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A Fine Spanish 17th Century Bilbo Rapier. Armourers Marked Blade

A most attractive rapier of the Iberian Peninsular circa 1660. Most elegant long thin blade with central deep fuller struck with armourers letter marks S. AHC. V.M. plus three armourers stamps. Typical mid 16th to 17th century ribbed egg shaped pommel, somewhat more similar to the form of a guillemot egg than a barnyard fowl. This sword appears to be the direct ancestor of many Spanish Military heavy cavalry swords of the 18th century. There is a fabulous portrait of Fernandez de Velasco, gentleman of Seville, painted in 1659, by the Spanish master, Bartolome Esteban Murillo hanging in the Louvre collection in Paris, wearing his Spanish bilbo rapier. In fact with the appearance of such a near identical example that this could even possibly be the very sword itself. The Rapier or Espada Ropera, is a loose term for a type of slender, sharply pointed sword. With such designing features, rapier is optimized to be a thrusting weapon, but cutting or slashing attacks were also recorded in some historical treatises like Capo Ferro's Gran Simulacro in 1610. This weapon was mainly used in Early Modern Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. The word "rapier" generally refers to a relatively long-bladed sword characterized by a protective hilt which is constructed to provide protection for the hand wielding the sword. Some historical rapier samples also feature a broad blade mounted on a typical rapier hilt. The term rapier can be confusing because this hybrid weapon can be categorized as a type of broadsword. While the rapier blade might be broad enough to cut to some degree (but nowhere near that of the wider swords in use around the Middle Ages such as the longsword), it is designed to perform quick and nimble thrusting attacks. The blade might be sharpened along its entire length or sharpened only from the center to the tip (as described by Capoferro). Pallavicini a rapier master in 1670, strongly advocated using a weapon with two cutting edges. The word "rapier" is a German word to describe what was considered to be a foreign weapon. The word rapier was not used by Italian, Spanish, and French masters during the apogee of this weapon, the terms spada, espada, and ?p?e being instead the norm (generic words for "sword"). Because of this, as well as the great variation of late-16th and 17th century swords, some like Leoni simply describe the rapier as a straight-bladed, two-edged, single-handed sword of that period which is sufficient in terms of both offense and defence, not requiring a companion weapon.

Code: 20157

3650.00 GBP


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A Most Attractive Dyak Tribe Mandau Head Hunter's Sword

A most Dyak sword mandau, swollen SE blade 18½”, flat on one side and tapered on the other with a line of dots and stars, back edge pierced with 3 sets of 4 holes and 2 elephant heads towards point, rattan bound ivory grip, the pommel carved in the form of a stylized antelope with 2 hair tufts, in its rattan bound stylized wooden scabbard with belt loops. A scarce Mandau of the Dayak people, of Kalimantan, Indonesia. With beautifully traditionally carved antler hilt, complete with some hair. Traditional blade with convex obverse and concave reverse. Wooden sheath with upper and lower surfaces carved in relief with matching carved dragonlike shapes, bound with wonderfully woven bi-colored reed wraps, including the original woven reed hanging cords and with it's bi-knife sleeve. 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

Code: 23316

595.00 GBP


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A Late 18th Century 'Brown Bess' Tower of London Musket

Napoleonic Wars 14 bore Brown Bess flintlock musket, 52½” overall, barrel 37" the rounded lock stamped with crowned “GR” and “Tower” with pre 1809 gooseneck cock, walnut fullstock with regulation brass mounts including early style trigger guard, sling swivels. Beginning its life almost 300 years ago, it created one of the greatest empires the word has ever seen and, among other achievements, made the 'British Square' the almost undefeated form of infantry defence throughout the world. Made in four distinct patterns it originally started life as a 46 inch barrel musket called the Long Land or Ist pattern [Brown Bess]. Then in around 1768 the gun evolved and the barrel was shortened to 42 inches [as 46 was deemed unwieldy] and renamed the Short Land or 2nd pattern. Although the Long Land was made continually for another 20 years. With the onset of the Napoleonic Wars in the 1790s, the British Board of Ordnance found itself woefully short of the 250,000 muskets it would need to equip its forces. It managed to produce around 20,000 short land pattern muskets but this was simply not sufficient. At that time the British East India Company maintained it own troops and had contracted with makers to produce a simplified version of the Brown Bess musket with a 39-inch barrel and less ornate furniture and stock work. It was generally felt that the standard of these "India pattern" muskets was not up to the standard of the earlier Besses, but necessity required action so the authorities convinced Company officials to turn over their stores to the Crown. By 1797 the urgencies of war ultimately created the demise of the Short Pattern, and all manufacture was turned to building the more simple 'India' pattern. For the most part, the gun underwent few changes from its introduction until Waterloo, with the exception of the cock, which was altered from the traditional gooseneck style to a sturdier, reinforced version in around 1809. Replacement Enfield rifle steel ramrod, sideplate half lacking. Good working order and good condition, worn overall.

Code: 23314

2295.00 GBP


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An Impressive and Stunning Presentation Grade Gold Inlaid Lefaucheux Revolver Made for a Luxury Gun Store in Buenos Ayres.

This is a very fine example of a very fine presentation quality, highly engraved and gold inlaid Lefaucheux double action, six shot large calibre pin fire revolver, circa 1860. With fixed front and rear sights. The barrel is marked in script "E PARIS CALLE RIVEDAVIA 20 BUENOS AYRES" in an etched and gold inlaid panel. On the side of the barrel it is stamped Lefaucheaux Pte.Brevete. The 12mm revolver features total coverage of intricate pure gold floral motifs most of which are flanked by a thick gold and silver wire inlay. The barrel, frame, cylinder, and grip strap have a blue patinated background. The revolver is finished with its original two-piece ivory grips featuring an engraved escutcheons around the screws and a lanyard ring on the butt.

Lovely condition for age with aged polish patination throughout. The cylinder and frame are fully engraved with finely hammered gold to match. The grip strap and trigger guard are with gold inlay throughout. The grips are good with a few hairlines and have taken on a pleasant mellow aged patina. This is without doubt the revolver for a gentleman of the highest possible status. This revolver uses a "pinfire" cartridge developed by Casimir Lefaucheux in 1823 from Paris. The then-innovative design called for the hammer to strike the pin from above, to which the pin would ignite the internal primer and powder, thus discharging the projectile ball. This action, in effect, closed the breech. Pinfire revolvers went on to see extensive use throughout Europe until being replaced by more centerfire-types. The Lefaucheux's cartridge became the first efficient self-contained cartridge

Code: 23334

4750.00 GBP


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A Simply Beautiful 1860’s Cased Engraved Revolver

A Very Fine indeed, 6 shot 7mm Lefaucheux double action pinfire revolver, c 1865, number 73550, round barrel with octagonal breech 88mm (3½”), the breech bearing Lefaucheux “LF” mark, the barrel engraved “E.PARIS, CALLE RIVADAVIA 20, BUENOS AYRES”; Liege proved; the breech, cylinder and frame fabulously engraved with panels of foliage on a stippled ground; with folding trigger and plain ivory grips. Good working order and condition; in its close fitted blue velvet lined rosewood veneered case, the lid with brass escutcheon within a panel of double brass liners, the inside of the lid having gold blocked coats of arms, on luxurious royal blue velvet “E.PARIS PRIVILEGIADO”, and address, containing ebony handled turnscrew, brass mounted ebony cleaning rod, pewter oil bottle, compartment holding removable tray for 48 cartridges, and key to the case. Some marking to the velvet lining on the lid. Lid with rosewood surface hairline but we can restore. This revolver uses a "pinfire" cartridge developed by Casimir Lefaucheux in 1823 from Paris. The then-innovative design called for the hammer to strike the pin from above, to which the pin would ignite the internal primer and powder, thus discharging the projectile ball. This action, in effect, closed the breech. Pinfire revolvers went on to see extensive use throughout Europe until being replaced by more centerfire-types. The Lefaucheux's cartridge became the first efficient self-contained cartridge

Code: 23333

2950.00 GBP


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A Rare Burmese High Status Noble’s Silver Sword, With Silver Inlaid Blade

A 19th Century Burmese sword dha, curved, shallow fullered silver inlaid blade 26", slight swollen towards point, silver damascened for its full length on both sides, with a scene depicting seated warriors and sages, a dog chow, foliage and inscriptions, zig zag panel along the top edge, silver hilt, the central panels depicting figures of male and female deities, plain darkwood ball pommel, in its plain sheet copper- silver alloy panelled scabbard in eleven sections. Circa 1870. Callied a ‘story' dha, the whole sword is superbly decorated. A picture we show in the gallery of a Burmese prince with his similar sword dha on a stand before him. The blade decoration, with silver overlay on both sides, it is said, is sometimes believed to the horoscope of the Burmese nobleman for whom the dha was commissioned. This sword is a “story” dha, the silver onlay illustrate a popular folktale and Jataka legend, complete with vignette scenes of the highlights of the story, and accompanying captions in Burmese or Pali. The broad use and diffusion of the dha across Southeast Asia makes it difficult to attribute a definitive origin. The Burmese moved into Southeast Asia from the northwest (present day India), passing through Assam and Nagaland. The dha and its variants were possibly derived from the Naga dao, a broadsword used by the Naga people of northeast India for digging as well as killing. The Naga weapon was a thick, heavy, eighteen-inch long backsword with a bevel instead of a point, and this form of blade is found on some dha. Alternatively, the dha may have its origins with the Tai people who migrated to the area from present-day Yunnan Province in southern China. The Khmer and Mon peoples were well established before the arrival the Tai or the Burmese people; perhaps they invented the dha as 13th-century reliefs at Angkor depict the weapon. The history of the region includes many periods where one or the other of these groups dominated, bringing along their culture and weapons to conquered areas.

Similar terms exist in the surrounding area with slightly different meanings. The Chinese word dao (dou in Cantonese) means knife but can refer to any bladed weapon with only one edge. In Bengali, a dao is a six inch long knife. From the Himalayas, the dao spread to Southeast Asia where it came into its present shape. While it is pronounced dha in Burmese, among Khmer-speakers it is known as dao and it may be related to the Malay words pedang and sundang, meaning sword. A related term, dap, means a long-handled sword in Malay. In Thailand, the dha corresponds to the krabi but the equivalent Thai term is daab which is usually a stout double-edge sword. Other elaborate swords might have been made as presentation pieces perhaps to foreigners but the nature of the script on the blade suggests that this example may have been made for a very senior Burman or Shan aristocrat. Overall in scabbard 37.5 inches long, blade 26 inches long

Code: 23315

1895.00 GBP


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Fabulous Brass Cannon Barrel Blunderbuss By T. Richards Circa 1800

A brass barrelled flintlock blunderbuss by Theops. Richards c 1800, 29¾” overall, 2 stage cannon barrel 14", signed in script and with pre 1813 proofs; plain signed stepped lock with safety bolt (incomplete), roller on frizzen spring, and old rounded swan neck cock; walnut fullstock with chequered wrist and brass mounts, including floral engraved butt plate tang and trigger guard with pineapple finial. Theophilus Richards, (fl.1790-1830) had shops in London and Birmingham was father of the celebrated Birmingham gunsmith William Westley Richards. It is typical of the British Naval blunderbuss and dates from circa 1790. This type of weapon fires a multitude of shot about .25 inch in diameter. John Rea is listed as working in London from 1782 to 1793. The Blunderbuss (born of the Dutch word "Donderbus", appropriately meaning "Thunder Pipe" or "Thunder Gun") came to prominence in the early part of the 18th Century (1701-1800) and was more akin to the modern day shotgun than a "long gun" musket or heavy pistol of the time. As such, she excelled in close-in fighting, be it within the confines of naval warfare or walled nature of the urban environment, where her spread of shot could inflict maximum damage to targets at close ranges. Its manageable size, coupled with its spread shot, ensured some level of accuracy for even the novice user and its appearance was rather intimidating to those unfortunate enough to be staring down the business end. As with modern firearms, the Blunderbuss also made for an excellent security-minded weapon and soon found popularity amongst all matter of operators - military, civilian and, of course, criminal parties - by the middle of the 1700s. Even George Washington championed the Blunderbuss for Continental Army "Dragoon" units of the burgeoning American military as opposed to the carbine this being nothing more than a full-featured long gun of lesser overall length, proving suitable for horse-mounted handling As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables

Code: 23312

3250.00 GBP


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A Beautiful And Rare American Revolutionary War Period Large Boxlock Action Double Cannon Barrelled Flintlock Pistol Silver Scroll Inlaid Butt

So called Queen Anne style. A fascinating and most rare breech loading piece, with twin over and under turn-off cannon barrels, that is able to fire both barrels simultaneously, or, one after the other, using a unique sliding trigger guard that opens or covers one of the ignition pans as is required. 50 bore, double barrelled large over and under flintlock boxlock pistol, c1770,” the muzzles starred for a barrel key, with two separate pans beneath a single frizzen, the sliding cover of one pan operated by the sliding trigger guard, the frame retaining traces of etching, the rounded flat sided walnut butt inlaid with silver scrolls and wavy lines. World famous English gunsmith from London Durs Egg was renown for making incredibly similar rare twin cannon barrelled pistols, also with unusual covered pan actions. No proofs. Discussing with Howard Blackmore of the Tower Armouries some decades ago, the non-proved 18th century guns were often for the American export market where proofing was not required. Queen Anne pistols are characterized by the fact that the breech and the trigger plate are forged in one piece with the lock plate, foreshadowing by over 100 years the so-called "action" of a modern weapon. With the typical 'Queen Anne' pistol the barrel unscrews with a barrel key or wrench just ahead of the chamber where the powder and ball are placed when the pistol is loaded. The chamber is long and narrow with a cup at the top shaped to fit the bullet (a round lead ball). The user can quickly fill the chamber with black powder and put a bullet on top; the barrel is then replaced, sealing the bullet between its cup and the breech end of the barrel.

The bullet is larger than the barrel, so the breech is tapered to compress the ball as it moves forward at the moment of firing to tightly fit the bore. High gas pressure is developed behind the bullet before it is forced into the barrel, thus achieving considerably higher muzzle velocity and power than with a muzzle loader. The barrel was often rifled, which improves accuracy. The system also avoids the need for wadding or a ramrod during loading. It was not hugely successful as a military weapon at the time because in the heat of battle the separate barrel could be dropped during loading. The greatest popularity of the Queen Anne was as an effective self-defense weapon. They could be highly decorated with silver to suit the tastes of the very wealthy. But in the case of a double barrel they were especially popular, but most expensive, in fact considerably more than a pair of single barrelled versions.
The firing action functions on a single cock, wear overall to stock and steel as usual due to age. Pistol 10.5" long overall,

Code: 23317

3250.00 GBP


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A Most Rare 1796 Royal Artillery & Royal Horse Artillery Officer's Sword Of The Napoleonic Wars

A very rarely seen King George IIIrd Royal [Horse] Artillery officer’s 1796 pattern sword, blade 30" etched with trophies etc, brass hilt with Royal Artillery cannon engraved on both langets and with foliate designs etc. Beautifully engraved blade and overall is superb condition for its age, naturally it has all the usual signs of combat use, but superb none the less. The surviving number of early Napoleonic period regimentally marked British Royal [Horse] Artillery officer's swords are so few that the similar 1796 Light Dragoon and Light Infantry pattern swords outnumber them, likely 50 to 1. A collector could seek from decade to decade and never actually find another fine regimentally marked example. Used by officers of both Artillery and Horse Artillery. The regiment was involved in all major campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars; in 1804, naval artillery was transferred to the Royal Marine Artillery, while the Royal Irish Artillery lost its separate status in 1810 after the 1800 Union. This period also saw development of the Congreve rocket; based on an existing Indian design, these were the first solid-fuel projectiles used by the British army and two rocket troops were established in 1814. Their use in the War of 1812 is referenced in the line "rocket's red glare" which appears in the Star-Spangled Banner The Napoleonic Wars saw the need to provide fire-support for the cavalry so a formation of Horse Artillery was created in 1793 with two troops of Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) being raised, joined by two more in November 1793. The Royal Irish Artillery was absorbed into the Royal Artillery in 1801 to produce twelve RHA troops and a hundred RA companies in 10 battalions. Cannon [interestingly, the plural of cannon is cannon] were a vital part of warfare at the time of Waterloo, with the ability to rip through massed ranks of troops and inflict terrible casualties.

In 1780 Captain Thomas Blomfield RA was appointed Inspector of Artillery and Superintendent of the Royal Brass Foundry. Three years later he was given responsibility for re-organising the Ordnance Department. At the same time he was experimenting with new forms of ordnance. The resultant Blomfield guns had thicker breeches, thinner chases and a cascabel ring to control recoil, making them stronger without increasing their weight.

The Blomfield 9-pounder cannon was introduced to the Royal Artillery (RA) in 1805 as a response to the heavier French calibre guns. At Waterloo Wellington had 157 pieces but only 60 were 9-pdrs, in 12 batteries. The remaining 13 batteries had 6-pdrs and howitzers. Interestingly, the Dutch-Belgian and Brunswick Artillery, who fought alongside the British at Waterloo, used French cannon (known as An. XI Ordnance). Wellington employed his Royal Horse Artillery very effectively during the battle as a mobile reserve to plug holes in his line. For example, with Hougoumont under attack, Major Bull’s troop was brought forward in support from its original position towards the rear of the allied position.

The allied artillery faced 246 pieces in 34 French batteries. As was his usual tactic, Napoleon started the battle with a heavy artillery bombardment on the Allied line to soften up the enemy.

Cannon on both sides used round-shot that was lethal against columns of infantry, knocking down several men at once for as long as the ball continued to travel. Case shot or canister (tin coated iron cans) packed with smaller iron balls was devastating at close range. Only the British used spherical case (Shrapnel) where a shell was filled with small iron balls. A specially cut wooden fuse detonated a bursting charge.

The technology to produce cannon was an integral part of the Industrial Revolution. Other technological developments were the introduction of water-powered machines, the tin can, improved metal alloys, accurately bored cylinders for steam engines, and even ordnance survey maps. No scabbard

Code: 23319

1395.00 GBP


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A Superb & Exemplary Example of a Napoleonic Pistol of the Line,Year 13 An 13 Cuirassier or Dragoon, & Very Likely an Officer Upgrade Pistol

A fantastic quality and condition original regulation pattern pistol, Manufacture Imperial St Etienne year 13 pattern, dated 1814 [in Revolutionary France the dates were changed to year 1 onwards in 1792] A prime piece for collectors of original Napoleana and scarce original weaponry from the elite cavalry of Napoleon, but with an extra deluxe feature of simulated dark graining to appear of greater quality, and thus suitable for an officer. Possibly issued to an officer who was of limited means, and could not afford the private purchase version. However, it was embellished at the time to give an air of superiority and quality. Used by a Napoleon's elite cavalry officer, during the Napoleonic Wars and Waterloo era. All of Napoleon's Heavy Cavalry Regiments fought at Waterloo, there were no reserve regiments. The Cuirassiers Heavy Cavalry Regiments used the largest men in France, recruited to serve in the greatest and noblest cavalry France has ever had. They fought with incredible distinction at their last great conflict at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and much of the weaponry used by Napoleons cavalry came home to England after the battle, as trophies of war. One can imagine, the noble, fallen, French Cuirassier, who had carried this pistol into his last vainglorious combat, would still likely have had this pistol in hand as he fell under his fallen loyal steed. His fine piece, may have been lying freely, or maybe even still gripped within his hand, on the field of conflict, waiting for a victorious British soldier or cavalryman to claim his well deserved trophy of battle. Every warrior that has ever entered service for his country sought trophies. The Mycenae from the fallen Trojan, the Roman from the fallen Gaul, the GI from the fallen Japanese, and the tradition stretches back as far as combat itself, and will continue to do so as long as man serves his country as soldier and warrior in battle. In the 1st century AD the Roman Poet Juvenal Decimus Junius Juvenalis wrote; "Man thirsts more for glory than virtue. The armour of an enemy, his broken helmet, the flag ripped from a conquered trireme, are treasures valued beyond all human riches. It is to obtain these tokens of glory that Generals, be they Roman, Greek or barbarian, brave a thousand perils and endure a thousand exertions". Used during the the battles of
1814: La Rothiere, Rosnay, Champaubert, Vauchamps, Athies, La Fere-Champenoise and Paris
1815: Ligny, Genappe, and Waterloo.

Code: 23332

2495.00 GBP


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