A Good Original WW2 Third Pattern FS Commando KnifeNear needle pointed stilletto'd blade. A standard issued knife and blade of WW2 but some combatants would re-shape the blade to be almost needle pointed to suit their particular style of combat. In November 1940 there was a meeting between W. E. Fairbairn, E. A. Sykes and Robert Wilkinson Latham at Wilkinson Sword Company.
Fairbairn and Sykes described the type of knife they envisioned and the purpose for which it was intended. As discussion continued, preliminary sketches were drawn up and modified time and time again. As Robert Wilkinson Latham tells it: 'In order to explain exactly their point, the two men rose to their feet and one, it was Fairbairn my grandfather mentioned, grabbed the wood ruler from his desk and the two men danced around the office in mock combat'. W. E. Fairbairn had also brought with him an example of a suitable fighting knife.
The system they devised utilised techniques drawn from Jiu Jitsu, Gatka, Kung Fu and 'Gutter Fighting'. It proved extremely effective. They were natural choices for the job. Both had served in the Shanghai Municipal Police Force, facing death daily in the dark, narrow streets and alleys of the city against armed thugs and organised gangs. In Shanghai they had made some fighting knives out of bayonets. The meeting resulted in the Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife, that was manufactured, firstly, into the 1st pattern FS Knife, it was to then evolve, briefly, into the 2nd pattern FS Knife [in August 1942] and eventually into the 3rd pattern, in around October 1943.
Code: 21332Price: 325.00 GBP
A Very Good Late Koto Katana, Full Suite of Higo MountsCirca 1590. All original Edo period koshirae and a leather bound tsuka over bird menuki on a giant rayskin covered hilt, ishime stone lacquer finish saya in bull's blood lacquer. Very fine Higo mounts including a sayagaki. A great sword in very nice condition
Code: 21331Price: 5450.00 GBP
DIE REICHSWEHR Original 1930s Vintage Third Reich Book/AlbumThis Cigarette Card Album was published in 1933 by Neuerburg House for the "Waldorf-Astoria" and "Eckstein-Halpaus" cigarette and tobacco manufacturing companies in Dresden, Germany. It paid homage to the "Reichswehr," the Imperial German military forces that predated the "Wehrmacht," the new military forces that resulted from its reorganization during Adolf Hitler's regime as the Leader of Germany, to whom all military personnel were required to swear their personal allegiance. This Album, which became an important popular reference, contains 280 captioned, gold-bordered colour cards depicting the sophistication of the Reichswehr, including Infantry, Mountain troops, Cavalry, Artillery, Engineers, Artillery, Tanks, Aircraft, Transportation, Ships, and Signal Branches. It also depicts training and barracks life in very colourful settings. Thirty-four colour cards deal with the German Navy (Reichsmarine). The album is also an interesting uniform and insignia reference source. Text is all in German. The volume is formatted 12"x 11-1/2". The silver coloured cover features, a gold Reichswehr eagle in the centre of a black shield. Condition of the album as VG.
Code: 21328Price: 150.00 GBP
A Beautiful Coastal Yemeni-Omani Janbiya Dagger with Amber and Ducat HiltCarved amber hilt decorated with early Florentine renaissance style Ducats in gold but likely traditional Arab facsimiles. Silver metal scabbard, decorated with tradition patterning and is dated with Islamic date 1380 AH, but this may be a later dated scabbard. Just returned from 10 hours conservation cleaning in our workshop. The khanjar or janbiya is curved and sharpened on both edges. It is carried in a sheath decorated in silver, on a belt similarly decorated in silver filigree. A khanjar appears on the flag of Oman, as part of the national emblem of Oman. The release of the Khanjar from its sheath before the 1970s was considered a social taboo and men would only do that if they sought revenge or assassination. 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 photo of T.E. Lawrence and Prince Faisal at the Versailles Conference after the end of WW1, with his silver Jambiya, most similar to this one. Like many edged weapons in other cultures, the jambiya has acquired a history of magical thinking. There are stories of jambiya’s used to treat snakebites, and others that are helpful in recovery from traffic accidents!
There is a long history of the janbiya. Evidence of the oldest janbiyas show they were worn in Sheban times, in the Himiarite kingdom; a statue of the Sheban king dating from 500 B.C. includes a janbiya. Today, the janbiya is the main customary accessory to the clothing worn by traditionally garbed Arab men. A man’s janbiya is carefully protected and worn for life; almost an indispensable part of their personalities. It is said that no man is complete without his janbiya.
The janbiya is worn around the waist, either vertically in front (as with the Yemeni 'aseeb janbiya) or angled (as with the Yemini tuza jambiya), or horizontally at the waist in front (e.g., the Saudi-Yemeni dharia). The name “janbiya” is from “jamb” which in Arabic means “side”. The man in this photo has his turned towards the front, typical of those who carry this type of jambiya, called a "Dharia".
He who abandons his janbiya, whatever the conditions, would be defamed by his peers and acquaintances. Furthermore, tradition says the janbiya should never come out of its sheath except in extreme cases … or when it is used in ceremony, for example, the khanjar in the famous Yemeni dance called “bara’a”.
Code: 21327Price: On Request
A Truly Ancient Samurai Tanto, Almost 800 Years oldIn original Edo period fine mounts [Edo 1603 to 1868]. The mounts are in iron and patinated copper decorated with dragon, a tiger and birds near sea nets. The lacquer on the saya is also decorated with a flight of geese over a jetty and small building. Likely used in the two great Mongol sea invasions of Japan that were defeated by the all powerful samurai. Made in the Kamakura period, in Japanese history, the period from 1192 to 1333, during which the basis of feudalism was firmly established. It was named for the city where Minamoto Yoritomo set up the headquarters of his military government, commonly known as the Kamakura shogunate. The samurai, members of a powerful military caste in feudal Japan, began as provincial warriors before rising to power in the 12th century with the beginning of the country’s first military dictatorship, known as the shogunate. As servants of the daimyos, or great lords, the samurai backed up the authority of the shogun and gave him power over the mikado (emperor). The samurai would dominate Japanese government and society until the Meiji Restoration of 1868 led to the abolition of the feudal system. The triumphant leader Minamoto Yoritomo–half-brother of Yoshitsune, whom he drove into exile–established the center of government at Kamakura. The establishment of the Kamakura Shogunate, a hereditary military dictatorship, shifted all real political power in Japan to the samurai. As Yoritomo’s authority depended on their strength, he went to great lengths to establish and define the samurai’s privileged status; no one could call himself a samurai without Yoritomo’s permission.
Zen Buddhism, introduced into Japan from China around this time, held a great appeal for many samurai. Its austere and simple rituals, as well as the belief that salvation would come from within, provided an ideal philosophical background for the samurai’s own code of behavior. Also during the Kamakura period, the sword came to have a great significance in samurai culture. A man’s honour was said to reside in his sword, and the craftsmanship of swords–including these most skillfully hammered blades, decorated with fittings of copper or iron, some decorated with gold and silver inlay and rayskin bound tsuke [hilts]–became an art in itself. The strain of defeating two Mongol invasions at the end of the 13th century weakened the Kamakura Shogunate, which fell to a rebellion led by Ashikaga Takauji. The Ashikaga Shogunate, centered in Kyoto, began around 1336. For the next two centuries, Japan was in a near-constant state of conflict between its feuding territorial clans. After the particularly divisive Onin War of 1467-77, the Ashikaga shoguns ceased to be effective, and feudal Japan lacked a strong central authority; local lords and their samurai stepped in to a greater extent to maintain law and order.
Despite the political unrest, this period–known as the Muromachi after the district of that name in Kyoto–saw considerable economic expansion in Japan. It was also a golden age for Japanese art, as the samurai culture came under the growing influence of Zen Buddhism. The tsuke binding silk [ito] appears very good but is in fact crumbling with age so we will be replacing it with original Japanese silk ito. Small picture in the gallery is The Mongol Invasion, tapestry by Kawasaki Jimbei II.
Code: 21326Price: 3995.00 GBP
Wonderful High Grade Samurai Koto Tanto By Kanesada Of Takeda Shingen ClanProbably for a high ranking retainer in service of the great samurai commander of legend Takeda Shingen. Armour piercing koto blade circa 1530, with superb original Edo period fittings 'koshirae] including silver copper alloy mounts and a gilt dragon saya ornament. Hammered gold over copper alloy oval tsuba, and silver clan mon menuki within the tsuka [hilt wrap] of the four interlocking diamonds of the Takeda clan. The saya is decorated in superb cinnabar lacquer, the favoured colour and symbol of Takeda Shingen [his armour was entirely based on this colour] and the tsuka wrapped in black silk over Takeda kamon on giant rayskin. In 1548, Shingen defeated Ogasawara Nagatoki in the Battle of Shiojiritoge and then took Fukashi in 1550.
After conquering Shinano, Shingen faced another rival, Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo. The feud between them became legendary, and they faced each other on the battlefield five times in the Battles of Kawanakajima. These battles were generally confined to controlled skirmishes, neither daimyo willing to devote himself entirely to a single all-out attempt. The conflict between the two that had the fiercest fighting, and might have decided victory or defeat for one side or the other, was the fourth battle, during which the famous tale arose of Uesugi Kenshin's forces clearing a path through the Takeda troops and Kenshin engaging Shingen in single combat. The tale has Kenshin attacking Shingen with his sword while Shingen defends with his iron war fan or tessen. Both lords lost many men in this fight, and Shingen in particular lost two of his main generals, Yamamoto Kansuke and his younger brother Takeda Nobushige. In 1563, allied with Hojo Ujiyasu, he captured Matsuyama Castle in Musashi Province. Takeda Shingen then took Kuragano in 1565 and Minowa Castle. He then moved against the Hojo by attacking Hachigata Castle then engaged in the Siege of Odawara (1569). He successfully withdrew after Hojo Ujiteru and Hojo Ujikuni failed to stop him in the Battle of Mimasetoge.Shingen and Tokugawa Ieyasu "came to terms" and occupied the "former Imagawa territory." They both fought against Yoshimoto's heir, Imagawa Ujizane. After defeating the intervention forces commanded by Hojo Ujimass of Sagami, Shingen finally secured the Suruga, formerly base of the prestigious Imagawa clan, as a Takeda asset in 1569.
Upon securing Takeda control over Suruga, northern Shinano, and western Kozuke, Shingen moved to challenge the Oda-Tokugawa alliance, leading a formidable force of over 30,000 into the latter's territories in Totomi, Mikawa, and Mino in 1572.
Code: 21324Price: 6995.00 GBP
A Good WW2 RAF Royal Air Force Cap BadgeFor ranks below Warrant Officer. In brass with twin retaining loops. King's crown over RAF within a laural wreath. “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” said Prime Minister Winston Churchill in a speech to Parliament on 20th August 1940 as the Battle of Britain raged overhead.
It was not long before the press and radio of the day seized on the epithet as the collective noun for the RAF’s Fighter Command pilots and others who were struggling against almost insurmountable odds to claim victory over Germany’s Luftwaffe.
In order to launch Operation “Sealion”, Hitler’s planned invasion of Britain across the English Channel that would remove the last democratic obstacle to his domination of Europe, he had to destroy the RAF’s ability to attack his forces. Conquering or subduing Britain would also prevent the re-supply of Russia, his next intended target.
The average member of the British public in the Spring of 1940 probably thought of the typical RAF pilot as carefree, out for a good time, doing a bit of flying within a club setting and able to impress the ladies on a Saturday night with the lads.
In reality nothing was further from the truth, but as the Fleet Street adage goes: “never let the facts get in the way of a good story”. Wartime flying, piloting a 350 mph fighter daily to within an inch of your life, was in fact a deadly serious business requiring a cool head and a steady, calculating nerve. Only a fool would treat it casually as, if he did, he would soon be bounced by an Me 109 and become another name on a war memorial.
The average age of an RAF pilot in 1940 was about 20 years. Some were as young as 18 and there were others over 30. In those days, with the age of majority set at 21, many of the RAF’s Battle of Britain pilots were not old enough to vote but not too young to lay down their lives in the face of a life and death struggle to save Britain from coming under the tyranny of the Nazis.
Not all were British – in fact Fighter Command was a cosmopolitan mix. There were Poles (141), Czechs (87), Belgians (24) and Free French (13) who swelled the ranks along with those from the British Commonwealth and other nations who answered the call for pilots wanting to defend freedom.
Roughly two-thirds of the 3,000 or so RAF pilots who flew in the Battle of Britain were officers, the other third being sergeant and flight sergeant pilots.
Code: 21323Price: 25.00 GBP
A Good 1941/2 German Russian Front Winter War Medal and Original PacketIn very good condition and unworn so likely issued to a KIA combatant. Original packet torn but complete. Awarded for service during 15 November 1941 to 15th April 1942, for being wounded in action, killed in action or for 14 to 60 days served in active combat between the dates Nov 1941 to April 1942 on the Eastern Front. Designed by a serving SS Soldier SS Uuntersharfuhrer E. Kraus it was held in high regard by serving soldiers. It's issue was officially decommissioned by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht on the 4th of September 1944, as the loss of the Eastern Campaign was an embarassment to the Fuhrer. The ribbon was red, white and black [symbolic of blood, snow and death].
Code: 21322Price: 110.00 GBP
A Most Unusual Edo Period Samurai Fire-Hook TobikuchiHaft decorated with fine quality abilone and lacquer with copper bands and traditional knotted string bound base to the abilone inlay. With its original black wrist cord [see last photo] A single hand held piece that appears to be of such a size as to suggest it is for ceremonial dress, such as symbolic of a leader of a samurai fire detachment. Samurai wore fire costume, Kaji shozoku when their domains or castle were ablaze. The firehook or tobikuchi was designed to pull down burning materials on buildings. Fires in Edo, the former name of Tokyo, during the Edo period (1600 - 1868) of Japan were so frequent that the city of Edo was characterized as the saying "Fires and quarrels are the flowers of Edo" goes. Even in the modern days, the old Edo was still remembered as the "City of Fires". Edo was something of a rarity in the world, as vast urban areas of the city were repeatedly leveled by fire. The great fires of Edo were compared to the Chinese gods of fire Shukuyu and Kairoku, and also humorously described as "autumn leaves". During the 267 years between 1601, the year after the Battle of Sekigahara and 1867, the year of Taisei Hokan ( "return of sovereignty"), Edo was struck by 49 great fires. In comparison, during the same period, great fires in Kyoto, Osaka and Kanazawa totaled only nine, six, and three, respectively, which made Edo's figure stand out from the other metropolises in Japan.According to other accounts, there were more than 85 major fires during the history of Edo. Between 1600 and 1945, Edo/Tokyo was leveled every 25–50 years or so by fire, earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, and war. During March 2–3, 1657 in the Great Fire of Meireki Up to 107,000 people died, compare that to the Great Fire of London in 1666, where 70,000 homes were destroyed, yet only 6 people were confirmed to have perished.
Code: 21321Price: 575.00 GBP
Edo Period Tsuba Samurai Combat, Go Shu Hikone Ju Soheishi Nyudo Soten SeiRound shape iron tsuba with boshi design engraved and inlaid with gold. Very nice clarity and definition. Iron plate. Depicting Japanese warriors in combat, an attack in elaborate hikone-bori, the faces in soft-metal and the detail in gold nunome zogan. “Nuno” means fabric pattern, “Me” means texture, finished surface looks just like a criss-crossed fabric texture. “Zogan” means an inlay technique. 68mm across
Code: 21320Price: 1195.00 GBP
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