meant he could only stay until mid-October. The arrival of his dispatches prompted the Franco-American army to begin a march for Virginia. De Grasse reached the Chesapeake as planned, and disembarked troops to assist Lafayette's army in the blockade of Cornwallis. The arrival of a British fleet sent to dispute de Grasse's control of the Chesapeake was defeated on September 5 at the Battle of the Chesapeake, and the Newport fleet delivered the French siege train to complete the allied military arrival. The Siege of Yorktown and following surrender by Cornwallis on October 19 were decisive in ending major hostilities in North America.Starting with the Siege of Yorktown, Benjamin Franklin never informed France of the secret negotiations that took place directly between Britain and the United States. Britain relinquished her rule over the Thirteen Colonies and granted them all the land south of the Great Lakes and east of the Mississippi River. However, since France was not included in the American-British peace discussions, the alliance between France and the colonies was broken. Thus the influence of France and Spain in future negotiations was limited. Last photo in the gallery is of the depiction of the Second Battle of the Virginia Capes (Battle of the Chesapeake).
Code: 22699Price: 675.00 GBP
An American 1790's Eagle Head Pommel Spadroon SwordWith a gilt brass and ivory hilt. Very good hilt condition with much original gilt remaining. Single fullered blade, sharp point shortened at the tip. Used up to and including the War of 1812. Straight blade, inches long. The War of 1812 was fought between the United States of America, and Great Britain and its colonies, especially Upper Canada (Ontario), Lower Canada (Quebec), Nova Scotia and Bermuda. The war was fought from 1812 to 1815 and involved both land and naval engagements. The Americans declared war on Britain on June 18, 1812, for a combination of reasons— outrage at the impressment (seizure) of thousands of American sailors into the British navy, frustration at British restraints on neutral trade while Britain warred with France, and anger at British military support for hostile Indians blocking American settlement of the Old Northwest, which by treaty with Britain belonged to the U.S. The war started badly for the Americans as their attempts to invade Canada were repeatedly repulsed by General Isaac Brock commanding a small British force. The American strategy depended on use of militias, but they either resisted service or were incompetently led. Military and civilian leadership was lacking and remained a critical American weakness until 1814. New England opposed the war and refused to provide troops or financing. Financial and logistical problems plagued the American war effort. Britain possessed excellent finance and logistics but the ongoing war with France had a higher priority, so in 1812-13 they adopted a defensive strategy. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 they were able to send veteran armies to invade the U.S., but by then the Americans had learned how to mobilize and fight as well. 29 inches long overall.
Code: 22698Price: 795.00 GBP
A Stunning Antique Ancestral Bladed Sword In WW2 Shingunto MountsFabulous traditionally made samurai blade from the Edo period, shinshinto era, showing a most beautiful vibrant undulating gunome hamon, set with good traditional shingunto officers mounts and thus used from the Edo period right through to the end of WW2 whereupon it was surrendered to a British officer in 1945. 25.25 inch blade from tsuba to tip. The midsection of one side shows a small patch of traces of old surface pitting [see photo]. Apart from that this is a jolly fine traditional antique ancestral bladed Japanese officers sword in super condition overall. This blade could also be remounted in bespoke antique fittings to return it to its original traditional Edo period samurai condition.
Code: 22696Price: 2350.00 GBP
Simply Stunning Ladies Personal Protection Flintlock 'Henry Nock' Pistol,This would make a simply ideal and unique Christmas gift, for either a lady or a gentleman, who admires finely made collectable antique pieces of both finest quality, and diminutive size. A tiny, almost miniature 18th century, finest quality, gem of a pistol, from one of the great British gunsmiths, and a mere 4 1/4 inches in length, with a barrel length of just over an inch. It is simply beautifully engraved with two panels of a stand of arms with a shield of the British union flag, one on either side of the lock. It has a sliding safety mechanism, an adjustable frizzen, micro chequered pistol grip, and a turn-off breech loading barrel. It also has a retracting concealed trigger, and a small silver escutcheon set in the grip for a monogram or noble crest to be engraved. Engraved at the breech obverse by H.Nock, and London on the reverse side. Excellent tight and crisp action. It may be impossible to find another pistol of this era with the same beauty, and engraving of finer quality. Any lady of refinement would easily conceal this fabulous personal protection pistol within her muff, garter or even within her travelling jewel case. This is a late 18th century version of the later 19th century so-called Derringer pistols, made famous in all the vintage films [movies] of the American Wild West, by such heroines portrayed by the great Marlene Dietrich or Mae West. Henry Nock (1741–1804) was a British inventor and engineer of the Napoleonic period, best known as a gunsmith. Nock produced many innovative weapons including the screw less lock and the seven-barrelled volley gun, although he did not invent the latter despite it commonly being known as the Nock gun. He was a major supplier to the military during the Napoleonic wars. His high quality duelling pistols and double-barrelled shotguns were much sought after and it is largely through Nock that the latter became the weapon of choice for hunters.
As well as supplying the military and civilian markets, Nock made expensive pieces for the aristocracy and royalty and was an appointed gun maker to the king. Nock's business eventually became Wilkinson Sword. Despite being a pistol of tiny proportions the bore is quite sizeable.
Code: 22695Price: 1195.00 GBP
A Remarkable 'Secret Box' Once Belonging To King Louis XVIth of FranceSOLD An incredible secret box hidden within a book of His Majesty King Louis XVIth of France, from his personal library. Louis XVIth was the most unfortunate King of France who was executed, along with his beloved wife, one of the most famous queens in history, Marie Antoinette, following the French revolution. The king's book is titled 'Epistre de St Paul', and bears the original personal royal crest of the Kings of France pre 1792. The French King's crest impressed on all of his books, was composed of a shield of three fleurs-de-lis-or, crowned, and surrounded by the chains of the Order of St. Michael and of the Order of St. Louis, and thus uniquely embellished for his ownership and use within the King's personal library. These most rare books, once belonging to the French king, and from the Tuileries Palace in Paris, only most rarely ever surface on the collector's market. They were likely looted from the Royal Palace in Paris, as it was stormed by the Paris mob, but, this is the only one we have ever seen, with its concealed secret compartment, that would have been used by the king or even Marie Antoinette, to secrete valuable items. This as an incredible and unique piece of history, and with its secret compartment created within his original 17th century leather bound volume of the Epistree of St Paul, makes it even more intriguing and a most rare historical artefact. It would have been designed to contain hidden valuable gems, gold Louis or even a flintlock pistol. It was acquired sometime in the 19th century by Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly, as a rare antique curiosity that once belonged to the last King of France, and it also bears their added gold company stamp of Fortnum and Mason It is one of the most famous stores in the world, and was founded in London W1 in the early part of the 18th century. In the early 1970's Mark Hawkins was informed about the ownership of this incredible piece by one of our collector's, and he thus further discussed it with another one our company's clients, Mr Garfield Weston [the Canadian owner of Fortnum and Mason] when he visited us in our shop in Brighton. Mr Weston often used to buy items from us for his Fortnum and Mason's antique department in Piccadilly. The collector [who owned this book box within his collection in the 1970's] promised us that he would one day sell it to us, which after 40 odd years, he has indeed now done so. He was originally told that it was taken from the king's baggage when he attempted to flee France on the 21st June 1791, but was captured at Varennes, and the king was thus returned to his Tuileries palace in Paris. One can imagine one of his captors may have discovered it amongst the kings luggage, possibly filled with gold Louis or fine gems, and duly hid it about his person in order to dispose of his booty , and retire to a life of luxury, some time later. Situated on the right bank of the River Seine, the Tuileries Palace played its most important role during the French Revolution. Louis XVI and his family were forced to live here after the revolt at Versailles in October of 1789. On August 10, 1792, Tuileries Palace saw its own revolt when French citizens stormed the palace. Louis XVI, 23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793, was born Louis-Auguste, and was the last king of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as citizen Louis Capet during the four months before he was guillotined. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis, son and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792. In a context of civil and international war, Louis XVI was suspended and arrested at the time of the Insurrection of 10 August 1792; one month later, the absolute monarchy was abolished; the First French Republic was proclaimed on 21 September 1792. He was tried by the National Convention (self-instituted as a tribunal for the occasion), found guilty of high treason, and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793, as a desacralized French citizen under the name of "Citizen Louis Capet," in reference to Hugh Capet, the founder of the Capetian dynasty – which the revolutionaries interpreted as Louis' surname. Louis XVI was the only King of France ever to be executed, and his death brought an end to more than a thousand years of continuous French monarchy. The condition overall is good for its age, with obvious areas of wear and slight separation at the bottom hinge, and old marble paper and leather support repair to interior inner hinge area. Other books belonging to the king from his library, with the crests of the kings of France in gold, on the front and back covers, are in the Royal Collection and in the National Library of Russia. 8 inches x 5.5 inches x 2 inches
Code: 22687Price: 3250.00 GBP
Superb Medieval 12th-13th Century Crusader Knights Iron Flanged Battle MaceA rare example of mace, and, apparently, not many surviving examples of this type of flanged mace are still in existence. An offensive battle mace that would be an amazingly effective piece against armour, helmet or shield. In almost spherical form with multi layered protruding flanges in hollow-cast iron that could be mounted on a haft, or with a chain and haft and used as a battle flail. They were also carried as a symbol of power and rank, as it is so now, for example such as the cosmetically huge parliamentary mace and the Queen's great mace of state being just two examples. In the Crusades era this was, on occasion, also an ecclesiastic weapon [used by Bishops Popes], for an ecclesiastical warrior was not allowed to draw blood in combat [a most novel distinction] but far more usually used by mounted knights in noble combat. a flail mace for extra reach on horseback. Unlike a sword or haft mounted mace, it doesn't transfer vibrations from the impact to the wielder. This is a great advantage to a horseman, who can use his horse's speed to add momentum to and underarmed swing of the ball, but runs less of a risk of being unbalanced from his saddle.
It is difficult to block with a shield or parry with a weapon because it can curve over and round impediments and still strike the target. It also provides defense whilst in motion. However the rigid haft does have the advantage as the flail needs space to swing and can easily endanger the wielder's comrades.
Controlling the flail is much more difficult than rigid weapons.On a Flail it had the name of a Scorpion in England or France, or sometimes a Battle-Whip. It was also wryly known as a 'Holy Water Sprinkler'. King John The Ist of Bohemia used exactly such a weapon, as he was blind, and the act of 'Flailing the Mace' meant lack of site was no huge disadvantage in close combat. Although blind he was a valiant and the bravest of the Warrior Kings, who perished at the Battle of Crecy against the English in 1346. On the day he was slain he instructed his Knights [both friends and companions] to lead him to the very centre of battle, so he may strike at least one blow against his enemies. His Knights tied their horses to his, so the King would not be separated from them in the press, and they rode together into the thick of battle, where King John managed to strike not one but at least four noble blows. The following day of the battle, the horses and the fallen knights were found all about the body of their most noble King, all still tied to his steed. During the Middle Ages metal armour such as mail protected against the blows of edged weapons. Solid metal maces and war hammers proved able to inflict damage on well armoured knights, as the force of a blow from a mace is great enough to cause damage without penetrating the armour. Though iron became increasingly common, copper and bronze were also used. Pictures in the gallery, some medieval, showing them used in combat. The mace head is approximately the size of a slightly flattened tennis ball.
Code: 22686Price: 1145.00 GBP
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