1482 Items Found
Page: 1 of 149
0 Items in Basket »
Next page
Original Ancient Roman ‘Cross-bow” Fibula Bronze Toga Pin Military Issue, Fine Piece For Higher Ranking Figures in the Legion, Such As a Centurion or TribuneBow Fibula with a Folded Spring Hinge, c. Early Imperial - Beginning of 2nd Century.

Original Ancient Roman ‘Cross-bow” Fibula Bronze Toga Pin Military Issue, Fine Piece For Higher Ranking Figures in the Legion, Such As a Centurion or TribuneBow Fibula with a Folded Spring Hinge, c. Early Imperial - Beginning of 2nd Century.

We acquired a very small collection of different forms of original Roman toga pins, A super, small collection of original, historical, Imperial Roman, Viking, and Crusader's artefacts has just been acquired by us.
Bow Fibulae with spring
The spring winds in one or more loops on one side of the pin and then crosses over, or under, the bow and continues with more loops on the other side. The distinction between the spring-chord crossing over (external) versus under the bow head (internal) can help determine type and age. In some cases the spring-chord is fixed by a hook as it passes over, or under the bow. The spring can have one, two, three, four or even ten or more loops on each side of the bow. Very wide springs tend to have axis-pins inserted to help them retain their shape. In some cases the ends of the axis-pins are fitted with small knobs.
Bow Fibula with the Spring Tendon Below the Bow, c. 250 B.C. - 50 A.D., Rare
The paludamentum was usually worn over one shoulder and fastened with a fibula (ancient version of a safety pin). Arguments abound over what shoulder was exposed, but it seems fairly clear that the garment was fastened loosely enough to move around, The paludamentum was a cloak that was specifically associated with warfare. A general donned one for the ceremonial procession leading an army out of the sacred precinct of the city of Rome and was required to remove it before returning to the city…a sign that he was no longer a general, but a common citizen. The paludamentum or sagum purpura (purple cloak) was the iconic red cloak worn by a Roman general (Legatus) and his staff officers. Originally, it’s distinctive red/purple colour clearly delineated between these officers and the rest of the army, which sported the sagum gregale (cloak of the flock). Although the sagum gregale, worn by the rank and file, started out the colour of the flock (i.e. undyed wool), it seems likely to have transitioned to a coarser version of the sagum purpura by the imperial period (27BCE – 476CE). Outfitting the entire army in red garments would have been a mark of the great wealth of Rome – well, that and the fact that the Romans controlled the source of purple dye by then.
This fibula has a short bilateral spring. It has three loops per side for six total. The spring-chord passes under the bow and is thus an internal chord. lovely condition for age with fine natural colour patination.
Fibula 60mm long

Code: 24047

275.00 GBP


Shortlist item
An Original Napoleonic Wars 4 Pounder Solid Shot Gribeauval Cannon Ball Fired From Napoleon's Artillery Battery in 1796

An Original Napoleonic Wars 4 Pounder Solid Shot Gribeauval Cannon Ball Fired From Napoleon's Artillery Battery in 1796

This is a 4lb canon ball that was fired under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte as commander of the French army at the Battle of Lodi, and shows it has made an imposing strike impact. Possibly a building of Lodi. A painting in the gallery is of Bonaparte sighting his cannon in 1796 during the battle of Lodi, and another painting of Napoleon commanding the French offensive and his cannon. The Battle of Lodi was fought on 10 May 1796 between French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte and an Austrian rear guard led by Karl Philipp Sebottendorf at Lodi, Lombardy. The French advance guard was not strong enough to try to cross the bridge, so several hours passed while further French forces came up. During the afternoon, a violent cannonade began, as French guns arrived and were positioned to fire across the river. It has been suggested that Bonaparte was personally involved in directing some of the guns, and that his troops began to refer to him as le petit caporal (the little corporal) because of this. The Austrian rear guard was defeated, but the main body of Johann Peter Beaulieu's Austrian Army had time to retreat. The Battle of Lodi was not a decisive engagement since the Austrian army had successfully escaped. But it became a central element in the Napoleonic legend and, according to Napoleon himself, contributed to convincing him that he was superior to other generals and that his destiny would lead him to achieve great things. The Canon de 4 Gribeauval or 4-pounder was a French cannon and part of the artillery system developed by Jean Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval. The Old French pound (French: livre) was 1.079 English pounds, making the weight of shot about 4.3 English pounds. In the Gribeauval era, the 4-pounder was the lightest weight cannon of the French field artillery; the others were the medium Canon de 8 Gribeauval and the heavy Canon de 12 Gribeauval. The Gribeauval system was introduced in 1765 and the guns were first employed during the American Revolutionary War. The most large-scale use of Gribeauval guns occurred during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. At first a pair of 4-pounders were assigned to each infantry battalion and were often called battalion pieces. Later, Emperor Napoleon took the guns away from the infantry units and began to replace the 4-pounder with the 6-pounder, using captured guns as well as newly cast French cannons. However, as the French infantry declined in quality after 1809, the 4-pounders were reintroduced in order to provide direct support for formations of foot soldiers. All Gribeauval cannons were capable of firing canister shot at close-range and round shot at long-range targets. From a small collection of original recovered battle site Napoleonic canon balls, the French cannon balls of which this is one were actually fired by cannon under Napoleon's command.

Code: 24048

395.00 GBP


Shortlist item
An 18th Century Naval ‘Behemoth’ Blunderbuss by Govers of London Napoleonic Wars ‘Martial‘ Ships Blunderbuss cum Swivel Cannon

An 18th Century Naval ‘Behemoth’ Blunderbuss by Govers of London Napoleonic Wars ‘Martial‘ Ships Blunderbuss cum Swivel Cannon

Made and used In the American Revolutionary War period and used right through the Napoleonic Wars up to the 1840’s. This blunderbuss is a true titan of a hand held gun, formidable, substantial and simply oozing power and presence. No man would fail to tremble at the sight of this gun's muzzle pointed his way. Made from around 1750 to 1780, it is probably the largest size of naval flintlock that a man could fire from the hip or shoulder without doing personal injury to the user. When on ship it could have had a spigot block added with a removable iron bracket, and it would have to have been mounted on a swivel at the side of the ship. It last saw service in Ireland, County Tyrone, in the 1840’s. This gun has several distinctive features. The lock has the early so-called 'banana' shape and the brass mounts are typically engraved with strawberry leaf influences typical of the 18th century. The side plate is typical military and sea service ‘Land’ pattern type, in steel. Originally intended for military or maritime sea service purposes, these arms can be traced back to 1598, when Germany's Henrich Thielman applied for a patent for a shoulder arm designed for shipboard use to repel enemy boarders. The blunderbuss quickly became popular with the Dutch and English navies. England's growing maritime power seems to have fuelled production of these short bell-barrel arms, which were useful during close-in engagements between warships by enabling marines clinging to ship's rigging to use them against the gun crews of opposing vessels. The barrels were of steel or brass and the furniture of the blunderbuss were typically made from brass, with stocks most commonly made from walnut. Other, less robust woods were sometimes used, but their tendency to shatter ensured that walnut would remain in widespread use as a stocking material. The blunderbuss played a role during the English Civil War of 1642-48, and these arms were widely used as a personal defence arm in England during the Commonwealth Period. The lack of an organized system of law enforcement at that time, coupled with the growing threat posed by highwaymen, placed the burden of protecting life and property in the hands of honest citizens. Although some blunderbusses bore the royal cipher of the Sovereign, they typically did not feature the Broad Arrow identifying government ownership or the markings of the Board of Ordnance. Several brass- and iron-barrelled blunderbusses were captured from the forces of Lord Cornwallis upon the latter's surrender to the Continental Army at Yorktown, Virginia in the final land campaign of the American Revolution. This may well have been the very kind as used in that engagement. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables. The stock on this gun, during the Georgian period, has been very slightly slimmed at the butt, possibly due to an armourer's field repair in it's working life, and surface wear to the finish. The specific history of this gun and it's makers are as follows; The Govers family of London also had a gunsmith with a shop and trade in Ireland, and this specific gun was last recorded registered and used in Ireland, in County Tyrone, in 1843 and stamped on the gun twice accordingly. This gun has likely seen incredible combat service and shows contemporary field work to the butt plate and stock, just to be expected for gun of this purpose and age. 32.5 inches long, 16.5 inch barrel As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables

Code: 21444

3950.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Super Early Samurai Sword Katana Tsuba, Kanayama and Ono School

A Super Early Samurai Sword Katana Tsuba, Kanayama and Ono School

Kanayama and Ono school tettsu tsuba, Circa 1400
Kanayama Tsuba exhibit a well forged iron with a hammered surface with prominent Tsuchime similar to Owari Tsuba but with stronger Tekkotsu visible in the rim and surface. The origin of Kanayama tsuba is still not a hundred percent clear, but most sources name a city close to Nagoya in the Owari province. In the early Edo period Ono Tsuba developed out of the Kanayama school and continued their tradition with various designs but a bit smaller in size.
The Kanayama school
Beginning in mid Muromachi to the end of Genroku (ca. 1400 to 1710). For purposes of study, the period of production is divided into three sections: the first period is the Muromachi age, second period is Momoyama age, and the third period are the pieces made in Kyoto during the Edo age. Normally round, sometimes oval.
the tsuba's seppa dai is a very good shape, squarish at top and bottom. Usually Thickness 3 to 5.09mm. this tsuba is 5 mm thick . It appears slightly large for the size of the tsuba and slightly more oblong than those found on Owari tsuba.

Many tsuba of the school have thin, raised square peripheral rims (later examples have rounded rims) with 'tekkotsu' visible.
Design Characteristics:
This school would seem to be the earliest to use ji-sukashi (positive silhouette). Most of the designs are plain, direct, and abstract, consisting largely of straight or curved lines that produce a feeling of great dignity. The openwork is so extensive that the remaining metal portions are very fine and slender.

Antique Japanese koshirae [Japanese samurai sword mounts, tsuba and fittings] are considered as fine object d'art in their own right, and have been collectable as individual items or sets, since the Edo period. They were often removed from swords, mounted in small cases, and respectfully admired for display as items of the highest quality workmanship, and symbols of the noble samurai, in their own right. Some koshirae collectors never actually have any interest in the blades themselves, and individual pieces can attain values of tens of thousands of pounds, and there are many multi million pound collections, in and out of museums, comprising of some of the finest examples of Japanese un-mounted sword fittings from the samurai historical period.

70mm across

Code: 24045

675.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Bizen Osafune Ju Yokoyama Sukenaga with Choji Midare Hamon

Bizen Osafune Ju Yokoyama Sukenaga with Choji Midare Hamon

Shinshinto antique samurai sword from the the school of the famed and great Yokayama master sword smiths, named blade of master Sukenaga.

The Yokayama school is considered by many to be one of the very best schools of sword making. The mounts are all original with dark blu-black silk ito wrap, the koshirae fittings are beautiful, Higo style, in coarse iron decorated with relief shellfish with small highlights in gold and silver. And the sukashi tsuba is an early iron tettsu o-sukashi tsuba decorated with samurai clan kamon, with a stunning large piercing of a distinctive patterning. It has deep thick hand crenellated cut twin seppa overlaid with gold. The saya is original edo period ishime stone finish lacquer, with it's matching bottom mount. The hamon on blade is absolutely stunning, an even choji. Bizen Osafune Ju Yokoyama Sukenaga,The unique choji midare was invented by Sukenaga.
Later on it was rated highly as the unique Yokoyama school hamon.

The Bizen Yokoyama school comes from the ancient lineage of Ko-Bizen, renowned for its masters. An essential feature from these Bizen forges comes from a local component, the steel called “Tetsu Bizen” (the steel from bizen), which was very pure and high quality. The sand was also very abundant being nearby the sea. Also the Asahigawa and the Yoshigawa rivers, with a very pure water, fed the forges. Furthermore the very woody surrounding forests supplied the ovens with coal. All these factors and the geographical situation, on the “Sanyodo” road, made this location the Mecca of the forge with such ideal conditions. Added with “Bizen”, Sukekana did carved the known name of the Osafune village, in the vicinity of the Okayama town, and more precisely, between Bizen and Setouchi, along the Yoshii river. There is a “Bizen Osafune” sword museum in Setouchi. The condition of the sword is very good indeed, and the fittings are very fine. Of all the weapons that man has developed since our earliest days, few evoke such fascination as the samurai sword of Japan. To many of us in the, the movie image of the samurai in his fantastic armour, galloping into battle on his horse, his colourful personal flag, or sashimono, whipping in the wind on his back, has become the very symbol of Japan, the Empire of the Rising Sun. And, truly, to the samurai of real life, nothing embodied his warrior's code of Bushido more than his sword, considered inseparable from his soul.

Indeed, a sword was considered such a crucial part of a samurai's life that when a young samurai was about to be born, a sword was brought into the bedchamber during the delivery. When the time came for an old samurai to die and cross over into the White Jade Pavilion of the Afterlife his honoured sword was placed by his side. Even after death, a daimyo, or nobleman, believed he could count on his samurai who had followed him into the next world to use their keen blades to guard him against any demons, just as they had wielded their trusty weapons to defend him against flesh-and-blood enemies in this life. In a samurai family the swords were so revered that they were passed down from generation to generation, from father to son. If the hilt or scabbard wore out or broke, new ones would be fashioned for the all-important blade. The hilt, the tsuba (hand guard), and the scabbard themselves were often great art objects, with fittings sometimes of gold or silver. The hilt and scabbard were created from the finest hand crafted materials by the greatest artisans that have ever lived. Often, too, they told a story from Japanese myths. Magnificent specimens of Japanese swords can be seen today in the Tokugawa Art Museum's collection in Nagoya, Japan.
40.5 inches long overall, blade tsuba to tip 29 inches long,

Code: 24044

Price
on
Request


A Good and Rare Provenance, Historical, Irish 1910’s-1920's ‘Gun- Runners’ Ulster Volunteer Force U.V.F. Issue Steyr Knife Bayonet With Original Frog

A Good and Rare Provenance, Historical, Irish 1910’s-1920's ‘Gun- Runners’ Ulster Volunteer Force U.V.F. Issue Steyr Knife Bayonet With Original Frog

A rare Steyr manufactured M1904 Knife Bayonet & Scabbard with rare original leather and canvas webbing combination frog, made specifically for the Ulster Volunteer Force (U.V.F.). With distinctive and identifiable hump back grip, This bayonet knife & scabbard were originally part of a cache of arms involved in the Larne gun-running operation. Its rare to get the bayonet, and in cracking condition, but, the frog is even rarer, and to know the name of the UVF man by whom it was used is very interesting indeed.
See the original 1910’s photo in the gallery of the UVF all armed with the Steyrs and this bayonet affixed.
The smuggling exercise was master-minded by Major Frederick Crawford and Captain Wilfrid Spender on behalf of the Ulster Unionist Council, to equip the recently formed Ulster Volunteer Force (U.V.F.). The U.V.F. had been set-up to fight against the imposition of Home Rule and Crawford was tasked with the procurement of arms. He approached several manufacturers including Steyr, and after several failed attempts, due to Customs intervention, the Larne plan was hatched.

The ruses and schemes used to conceal the true nature of the shipments coming into Ireland would however have been familiar to the UVF and UDA of 70 years hence. Barrels of “bleaching powder”, their seams packed with farina (a type of starchy wheat powder) so as to “leak” convincingly when offloaded, baize-covered crates of “musical instruments” and “furniture”, steel cylinders marked as industrial filters, and bogus consignments of “cement” and “pitch” destined for phantom construction firms were all among the disguises employed by resourceful loyalist gunrunners. Front companies were established at both ends and sometimes vital intermediate points of smuggling routes, such as John Ferguson & Co. set up with the assistance of Conservative MP Sir William Bull (another example of the original UVF’s wider support base). Involved in various schemes throughout this period was Fred Crawford, whose tireless and energetic efforts to arm the UVF, while not always successful – a caper involving a Maxim gun at a German Army range outside Hamburg ended in farce with Crawford literally making a run for it – did much to sustain support for armament which at times showed signs of flagging.
In spite of the myriad and often ingenious means used, aided by the reluctance of HH Asquith’s Liberal government to wholeheartedly combat unionist smuggling in spite of its sponsorship of Home Rule, by late 1913 the UVF was far from well-equipped. A significant number of its guns had been seized by the authorities while in transit, a major setback taking place when 4,500 Vetterli M1870/87 rifles were impounded in London by the Metropolitan Police under the Gun Barrel Proof Act of 1868. Under-armed local-level UVF units reduced to drilling with wooden rifles pressed for action. A major injection of arms was required to transform it from a theoretical into a substantive force.

The Clyde Valley episode has been recounted in great detail in many other sources, most notably ATQ Stewart’s The Ulster Crisis (where it forms the centrepiece of the book) and Guns For Ulster by Crawford himself, so only an overview will be provided here. The bare facts of the case involve the transit of 25,000 rifles plus 3,000,000 rounds of ammunition from Hamburg to landing sites in Larne, Bangor, and Donaghadee, the enterprise, codenamed Operation Lion, being masterminded by Fred Crawford. The arms were supplied by Bruno (or Benny) Spiro, a Hamburg arms dealer dubiously described by Ronald Neill in Ulster’s Stand for Union. Spiro gave Crawford a choice of several deals of differing makeups, the one accepted consisting of 10,900 M1904 Steyr-Mannlichers and 9,100 Mauser Gewehr 88s. 4,600 Vetterlis whose shipment had been delayed due to British government action would also make the journey, along with 3,000,000 rounds of ammunition. The price was £45,640. Sir Edward Carson was aware of the plot and gave it his blessing with the words “Crawford, I’ll see you through this business, if I should have to go to prison for it”.

The gunrunners of 1911-14 provided a source of inspiration to the leaders of the loyalist paramilitary organisations of the post-1969 conflict. The walls of the Eagle, the modern UVF’s headquarters, are adorned with images of fallen volunteers, the faces of those “killed in action” such as John Bingham, Charlie Logan, and Aubrey Reid. Superseding all though is a framed portrait of Sir Edward Carson, ratifier of Crawford’s Hamburg scheme, whose inscrutable countenance gazes down upon the room like St Peter in a Russian Orthodox shrine.
We have acquired three other original UVF issue Austrian made bayonets, in more worn condition, originally recovered from an historical stored cache all to be sold separately. See last photo in the gallery of an historical UVF arms cache [photo 1972]

Code: 24046

Price
on
Request


A Very Good Original, 1860’s Smith and Wesson No2 Army ‘Long Barrel’ Revolver of The Civil War in Holster.

A Very Good Original, 1860’s Smith and Wesson No2 Army ‘Long Barrel’ Revolver of The Civil War in Holster.

Very nice tight action, brown finish early four figure serial number. One of the first cartridge taking revolvers used in the Civil War. George Armstrong Custer owned a pair presented to him by J.B.Sutherland. A very smart example in very nice order, original varnish to the walnut grips. Superbly crisp action. Photograph in the gallery of a Union soldier with his No2 S&W Army in his belt [for information only]. One of the few cartridge revolvers made that are allowable to own in the UK without licence or restriction. It was in fact the gun that made Smith and Wesson into the mighty arms company that it became, the No2 Army being so advanced for it's time that it rocketed the makers into the popular consciousness of America and indeed the world. It is from this revolver that the S&W 44 Russian, the 44 Single Action Army, and the Schofield evolved, probably the best revolvers ever made in the 19th century. A Smith and Wesson No 2 Army was carried by Wild Bill Hickok on the day he died holding Aces and Eights, called for ever more "the dead man's hand! In his memory, in the infamous card game in Deadwood. The larger calibre of the two tip-up revolver models that Smith & Wesson manufactured during the American Civil War, the No. 2 Army was a six-shot, single-action design. Slightly fewer than 40,000 No. 2 .32-caliber rim fire revolvers were made before the surrender at Appomattox in 1865, and many Union enlisted men and officers, including future President Rutherford B. Hayes and General George Armstrong Custer, elected to carry his No. 2 Army model for personal protection. A member of the 16th Kentucky Volunteers wrote that his pistol had killed two rebels while Corp. J.O. Sherwin ordered a dozen for his company in the 83rd Illinois. An 8th Iowa Infantry soldier wanted six of the Armies for his friends. Within a single month in 1864 requests for price lists came from the 126th Illinois at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the 3rd Wisconsin Veteran Volunteers at Atlanta, the 115th Ohio at Murfreesboro, and the 38th US Coloured Regiment at Bermuda Hundred. Capt. Frederick Livermore, of a Massachusetts outfit, wrote that "most of our officers have your make". And a Capt. H. L. Wheat, 11th Missouri Cavalry, wrote that the S & W Army was the "best belt revolver I have yet seen". This opinion was echoed by Major D. Frazer, 13th New York Cavalry. Francis A. Bushee of Company F, 1st Mass. Cavalry, (Killed on 5/11/1864 at Ashland, VA) is known to have carried this model as did Lt. Washington M. Postley of the 78th New York Infantry Regiment and Capt. Gerard Reynolds, 11th Pa. Cavalry, who's No 2 Army was removed from his body when he was killed in action near Roanoke Station, Virginia. Wild Bill Hickok carried a No 2 Smith and Wesson Army as Marshall of Deadwood. There is a documented official state issue of the Number 2 as the National Archives have yielded records of a purchase of 731 of these revolvers by the State of Kentucky. All of Kentucky's Number 2 revolvers are thought to have been issued to the 7th Kentucky Cavalry. Desirable 6 inch long barrel model. As with all our antique guns, no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables

Code: 23069

2450.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Fine 1802 Tower of London New Land Pattern Napoleonic Wars Light Dragoon Trooper's Flintlock Pistol

A Fine 1802 Tower of London New Land Pattern Napoleonic Wars Light Dragoon Trooper's Flintlock Pistol

Excellent walnut stock with original patina, numerous Board of Ordnance inspection stamps and crown stamps, crown G inspection stamp to stock. Traces of large GR crown stamp to lock face plus inspection stamp. Stock stamp as well. All fine brass fittings and captive ramrod. In original flintlock with rolling frizzen, and made at the Tower of London and used by the front line British Cavalry regiments during the Peninsular War, War of 1812, and the Hundred Days War, culminating at Waterloo. One would have to go a long way and for a considerable time to find another example in as good condition and as good quality as this one. Introduced in the 1796 and in production by 1802, the New land Cavalry Pistol provided one model of pistol for all of Britain's light cavalry and horse artillery. Another new element was the swivel ramrod which greatly improved the process of loading the pistol on horseback.
The service of British Cavalry regiments, particularly the Light Dragoons, proved essential in the mastery of the Indian Subcontinent. The Duke of Wellington, then Arthur Wellesley, was primarily recognized for his military genius by his battles in India. Of particular note was the Battle of Assaye in 1803 where the 6000 British faced a Mahratta Army of at least 40,000. During the engagement the 19th Light Dragoons saved the 74th Regiment by charging the enemy guns 'like a torrent that had burst its banks'. Pistols firing and sabre slashing, the 19th broke the enemy's position and the day was won. 19th Light Dragoons gained "Assaye" as a battle honour, and the nickname "Terrors of the East". The 19th Light Dragoons eventually served in North America during the War of 1812 and so did this form of pistol. Cavalry was the 'shock' arm, with lance and saber the principal hand weapons. The division between 'heavy' and light was very marked during Wellington's time: 'heavy' cavalry were huge men on big horses, 'light' cavalry were more agile troopers on smaller mounts who could harass as well as shock.

During the Napoleonic Wars, French cavalry was unexcelled. Later as casualties and the passage of years took their toll, Napoleon found it difficult to maintain the same high standards of cavalry performance. At the same time, the British and their allies steadily improved on their cavalry, mainly by devoting more attention to its organization and training as well as by copying many of the French tactics, organization and methods. During the Peninsular War, Wellington paid little heed to the employment of cavalry in operations, using it mainly for covering retreats and chasing routed French forces. But by the time of Waterloo it was the English cavalry that smashed the final attack of Napoleon's Old Guard. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables

Code: 23349

2235.00 GBP


Shortlist item
19th Century Damascus Twist Barrelled Sporting Gun By Manton of London

19th Century Damascus Twist Barrelled Sporting Gun By Manton of London

Back action lock bearing Manton's name and decorative pattern engraving. It has a hook breech with double platinum lining and very attractive fine Damascus browning, walnut half stocked with steel furniture bearing further overall engraving. Joseph Manton (6 June 1766 ? 29 June 1835) was a British gunsmith who innovated in sport shooting, improved the quality of weapons and paved the way to the modern artillery shell. Joseph was also a sports shooter in his own right and a friend of Colonel Peter Hawker. There were two Manton brothers, John was the elder and Joseph the younger. John Manton was born in 1752 and after his apprenticeship, set up in London in Piccadilly.

Manton began producing percussion guns in 1825 and Manton himself died in 1834, leaving the business in the hands of his son. Some of Manton's weapons are considered the finest of the flintlock age. They can fetch more at auction than Holland & Holland's shotguns. His workforce included James Purdey (who went on to found Purdey's), Thomas Boss, William Greener and Charles Lancaster. These four all went on to establish major firms of gun makers, which continue to this day. The true English Damascus barrel is prepared from three rods, twisted as described and put together as shown in the twisted riband, and is known technically as three-iron Damascus ; the silver-steel Damascus is similarly made, but of different metal piled in a different order. The rods having been twisted, and the required number welded together, they are sent to the iron-mill and rolled at a red heat into ribands, which have both edges bevelled the same way. There are usually two ribands required for each barrel, one riband or strip to form the breech-end, and another, slightly thinner, to form the fore, or muzzle, part of the barrel. Upon receiving the ribands of twisted iron, the welder first proceeds to twist them into a spiral form. This is done upon a machine of simple construction, consisting simply of two iron bars, one fixed and the other loose ; in the latter there is a notch or slot to receive one end of the riband. When inserted, the bar is turned round by a winch-handle. The fixed bar prevents the riband from going round, so that it is bent and twisted over the movable rod like the pieces of leather round a whip-stock. The loose bar is removed, the spiral taken from it, and the same process repeated with another riband. The ribands are usually twisted cold, but the breech-ends, if heavy, have to be brought to a red heat before it is possible to twist them, no cogs being used. When very heavy barrels are required, three ribands are used; one for the breech-end, one for the centre, and one for the muzzle-piece. The ends of the ribands, after being twisted into spirals, are drawn out taper and coiled round with the spiral until the extremity is lost, as shown in the representation of a coiled breech-piece of Damascus iron. The coiled riband is next heated, a steel mandrel inserted in the muzzle end, and the coil is welded by hammering. Three men are required one to hold and turn the coil upon the grooved anvil, and two to strike. The foreman, or the one who holds the coil, has also a small hammer with which he strikes the coil, to show the others in which place to strike. When taken from the fire the coil is first beaten upon an iron plate fixed in the floor, and the end opened upon a swage, or the pene of the anvil, to admit of the mandrel being inserted. When the muzzle or fore-coil has been heated, jumped up, and hammered until thoroughly welded, the breech-end or coil, usually about six inches long, is joined to it. The breech-coil is first welded in the same manner, and a piece is cut out of each coil; the two ribands are welded together and the two coils are joined into one, and form a barrel. The two coils being joined, and all the welds made perfect, the barrels are heated, and the surplus metal removed with a float; the barrels are then hammered until they are black or nearly cold, which finishes the process. This hammering greatly increases the density and tenacity of the metal, and the wear of the barrel depends in a great measure upon its being properly performed. A very nice and tight action and overall in nice condition for age. A very small piece of wood lacking from the breech tang area. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables

Code: 20766

975.00 GBP


Shortlist item
An Original No 4 Commando Veteran's WW2 Fairbairn Sykes Third Pattern Commando Knife With Companion Miniature Medal Group

An Original No 4 Commando Veteran's WW2 Fairbairn Sykes Third Pattern Commando Knife With Companion Miniature Medal Group

3rd Pattern, grip stamped Broad Arrow 13, no maker's mark. The number 1 of the 13 is miss-struck. This inspectors mark was used on knives supplied by John Clark and Son, supplier to the Government of FS knives and Smatchets. Apparently used by Sgt Sid Meddings B Troop. 4 Commando. He served in No 4 Commando Under Lord Lovat. No. 4 Commando was a battalion-sized British Army commando unit, formed in 1940 early in the Second World War. Although it was raised to conduct small-scale raids and harass garrisons along the coast of German occupied France, it was mainly employed as a highly trained infantry assault unit.

The unit's first operation was the successful raid on the Lofoten Islands on 4 March 1941. The next two planned operations were both cancelled and it was not until 22 April 1942 that No. 4 Commando took part in another raid, Operation Abercrombie, a raid on the French coastal town of Hardelot. On 22 August 1942, No. 4 was one of three commando units selected for the Dieppe raid. Under the command of Lord Lovat, No. 4 Commando landed on the right flank of the main landings and successfully silenced a German gun battery. This was the only complete success of the operation, which was eventually aborted, after less than 10 hours, following heavy losses.

As part of the 1st Special Service Brigade, No. 4 Commando took part in the Normandy Landings in June 1944. Landing on Sword beach 30 minutes before the rest of the brigade, their first objectives were to capture a strong point and gun battery in Ouistreham. After the commandos eliminated these positions they rejoined the brigade, reinforcing the 6th Airborne Division at the Orne bridges. Before the invasion the brigade had been informed that they would stay in France for only a few days. The commando remained there for a further 82 days, protecting the beachhead's left flank. During that period, No. 4 Commando endured over 50 percent casualties. Finally withdrawn to Britain in September 1944, they were reassigned to the 4th Special Service Brigade for the assault on Walcheren island. At the end of the war No. 4 Commando became part of the occupation force in Germany, but together with all other army commando units were disbanded in 1946. The knife and the medals were given to his friend/relative in the 1970's, from whom we acquired them, the full size medals were kept by Mr Meddings.

Code: 23534

645.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Next page