A Shillelagh Walking Club Made by the Curator of the Royal Armouriesat the Tower of London, Viscount Dillon, in 1916, for the benefit of wounded soldiers of WW1. A stunning large Shillelagh walking club probably of Irish Blackthorn. The walking stick is incredibly substantial in size, a mighty stick one should say, and the shaft has an incredible amount of polished thorn heads, thus if it is indeed blackthorn, it must have been from a very old and complex growth, possibly pollarded. The handle is made from a stout, huge, and robust carved stag's antler. Made by Viscount Dillon [from the Peerage of Ireland] for wounded soldiers in 1916. One of a pair we were delighted to acquire, both made for the wounded soldiers. The finely embossed silver ferrule bears the initials of L.G.Dillon, Seaham. Viscount Dillon was a veteran army officer, the Curator of the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London [succeeded by the famous Charles ffoulkes], and a fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Academy, and President of the Royal Archealogical Institute. One can simply say he was one of the most significant men in his day within the world of ancient and historical military arms and armour. He was
the 17th Viscount Dillon, Harold Arthur Lee-Dillon, CH FBA (24 January 1844–18 December 1932). He was an famous English antiquary and a leading authority on the history of arms and armour and medieval costume. The eldest son of the Arthur Dillon, 16th Viscount Dillon, he was born in Victoria Square, Westminster, and educated at private school and at the University of Bonn, Germany. He purchased an Ensigncy in the Rifle Brigade in 1862 and a Lieutenancy in 1866. He served in India and Canada, but resigned his commission in 1874. He then joined the Oxfordshire Militia (later the 4th (Militia) Battalion, Oxfordshire Light Infantry) as a Captain. He was promoted Major in 1885 and retired in 1891. He succeeded his father as 17th Viscount Dillon in 1892.
After leaving the regular army he devoted himself to antiquarian study, writing over fifty books and articles. He was chairman of the trustees of the National Portrait Gallery from 1894 to 1928. In the first year his portrait was painted by Georgina Brackenbury. He bequeathed to the trustees various portraits from Ditchley Park, Charlbury including the portrait of his ancestor Sir Henry Lee by Antonio Moro. He served as Curator of the Royal Armouries from 1892 to 1913.
He was President of the Royal Archaeological Institute from 1892 to 1898 and President of the Society of Antiquaries of London from 1897 to 1904. He was the founding president of the Society for Army Historical Research holding the position until his death. He was elected a founding Fellow of the British Academy in 1902. He was also appointed antiquary to the Royal Academy.
He was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in the 1921 Birthday Honours for his work with the National Portrait Galle. L.G.Dillon was likely a relative and beneficiary of these two delightful canes, sold seperately. On the Monday 10th April 1916 the entire White tower housing new displays of the Tower Armouries' Collection on all floors was opened to the public. For the curator Charles ffoulkes it was literally a red-letter day as he recorded details of it in the Tower Minute book in red ink. It marked the completion of work started over twenty-one years earlier under his predecessor Harold Dillon, 17th Viscount Dillon, as noted in the dedication
To my dear friend + master
built upon his foundations.
12 July 1917. Walking stick length 36 inches, handle 6.5 inches, diameter at the corner 2.75 inches across
Code: 21958Price: 875.00 GBP
Fine Quality Original Portrait Bust of Adolf Hitler in Lacquered AluminiumIn very good condition for age. Very crisp detailing and mounted on its fully original black lacquered wooden frame with correct and original 1930's German hanging triangle mount.
Code: 21957Price: On Request
A Good 60 Million Year Old Shark's Tooth Fossil in Matrix with Large CuspsA stunning large shark's tooth fossil in super condition. It would make a stunning desk ornament, as an impressive collector's item and conversation piece. Otodus is an extinct genus of mackerel shark which lived from the Paleocene to the Miocene epoch. Otodus likely preyed upon large bony fish, other sharks, and from the Eocene until the genus' extinct during the Miocene, marine mammals. It was among the top predators of its time.The fossils of Otodus indicate that it was a very large macro-predatory shark. The largest known teeth measure about 104 millimetres (4.1 in) in height. The vertebral centrum of this shark are over 12.7 cm (5 inch) wide. Scientists suggest that this shark at least reached 9.1 metres (30 ft) in total length , with a maximum length of 12.2 metres (40 ft) The Paleocene Epoch is bracketed by two major events in Earth's history. It started with the mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous, known as the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) boundary. This was a time marked by the demise of non-avian dinosaurs, giant marine reptiles and much other fauna and flora. The die-off of the dinosaurs left unfilled ecological niches worldwide. The Paleocene ended with the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, a geologically brief (~0.2 million year) interval characterized by extreme changes in climate and carbon cycling. The otodus was likely the ancestor of the [Giant White] Meglodon shark of 40 million years later. As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity.
Code: 21956Price: 75.00 GBP
Superb Jurassic Period Plesiosaurus Predator's Tooth 100 Million Years OldAn extinct carniverous aquatic reptile. The first complete skeleton of Plesiosaurus was discovered by early paleontologist and fossil hunter Mary Anning in Sinemurian (Early Jurassic)-age rocks of the lower Lias Group in December 1823. Additional fossils of Plesiosaurus were found in rocks of the Lias Group of Dorset for many years, "until the cessation of quarrying activities in the Lias Group, early in this [20th] century."
Plesiosaurus was one of the first of the "antediluvian reptiles" to be discovered and excited great interest in Victorian England. It was so-named ("near lizard") by William Conybeare and Henry De la Beche, to indicate that it was more like a normal reptile than Ichthyosaurus, which had been found in the same rock strata just a few years earlier. Plesiosaurus is the archetypical genus of Plesiosauria and the first to be described, hence lending its name to the order. Conybeare and De la Beche coined the name for scattered finds from the Bristol region, Dorset, and Lyme Regis in 1821. The type species of Plesiosaurus, P. dolichodeirus, was named and described by Conybeare in 1824 on the basis of Anning's original finds. Plesiosaurus fed on belemnites, fish and other prey. Its U-shaped jaw and sharp teeth would have been like a fish trap. It propelled itself by the paddles, the tail being too short to be of much use. Its neck could have been used as a rudder when navigating during a chase. Plesiosaurus gave live birth to live young in the water like sea snakes. The young might have lived in estuaries before moving out into the open ocean. Tooth length 2.23 inches long, in matrix 3 x 3 inches. As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity.
Code: 21955Price: 25.00 GBP
Museum Grade Rare 1743 British Dragoon Pistol Used at Culloden,1st DragoonsProbably the most desireable and sort after pattern of British pistol ever made, and this is a simply stunning example worthy of the Royal Collection, as it is also regimentally marked for one of the great British regiments that fought at the Battle of Culloden . This fabulous pistol is regimentally marked for the 1st and numbered 37. A fine historical pistol made by Vaughn for the regiment in 1743. It has it's original Crown GR Lock, with ordnance broad arrow mark . Excellent furniture and very fine crisp action, iron flared rammer. The early long dragoon pistol used by all the great and historical Dragoon regiments, and the heavy dragoons alone after 1756. The 1st or Royals are now part of the Blues And Royals, that survive today, of Her Majesty's personal mounted guard of the Household Cavalry. Used by the oldest cavalry regiment of the line, and part of the cavalry used at the Battle of Culloden. The cavalry commanded in the Jacobite rebellion by Hawley. Becoming lieutenant-general, he was second-in-command of the cavalry at Fontenoy, and on 20 December 1745 became commander-in-chief in Scotland. Less than a month later Hawley suffered a severe defeat at Falkirk at the hands of the Jacobite insurgents. This, however, did not cost him his command, for the Duke of Cumberland, who was soon afterwards sent north, was captain-general. Under Cumberland's orders Hawley led the cavalry in the campaign of Culloden, and at that battle his dragoons became infamous for their brutality to fugitive rebels, while he gained the nickname of Hangman Hawley.
After the end of the "Forty-Five" he accompanied Cumberland to the Low Countries and led the allied cavalry at Lauffeld (Val).
James Wolfe, his brigade-major, wrote of General Hawley in no flattering terms. "The troops dread his severity, hate the man and hold his military knowledge in contempt," he wrote. But, whether it be true or false that he was the natural son of George II, Hawley was always treated with the greatest favour by that king and by his son the Duke of Cumberland. It is more than likely his cavalry were the most effective in the army despite Hawley's command and likely learnt their great tenacity and skills under previous commanders such as Churchill. The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart fought loyalist troops commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. The Hanoverian victory at Culloden decisively halted the Jacobite intent to overthrow the House of Hanover and restore the House of Stuart to the British throne; Charles Stuart never mounted any further attempts to challenge Hanoverian power in Great Britain. The conflict was the last pitched battle fought on British soil.
Charles Stuart's Jacobite army consisted largely of Scottish Highlanders, as well as a number of Lowland Scots and a small detachment of Englishmen from the Manchester Regiment. The Jacobites were supported and supplied by the Kingdom of France from Irish and Scots units in the French service. A composite battalion of infantry ("Irish Picquets") comprising detachments from each of the regiments of the Irish Brigade plus one squadron of Irish cavalry in the French army served at the battle alongside the regiment of Royal Scots raised the previous year to support the Stuart claim. The British Government (Hanoverian loyalist) forces were English, along with a significant number of Scottish Lowlanders and Highlanders, a battalion of Ulstermen and some Hessians from Germany and Austrians. The battle on Culloden Moor was both quick and bloody, taking place within an hour. Following an unsuccessful Highland charge against the government lines, the Jacobites were routed and driven from the field.
Between 1,500 and 2,000 Jacobites were killed or wounded in the brief battle, while government losses were lighter with 50 dead and 259 wounded, although recent geophysical studies on the government burial pit suggest the figure to be nearer 300. The battle and its aftermath continue to arouse strong feelings: the University of Glasgow awarded Cumberland an honorary doctorate, but many modern commentators allege that the aftermath of the battle and subsequent crackdown on Jacobitism were brutal, and earned Cumberland the sobriquet "Butcher". Efforts were subsequently taken to further integrate the comparatively wild Highlands into the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Code: 21953Price: 5950.00 GBP
A Fine 19th Century Victorian Blue and Gilt Blade Sword StickA very good English sword stick with a fine blue and gilt decorated Toledo blade. The swordstick was a popular fashion accessory for the wealthy during the 18th and 19th centuries. While the weapon's generic origins are unknown, it is apparent that the cane-sword's popularity peaked when decorative swords were steadily being replaced by canes as a result of the rising popularity of firearms, and the lessening influence of swords and other small arms.
The first sword canes were made for nobility by leading sword cutlers. Sixteenth century sword canes were often bequeathed in wills. Sword canes became more popular as the streets became less safe. Society dictated it mandatory that gentlemen of the 18th and especially 19th centuries would wear a cane when out and about, and it was common for the well-dressed gentleman to own and sport canes in a variety of styles, including a good and sound sword cane. The blade is 27 inches long, overall cane length 34.5 inches long
Code: 21952Price: 875.00 GBP
Very Fine 18th Cent. Napoleonic Wars Honourable Artillery Co. Brown BessA stunning condition 'Brown Bess' musket with finest walnut stock, all brass furniture and Tower proved 42 inch barrel. Fine original flintlock by Stevens of London with superbly tight and crisp action. Monogrammed escutcheon plate with BCB. It may be impossible to find a better quality and condition example musket from this period. The soldier that relates to the monogramme may well be traceable through the regiment's muster roll. The Honourable Artillery Co. [known as the HAC] is said to be the oldest military regiment in England. The Guild of St George, the oldest military establishment in the UK, had gained its royal charter from Henry VIII in 1537 and became known as 'the Fraternity or Guild of Artillery of Longbows, Crossbows and Handguns'. The prefix 'Honourable' was used from 1685 onwards. The Guild consisted of citizen archers and was founded to supply officers for the City of London's Trained Bands for the defence of London and also in foreign wars, continuing to do so until 1794 when the City of London Militia was formed. The Honourable Artillery Company was the only volunteer reserve to survive after the Napoleonic Wars and became part of the new Volunteer Force that later became the Territorial Army. Historical members of the Company included Sir Christopher Wren, Architect of St Pauls Cathedral, Diarist Samuel Pepys, and the Poets Milton and Cowper. Sir Christopher Wren is one of the worlds most famous architects of the 17th century also attributed to him was the the design of 52 churches in the City of London, rebuilt by the Great Fire of London in 1666. Other notable buildings by Wren include the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and the south front of Hampton Court Palace. The Wren Building, the main building at the College of William and Mary, Virginia, is also attributed to Wren. In 1793 Britain found itself at war with Revolutionary France. The call for muskets was going to be huge but in 1793 the total stock of muskets in armouries around Britain, including the central arsenal at the Tower of London, was around 60,000. Compared with the stocks held in French arsenals, which amounted to 700,000-plus. This was a parlous state for the kingdom and the British army to find itself, as all the previous gunmaking contracts had been cancelled years before as the British government foolishly felt that the need for arms was gone when in a time of peace, [plus ca change…etc.]. The ordnance had to ramp up manufacturing contracts urgently, so 31,000 42 inch barrel 'Bess' muskets were made at the Tower of London and the ordnance, but this was still woefully insufficient. The result was the government modified the pattern of musket to a less expensive 39 inch barrel third pattern version, called the India pattern, based on the EIC 'Bess' musket. 10,000 guns were ordered from Birmingham and 10,000 from Liege, and purchases from the EIC army were made in the amount of 29,920 by 1794. Things were not entirely satisfactory but they ewere greatly improved. The 'Brown Bess' musket's use by the soldier's in engagements in the infantry were traditionally at relatively close distances, often the result of closely controlled battlefield management. In 1811 a soldier of the 71st Regiment of Foot, writing of fighting the French at Fuentes de Onõro, recorded: “… during our first advance a bayonet went through between my side and clothes, to my knapsack, which stopped its progress. The Frenchman to whom the bayonet belonged fell, pierced by a musket ball from my rear-rank man. Whilst freeing myself from the bayonet, a ball took off part of my right shoulder wing and killed the rear-rank man, who fell upon me. We kept up our fire until long after dark. My shoulder was black as coal from the recoil of my musket; for this day I had fired 107 round of ball cartridge.”
This was not an uncommon account and it would have been the same throughout the entire Napoleonic Wars through to the Battle of Waterloo. If we were to take an average of 80 cartridges fired by about 50,000 allied infantry at Waterloo the expenditure of ammunition would have amounted to more than four million cartridges. The Bess's trigger guard is having its sling swivel refitted.
Code: 21951Price: 4250.00 GBP
A Most Fine Original 1100 Year Old Byzantine 'Greek Fire' GrenadeIn superb preserved condition and only the third we have had in 20 years. Likely the very earliest form of grenade, once this grenade was filled with Greek Fire naptha, and with a small fuze it would have been thrown at and into enemy ships in combat [however this rare example survived the centuries unused]. A heavy grey ceramic piriform vessel, decorated with incised bands towards top and base A rare collectable ancient artefact and a wonderful conversation piece. Circa 10th century AD. A grey ceramic globular vessel with conical bottom and narrow neck with a thick rim, with an overall incised pattern throughout the body. Greek fire, was invented in ca. 672, and is ascribed by the chronicler Theophanes to Kallinikos, an architect from Heliopolis in the former province of Phoenice, by then overrun by the Muslim conquests. The historicity and exact chronology of this account is open to question: Theophanes reports the use of fire-carrying and siphon-equipped ships by the Byzantines a couple of years before the supposed arrival of Kallinikos at Constantinople. If this is not due to chronological confusion of the events of the siege, it may suggest that Kallinikos merely introduced an improved version of an established weapon. The historian James Partington further thinks it likely that Greek fire was not in fact the discovery of any single person, but "invented by chemists in Constantinople who had inherited the discoveries of the Alexandrian chemical school". Indeed, the 11th-century chronicler George Kedrenos records that Kallinikos came from Heliopolis in Egypt, but most scholars reject this as an error. Kedrenos also records the story, considered rather implausible, that Kallinikos' descendants, a family called "Lampros" ("Brilliant"), kept the secret of the fire's manufacture, and continued doing so to his day.
The invention of Greek fire came at a critical moment in the Byzantine Empire's history: weakened by its long wars with Sassanid Persia, the Byzantines had been unable to effectively resist the onslaught of the Muslim conquests. Within a generation, Syria, Palestine and Egypt had fallen to the Arabs, who in ca. 672 set out to conquer the imperial capital of Constantinople. The Greek fire was utilized to great effect against the Muslim fleets, helping to repel the Muslims at the first and second Arab sieges of the city. Records of its use in later naval battles against the Saracens are more sporadic, but it did secure a number of victories, especially in the phase of Byzantine expansion in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. Utilisation of the substance was prominent in Byzantine civil wars, chiefly the revolt of the thematic fleets in 727 and the large-scale rebellion led by Thomas the Slav in 821–823. In both cases, the rebel fleets were defeated by the Constantinopolitan Imperial Fleet through the use of Greek fire The Byzantines also used the weapon to devastating effect against the various Rus' raids to the Bosporus, especially those of 941 and 1043, as well as during the Bulgarian war of 970–971, when the fire-carrying Byzantine ships blockaded the Danube.
The importance placed on Greek fire during the Empire's struggle against the Arabs would lead to its discovery being ascribed to divine intervention. The Emperor Constantine Porphyrogennetos (r. 945–959), in his book De Administrando Imperio, admonishes his son and heir, Romanos II (r. 959–963), to never reveal the secrets of its construction, as it was "shown and revealed by an angel to the great and holy first Christian emperor Constantine" and that the angel bound him "not to prepare this fire but for Christians, and only in the imperial city". As a warning, he adds that one official, who was bribed into handing some of it over to the Empire's enemies, was struck down by a "flame from heaven" as he was about to enter a church. As the latter incident demonstrates, the Byzantines could not avoid capture of their precious secret weapon: the Arabs captured at least one fireship intact in 827, and the Bulgars captured several siphons and much of the substance itself in 812/814. This, however, was apparently not enough to allow their enemies to copy it . The Arabs for instance employed a variety of incendiary substances similar to the Byzantine weapon, but they were never able to copy the Byzantine method of deployment by siphon, and used catapults and grenades instead. In its earliest form, Greek fire was hurled onto enemy forces by firing a burning cloth-wrapped ball, perhaps containing a flask, using a form of light catapult, most probably a seaborne variant of the Roman light catapult or onager. These were capable of hurling light loads—around 6 to 9 kg (13 to 20 lb)—a distance of 350–450 m (383–492 yd). Later technological improvements in machining technology enabled the devising of a pump mechanism discharging a stream of burning fluid (flame thrower) at close ranges, devastating wooden ships in naval warfare. Such weapons were also very effective on land when used against besieging forces.
Greek fire continued to be mentioned during the 12th century, and Anna Komnene gives a vivid description of its use in a – possibly fictional – naval battle against the Pisans in 1099. However, although the use of hastily improvised fireships is mentioned during the 1203 siege of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade, no report confirms the use of the actual Greek fire, which had apparently fallen out of use, either because its secrets were forgotten, or because the Byzantines had lost access to the areas – the Caucasus and the eastern coast of the Black Sea – where the primary ingredients were to be found. Approx 6 inches across. As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity.
Code: 21950Price: 755.00 GBP
A Ching Dynasty Jian Small Sword With Rayskin ScabbardPolished horn grip with brass mounts to the sword and scabbard typically decorated with an intricate bat design. Double edged blade in very nice bright order inlaid with small disc inserts. Truly original, antique, Chinese weapons are very scarce indeed, as historically, few swords were ever brought back from China. Porcelain and silk were far more popular and preferable souvenirs and exports for Europeans, and in China, in the mid 20th century, nearly all the surviving antique edged weapons were melted down and destroyed in the era of Mao, under Mao's instructions, in order to create new steel. 25.25 inches long overall.
Code: 21949Price: 950.00 GBP
A Very Fine German WW2 Luftwaffe Observers Combat BadgeA fine and classic example, in silver nickel, very good condition with crisp definition. Pin clasp. The Observer's Badge) was a German military decoration that was awarded before and during World War II to members of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). They qualified for the badge after completing two months of qualifying service and five operational flight's in the role of observer, navigator or bombardier; also, it could be awarded after a member of the German Air Force was wounded while acting in the capacity of an observer during a qualifying flight. It was worn on the left breast tunic pocket of an air force or political uniform tunic. A citation was issued with the awarded badge. Thereafter, Luftwaffe service personnel who had already been awarded the Pilot's Badge and Observer's Badge could qualify for the Pilot/Observer Badge. After 31 July 1944 the regulations were changed and the recipient had to have held both qualification certificates for at least one year to qualify for the Pilot/Observer Badge.
The badge was approved in November 1935 and first issued on 26 March 1936. It was made by C. E. Juncker, P. Meybauer and several others. The badge was oval in shape and had a silver-plated oakleaf wreath around the outside. The middle of the wreath had an "oxydized" national eagle "in a watching attitude", clutching a Nazi swastika in the middle of the outside wreath. Originally made of silver nickel, after 1937 they were made of aluminium and during World War II it was made of metal alloy. The badge measured. There was also a cloth version of the badge. Weight 40 grams
Code: 21947Price: 1295.00 GBP
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