An Original, Victorian Tower of London Brunswick Rifle Sikh Regt. ContractAn absolute beauty. Superb walnut stock with rich red patina, Tower [of London] made and Tower marked lock, with Imperial Victorian crown V.R and dated 1864, and with Board of Ordnance inspector stamp, and mounted with original safety system of a nipple cap cover and chain [that rarely survives intact]. The barrel has third pattern barrel proofs, Crown TP V. The successor and near pair in look to it's predecessor the British Tower Baker Rifle. Designed and used by the Rifle Brigades to replaced the outdated flintlock Baker, and in this case, most interestingly, for the British-Sikh contract of 1864 for British Tower Brunswick Rifles for the British East India Government, as the loyal Sikhs were the only British Indian regiments that were trusted after the 1857 rebellion to be issued with rifles instead of muskets, and these versions are now very collectable indeed, especially with the burgeoning historical Sikh collectors market. This Sikh contract gun appears with details and photographed in Howard Blackmore's [the late and former assistant keeper at the Tower of London] book, British Military Firearms, on pages 198 and 204. With the passing of the East India Company’s armies to the British Crown, the senior Sikh Regiments became the 14th (King George’s Own Ferozepore Sikhs), the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs and the 45th of the Bengal Foot, later Indian Infantry, but still popularly known as “Rattray’s Sikhs”.
The 15th Sikhs saw service in Shanghai during the second Chinese War in 1860-61 defending that city against the Taiping rebels while all three senior Battalions served in the Second Afghan War, 1878-80. The 14th Sikhs fought in the baffle for Au Masjid, suffering the bulk of the casualties. The 15th formed part of the South Afghanistan Field Force which occupied Kandahar for many months while the 45th also fought at Ali Masjid and afterwards in the Bazaar Valley. The 45th joined the march by Bobs Bahadur to Kabul, fighting in the disputory struggle at Charasiah and, together with the 15th Sikhs, were part of the forces which occupied Kabul. Bobs Bahadur took the 15th Regiment for the relief of Kandahar and the finale of the Afghan operations.
The 15th Sikhs joined the Suakin Expedition in 1885, sailing for the Sudan and fighting the Dervishes at Totrek where defensive stockades were built. Their gallantry and discipline saved the column from complete destruction.
In 1887 there was a Russian threat to Afghanistan and the Indian Army was expanded, the 35th and 36th Sikh Regiments being raised, formerly the numbers of two old Bengal units which were disbanded a few years eartier, and resurrected now as Sikhs Units. In December 1836, trials were conducted to compare the Brunswick rifle against the Baker rifle. The Brunswick rifle proved to be equally as accurate at shorter ranges, and more accurate at longer ranges. The Brunswick rifle also proved to require less cleaning than the Baker rifle. Evaluators also noted that the simplified two groove design of the Brunswick was likely to have a longer service life than the barrel of the Baker, and the Brunswick rifle was noted as being very rugged overall. In January 1837, the rifle was approved for production. Production ceased in 1885. It was used to successful effect in the British Empire colonial conflicts, the Crimean War and in the American Civil War. Numbers of Brunswick rifles were imported to the United States during the Civil War. Some of those ended up in the hands of units like the 26th Louisiana Infantry, which was partly equipped with Brunswicks during the Siege of Vicksburg. It is a near copy by design of the Bakers pattern and profile but with a twin grooved rifled barrel. The Brunswick has a two groove barrel designed to accept a "belted" round ball. Like all rifles of the period, the Brunswick rifle suffered from the problem of being difficult to load. Rounds for rifles were required to fit tightly into the barrel so that the round would grip the rifling as it travelled down the barrel, imparting a spin to the round and improving its stability. Even though the rib and groove design of the Brunswick allowed it to use rounds that did not fit quite as tightly, the black powder used during this period would quickly foul the barrel, making even the Brunswick's design more and more difficult to load as the rifle was used.
Since the Brunswick used a round that was specifically designed to be mated with the grooves in the rifle, it had to be oriented properly in order to be loaded. This made the rifle difficult to load at night, when the grooves could not be seen.
The lock was originally a back action design, with the mainspring located behind the hammer. This design proved to be unpopular, as it weakened the wrist of the stock. Later Brunswick rifles featured a more conventional side action lock.
The stock is made of walnut, and features a straight wrist and a low comb butt. A patch box is a hinged brass lid was located on the right side of the butt. The brass lid covers a patch box with two compartments.
The ramrod pipes, trigger guard, and butt plate are all made of polished brass.
The rifle was designed to accept a sword type bayonet which mounted by use of a bayonet bar, similar to the design of that used on the Baker rifle. The bayonet bar was relocated further back due to problems that had been experienced with the Baker rifle.
The Brunswick rifle used a block front sight and a two position folding leaf rear sight which could be set for either 200 or 300 yards.
The rifle weighed approximately 9 to 10 lbs (depending on the pattern) without the bayonet attached. Good old field service repair to patch box lid. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables
Code: 20753Price: 2895.00 GBP
A Most Rare, Original, Spanish 1752-7 Infantry Flintlock MusketUsed from the Indian French War, the American Revolution and also the Peninsular Campaign in the war for and against Napoleon Bonaparte. In stunning condition for age, made around 1755, with a superb patina and fully functioning tight action. The last time we were offered an original example of this musket, in this condition was over 25 years ago. Almost the only way to see such a musket today is in the Royal Armoury Museum in Spain, Les Invalids Museum in Paris, The Tower Collection, or, the plentiful reproductions made for the re-enacting market. The first standardized long gun of the Spanish Army, the Model 1752, a musket proving typically conventional for the period. This musket maintained a long service life under the Spanish crown and was deployed to its various frontline forces across the various Spanish holdings.
The pattern of 1752 was the original Spanish Army musket and this was then followed by the adapted patterns of 1755 ad 1757. At least 10,000 of these guns were sold to the Americans during the American Revolution (1775-1783), its independence war against the British Crown.
The Spanish more or less copied the French muskets of the era since they were both Catholic countries and generally on the same side against the Protestant English and Germans.
This is a great musket of the French & Indian and American Revolutionary War. Many of these that were captured in the Caribbean ended up in New England, but few survived. They were used extensively by the Spanish army in the Napoleonic wars, at first on the side of Napoleon, then against Napoleon, as our ally in the Peninsular campaign. And in the Invasion of Cuba. This musket is lacking one central brass barrel band and the sling swivel. The Spanish Division of the North sent to fight the British in Denmark pledging to turn against France and side with the British The Spanish Army's triumph at Bailén was the French Empire's first defeat. Painting by José Casado del Alisal Second of May 1808: the defenders of Monteleón make their last stand. This is the remarkable list of historical wars and battles that this model of Spanish musket was used in, and many of which it may well have taken part in ; The, Indian Wars in America, Maroon Wars, Anglo-Spanish War (Seven Years' War), Spanish-Portuguese War, American Revolutionary war, Haitian Revolution, French Revolutionary Wars, War of the Pyrenees, Anglo-Spanish War, Napoleonic Wars, War of the Oranges, Saint-Domingue expedition, War of the Third Coalition, British invasions of the River Plate, Invasion of Portugal, Peninsular War, Bolivian War of Independence, Mexican War of Independence, Argentine War of Independence, Chilean War of Independence, Venezuelan War of Independence, War of the Sixth Coalition, War of the Seventh Coalition, Spanish reconquest of New Granada, Ecuadorian War of Independence, Spanish reconquest attempts in Mexico, French invasion of Spain, Portuguese Civil War, First Carlist War, Mexican-American War, Second Carlist War, Cochinchina Campaign, Hispano-Moroccan War, Dominican Restoration War, Chincha Islands War, Ten Years' War
Code: 20752Price: 4650.00 GBP
A Small Stag Hilt Flamboyant Bladed Stiletto Knife, Maker Marked InoxProbably a Solingen knife, circa 1930's, used as a boot knife, somewhat similar to the later British WW2 FS knife. Leather boot scabbard, aluminium alloy crossgaurd and pommel, plated steel blade, staghorn grip with four hand carved cuts therein.
Code: 20751Price: 275.00 GBP
A Meiji 1900's Japanese Cigarette Case With a Scene of Mount FujiEtched brass decoration with a black lacquer background to highlight the pattern. Small signature kanji on the reverse. The Meiji period, also known as the Meiji era, is a Japanese era which extended from October 23, 1868 through July 30, 1912. This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan during which Japanese society moved from being an isolated feudal society to its modern form. Fundamental changes affected its social structure, internal politics, economy, military, and foreign relations. The period corresponded with the reign of Emperor Meiji after 1868, and lasted until his death in 1912. It was succeeded by the Taisho period upon the accession of Emperor Taisho to the throne
Code: 20750Price: 65.00 GBP
A Magnificent All Silver Mounted Ancient 500 Year Old Katana By MoriyoshiA wonderful sword as one might expect to see in a Japanese historical art exhibition, a national museum, a royal collection, or an oligarchs London mansion surrounded by Picassos or Rembrandts. The beauty about the finest Japanese 'art swords' is that their sophistication, quality and beauty is as much at home with medieval, renaissance, impressionist or even the most modern contemporary art and furnishings. All styles are superbly complimented by the great beauty of samurai swords. Another unique consideration, and this is likely only true of fine Japanese swords, is that a sword costing under 10,000 pounds may be displayed alongside paintings worth hundreds of millions of pounds and neither will look remotely out of place against each other. This superb sword is fitted with a full suite of original, Edo period, carved deep relief takebori mounts in solid silver depicting crashing waves, and complimented with a beautifully polished blade. The tsuba is silvered copper alloy to maintain the combat strength as pure silver would be too soft to engage in tsubazeriai. In a sword combat duel, the two participants may lock their katana together at the point of the tsuba and push, trying to gain a better position from which to strike the other down. This is known as tsubazeriai, the combat act of pushing the two samurai's tsuba against each other. The seigaiha or wave is a pattern of layered concentric circles creating arches, symbolic of waves or water and representing surges of good luck. It can also signify power and resilience. Blade signed Moriyoshi, circa 1500. The tsuba is silver coated copper. A strong and powerful katana with a stunning blade bearing a fine gunome hamon. Of all the weapons that man has developed since our earliest days, few evoke such fascination as the samurai sword of Japan. To many of us the samurai is based on the countless film images of the samurai in his fantastic armour, galloping into battle on his horse, his colourful personal flag [sashimono] whipping in the wind on his back, and it has become the very symbol of ancient 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.
Indeed, the sword was considered such a crucial part of a samurai’s life that when a young samurai was about to be born, a sword was brought into the bedchamber during the delivery. When the time came for an old samurai to die — and cross over into the ‘White Jade Pavilion of the Afterlife’ — his honoured sword was placed by his side. Even after death, a daimyo, or nobleman, believed he could count on his samurai who had followed him into the next world to use their keen blades to guard him against any demons, just as they had wielded their trusty weapons to defend him against flesh-and-blood enemies in this life. In a samurai family the swords were so revered that they were passed down from generation to generation, from father to son. If the hilt or scabbard wore out or broke, new ones would be fashioned for the all-important blade. The hilt, the tsuba (hand guard), and the scabbard themselves were often great art objects, with fittings sometimes inlaid or decorated with gold or silver such as this fine sword has. The hilt and scabbard were created from the finest hand crafted materials by the greatest artisans that have ever lived. Often, too, they ‘told’ a story from Japanese myths, decorated with tales of folklore within the design of the swords fittings [koshirae] Some magnificent specimens of Japanese swords, that still remain in Japan, can be seen today in the Tokugawa Art Museum’s collection in Nagoya, Japan. Overall in saya 40 inches long, blade 27 inches long
Code: 20749Price: 7950.00 GBP
A Fine Victorian Gilt Small Sword for Royal Court or Lord LieutenantsHigh quality gilt hilt with engraving and bead edging, an Adam pommel and shell guard. Etched blade with VR cypher, crown and stands of arms, with much mirror bright polish remaining. Made by Bernau of Conduit St. London. In England and Wales and in Ireland, the lord lieutenant was the principal officer of his county. The office's creation dates from the Tudors.
Lieutenants were first appointed to a number of English historic counties by Henry VIII in the 1540s, when the military functions of the sheriff were handed over to him. He raised and was responsible for the efficiency of the local militia units of the county, and afterwards of the yeomanry, and volunteers. He was commander of these forces, whose officers he appointed. These commissions were originally of temporary duration, and only when the situation required the local militia to be specially supervised and well prepared — often where invasion by Scotland or France might be expected. No scabbard
Code: 20747Price: 345.00 GBP
WW1 Bavarian Combat Veteran's Silver BadgeA WWI Bavarian veteran’s badge that is in near perfect condition and is complete with metal tabbed ribbons. The badge has a powerful Lion gripping a Bavarian shield and “Bayer Kriegerbund 1874” on the obverse. The reverse is complete with functioning pin and is nicely maker marked for Deschler & Sohn.
Code: 20746Price: 45.00 GBP
A Most Scarce, Edwardian, Royal Engineers Long Lee Enfield 1903 BayonetEdwardian period, maker marked by Sanderson. Regimentally stamped dated 1903 and maker marked. Supeb bright blade and russetted surface steel mounts, with steel mounted leather scabbard. The earliest WW1 Enfield Rifle Bayonet, made from the earlier 1888 bayonet pattern blade, and designed for the early Long Lee in 1903, yet also fitting it's pre war replacement the Short Magazine Lee Enfield. This pattern of rare bayonet was only made for four peacetime years from 1903 until 1907 when it was changed for the long blade 1907 SMLE pattern. Made in relatively small numbers hence its rarity to survive today. This was the pattern of bayonet used in the 'Younghusband Expedition' Tibet campaign in 1903/4 by the Royal Engineers. The British expedition to Tibet during 1903 and 1904 was an invasion of Tibet by British Indian forces, seeking to prevent the Russian Empire from interfering in Tibetan affairs and thus gaining a base in one of the buffer states surrounding British India, by reasoning similar to that which had led British forces into Afghanistan twenty years before. Whilst British forces were remarkably successful with achieving their aims militarily, politically the invasion was unpopular in Britain, where it was virtually disowned post-war. The RE's has been involved in every major conflict the British Army has fought and has ever since lived up to its Motto "Ubique" ("Everywhere").
The Corps of Royal Engineers has a long heritage that not many corps can rival. They were the direct descent from William the Conqueror's Military Engineers who were directed in 1066 by Humphrey de Tilleaul.
By the end of the Peninsular War in 1814 there were five companies serving with Wellington's Army.
In 1856, the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners were amalgamated with the Corps of Royal Engineers. The rank of 'Private' in the newly formed Corps of Royal Engineers was changed to 'Sapper' and still exists today.
The Royal Engineers' interest in aeronautics began in the 1860's when they explored the possibilities of using air balloons for aerial observation purposes. This interest developed into an interest in fixed winged aircraft. In 1911 the Corps formed its Air Battalion, the first flying unit of the British Armed Forces. The Air Battalion was the forerunner of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force.
From October 1916 the Royal Engineers had been working underground, constructing tunnels for the troops in preparation for the Battle of Arras in 1917. Beneath Arras itself there is a vast network of caverns called the boves, consisting of underground quarries and sewage tunnels. The engineers came up with a plan to add new tunnels to this network so that troops could arrive at the battlefield in secrecy and in safety. The size of the excavation was immense. In one sector alone four Tunnel Companies of 500 men each worked around the clock in 18-hour shifts for two months.
Code: 20745Price: 325.00 GBP
A Delightful Japanese Samurai Late Koto Era Aikuchi TantoWith engraved shinchu [Japanese alloy] kashira, sayajiri [scabbard bottom mount] and kogai, carved buffalo horn mounts throughout including kurigata. Rich dark red lacquer saya and botanical menuki. The tanto was invented partway through the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon. With the beginning of the Kamakura period, tanto were forged to be more aesthetically pleasing, and hira and uchi-sori tanto were the most popular styles for wars in the kamakura period. Near the middle of the Kamakura period, more tanto artisans were seen, increasing the abundance of the weapon, and the kanmuri-otoshi style became prevalent in the cities of Kyoto and Yamato. Because of the style introduced by the tachi in the late Kamakura period, tanto began to be forged longer and wider. The introduction of the Hachiman faith became visible in the carvings in the tanto hilts around this time. The hamon (line of temper) is similar to that of the tachi, except for the absence of choji-midare, which is nioi and utsuri. Gunomi-midare and suguha are found to have taken its place. In Nambokucho, the tanto were forged to be up to forty centimetres as opposed to the normal one shaku (about thirty centimetres) length. The tanto blades became thinner between the uri and the omote, and wider between the ha and mune. At this point in time, two styles of hamon were prevalent: the older style, which was subtle and artistic, and the newer, more popular style. Blades could be of exceptional quality. As the end of the period neared, the average blade narrowed and the sori became shallow. The aikuchi is a tanto koshirae where the fushi is flush with the mouth of the saya. There is no tsuba on this form of tanto. Aikuchi normally have plain wood tsuka, the better types covered in same [rayskin], and many forms of aikuchi have kashira that are made from animal horns, iron or copper. Tanto were sometimes worn as the shoto in place of a wakizashi in a daisho, especially on the battlefield. Before the advent of the wakizashi/tanto combination, it was common for a samurai to carry a tachi and a tanto as opposed to a katana and a wakizashi.
Code: 20744Price: 1850.00 GBP
An Edo Period Armourers Hot Stamp Chrysanthemum Katana TsubaIron plate tsuba in circular shape with omote and ura surfaces showing multiple kiku stamp designs.Tsuba were made by whole dynasties of craftsmen whose only craft was making tsuba. They were usually lavishly decorated. In addition to being collectors items, they were often used as heirlooms, passed from one generation to the next. Japanese families with samurai roots sometimes have their family crest (mon) crafted onto a tsuba. Tsuba can be found in a variety of metals and alloys, including iron, steel, brass, copper and shakudo. In a duel, two participants may lock their katana together at the point of the tsuba and push, trying to gain a better position from which to strike the other down. This is known as tsubazeriai pushing tsuba against each other.
Code: 20740Price: 295.00 GBP
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