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Code: 23526

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Thank You To The NHS✌️

I count myself extremely fortunate to be amongst the first 21 MILLION British citizens to be vaccinated by the Covid vaccine yesterday.

Thank you so much to all involved at the Oxford labs [in my particular case] and to all the scientists who helped develop such a life-saving product, and for the producers to create vaccines that will protect the world.

All being well, in just a few short months, Britain should get back to a semblance of normality, thanks to our rapidity of roll-out

In my opinion, this will go down in history as another one of the great milestones of medical progress for the benefit of mankind.

I would like thank most sincerely all souls involved, and not forgetting the fabulous administration staff and medical personnel in all the vaccination centres around the country, and in my case at the Brighton Centre on the Kings Road, in Brighton.
Mark Hawkins

Code: 23531

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A Bronze and Iron Archemeanid Sword From the Time of the Greco-Persian Wars of Xerxes the Great Against the Spartans at Thermopylae.

7th century to 6th century BC, As a most rare and incredibly valuable piece of weaponry this wonderful sword would likely have been used and held by warriors of nobility for several hundred years.
A complete sword, of both blade and hilt, with leaf-shaped iron blade, double-waisted grip with transverse collar, the pommel formed as two crescentic iron spayed lobes, the hilt clad with bronze. Approx 640 grams, 19.25 inches. Fine condition. Approximately 2500 years old, Achaemenid Empire era, [550 bc to 330 bc] From the the Greco-Persian War, such as includes the iconic battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Plataea, up to the time of Alexander the Great. This wonderful antiquity, from one of the most eventful and ground breaking periods of classical history, is in amazing condition and beautifully decorated 6th-4th century BC. A bronze long dagger with narrow lentoid-section blade, collared grip with crescentic ears to the pommel. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the south-western portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis, which came to be their heartland. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes, Lydia, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, establishing the Achaemenid Empire. The Ionian [Greek] Revolt in 499 BC, and associated revolts in Aeolis, Doris, Cyprus and Caria, were military rebellions by several regions of Asia Minor against Persian rule, lasting from 499 to 493 BC. At the heart of the rebellion was the dissatisfaction of the Greek cities of Asia Minor with the tyrants appointed by Persia to rule them, along with the individual actions of two Milesian tyrants, Histiaeus and Aristagoras. In 499 BC, the then tyrant of Miletus, Aristagoras, launched a joint expedition with the Persian satrap Artaphernes to conquer Naxos, in an attempt to bolster his position in Miletus (both financially and in terms of prestige). The mission was a debacle, and sensing his imminent removal as tyrant, Aristagoras chose to incite the whole of Ionia into rebellion against the Persian king Darius the Great. In 490 BC the Persian forces were defeated by the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon and Darius would die before having the chance to launch an invasion of Greece. The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. The battle was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate Greece. The Greek army decisively defeated the more numerous Persians, marking a turning point in the Greco-Persian Wars. Xerxes I (485–465 BC, "Hero Among Kings"), son of Darius I, vowed to complete the job. He organized a massive invasion aiming to conquer Greece. His army entered Greece from the north, meeting little or no resistance through Macedonia and Thessaly, but was delayed by a small Greek force for three days at Thermopylae. A simultaneous naval battle at Artemisium was tactically indecisive as large storms destroyed ships from both sides. The battle was stopped prematurely when the Greeks received news of the defeat at Thermopylae and retreated. The battle was a strategic victory for the Persians, giving them uncontested control of Artemisium and the Aegean Sea.

Following his victory at the Battle of Thermopylae, Xerxes sacked the evacuated city of Athens and prepared to meet the Greeks at the strategic Isthmus of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf. In 480 BC the Greeks won a decisive victory over the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis and forced Xerxes to retire to Sardis. The land army which he left in Greece under Mardonius retook Athens but was eventually destroyed in 479 BC at the Battle of Plataea. The final defeat of the Persians at Mycale encouraged the Greek cities of Asia to revolt, and the Persians lost all of their territories in Europe; Macedonia once again became independent. Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 BC. Upon Alexander's death, most of the empire's former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence at that time. The Iranian elites of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire
Formerly Ex Abelita family collection, acquired from the 1970’s.
See Khorasani, M.M., Arms and Armour from Iran. The Bronze Age to the End of the Qajar Period, Tübingen, 2006, p.384, no.20, for similar.

Code: 23515

3950.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Rare 1st Edition 'Reveries or Memoirs Upon The Art of War', Printed in 1757

An important classic. First Edition in English. (8-1/4 x 10-1/2 inches) leather bound of 195 pages, and a page of advertisements for other books by the publisher. 40 copper plates, some fold out, on 34 pages. First edition in English of a classic 18th century military work by Saxe (1696-1750) the renowned soldier. The book is divided into 2 parts, the first examining the raising, feeding, clothing, exercising, paying, encamping, and moving of an army, and the 2nd covering the strategic aspects of combat, including attack and defence in various terrains. A nice rare copy with former owner's and name plate, Thomas Best of Park House, Boxley, Kent. Added some original Letters, upon various Military Subjects, wrote by the Count to the late King of Poland, and M. de Folard, which were never before made public: Together with His Reflections upon the Propagation of the Human Species. Translated from the French. This is the first edition in English of a classic military work by one of the world's most famous soldiers. At the age of twelve, Dresden-born Maurice de Saxe (1696?1750) entered the Saxon army, beginning a long and successful military career that culminated in his promotion to Marshal of France, where he retained full command of the main army in Flanders directly under Louis XV. Again and again, de Saxe achieved enormous victories over his enemies, becoming one of the greatest military leaders of the eighteenth century. Combining his memoirs and general observations with brilliant military thinking, Reveries on the Art of War was written in a mere thirteen days. Introducing revolutionary approaches to battles and campaigning at a time of changing military tactics and leadership styles, it stands as a classic of early modern military theory.
De Saxe's Reveries offered numerous procedural innovations for raising and training troops. His descriptions for establishing field camps were soon standard procedure. His ideas advanced weapon technology, including the invention of a gun specially designed for infantrymen and the acceptance of breech-loading muskets and cannons. De Saxe heightened existing battle formations by introducing a specific attack column that required less training, and he rediscovered a military practice lost since the ancient Romans ? the art of marching in cadence. He even delved into the minds and emotions of soldiers on the battlefield, obtaining a deeper understanding of their daily motivations.
Written by a military officer of great acumen, Reveries on the Art of War has deeply impacted modern military tactics. Enduringly relevant, this landmark work belongs in the library of anyone interested in the history, tactics, and weapons of European warfare. We show a wax miniature of the books owner, Thomas Best, in full military uniform. The miniature is held as part of the Victoria and Albert Museum Collection.

Code: 21247

595.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Original Elizabethan Book De Re Militari Roman War Tactics Vegetius Renatus. An Original Treatise From the 5th Century, in this Re-print From 1592

Printed in Latin [as the original] but accompanied with an English translation. One of the greatest standards of military warfare ever written, used by all the great generals and commanders since pre medeavil times. Machiavelli included some of its ideas in his master work, The Prince. A rare untouched publication from the times of the Spanish Armada in its original binding and a wonderful military artifact of Roman History written before the demise if the Western Roman Empire. It comes complete with a modern English paperback translation of the first three books within De Re Militari. Original 5th century treatise in Latin reprinted [also in Latin] in 1592. A superb Elizabeth Ist period published volume of the complete 5th Century treatise on Roman Warfare, with all original numerous engravings of Roman seige engines, combat and siege tactics depicted with knights in contemporary armour. By Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, De Re Militari (Latin "Concerning Military Matters"), containing the complete four books within the two volumes contained within this one publication in it's original 16th century binding. Every leaf has been examined and checked as complete. Published in the Netherlands by Lugduni Batauorum : Ex officina Plantiniana apud Franciscum Raphelengium in 1592. Epitoma rei militaris, is a treatise written around 400 AD by the Latin writer Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus detailing Roman warfare and military principles as a presentation of methods and practices in use during the height of Rome's power, and responsible for that power. The extant text dates to the 5th century.
The work is dedicated to a mysterious emperor, whose identity is unknown but whom Vegetius must have assumed to have been known to his intended readership. It may be that he wrote on behalf of military reform under the patronage of Theodosius I. In that case he would have been alive in the window 378-395, the dates of Theodosius' reign. This article adopts that point of view and assigns an approximate date of 390 to the work, which would not be, then, word for word the same as what Vegetius wrote, accounting for the title variants.
Vegetius emphasized things such as training of soldiers as a disciplined force, orderly strategy, maintenance of supply lines and logistics, quality leadership and use of tactics and even deceit to ensure advantage over the opposition. He was concerned about selection of good soldiers and recommended hard training of at least four months before the soldier was accepted into the ranks. The leader of the army (dux) had to take care of the men under his command and keep himself informed about the movements of the enemy to gain advantage in the battle.

De re militari became a military guide in the Middle Ages. Even after the introduction of gunpowder to Europe, it was carried by general officers and their staffs as a field guide to methods. Friends and subordinates customarily presented embellished copies as gifts to leaders. It went on into the 18th and 19th centuries as a source of policy and strategy to the major states of Europe. In that sense De re militari is a projection of Roman civilization into modern times and a continuation of its influence on its cultural descendants. Vegetius based his treatise on descriptions of Roman armies, especially those of the mid to late Republic. As G.R. Watson observes, Vegetius' Epitoma "is the only ancient manual of Roman military institutions to have survived intact." The antiquarian sources were Cato the Elder, Cornelius Celsus, Frontinus, Paternus and the imperial constitutions of Augustus, Trajan and Hadrian. 480 pages plus index. 4,5 x 7 x 2 inches. A little looseness at the top of the original binding of the spine

Code: 21685

1895.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Signally Rare & Historical Original Norman Warrior’s Helmet From the Norman Conquest of 1066 Period

11th-12th century AD. A Norman four-plate iron helmet constructed from curved sections of triangular form, converging at the apex; the bowl contoured so that the back and front plates overlap the side-plates by 1/2 to 1 inch, with iron rivets passing through each overlap to secure them in position; the rivets worked flat into the surface of the helmet, almost invisible from the outside but detectable on the inner surface; the plate-junction at the apex supplied with a small hole, allowing a plume or horsehair streamer to be inserted through a ring; mounted on a custom-made stand. Photographs and details to be added after the weekend.

On 14 October 1066, Harold II fought William's army at the Battle of Hastings

The English army, led by King Harold, took up their position on Senlac Hill near Hastings on the morning of the 14th October 1066. Harold’s exhausted and depleted Saxon troops had been forced to march southwards following the bitter, bloody battle to capture Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire only days earlier.

William attacked with cavalry as well as infantry; in the classic English manner, Harold’s well trained troops all fought on foot behind their mighty shield wall.

The fighting continued for most of the day with the shield wall unbroken. It is said that it was the sight of retreating Normans which finally lured the English away from their defensive positions as they broke ranks in pursuit of the enemy.

Once their carefully organised formation was broken, the English were vulnerable to cavalry attack. King Harold was struck in the eye by a chance Norman arrow and was killed, but the battle raged on until all of Harold’s loyal bodyguard were slain.

This battle changed the entire course of not just English, but European history. England would henceforth be ruled by an oppressive foreign aristocracy, which in turn would influence the entire ecclesiastical and political institutions of Christendom.

William was crowned king of England on Christmas Day 1066, but it took years more fighting to conquer the whole country. His cruellest campaign was the 'Harrying of the North' in 1069, where he slaughtered the inhabitants of the north-east and destroyed their food stores so that even the survivors starved to death.

The Norman Conquest changed the face of England forever. William ruled as unquestioned conqueror and the Saxons became merely an unpaid workforce for their new lords.

The Norman Conquest also changed the history of Europe – adding the wealth of England to the military might of Normandy made the joint-kingdom a European super-power.
In warfare, it was the start of the age of the knight-on-horseback.
See Curtis, H.M., 2,500 Years of European Helmets, North Hollywood, 1978; Denny, N. & Filmer-Sankey, J., The Bayeux Tapestry, London, 1966; Kirpicnikow, A. N., Russische Helme aus dem Frühen Mittelalter, Waffen- und Kostamkunde, 3rd Series, vol.15, pt.2, 1973; Nicolle, D., Byzantine and Islamic arms and armour; evidence for mutual influence, in: Warriors and their weapons around the time of the Crusades, relationship between Byzantium, the West and the Islamic world, Padstow, 2002, pp.299-325; Menghin, W., The Merovingian Period - Europe Without Borders, Berlin, 2007, pp.326-7, item I.34.4.; D’Amato, R., ‘Old and new evidence on East-Roman helmets from the 9th to the 12th centuries,’ in Acta Militaria Medievalia, 2015, XI, pp.27-157, fig.23, nn.1-2 and pl.1.2.6 kg total, 47cm including stand, helmet: 16cm (18 3/4”"). Helmets of this general profile and form are a long-lived military fashion in the Black Sea region, as evidenced by elements of a 7th-8th century Khazar saddle from the Shilovskiy grave field (Samara region"). A similar helmet is housed in the St. Petersburg Museum (inventory reference PA72), for which D’Amato (2015, pp. 65ff.) proposed an Eastern-Roman origin, based on the interchange of Roman and Khazar military technology. Based on a similar 7th century helmet found with a coin of Heraclius, D’Amato proposed that these helmets were a product of the introduction of Steppe technology in Byzantium. This form of helmet is certainly evident in the iconography of 9th-12th century Eastern-Roman helmets. Fair condition, some restoration. accompanied by an archaeological report by military specialist Dr D'Amato University Ferrara

Code: 23530

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A Museum Quality & Singularly Rare Viking King’s or Earl’s, in Viking the Jarl, Sword 10th Century.

10th-early 11th century AD
A double-edged cutting sword of Wheeler Type III and Petersen Type S variant with long tapering blade, cutting edges with edge to edge combat marks, shallow tapering fullers and traces of copper inlay to the blade; boat-shaped lower guard and upper guard with silver inlaid decoration, massive three-lobed pommel with similar decoration, the lobes separated by inlaid silver bands on traditional Viking artwork pattern between the distinctive period between the Mammen and the Urnes Style, with gilt traces to blade suggests that it was probably inscribed. Approx 1.5kg, 36” long overall. Fine condition.

The Inlay is a Scandinavian animal style from the late 10th century and the 11th century, which evolved out of the earlier Mammen Style. It has received its name from a group of runestones with animal and plant motifs in the district north of Oslo. The most common motifs are lions, birds, band-shaped animals and spirals. Some elements appear for the first time in Scandinavian art, such as different types of crosses, palmettes and pretzel-shaped nooses that tie together two motifs. Most of the motifs have counterparts in Anglo-Saxon art and Ottonian art. Original Viking swords so rarely appear that we are only fortunate enough to acquire such a beautiful example probably only two or three per decade. It is said that the Viking sword occupied the highest rank of esteem in the forms of weaponry in the Viking age. It was certainly not a common weapon for the regular Viking warrior. Only the Viking earls, clan chiefs and kings normally carried such fine swords, for only Vikings of such status could afford the finest craftsmanship found in the Viking sword. The more usual weapons in the Viking warrior community were axes and spears. Circa 900 ad. Amazingly with a considerable amount of its original silver inlay in the reverse and the obverse sides of the pommel and crossguard. This pommel style was actually of Anglo-Saxon design, but it’s beauty was recognised by the Vikings and thus emulated in their swords. The Viking’s sword was a highly expensive weapon and therefore much effort was put into decorating its handle. The pommel, which acted as a counterweight to the blade, so that the sword balanced, could display inlays of precious metals or intricate patterns. The blade itself often had so called “blood grooves” or fullers, and this sword has a single fuller running along its middle. These fullers saved valuable metal and made the sword lighter. The Vikings placed such status on to their swords they often named them, due to the belief of theIr supposed magical qualities, heritage, and creator of remarkable events. Such evocative names as;

Gramr: Fierce. This was the name of the sword that hero Sigurd used to kill the dragon Fafnir
Gunnlogi: Battle Flame, War Flame
Leggbir: Leg bitter
Skrofnung: Gnawer
Keurnbut: Millstone-breaker
Naegling: Hole-maker
Fotbitr: Foot-biter.
Swords that had names were a treasure not only for their monetary value but also for the honour for the family and the clan.
This fabulous sword is in amazing condition and considering its great age is remarkably sound indeed, and feels just as a fine top quality sword should, even today. It is 10th century, and likely used up to, and into, the 11th century 'Battle of Hastings' of 1066, known as the the Norman invasion period. This wonderful museum piece is part of a significant collection of fine museum quality swords we are adding to our site for sale this week. This fabulous, historical Viking sword, has the highly iconic, and typical trilobite fashion, pommel of three distinct lobes, inlaid with silver. A double-edged broad sword of Petersen Type S variant with a tapering blade, shallow fullers, possible traces of pattern-welding to the blade, it has superb battle nicks to both cutting edges, the massive Viking pommel with is with three distinct lobes. In fine condition.
Accompanied by an academic report by military specialist Dr. D’Amato.

See Petersen, J., De Norske Vikingsverd, Oslo, 1919; Peirce, I., Swords of the Viking Age, Suffolk, 2002; Hiardar K. and Vike, V., Vikings at war, Oxford-Philadelphia, 2016; the sword has good parallels with similar Viking age specimens published by Peirce (2002, pp.102-105), one in the British Museum and the other at the Universitetets Oldsaksamling, Oslo.
Footnotes
Viking swords of Type S are commonly found in Nordic countries and Eastern Europe, with a number found in Western Europe. Although this sword would be classified as a Type S, the trilobate form of the pommel recalls the swords of type L, having Anglo-Saxon influences. The style of the hilt on the S swords are often very different: so were the swords, that can combine elements of different types. In the gallery we will show an original medieval painting of 11th century King Harald in combat at Stamford Bridge in 1066, and note the knight behind is using the very same type of lobed pommelled Viking broadsword. Illustration by Matthew Paris from "The Life of King Edward the Confessor", 13th century. A most similar sword but in much poorer condition is known as the Roselund Sword. In the Church of Rønninge stands a rune stone bearing the text: “Sóti placed this stone in memory or Eileifr, his brother, Ásgautr Red-shield’s son”. Nearby lies the Rosenlund grave containing weapons and riding equipment, perhaps it was Ásgautr’s grave. We are familiar with Viking swords from various burials, which mainly date to the early Viking period. It was most often people of high status who were buried with swords in the Viking Age. Not all Viking warriors had a sword; they were prestige weapons. Swords were highly valued objects and could be handed down from generation to generation. They were also given as gifts to people of high status in order to stay on good terms with them.

Viking swords were also used in another way. This was the tradition of sacrificing the valuable swords in lakes and bogs. Many swords, spears and lances from the Viking and early medieval periods have also been found near fords crossing rivers and in wetlands. Perhaps the weapons were left at such locations as an offering, or else they were simply dropped and lost during the attempt to cross the water. One picture in the gallery is an early painting of the Anglo Saxon King Offa of Mercia on horseback, he is holding a near identical sword with the same triple lobed pommel as this Viking sword has. Almost every weapon that has survived today from this era is now in a fully russetted condition, as is this one, because only the swords of kings, that have been preserved in national or Royal collections are today still in a good state and condition.
Viking art is usually divided into a sequence of roughly chronological styles, although outside Scandinavia itself local influences are often strong, and the development of styles can be less clear.
See Petersen, J., De Norske Vikingsverd, Oslo, 1919; Oakeshott, R.E., The Archaeology of the weapons, London, 1960; Peirce, I., Swords of the Viking Age, Suffolk, 2002; Marek, L., Early Medieval Swords from Central and Eastern Europe: Dilemmas of an Archaeologist and a Student of Arms, Wrocław, 2005; the sword has good parallels in various similar Viking age specimens, like the sword from Mixnam’s pit, Chertsey, today at the Chertsey Museum (Peirce, 2002, pp.98ff.).
The Type S was often characterised by splendid decoration achieved with silver and copper inlays. It was usually made by using silver wire, which was wound around copper wire and then hammered into place upon base metal, which had been prepared with a scored surface to secure the overlay. The design was then bordered by fine copper wires. Although this sword would be classified as a type S, the slight curvature of the lower guard makes it a variant of the classical form of this typology, possibly even showing Anglo-Saxon influence from type L.

Code: 23514

41275.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Wonderful, Maori Jade Large Hand Axe 13th-17th Century Pounamu Toki

Some of the most fascinating objects in British museum collections come from many far flung places all over the world. They arrived in their collections due to the explorers and travellers gathering trinkets and objects of curios during the 19th century. One such object is this Pounamu Toki or the Greenstone Axe from New Zealand. These axes were used as a tool for daily work as well as being employed in ceremonial form.

We have had several over the past 50 years but unfortunately, none of them have ever had their handles remaining. They retain considerable meaning for the Maori, as Greenstone is known as the God Stone, and to the Europeans, Jade. They are imbibed with mysticism and sacred power to the Maori. Greenstone is a sacred material and most rare. It occurs naturally in the South island of New Zealand and is found in several areas and has been discovered in rivers as boulders or pebbles or washed up on the coast.

Maori myth and legend is attached to the greenstone and its origins. The Ngati Waewae tribe tells of a legend about a fearsome Taniwha (sea monster) and a beautiful princess kidnapped by the Taniwha. The princess eventually gets turned to greenstone on the riverbed. This myth tells how the greenstone was created. 6.25 inches long x 3.5 inches wide.

Code: 21861

1100.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Most Rare And Superb 3rd 2nd Century b.c. Falcata Sword From the Invasion of Rome in the Punic Wars of The Great General Hannibal

You simply do not often see such rare and iconic original ancient swords used by the most famed protagonists of the Carthaginian Wars, against the might of Rome during the period of one of the greatest eras in classical history, let alone have the opportunity to own one. The falcata is one of the most distinctive swords of classical history, with its inverted curve and powerful blade it can be seen depicted in the earliest decoration of Hellenistic attic vases and early pottery from ancient Greece, paintings from great historical battles in early art work of the medieval period and into the Renaissance, and in allegorical art of the Georgian and Victorian era.
In 219 B.C., Hannibal of Carthage led an attack on Saguntum, an independent city allied with Rome, which sparked the outbreak of the Second Punic War. He then marched his massive army across the Pyrenees and Alps into central Italy in what would be remembered as one of the most famous campaigns in history. After a string of victories, the most notable coming at Cannae in 216 B.C., Hannibal had gained a foothold in southern Italy, but declined to mount an attack on Rome itself. The Romans rebounded, however, driving the Carthaginians out of Spain and launching an invasion of North Africa. In 203 B.C., Hannibal abandoned the struggle in Italy to defend North Africa, and he suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of Publius Cornelius Scipio at Zama the following year. Though the treaty concluding the Second Punic War put an end to Carthage’s status as an imperial power, Hannibal continued to pursue his lifelong dream of destroying Rome up until his death in 183 B.C. This is simply a stunning and rare original Iberian single -edged Falcata of the 3rd-2nd century BC and later. A single-edged machaira sword of falcata type, with curved hilt of regular geometric shape, lateral iron guard (later addition); grooves on one side of the upper part of blade; three circular rivets of circular section which fastened the organic handle to the hilt. Weighing approx 630 grams , almost 22 inches long, and in nice condition for age.

See Quesada Sanz, F.,El armamento Ibérico, Madrid, 1991; Quesada Sanz, F., Arma y símbolo: la falcata Ibérica, Alicante, 1992; Quesada Sanz, F., ‘Patterns of interaction, Celtic and Iberian weapons in Iron Age Spain’ in Celtic connections, volume 2, papers from the Tenth International Congress of Celtic Studies, Edinburgh, 1995, Edinburgh, 2005; a similar specimen with a near identical hilt is the Iberian Falcata from Cerro Muriano (Córdoba, Spain) which is preserved in the Copper Museum of Córdoba (III-II century BC).
Since the 5th-4th century BC, the Iberian warriors armed themselves with round shields and single edged swords (falcatas) that were the Etruscan version of the Greek machaira. The latter type of sword was duly transformed into a completely new type, with a different size, shape and function, the falcata, already in use in the Iberian area by c. 490 BC. This type of curved, slashing, single-edged sword is generally accepted by the scholars as the 'national' weapon of the Iberians, and was commonly used in the Iberian Peninsula, worn by the warriors usually suspended on the left side in a scabbard to which was often attached a short knife. It was a terrifying cut-and-thrust sword, with an average blade length of 45cm. General Commander-in-Chief of the Carthaginian army, Hannibal was a Carthaginian general and statesman who commanded Carthage's main forces against the Roman Republic during the Second Punic War. He is widely considered one of the greatest military commanders in human history. His father, Hamilcar Barca, was a leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War. His younger brothers were Mago and Hasdrubal, and he was brother-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair, who also commanded Carthaginian armies. Hannibal lived during a period of great tension in the western Mediterranean Basin, triggered by the emergence of the Roman Republic as a great power after it had established its supremacy over Italy. Although Rome had won the First Punic War, revanchism prevailed in Carthage, symbolised by the alleged pledge that Hannibal made to his father never to be a friend of Rome. The Second Punic War broke out in 218 BC after Hannibal's attack on Saguntum, an ally of Rome in Hispania. He then made his famous military exploit of carrying war to Italy by crossing the Alps with his North African war elephants. In his first few years in Italy, he won a succession of dramatic victories at the Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and Cannae. He distinguished himself for his ability to determine his and his opponent's respective strengths and weaknesses, and to plan battles accordingly. Hannibal's well-planned strategies allowed him to conquer several Italian cities allied to Rome. Hannibal occupied most of southern Italy for 15 years, but could not win a decisive victory, as the Romans led by Fabius Maximus avoided confrontation with him, instead waging a war of attrition. A counter-invasion of North Africa led by Scipio Africanus forced him to return to Carthage. Scipio eventually defeated Hannibal at the Battle of Zama, having previously driven Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal out of the Iberian Peninsula.

Code: 23521

11275.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Imperial Roman Gladius Legionary's Long Sword Early to Mid 1st Century Used until The 3rd century AD

From the time of the Emperors, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. A double-edged iron sword of with the typology ‘Pompeii’ with parallel cutting edges sharply graduating towards the triangular point, battle nicks to the edges, shallow fuller and long tang. The Pompeii gladius was named by modern historians after the Roman town of Pompeii. This type of gladius was by far the most popular one. Four instances of the sword type were found in Pompeii, with others turning up elsewhere. Gladii were two-edged for cutting and had a tapered point for stabbing during thrusting. A solid grip was provided by a knobbed hilt added on, possibly with ridges for the fingers. Blade strength was achieved by welding together strips, in which case the sword had a channel down the centre, or by fashioning a single piece of high-carbon steel, rhomboidal in cross-section. The owner's name was often engraved or punched on the blade.
This kind of sword was much more suitable than the earlier Mainz typology for the fight against the Germanic tribes, allowing the legionary to deliver equally successful blows by stabbing and chopping. The specimen in question presents a very elongated blade and it is possible that it was used as weapon from horseback, representing a sort of transitional type between the short gladius and the long cavalry spatha. Similar long Pompeii blades specimens have been found in the Barbaricum and in a military camp of Germania Inferior. After Caesar's preliminary low-scale invasions of Britain, the Romans invaded in force in 43 AD, forcing their way inland through several battles against British tribes, including the Battle of the Medway, the Battle of the Thames, the Battle of Caer Caradoc and the Battle of Mona. Following a general uprising in which the Britons sacked Colchester, St Albans and London the Romans suppressed the rebellion in the Battle of Watling Street and went on to push as far north as central Scotland in the Battle of Mons Graupius. Tribes in modern-day Scotland and Northern England repeatedly rebelled against Roman rule and two military bases were established in Britannia to protect against rebellion and incursions from the north, from which Roman troops built and manned Hadrian's Wall

On the continent, the extension of the Empire's borders beyond the Rhine hung in the balance for some time, with the emperor Caligula apparently poised to invade Germania in 39 AD, and Cnaeus Domitius Corbulo crossing the Rhine in 47 AD and marching into the territory of the Frisii and Chauci. Caligula's successor, Claudius, ordered the suspension of further attacks across the Rhine, setting what was to become the permanent limit of the Empire's expansion in this direction.
Although at first sight they seem more similar to later spathae swords of the Roman army, they are examples of the great variety of weaponry existing inside the Armies of Rome, and of the way in which its structure was able to adapt itself to its various military needs. This sword type also present
a noteworthy problem in regards of precise individual dating, because without a precise archaeological context, there use can range from the 1st to the 3rd century AD (such as specimens from Windisch, Zwammerdam). This superb sword is accompanied with an expertise appraisal by military specialist, Dr. D’Amato of Ferrara University. For references on this sword type see; Curle, J., A Roman Frontier Post and its People, the Fort of Newstead in the Parish of Melrose, Glasgow, 1911; Bishop, M. C. & Coulston, J.C.N., Roman military equipment, from the Punic wars to the fall of Rome, London, 1993; Antonucci, C., ‘The Praetorians, the bodyguard of the Emperor Trajan, 2nd cent. AD’, in Ancient Warrior,1, Stockport, 1994, pp.3ff.; Feugère, M., Weapons of the Romans, Port Stroud, 2002; Bishop, M. C. & Coulston, J.C.N., Roman military equipment, from the Punic wars to the fall of Rome, London, 2006; Miks, C., Studien zur Romischen Schwertbewaffnung in der Kaiserzeit, I-II Banden, Rahden, 2007; for very similar specimens see Miks, 2007, n.A792 (Windisch, length 64 cm); A821 (Zwammerdam, length 71cm); A302 (Hofstade Steenberg, length 64cm); A369 (Korytnica, length 76.2cm); A354 (Klein-Winternheim, length 67cm).
In the world of collecting early weaponry a sword is defined as it’s blade, it’s hilt was separate often made of vulnerable woods and materials that do not survive the ravages of time. You simply do not often see such rare and iconic original ancient swords used by one of the most famed empires in the world, during the period of one of the greatest eras in classical history, let alone have the opportunity to own one. This sword is 855 grams, 84cm (32"). Fine condition.

Code: 23516

11250.00 GBP


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