Antique Arms & Militaria

800 items found
A Most Interesting & Beautiful Quality Victorian Walking Cane. With a Florid Repousse Silver Top, Carved Spiral Haft With Carved Bullet Inlays

A Most Interesting & Beautiful Quality Victorian Walking Cane. With a Florid Repousse Silver Top, Carved Spiral Haft With Carved Bullet Inlays

Carved spiral twist body with a cross-hatched top section. The dress cane was the quintessential mark of the dandy for three centuries, part fashion accessory, part aid to communication, part weapon, and of course, a walking aid. A dandy, historically, is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of self. A dandy could be a self-made man who strove to imitate an aristocratic lifestyle despite coming from a middle-class background, especially in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain.

Previous manifestations of the petit-maitre (French for "small master") and the Muscadin have been noted by John C. Prevost, but the modern practice of dandyism first appeared in the revolutionary 1790s, both in London and in Paris. The dandy cultivated cynical reserve, yet to such extremes that novelist George Meredith, himself no dandy, once defined cynicism as "intellectual dandyism". Some took a more benign view; Thomas Carlyle wrote in Sartor Resartus that a dandy was no more than "a clothes-wearing man". Honore De Balzac introduced the perfectly worldly and unmoved Henri de Marsay in La fille aux yeux d'or (1835), a part of La Comedie Humaine, who fulfils at first the model of a perfect dandy, until an obsessive love-pursuit unravels him in passionate and murderous jealousy.

Charles Baudelaire defined the dandy, in the later "metaphysical" phase of dandyism, as one who elevates esthetics to a living religion, that the dandy's mere existence reproaches the responsible citizen of the middle class: "Dandyism in certain respects comes close to spirituality and to stoicism" and "These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons, of satisfying their passions, of feeling and thinking Dandyism is a form of Romanticism. Contrary to what many thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of mind."

The linkage of clothing with political protest had become a particularly English characteristic during the 18th century. Given these connotations, dandyism can be seen as a political protest against the levelling effect of egalitarian principles, often including nostalgic adherence to feudal or pre-industrial values, such as the ideals of "the perfect gentleman" or "the autonomous aristocrat". Paradoxically, the dandy required an audience, as Susann Schmid observed in examining the "successfully marketed lives" of Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron, who exemplify the dandy's roles in the public sphere, both as writers and as personae providing sources of gossip and scandal. Nigel Rodgers in The Dandy: Peacock or Enigma? Questions Wilde's status as a genuine dandy, seeing him as someone who only assumed a dandified stance in passing, not a man dedicated to the exacting ideals of dandyism. 31.5 inches long  read more

Code: 23242

325.00 GBP

A Superb & Very Rare Sword, From the Indian Sub Continent. A Beautiful 18th Century Kora With Krishna Inlay

A Superb & Very Rare Sword, From the Indian Sub Continent. A Beautiful 18th Century Kora With Krishna Inlay

All steel inlaid with brass bronze embellishments of with chased brass and copper-overlaid figural decoration, depicting Krishna playing the flute inside a domed shrine chhajjas, domed pavillion-shaped structure,

The Kora is the second best known weapon of Nepal, the first being the legendary Kukri (Khukuri), both are national weapons of Nepal. The third forward curved blade of Nepal is the Ram Dao, it is only used in religious affairs and was doubtfully used in times of war. Like Nepal, the Kora & Kukri are strongly associated with the Gurkhas and was firstly illustrated in Col. William Kirkpatrick's work "An Account of the kingdom of Nepaul" published in London, 1811 based on his travels in 1793 to Nepal.
There both the Kukri and Kora is for the first time illustrated to the wider worlds public. The Kora was traditionally used warfare and personal protection, but also played and still plays a function in the religious sphere where it is used to behead sacrificial animals in one blow, otherwise believed to bring bad fortune and the sacrifice is considered useless. Thus both a skilled man and a formidable blade is needed, the Kora certainly passes the criteria! Lord Egerton and Rawson share the main idea that the forward curved blade most likely goes back to the Egyptian Khopesh and from there over to the Grecco-Roman world where it was called Kopis. Most authors, collectors and people with knowledge will agree on this, so far it's the best option we have. So much of the past, its history is forgotten, unrecorded and often only minor fragments remain.

Krishna, Sanskrit Kṛṣṇa, one of the most widely revered and most popular of all Indian divinities, worshipped as the eighth incarnation (avatar, or avatara) of the Hindu god Vishnu and also as a supreme god in his own right. Krishna became the focus of numerous bhakti (devotional) cults, which have over the centuries produced a wealth of religious poetry, music, and painting. The basic sources of Krishna’s mythology are the epic Mahabharata and its 5th-century-CE appendix, the Harivamsha, and the Puranas, particularly Books X and XI of the Bhagavata-purana. They relate how Krishna (literally “black,” or “dark as a cloud”) was born into the Yadava clan, the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, who was the sister of Kamsa, the wicked king of Mathura (in modern Uttar Pradesh). Kamsa, hearing a prophecy that he would be destroyed by Devaki’s child, tried to slay her children, but Krishna was smuggled across the Yamuna River to Gokula (or Vraja, modern Gokul), where he was raised by the leader of the cowherds, Nanda, and his wife Yashoda.

The child Krishna was adored for his mischievous pranks; he also performed many miracles and slew demons. As a youth, the cowherd Krishna became renowned as a lover, the sound of his flute prompting the gopis (wives and daughters of the cowherds) to leave their homes to dance ecstatically with him in the moonlight. His favourite among them was the beautiful Radha. At length, Krishna and his brother Balarama returned to Mathura to slay the wicked Kamsa. Afterward, finding the kingdom unsafe, Krishna led the Yadavas to the western coast of Kathiawar and established his court at Dvaraka (modern Dwarka, Gujarat). He married the princess Rukmini and took other wives as well.

Krishna refused to bear arms in the great war between the Kauravas (sons of Dhritarashtra, the descendant of Kuru) and the Pandavas (sons of Pandu), but he offered a choice of his personal attendance to one side and the loan of his army to the other. The Pandavas chose the former, and Krishna thus served as charioteer for Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers. On his return to Dvaraka, a brawl broke out one day among the Yadava chiefs in which Krishna’s brother and son were slain. As the god sat in the forest lamenting, a huntsman, mistaking him for a deer, shot him in his one vulnerable spot, the heel, killing him.  read more

Code: 23295

795.00 GBP

Ancient Early Imperial 1st Century Roman Equestris Legionary's or Centurion's Ring Intaglio Engraved With A Mounted Roman Cavalry Officer

Ancient Early Imperial 1st Century Roman Equestris Legionary's or Centurion's Ring Intaglio Engraved With A Mounted Roman Cavalry Officer

Henig type Xb bronze Roman ring around 1900 to 2000 years old. In copper bronze with great, heavy, natural excavated age patination. Beautifully carved intaglio seal detail of a mounted legionary. The detail is very good indeed in the realistic manner, however it can only be truly seen at its best once impressed in wax to see it inverted and reversed.

From a small collection of British recovered original Roman rings, all in excavated condition, found in the 19th century from the same location. Examples of this type can be found in Henig, M. (1974) A corpus of engraved gemstones from British Sites, British Archaeological Reports 8 (II): 90.

Wide oval bezel affixed to flattened shoulders engraved copper alloy, with good smooth surface and patina. Almost identical to one found in the UK, near Hadrian's Wall. The ring was important for displaying the Roman's status. For example Tiberius, who was after all left-handed according to Suetonius, thus displays a ring in his bronze portrait as the Pontifex Maximus:

The complete Roman Empire had around a 60 million population and a census more perfect than many parts of the world (to collect taxes, of course) but identification was still quite difficult and aggravated even more because there were a maximum of 17 men names and the women received the name of the family in feminine and a number (Prima for First, Secunda for Second…). A lot of people had the same exact name.
So the Roman proved the citizenship by inscribing themselves (or the slaves when they freed them) in the census, usually accompanied with two witnesses. Roman inscribed in the census were citizens and used an iron or bronze ring to prove it. With Augustus, those that could prove a wealth of more than 400,000 sesterces were part of a privileged class called Equites (knights) that came from the original nobles that could afford a horse. The Equites were middle-high class and wore a bronze or gold ring to prove it, with the famous Angusticlavia (a tunic with an expensive red-purple twin line). Senators (those with a wealth of more than 1,000,000 sesterces) also used the gold ring and the Laticlave, a broad band of purple in the tunic.

So the rings were very important to tell from a glimpse of eye if a traveller was a citizen, an equites or a senator, or legionary. People sealed and signed letters with the rings and its falsification could bring death.
The fugitive slaves didn’t have rings but iron collars with texts like “If found, return me to X” which also helped to recognise them. The domesticus slaves (the ones that lived in houses) didn’t wore the collar but sometimes were marked. A ring discovered 50 years ago is now believed to possibly be the ring of Pontius Pilate himself, and it was the same copper-bronze form ring as is this one, and in the same condition.  read more

Code: 25138

395.00 GBP

Stunning Victorian, Silver Hound's Head Walking Stick Of William Page Wood, 1st Baron Hatherley, PC, British Statesman, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, Presented by John Bright, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster & Sherlock Holmes Connection

Stunning Victorian, Silver Hound's Head Walking Stick Of William Page Wood, 1st Baron Hatherley, PC, British Statesman, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, Presented by John Bright, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster & Sherlock Holmes Connection

With lacquered hawthorn wood cane.

Was this 'Hound's Head' appearance on the walking stick, the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, most famed Sherlock Holmes story, of the fiercesome and diabolical beast, 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' serialized in the Strand Magazine?. According to family legend, the notorious 17th century Squire Richard Cabell inspired the character of Squire Hugo Baskerville, but it was the childhood memory of this very hounds head that was the inspiration of the diabolical beast. The likeness to the illustrations of the hound in Doyle’s original novel is unmistakable.

A most beautiful piece with great political history, of the Victorian Liberal Party, of Prime Minister Lord William Gladstone.

The recipient of the stick, from John Bright, was William Page Wood, 1st Baron Hatherley, PC (29 November 1801 – 10 July 1881). He was a British lawyer and statesman who served as a Liberal Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain between 1868 and 1872 in William Ewart Gladstone's first ministry.

John Bright, the sticks original owner (16 November 1811 – 27 March 1889) was a British Radical and Liberal statesman, one of the greatest orators of his generation and a promoter of free trade policies. In 1849 he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster, and in 1851 was made Solicitor General for England and Wales and knighted. He was the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, a ministerial office in the Government of the United Kingdom. Excluding the prime minister, the chancellor is the highest ranking minister in the Cabinet Office, immediately after the Prime Minister, and senior to the Minister for the Cabinet Office. It was he who first used the phrase ‘England, mother of Parliaments, and another ‘flogging a dead horse’ ‘

A Quaker, Bright is most famous for battling the Corn Laws. In partnership with Richard Cobden, he founded the Anti-Corn Law League, aimed at abolishing the Corn Laws, which raised food prices and protected landowners' interests by levying taxes on imported wheat. The Corn Laws were repealed in 1846. Bright also worked with Cobden in another free trade initiative, the Cobden–Chevalier Treaty of 1860, promoting closer interdependence between Great Britain and the Second French Empire. This campaign was conducted in collaboration with French economist Michel Chevalier, and succeeded despite Parliament's endemic mistrust of the French.

Bright sat in the House of Commons from 1843 to 1889, promoting free trade, electoral reform and religious freedom. He was almost a lone voice in opposing the Crimean War; he also opposed William Ewart Gladstone's proposed Home Rule for Ireland. He saw himself as a spokesman for the middle class and strongly opposed the privileges of the landed aristocracy. In terms of Ireland, he sought to end the political privileges of Anglicans, disestablished the Church of Ireland, and began land reform that would turn land over to the Catholic peasants. He coined the phrase "The mother of parliaments."

The hounds head top of the walking stick, is engraved on one reverse panel J.B {John Bright}, and W.B {William Bright, was John's son, also a Liberal politician} and on the other side of the hound's head is engraved, W. Wood { the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain} in a panel on the obverse beneath the hound's head.

The head was, 'supposedly', the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'Hound of the Baskervilles'

Doyle was educated at the Jesuit preparatory school Hodder Place, Stonyhurst in Lancashire, which may be the initial connection to John Bright. One might conjecture that Doyle, as a young impressionable boy, saw Bright's hound's head cane {before he gave it to William Wood} maybe, on his {Bright's} visit to Hodder Place School in Lancashire.

This story was imparted to us as part of the family legend of the hound’s head stick's past illustrious history. Of course, there is absolutely no evidence of this being the case, but it does seem, a most intriguing possibility.

It was also meant to be an accurate likeness of a a beloved hound that belonged to John Bright. Is it even possible John Bright took his hound to Doyle’s prep school when he visited.  read more

Code: 25176

1650.00 GBP

A Dyak Of Borneo, Tribesman's Mandau. A Tribal Head Hunter's Sword, From Kalimantan Island

A Dyak Of Borneo, Tribesman's Mandau. A Tribal Head Hunter's Sword, From Kalimantan Island

A Dyak sword mandau, swollen Single edged blade flat on one side and slightly tapered on the other with inlaid dots. A scarce Mandau of the Dayak people, of Borneo, Indonesia. With carved hilt, complete with some tufts hair. Traditional blade with convex obverse and concave reverse. The handle and sheath of this Dayak sword is made of wood and are both decorated with waxed and braided rattan, which afterwards was richly decorated with many decorations such as: Goath hair, beads, rattan wickerwork, teeth from monkeys and wild boars.
The whole is also richly decorated with painted signs, such as beringjan, circles, leeches, dashes and zigzag lines.The blade was apparently designed convex in such a way as the head could be decapitated more easily by a swinging arc while running. The last photo in the gallery is a period photo of an indigenous Head Hunter, holding his 'prize', achieved with his Mandau.

According to the Dayaks themselves, the most sacred and powerful mandaus are those which were made by Panglima Sempung and Panglima Bungai, who are considered to be the two highest skilled masters.
The mandau is one of the most romanticised, albeit macabre, weapons of Borneo. The way of life of the Dayak aborigines, maintaining their ancient customs, habits and religious beliefs, has always involved the taking of heads. They became feared as head-hunters and only in recent years has the practice been “largely” abandoned. (Officially, headhunting doesn’t exist in Borneo despite the occasional report of an isolated jungle beheading). The swords are also “working” swords, capable of separating a branch from a jungle tree as much as a head from man.
Art of Island Southeast Asia, The Fred and Rita Richmann Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New-York). FLORINA H. CAPISTRANO. Ed Baker, 155p, 1994.
Forgotten Islands of Indonesia, The Art & Culture of the Southeast Moluccas. NICO DE JONGE & TOOS VAN DIJK. 160p, 1995.
Age: Est. from early-mid 20th century

The Engraving of the Dyak Method Of Drying Heads is from the Illustrated London News {Public Domain}  read more

Code: 25186

595.00 GBP

A Very Fine Pair of Cased 1800's English, Rifled Duelling Pistols, of Capt Robert Lloyd RN, Outstanding Hero of the War of 1812, Capturing 25 American Vessels, With Finest Silver Inlaid Barrels by Johann Christoph Kuchenreiter.

A Very Fine Pair of Cased 1800's English, Rifled Duelling Pistols, of Capt Robert Lloyd RN, Outstanding Hero of the War of 1812, Capturing 25 American Vessels, With Finest Silver Inlaid Barrels by Johann Christoph Kuchenreiter.

King George IIIrd, Napoleonic Wars and War of 1812 period. An absolutely stunning pair of original and finest, English cased duelling pistols, made for the British naval hero, Capt. {later admiral} Robert Lloyd, famed for his dozens of successful and incredible naval engagements achieved during the Anglo-American War of 1812 alone. Each pistol bears his engraved, personal monogram on their trigger guards, and his family crest engraved within the pistols silver escutcheons.
His heroic service in His Majesty’s Royal Navy included the Quiberon Expedition, the invasion of France in 1795, aka the Battle of Quiberon which was a major landing on the Quiberon peninsula by émigré, counter-revolutionary troops and the royal navy, in support of the Chouannerie and Vendée Revolt, beginning on 23 June and finally definitively repulsed on 21 July.

He was most famed as a hero of the Anglo-US War of 1812, capturing an incredible 25 US naval vessels and their crews in just 4 months up to December 1813. He was also the one of the first naval captains to be attacked by a torpedo, under the new US Torpedo act. ‘Fulton’s torpedo’ was designed to sink Capt Lloyds ship HMS Plantagenet in the Chesapeake under the personal instruction of the US Secretary of the Navy William Jones. Fortunately it exploded too soon without harming Lloyds ship.

During his war service in the Royal Navy, Captain Lloyd captured many warships, and well deserved his reputation as a British naval hero and a captain of immense success in combat against the enemies of King George.
We are proud to offer and present Captain R Lloyd's {later Admiral of the White}, cased set of finest, bespoke, English duelling pistols, fitted with a pair of fabulous, unique, silver inlaid rifled barrels, made by one of Europe's finest and revered barrel makers, the great J. Christoph Kuchenreiter of Bavaria, bearing his gold, stamped poincons at the top of the breech.
The duelling pistols are set in it's stunning, baize lined mahogany case, complete with a two way powder flask, a ball mould, coconut wadding, chamois polishing cloth and an oil bottle. It was often the case that an officer and a gentleman, when commissioning a pair of finest pistols, would specify, if they had considerable means, the fitting of a pair of finest imported barrels. German rifled barrel maker's were, with good reason, considered to be some of the finest rifled barrel makers in the world.
The stocks are finest Juglans Regia walnut, and the steel mounts and lock bear some of the very best craftsmanship England’s gunsmiths had to offer. After very considerable, and diligent family research the intriguing potential history of these finest duelling pistols is detailed herein. Apparently, research shows, they were originally from the estate, over some 150 years past, of the late Admiral Robert Lloyd RN 'Admiral of the White'. Originally, and most likely, they were either commissioned by him direct, or, presented to him during his most distinguished career. They are simply a pair of the some of the most beautiful duelling pistols we have had the privilege to offer during the past 50 years.

He was a Royal naval flag rank officer of distinction who served at the Glorious Ist of June, in the Anglo French War, the Quiberon Invasion, the Napoleonic Wars against Napoleon, and, later, in the middle of the Napoleonic Wars, he served in the War of 1812 in America.

During the War of 1812 the US government approved the innovative and experimental use of a torpedo in order to sink his ship, HMS Plantagenet, and thus sabotage its blockade of New London.

The pistols bear his personal engraved monogram upon the trigger guard, and his Lloyd's family silver crest, of a lion argent, engraved within two silver cartouches at the pistols wrists. It would intriguing and reasonable to assume these fabulous cased pistols accompanied Captain Lloyd aboard his vessels during some of his incredible and eventful times during his heroic career. They were made by the Calvert brothers, who were fine English gunsmith's who worked from premises together at 73 Briggate, Yorkshire, between 1804-1822. The barrels are by one of the greatest Bavarian rifled barrel makers in Europe, Johann Christoph Kuchenreiter, and are thus inlaid with his name in gold. These are simply outstanding examples of the highest-grade flintlock pistol barrels, produced by the world renowned and famous Bavarian gunsmith Johann Christoph Kuchenreiter. Kuchenreiter was part of a dynasty of Bavarian gunsmiths that produced highest quality arms for many of the royal houses of the various Germanic states and Austria. His pistols and barrels are in the British Royal Collection, and examples of his work are in all of the finest museum arms collections in the world. If the barrels alone could be replicated today, inch by inch, which would be extremely unlikely, by such as the finest bespoke gun makers in the world has to offer, such as Purdey of London, they would likely cost £150,000 or more. The duelling pistols bespoke, finest English case, showed considerable and unattractive salt water staining upon its surface, which is why it deservedly required its recent expert conservation and restoration, in order to return it to how it would have originally looked, some 220 odd years ago. However, the pistols themselves have been completely untouched, as their condition remained so good, so they retain all their original natural age and use patina as they have acquired over the past 220 years.

Their beauty and quality, combined with the unique history of their original most distinguished owner, makes them an historical pair of finest English duellers beyond compare. One can venture to say these are an example of a pair of the finest English duellers still in existence today.

Robert H Lloyd. Vice-Admiral of the White, was born 24 March, 1765, and died 17 Jan. 1846, at his family seat, at Tregayan, county Anglesey.

Young master Lloyd entered the Navy, on the 31 March, 1779, as a Captain's Servant, on board the HMS Valiant a 74 gunner, then as a Midshipman berth in HMS Fairy under Capts. Berkeley, Keppel, and Brown, he was wounded in a sharp action which preceded the capture of that sloop by the French frigate Madame. After a captivity of some time in France, he was prisoner-exchanged around March, 1781, and on his return to England was received on board the Medway a 74 gunner, under Capts. Harwood and Edgar. He next, between May, 1782, and July, 1787, served on the Channel station in HMS Hebe a frigate, under Capts. Keppel and Edw. Thornbrough, and on 22 Nov. 1790, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Obtaining an appointment, in Dec. 1792, to the Latona 38, Capts. Thornbrough and Hon. Arthur Kaye Legge, Mr. Lloyd fought under the former of those officers in the action of 1 June, 1794; and on rejoining him as Senior Lieutenant in HMS Robust, he served in Lord Bridport's action, and was severely wounded in the expedition to Quiberon. On 6 Dec. 1796 he was promoted to the command of HMS Racoon in the North Sea; where, after a short running fight, in which the Racoon had 1 person, the Master, killed, and 4 wounded, he succeeded in taking, on 11 Jan. 1798, Le Policrate a French privateer, of 16 guns and 72 men;and, on 22 of the same month, La Pensee, of 2 guns, 9 swivels, and 32 men. Capt. Lloyd, who had previously captured Les Amis, of 2 guns, 6 swivels, and 31 men, made further prize, 20 Oct. following, at the end of a running action of two hours, of La Vigilante, of 14 guns and 50 men. Prior to his attainment of Post-rank 6 Dec. 1799, he had the increased good fortune to sink a French lugger, and to eifect the capture of the privateers Le Vrai Decide, of 14 guns, 4 swivels, and 41 men, and L'Intrepide, of 16 guns and 60 men, 13 of whom were killed and wounded. On the latter occasion he unfortunately received a wound in the head from a half-Pike. His last appointments were ? 12 Jan. 1801, to the Mars 74, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Thornbrough in the Channel, where he remained until April, 1802 to 25 March, 1807, to the Hussar 38, in which ship, after assisting at the reduction of Copenhagen, he visited North America and the West Indies 31 May, 1809, and 25 Sept. 1810, to the Guerriere 40, and Swiftsure 74, flagship of Sir John Borlase Warren, both on the North American station and, 11 Feb. 1812 (after ten months of half-pay), to the Plantagenet 74. Continuing in the latter vessel until paid off in April, 1815, Capt. Lloyd was at first employed in the Baltic, and afterwards again in North America, where he captured a large number of coasters, and accompanied the expeditions against Washington and New Orleans. He commanded HMS Plantagenet in the Chesapeake campaigns 1813-15 in the War of 1812. In Spring 1813, the US Congress passed the Torpedo Act, offering rewards to any private citizen who succeeded in blowing up a British vessel. During the British blockade of New London, Connecticut, on June 25, 1813, a schooner loaded with explosives blew up next to the 74-gun ship of the line HMS Ramillies killing one British naval officer and ten Royal Navy seamen. While not exactly a torpedo attack, the incident sent a clear message that open warfare was declared on enemy war vessels while in United States waters. Adm. Sir John Borlase Warren, chief of the North American naval station blustered, "the Enemy are disposed to make use of every unfair and Cowardly mode of warfare." Another British naval officer labelled the use of torpedoes "a most dastardly method of carrying on the war."
On the 26th of September, 1814, the General Armstrong was lying at anchor in the road of Fayal. Her master was Samuel Chester Reid, and she had a crew of ninety men on board. A British squadron, composed of HMS Plantagenet, 74 gunner Captain Robert Lloyd, HMS Rota, 38, Captain Philip Somerville; HMS Carnation, 18, Commander George Bentham, hove in sight towards sundown. Experience had wisely taught the Americans not to trust to the neutrality of a weak Power for protection; and Reid warped his brig near shore, and made ready to repel any attempt to cut her out. Soon after dark Captain Lloyd sent in four boats. He asserted that they were only sent to find out what the strange brig was; but of course no such excuse was tenable. Four boats, filled with armed men, would not approach a strange vessel after nightfall merely to reconnoitre her. At any rate, after repeatedly warning them off, Reid fired into them, and they withdrew. He then anchored, with springs on his cables, nearer shore, and made every preparation for the desperate struggle which he knew awaited him. Lloyd did not keep him long in suspense. Angered at the check he had received, he ordered seven boats of the squadron, manned by about a hundred and eighty picked men, to attack the privateer. He intended the Carnation to accompany them, to take part in the attack; but the winds proved too light and baffling, and the boats made the attempt alone. Under the command of Lieutenant William Matterface, first officer of HMS Rota, they pulled in under cover of a small reef of rocks, .where they lay for some time; and, at about midnight, they advanced to the attack.

The Americans were on the alert, and, as soon as they saw the boats rowing in through the night, they opened with the pivot-gun, and immediately afterwards with their long 9 pounders. The British replied with their boat carronades, and, pulling spiritedly on amidst a terrific fire of musketry from both sides, laid the schooner aboard on her bow and starboard quarter. A murderous struggle followed. The men-of-wars' men slashed at the nettings and tried to clamber up on the decks, while the privateersmen shot down the assailants, hacked at them with cutlass and tomahawk, and thrust them through with their long pikes. The boats on the quarter were driven off; but on the forecastle the British cut away the nettings, and gained the deck. All three of the American mates were killed or disabled, and their men were beaten back; but Reid went forward on the run, with the men of the after division, and tumbled the boarders back into their boats. This put an end to the assault. Two boats were sunk, most of the wounded being saved as the shore was so near; two others were captured; and the others, crippled from their losses, and loaded with dead and disabled men, crawled back towards the squadron. The loss of the Americans was slight. Two were killed and seven wounded. The fearful slaughter in the British boats proved that they had done all that the most determined courage could do. Two-thirds of the assailants were killed or wounded. The number killed was 34, including Lieutenants William Matterface and Charles E. Norman. The number wounded was 86, including Lieutenant Richard Rawle, Lieutenant Thomas Park, R.M., Purser William Benge Basden, and two Midshipmen.

The brig's long 24 pounder had been knocked off its carriage by a carronade shot, but it was replaced and the deck again cleared for action. Next day HMS Carnation came in to destroy the privateer, but was driven off by the judicious use of the long-gun. However, as soon as the wind became favourable, the Carnation again advanced. Further resistance being hopeless, the General Armstrong was scuttled and burned, and the Americans retreated to the land.
There is no doubt the Master of the General Armstrong was extremely skilled, capable and worthy of the best that the Royal offered against him. A most admirable adversary, who should have received all due praise at the time, whether it was even offered is another matter entirely.

Use of Fulton's torpedo in the Chesapeake Bay was sanctioned by Secretary of the Navy William Jones who told Capt. Charles Gordon of the Baltimore U.S. Navy station to give every aid to a Mr. Elijah Mix. In a secret memo of May 7, Jones instructed Gordon to furnish Mix with 500 lbs of powder, a Boat, or Boats, and Six men. Mix made several attempts to blow up the ship of the line HMS Plantagenet on blockade duty off the Virginia capes. On July 24, Mix almost succeeded in his plans but the torpedo exploded prematurely, deluging the decks of the British vessel with seawater. It appears from Elijah Mix's April 27, 1815 letter to Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield requesting his furlough from the Navy that Mix had been kicking his heels waiting for new employment after his efforts to sink Plantagenet, because Crowninshield's predecessor, Secretary William Jones, suspended the torpedo program:

"Permit me. . . To remark that I have awaited orders at this port New York City since October 1814 when I was released from the torpedo service from the compliment that I had the Honor to receive from the President, after my expedition against the Plantagenet, I had no doubt but I should resume my Command again, in the Chesapeake; but unfortunate for me and my country Mr. Jones was Opposed to torpedoes. I have spent independent of my pay upwards of two thousand Dollars and one years hard service to acquire a perfect knowledge of the use and certainty using those formidable Engines with Effect, but to my mortification all aid has been withdrawn. . . ."

While it possible that Secretary of the Navy Jones caved into British pressure against the use of such a dastardly method of warfare, Hamlin mentions a letter from Jones in which the Secretary gave Elijah Mix a sharp reprimand for not continuing with his efforts to sink the Plantagenet. Thus, the suspension of the program may have had more to do with Jones?s distrust of Elijah Mix's diligence than any submission to British pressure. On the 29th December 1813, HMS Plantagenet was off Bermuda and her commander, Captain Robert Lloyd wrote to his Admiral with a list of his successes against America so far. It was very long:

Sloop Jolly Robin of 4 men and 50 tons, from Boston bound to Charleston, captured September 8 1813.
Schooner Torpedo of 40 tons from New York bound to New Orleans, captured September 11 1813.
Sloop Olive Branch of 50 tons captured same date.
Schooner Delight of 50 tons captured September 15 1813.
Schooner name unknown captured same date.
Schooner Jacks Delight of one gun from New Orleans bound to New York captured October 12 1813.
Schooner Sparrow of 1 gun and 100 tons from New Orleans bound to New York captured November 3 1813.
Sloop Elizabeth of 30 tons captured November 5 1813.
Sloop James Madison of 1 man and 25 tons from New Orleans bound to New York captured November 7 1813.
Sloop Active of 5 men and 57 tons from New York bound to Savannah captured November 12 1813
Sloop Lady Washington of 15 men and 70 tons from Savannah bound to New York captured November 15 1813.
Schooner Betsy of 5 men and 60 tons from Savannah bound to New York, captured November 21 1813.
Schooner Margaret and Mary of 5 men and 37 tons from Philadelphia boudn to New York captured November 27 1813.
Sloop Anna Maria of 7 men and 60 tons from Philadelphia bound to New York captured same date.
Schooner John and Mary of 60 tons from New Orleans bound to New York captured November 29 1813.
Sloop Five Sisters of 5 men and 60 tons from New York bound to Philadelphia captured December 2 1813.
Sloop New Jersey of 42 tons from Barnygatebound to New York captured same date.
Sloop Two Peters of 3 men and 38 tons from Little Egg bound to New York captured same date.
Schooner Batsch of 3 men and 61 tons from New York bound to Little Eggcaptured December 4 1813.
Schooner Unicorn of 6 men and 30 tons from Savannah bound to New York captured December 5 1813.
Schooner Margaret of 2 men and 36 tons from New York bound to Barnygate captured December 8 1813
Sloop Victory of 60 tons from Savannah bound to New York captured December 10 1813.
Schooner Little Mary of 3 men and 26 tons from New York bound to Charleston captured December 12 1813.
Schooner Rapid of 21 men, 1 gun and 115 tons from Havannah bound to New York captured December 16 1813.
Schooner Mary of 4 men and 34 tons from Philadelphia bound to Salem captured December 17 1813.

All of the above American vessels and crews were captured by his exemplary bravery, talent, skill and superior mastery of command.

These magnificent duelling pistols have sighted octagonal polygroove rifled barrels fitted with rear leaf sights, they are inlaid in silver with scrolls, and the makers name, I Christoph Kuchenreiter, the breeches are set with the maker's pure gold tablet embossed with tha horse and rider and the initials of J Christoph Kuchenreiter, I C K. In the Georgian and earlier periods, the name initial J was often represented by the capital letter I when used in block text. With border engraved stepped locks, signed by the English maker, incorporating an automatic safety on half cock, French style cocks, rainproof pans, roller frizzens, full stocked with steel mounts, the trigger guards are engraved with the owner's initials of Capt. Robert Lloyd, later Admiral and with pineapple finials, and circular silver escutcheons engraved with the owner's family crest of a demi-lion. They have slab-sided butts, chequered to the fore and rear, and brass capped wooden ramrods. Small stock field repair at the lock area during its working life.
The case has in the recent past been superbly repolished and restored throughout. It is lacking its lock key to the case’s lock.  read more

Code: 23938

28950.00 GBP

A Very Good 18th Century Indian Bichwa 'Scorpion Sting' Assassin's Dagger

A Very Good 18th Century Indian Bichwa 'Scorpion Sting' Assassin's Dagger

An most interesting and rare dagger called a Bichwa from Southern India. Known as a 'scorpion sting' dagger for the recurved shape of its blade and presumably its lethalness, these forms of dagger were used primarily by assassins, and for concealment in close fighting, the looped grip fitting into the palm of the hand and the guard over the finger could be used to parry and to punch. They were also famed for being worn on the foot by those adept at using foot combat. A famous figure from Indian history was attacked by this very form of assassin dagger, his name was Afzal Khan. He was an Afghan commander who served the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, and fought against the Marathas. After he treacherously tried to murder the Maratha chief Shivaji during a meeting, he was violently killed by the Marathas, and his army was defeated in the Battle of Pratapgad in 1659. A meeting was arranged before the battle, between the two great warrior Generals, Afzal Khan and Shivaji, likely to discuss proposals for surrender or truce. However, Shivaji was warned of Khan's intended treacherous nature, so he protected himself by wearing concealed armour and carried a tigers claw and a scorpion's sting. At the pre-arranged meeting Afzal Khan graciously embraced Shivaji as per custom. But then he suddenly tightened his clasp, gripped Shivaji's neck in his left arm and struck him with a katar. Shivaji, saved by his concealed armour, recovered and counter-attacked Afzal Khan with wagh nakh tiger's claw, disemboweling him. He then stabbed Khan with his bichawa scorpion sting dagger, and ran out of the tent towards his men.

Afzal Khan cried out and Sayeed Banda, his protector who was regarded the best swordsman in the whole of Decca at that time, rushed to the scene and attacked Shivaji with his patta, cutting his turban. Shivaji's bodyguard Jiva Mahala intervened, chopping off Sayeed Banda' s right arm in a quick combat before killing him.

Meanwhile, Afzal Khan's bearers placed their wounded leader in his palki (litter vehicle), but they were attacked by Sambhaji Kavji. Sambhaji eventually killed Afzal Khan by decapitating him  read more

Code: 20283

375.00 GBP

A Simply Stunning And Historical Persian Kulah Khud Helmet, Qajar Era, Surmounted with an Ancestor's War Trophy, A 12th Cent. Crusaders Arrow, To Represent the Traditional Kulah Khud Helmet Spike

A Simply Stunning And Historical Persian Kulah Khud Helmet, Qajar Era, Surmounted with an Ancestor's War Trophy, A 12th Cent. Crusaders Arrow, To Represent the Traditional Kulah Khud Helmet Spike

A fabulously beautiful 18th to 19th century helmet, crowned at the peak with an surmounted battle souvenir of an original Crusader's arrow head from the victory of Saladin's army at the Battle Hattin in the 12th century.

The helmet of hemispherical form, the brim hammer welded to the bowl, fitted at its apex, with a moulded base, with the arrow head, and at the front a sliding nasal bar secured by a thumb-screw and with a plume-holder on each side, decorated throughout with a framework of gold cartouches filled with mounted warriors and calligraphy, the brim encircled by a calligraphic panel of text from the Koran, framed by gold lines, and lamellar mail neck defence of butted links, with a small resin repair. The apex of the helmet bears a 12th century Crusader's iron arrow head, said by legend to have come from the booty of the Battle of Hattin, Saladin's great victory against the Crusaders. The Battle of Hattin took place on 4 July 1187, between the Crusader states of the Levant and the forces of the Ayyubid sultan Salah ad-Din, known in the West as Saladin. It is also known as the Battle of the Horns of Hattin, from a nearby extinct volcano.

The Muslim armies under Saladin captured or killed the vast majority of the Crusader forces, removing their capability to wage war. As a direct result of the battle, Muslims once again became the eminent military power in the Holy Land, re-conquering Jerusalem and most of the other Crusader-held cities. These Christian defeats prompted the Third Crusade, which began two years after the Battle of Hattin. The Crusader army was composed of knights from the: Kingdom of Jerusalem
Knights Templar
Knights Hospitaller
Order of Saint Lazarus
Order of Mountjoy.

The fitting of ancient relics within the warriors armour, from the greatest battles of Saladin, is a profound statement of connection the the historic past, we have seen once before on another very fine kulah khud helmet that we had about 15 years ago. Antique Arabian jambiya of the highest quality often have ancient Europen coins inset within their hilts for a similar purpose. The field restored chainmail has been repaired aroundthe equivalent area of medium sized coin, this could likely be fairly easily tidied much better.  read more

Code: 21500

2250.00 GBP

An Intriguing, Beautiful, Rare & Very Collectable 'Gadget Pistol' by James Rodgers of Sheffield. A Remarkable, Original 19th Century Knife-Pistol, Early Percussion Model 1838

An Intriguing, Beautiful, Rare & Very Collectable 'Gadget Pistol' by James Rodgers of Sheffield. A Remarkable, Original 19th Century Knife-Pistol, Early Percussion Model 1838

A very popular personal defence weapon in the early Victorian, Pre-Civil War era in America, and was once a superb, and most useful, utility functional, and defensive piece, with such as the gold prospectors, of both the American California and Klondike Gold-rush miners. So much so, that they have even been known in their time as, 'Gold Prospector's Knife-Pistols'
Of course they would have been as equally beneficial in their day to gamblers and adventurers in the old, original, American 'Wild West'

With the lack of any form of police or marshal protection within the open wild terrain of the American and Canadian gold prospecting country, personal protection was not only a desire, but absolutely essential. This form of gadget weapon was not only useful as a day to day cutting tool, but a superb concealed pistol for protection against the murderous folk out to steal and plunder their hard earned gold. Mining gold in the nineteenth century was just as dangerous then as wearing a gold watch is in London today. Where expecting assistance from a non-existing police protection force was as vain an expectation then as it is currently.

Sheffield made knives and axes were the most popular source for all the frontiersmen and miners in all of American Wild West history, but also during the American Civil War by combatants of both sides, especially the rarest of all, such as this superb piece, the combination gadget weapon, a James Rogers knife pistol.

They were also just as popular with travellers in and around England, and for officer's on campaign around the Empire

The unique early Victorian Sheffield pocket pistol knife called the 'self protector'. Nickel barrel with a single bead sight, marked with a pair of Birmingham proofs on the upper left flat, and fitted with a central nipple and straight spur hammer. Polished horn grip plates. Equipped with a pair of folding blades, 3.25" and 1" in length, with "JAMES/ RODGERS/ SHEFFIELD" on both ricasso, mounted on either side of the folding trigger. Horn grips, with a storage compartment in the butt, flanked by a bullet scissor mould and tweezers held in the grips. One long blade, and shortened paring blade. Overall it is in great condition for age, and the have the guns original tools still fitted in their concealed compartments is remarkable.

This is truly the ultimate conversation piece as well as an incredible collectible curiosity of the very early Victorian period.

A rare and most collectable gadget gun. The rarest early muzzle loading version, by James Rodgers, that was latterly made by the later partnership of Unwin and Rodgers, after Philip Unwin joined James Rodgers. They gained the patent for their later gun in 1861. This is the earliest and rarest type made, with muzzle loading and a percussion action, they later created a breech loading version, in .32 cal rimfire, but two decades or so later.

Cutlery means ‘that which cuts’, and can technically be anything from pocket knives, to scissors, ice skates and scythes. The first reference to cutlery made in Sheffield was in 1297, when the hearth tax records include Robertus le Coteler Robert the Cutler. In 1340 King Edward IIIs possessions in the Tower of London included a Sheffield knife, and Geoffrey Chaucer wrote A Sheffeld thwitle whittle baar he in his hose about the Miller in The Reeves Tale. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries Sheffield and the surrounding area of Hallamshire were in competition with cutlery-making in Thaxted (Essex), Ashbourne (Derbyshire) and Woodstock (Oxfordshire). The largest manufacturing centre, however, was in London where trade was controlled by the Worshipful Company of Cutlers.

Pictures 9 and 10 in the gallery show examples of the company’s trade advertising labels for the knife pistol from the time not included with pistol, but download copies are easily available.

The trigger action main spring is now disconnected and non functioning for safety. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables  read more

Code: 21307

1295.00 GBP

A Most Scarce and Beautiful Antique Balinese Executioner's Keris. Bayou Hindu God of Wind Hilt, 17th to 18th Century Blade, Possibly Made From Meteorite Steel

A Most Scarce and Beautiful Antique Balinese Executioner's Keris. Bayou Hindu God of Wind Hilt, 17th to 18th Century Blade, Possibly Made From Meteorite Steel

Not only a rare and beautiful example of an antique Indonesian traditional weapon of high status, it is a stunning work of art, with a spectacular hilt that is a gilt metal representational figure likely of Bayu, the Hindu god of wind, seated on a rock, with his right hand holding the flask with life-elixir, the left a part of his shawl, and his face with ferocious expression and bulging eyes, and studded with extravagant coloured glass-beads.

It has a very nice, very long blade, of the traditionally Balinese executioner's form. In many parts of Indonesia, the long straight bladed kris used to be the weapon of choice for ceremonial execution. The executioner's kris had a long, straight, slender blade exactly as this fine piece. The condemned knelt before the executioner, who placed a wad of cotton or similar material on the subject's shoulder or clavicle area. The blade was thrust through the padding, piercing the subclavian artery and the heart. Upon withdrawal, the cotton wiped the blade clean. Death came within seconds.

This is stunningly nice piece and a most unusually seen variation of these interesting weapons, called the Kris or Keris. Fine, Indonesian antique, gold coloured metal sword hilts of Bayu, studded with glass beads such as this, are rare and highly collectable, and they occasionally appear, on the collector's market, frequently mounted on a base, without their blades, and sold as Asian Object D'art.

In Sale No.2501, at Christie's, in their sale of Asian Ceramics and Works of Art, on the 8 May 2001, in Amsterdam, a gold coloured metal figure of this very kind, also studded with similar glass beads, sold for $9,390 US Dollars.  read more

Code: 22268

875.00 GBP