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A Simply Fabulous 18th Century Hand Held Military Grenade-Mortar-Pyrotechnic Cohorn Pistol

A Fabulous and such a rare pistol, somewhat like an amazing short barrelled huge muzzle blunderbuss. Made in the 1760's, it is a hand portable grenade or mortar launcher sometimes known as a cohorn, and also known as a pyrotechnic gun. It is such a rarity today as to be a near unique survivor of its type. We show in the gallery [photo 10] another example of a rare hand held mortar / grenade gun, that sold at auction 3 years ago in Germany, for a remarkable 120,000 euros [although it was certainly somewhat more elaborate as it was a civilian type]. The two stage barrel is stunning and has traces and of scrolling flames engraved across the top. The butt has a grotesque cast mask and a most finely engraved trigger guard, depicting anf ancient helmetted warrior, and an engraved brass side plate. Certainly used in the Americas in the 18th and early 19th century. Last year we were delighted to have a very, very rare, shoulder mounted grenade launcher, used by the early grenadiers, but a hand held version, such as this in some respects is even rarer still. It has had a percussion conversion lock by R Ashmore [an American maker] converted by him in the first quarter part of the 19th century. His name is engraved on the lock [but worn]. The hand mortar is a firearm that was used in the late 17th century and 18th century to throw fused grenades. The action was similar to a flintlock, matchlock, or wheellock firearm (depending on the date of production), but the barrel was short, usually less than 2 inches (5 cm) to 4 inches (10 cm) long (though some are reported to have barrels up to 13 inches (33 cm) long), and had a large bore to accommodate the grenade; usually between 2 and 2.5 inches (5 to 6 cm). Between 1672 and 1740, the Royal Foundry of Berlin (Knigliches Giehaus zu Berlin) produced 302 hand mortars (Handmorser). Additionally, a mortar at the Museum of Artillery in Woolwich, Great Britain bears the inscription Fondeur Strasbourg (made in Strasbourg (France)) and several other surviving pieces bear the coat of arms of Wurttemberg indicating that they might have been made there. The first references to the type of grenade used in a hand mortar occur in a 1472 work entitled Valturius, where an incendiary prototype may have been produced. However, widespread use of the explosive grenade does not occur until the early-to-mid-16th century under Francis I of France. An early casualty of this type of grenade was Count de Randan who died of shrapnel wounds to the legs from a grenade during the Siege of Rouen (probably the battle of Issoire) in 1562. Explosive grenades were made from brass, glass, and possibly clay, and incendiary projectiles were made from canvas, however, Nathanael Nye, Master Gunner of the City of Worcester in a work entitled Art of Gunnery published in 1647, remarks that the soldiers of his day were not fond of handling the grenades because they were too dangerous. While there are substantial records of infantry units called grenadiers throughout the 18th century in Europe, these units generally threw the grenades by hand, but maybe a few men of the regiment could be armed with launchers such as this. After priming the firearm and adding the gunpowder, the shooter would light a grenade fuse, place the grenade in the muzzle of the mortar, then fire it at the enemy. However, accidents could occur if the weapon misfired and the lit grenade remained in the barrel. Additional modifications attempted to light the grenade using the burning gunpowder, but accounts say that the fuse would be forced into the grenade which would explode immediately.

The low number of surviving specimens of this firearm indicate that it was not a popular weapon, possibly due to the safety issues. In his essay on the weapon, Hewitt opines that the mortar is among a variety of "projects for destruction which have never destroyed anything but the fortunes of their inventors". At least one version of the hand mortar was probably invented by John Tinker in 1681. However, his mortar may have been an improvement on an earlier piece. A reference to this mortar may have appeared in a work entitled Ancient Armour which refers to a tinker's mortar. Another account refers to a hand mortar as a cohorn, and attributes its invention to a Dutch engineer, Menno Van Coehoorn, who lived from 1641 to 1704. Hand Mortars were also to be found in the New World. References to a hand mortar being transferred in Maryland are found in the record of The Proceedings of the Council of Maryland in 1698. Another account in the journal of Alexander Henry the younger tells of a hand mortar (called a cohorn; after Menno van Coehoorn) being loaded with a pound of powder, 30 balls, and fired in an action against Sioux indians in 1808.

Another reference to the use of cohorns in the New World can be found in The Life of Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) including the Border Wars of the American Revolution by William L. Stone (two volumes) published Albany NY 1865. Stone in describing Sir William Johnson's Niagara campaign of 1759 notes the following: "The youthful warrior likewise accompanied Sir William during the Niagara Campaign of 1759, and in the brilliant achievements of the Baronet, after the chief command had devolved upon him upon the death of General Prideaux, is said to have acquitted himself with distinguished bravery. General Prideaux, commanding the expedition, was killed by the accidental explosion of a cohorn on the 20th of July?" (Stone, Vol 1, p. 20). The action is tight and the forend has old working life stock repairs. 12.5 inches long , barrel 6.75 inches long 1.25 inch bore

Code: 23197

5995.00 GBP


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A Superb 2000 Year Old Rare Roman Legionary's or Gladiator's Pugio Dagger, Only the Third of This Fine Quality We have Found in the Past 10 Years

A simply superb, original artifact of Ancient Rome. from the time of the Great Julius Caeser, and the subsequent Emperors, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. The very form and type of dagger that was used to assassinate the great Julius Caesar on the Ides of March, and that was actually depicted at the time on a Roman coin, the "Brutus “Eid Mar” Denarius", considered by some to be the rarest and most important coin ever made in Roman history [see photo 8 in our gallery] and the only coin minted to openly celebrate a murder.
Plus, the highly distinctive pugio dagger was an essential weapon of the roman legionaries. The hilts of original roman swords and daggers very rarely survive to today, as their material of construction [such as wood, ivory, horn or bone] does not last as long over 2000 years as the iron blades can. Only the very few that had cast bronze hilts remain intact. The pugio (plural: pugiones) was a dagger used by Roman soldiers as a sidearm, and it seems most likely that the pugio dagger was intended as an auxiliary weapon, after the sword or lance. Officials of the empire took to wearing ornate daggers in the performance of their offices, and some would wear concealed daggers as a defence against contingencies. The dagger was a common weapon of assassination and suicide; for example, the conspirators who stabbed Julius Caesar used pugiones. Roman writer Vegetius, wrote

"A stroke with the edges, though made with ever so much force, seldom kills. On the contrary, a stab, though it penetrates but two inches, is generally fatal. If the body is covered while a thrust is given, and the adversary receives the point before he sees the sword." This was the method of fighting principally used by the Romans. There are a number of surviving Roman depictions of soldiers slashing with their weapons in addition to stabbing with them. This is shown best on the Adamklissi metopes.

Attempts to cast pugios in the role of utility knives are misguided, as the blade form is not suited to this purpose, it being far better suited for use as a close quarter weapon. Small utility knives are found in profusion at military sites and there is no reason to think that soldiers needed to use their pugios for anything other than fighting. Tacitus reports that Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo had a soldier executed for not wearing a sword while digging a trench and another for wearing only a pugio in the same activity. The pugio became an ornate sidearm of officers and dignitaries as well, a custom reminiscent of the knives after which the Saxons were named. These Germanic mercenaries served in the Roman army. The emperors came to wear a dagger to symbolize the power of life and death. The emperor Vitellius attempted to resign his position and offers his dagger to the consul, but it was refused and Vitellius was forced to stay by popular acclaim and the Praetorian guard. Tacitus also relates that a centurion, Sempronius Densus, of the Praetorian guard drew a dagger to save Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus momentarily. One picture in the gallery is from Barry Strauss book the Death of Caesar, it shows a complete original pugio with its intact cast bronze hilt, the blade shape of ours is identical and highly identifiable. This blade is superb, with an aged russetted surface condition as normal for surviving Roman iron blades today. Blade. 14 1/4 inch blade length total. An original silver minted version of the "Brutus “Eid Mar” Denarius today can sell for around $ 500,000 [it is estimated for there to be only around 56 surviving examples] and the gold minted version, recently sold for $4.2 million [and it is estimated for there to be only 2 surviving examples]. It thus makes this original pugio dagger, from the same period, to be somewhat of a bargain by comparison.

Code: 23163

3950.00 GBP


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A Wonderful 18th Century French Small-Sword of Parcel Gilt and Blued Steel

A stunning museum grade sword, worthy of a finest collection of 18th century fine art and furnishings. Likely made at Versailles by a Royal swordsmith of King Louis XVIth, such as the master swordsmiths of the king, Lecourt, Liger or Guilman. A very finest grade sword of the form as was made for the king to present to favoured nobles and friends. He presented a similar sword to John Paul Jones [see painting in the gallery] now in the US Naval Academy Museum. Three near identical swords to this now reside in the Metropolitan A simply superb small-sword, with stunningly engraved chiselled steel hilt, overlaid with pure gold over a fish-roe background,, decorated with hand chiselled scenes in the rococo Italianate renaissance style depicting various hunting scenes, of hunting hounds and game birds. The multi wire spiral bound grip is finest silver, in with Turks head finials. The blade is in the typical trefoil form, ideal for the gentleman's art of duelling. The degree of craftsmanship of this spectacular sword is simply astounding, worthy of significant admiration, it reveals an incredible attention to detail and the skill of it's execution is second to none. Other similar swords are in also in the British Royal Collection and in Les Invalides in Paris. Trefoil bladed swords had a special popularity with the officers of the French and Indian War period. Even George Washington had a very fine one just as this example. For example of the workmanship in creating this sword for such as the King and Marie Antoinette we show the keys for the Louis XVI Secretary Desk (Circa 1783) made for Marie-Antoinette by Jean Henri Riesener, one of the worlds finest cabinetmakers, and whose works of furniture are the most valuable in the world. The steel and gold metalwork key for Marie Antoinette's desk, is attributed to Pierre Gouthi?re (1732?1813), the most famous Parisian bronzeworker of the late eighteenth century who became gilder to the king in 1767. This sword bears identical workmanship and style to that magnificent key. This is the quality of sword one might have expected find inscribed upon the blade 'Ex Dono Regis' [given by the King]. Very good condition overall, with natural aged patination throughout. This painting, entitled John Paul Jones and Louis XVI, by the American artist Jean Leon Gerome Ferris depicts John Paul Jones and Benjamin Franklin at the court of Louis XVIth and being presented a similar sword now in US Naval Academy Museum. 39.1/4 inches long overall.

Code: 23138

5995.00 GBP


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A Magnificent 18th Century Silver Hilted Small Sword with Colichmarde Blade

Ideal for duelling or close quarter combat, as well as being a fabulous finest quality sword of immense beauty. Fine cast and chased silver hilt in the elegant roccoco style with double shell guard single knucklebow and pas dans. The grip has silver banding intersperced with herringbone pattern twisted silver wire. The guard has enchanting workmanship with a scrolling, pierced, rococo Arabesque pattern. Colishmarde blade with blackened steel finish. The highly distinctive colishmarde blades appeared in 1680 and were popular during the next 40 years at the royal European courts. The colichemarde bladed swords had a special popularity with the officers of the French and Indian War period. Even George Washington had a very fine one just as this example.

The colichemarde descended from the so-called "transition rapier", which appeared because of a need for a lighter sword, better suited to parrying. It was not so heavy at its point; it was shorter and allowed a limited range of double time moves.The colichemarde in turn appeared as a thrusting blade too and also with a good parrying level, hence the strange, yet successful shape of the blade.

This sword appeared at about the same time as the foil. However the foil was created for practising fencing at court, while the colichemarde was created for dueling. With the appearance of pocket pistols as a self-defense weapon, the colichemardes found an even more extensive use in dueling.
This was achieved thanks to a wide forte (often with several fullers), which then stepped down in width after the fullers ended.The result of this strange shape was a higher maneuverability of the sword: with the weight of the blade concentrated in one's hand it became possible to maneuver the blade at a greater speed and with a higher degree of control, allowing the fencer to place a precise thrust at his/her adversary. This sword is a true work of art, in it's beauty form, quality and balance. One photo in the gallery is of General Burgoyne surrendering his similar gilt sword after the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777. Another portrait of George Washington with his very similar solid silver sword sword

Code: 23170

2850.00 GBP


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18th-19th Century Indo Persian Tulwar 'Lord of Cleaving' Bifurcated Blade

A rare, original, and glorious18th to 19th century legendary "Zulfiqar" [Lord of Cleaving] tulwar, with its distinctive bifurcated blade, covered in it's full length with Islamic script. Inlaid with silver circlets on the iron hilt. The middle eastern equivalent to the legendary British Medieval sword "Excalibur". A very similar sword is shown in W. Egerton's book, Handbook of Indian Arms? Plate XV, item 658. According to the tradition of Islam, the prophet Muhammad had two swords. The first was a straight bladed sword, common to the period, which is now shown in the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul. The second sword is believed to have had a split double ended blade such as this sword. This sword was given to Ali, the prophet's son in law, who fought with it in many great battles and saw great victories. That sword was nicknamed Zulfikar (Lord of cleaving). This sword was lost, and no one exactly knows it's form other than by legend.In legend, the exclamation "la fata illa Ali la sayf illa Du l-Fiqar" is attributed to Muhammad, who is said to have uttered it in the Battle of Uhud in praise of Ali's exploit of splitting the shield and helmet of the strongest Meccan warrior, shattering his own sword in the same stroke. Muhammad is said to then have given his own sword Dhu-l-Fiqar to Ali to replace the broken sword. In another variant, the exclamation is not due to Muhammad but to "a voice on the battlefield", and the sword was given to Ali by archangel Gabriel directly. Many attempts to describe the Zulfikar have been made during the development of Islamic swords. Certainly that there is a possibility that this sword is one of those attempts to create a version of the legendary sword of Ali. By most accounts, Muhammad presented the Zulfiqar to a young ?Ali at the Battle of Uhud. During the battle, ?Ali struck one of the fiercest adversaries, breaking both his helmet and his shield. Seeing this, Muhammad was reported to have said " There is no hero but ?Ali and no sword except Dhu l-Fiqar". Blade cutting edge 78cm, width of blade at the ricasso 4.5cm, bifurcated points 23 cms long. Overall in superb condition for age. No scabbard

Code: 22587

1595.00 GBP


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Very Scarce & Rare US Civil War Cavalry Officer's Deluxe Grade Combat Weight Sabre Fully Etched Blade

With typical traditional officer grade fancy cast hilt, with a shell embossed quillon, acanthus leaf casting to the pommel, knuckle bow and bars, and a finely etched blade, with fabulous natural age patina, etched with the monogram U.S, stands of arms with flags etc., and the usual complimentary acanthus leaf and arabesque scrolling. The hilt still has its original leather binding and, remarkably, part of its original brass wire binding. The scabbard is plain steel with considerable signs of combat use light denting etc. Number stamped 43 twice on the scabbard chape. In common with European officers the American officers often had the swords decorated with gilding & foliage. The most well known of these officers included George Armstrong Custer and J.E.B. Stuart. The Famous Model 1860 Light Cavalry Sabre also had the name of M1862 taken from when the initial 800 were issued saw service with the US cavalry during the American Civil War. It remained in service up to the end of the Indian wars.

Indeed examples remained in service through the Spanish?American War. Its length was approx. 41 inches including a 35 inch x 1inch blade. It had an approx. weight of 2 lb 6oz. The iron scabbard weighed 3 lb 10oz. [weights could change with different makers including Civil War imports such as by Kirschbaum of Solingen] A most famous owner an user of such an officer's US Light Cavalry sword was George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 - June 25, 1876)who was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars.

Custer graduated from West Point in 1861 at the bottom of his class, but as the Civil War was just starting, trained officers were in immediate demand. He worked closely with General McClellan and the future General Pleasonton, both of whom recogniSed his qualities as a cavalry leader, and he was brevetted brigadier general of volunteers at age 23. Only a few days after his promotion, he fought at Gettysburg, where he commanded the Michigan Cavalry Brigade and despite being outnumbered, defeated J. E. B. Stuart's attack at what is now known as the East Cavalry Field. In 1864, Custer served in the Overland Campaign and in Sheridan's army in the Shenandoah Valley, defeating Jubal Early at Cedar Creek. His division blocked the Army of Northern Virginia's final retreat and received the first flag of truce from the Confederates, and Custer was present at Robert E. Lee's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox.

After the war, Custer was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the Regular Army and was sent west to fight in the Indian Wars. On June 25, 1876, while leading the 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana Territory against a coalition of Native American tribes, he was killed along with all of the five companies he led after splitting the regiment into three battalions. This action became romanticiSed as "Custer's Last Stand".

His dramatic end was as controversial as the rest of his career, and reaction to his life and career remains deeply divided. Custer's legend was partly of his own fabrication through his extensive journalism, and perhaps more through the energetic lobbying of his wife Libbie Custer throughout her long widowhood

Code: 23175

2850.00 GBP


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11th 12th Century Bronze Knights Templar Christian Cross Patee {Formee}

From part three of our original ancient arrow heads, spears, lead sling bullets, antiquities and rings from an 1820 Grand Tour classical collection from Europe and the Middle East. Very likely the crucifix of a so called ‘Warrior of Christ’, such as the Knight's Templar and Knight’s of St John of Jerusalem. After the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1291 (the city of Jerusalem had fallen in 1187), the Knights of St, John were confined to the County of Tripoli and, when Acre was captured in 1291, the order sought refuge in the Kingdom of Cyprus. Finding themselves becoming enmeshed in Cypriot politics, their Master, Guillaume de Villaret, created a plan of acquiring their own temporal domain, selecting Rhodes to be their new home, part of the Byzantine empire. His successor, Foulques de Villaret, executed the plan, and on 15 August 1310, after more than four years of campaigning, the city of Rhodes surrendered to the knights. They also gained control of a number of neighbouring islands and the Anatolian port of Halicarnassus and the island of Kastellorizo.
Pope Clement V dissolved the Hospitallers' rival order, the Knights Templar, in 1312 with a series of papal bulls, including the Ad providam bull that turned over much of their property to the Hospitallers.

The holdings were organised into eight "Tongues" or Langues, one each in Crown of Aragon, Auvergne, Crown of Castile, Kingdom of England, France, Holy Roman Empire, Italy and Provence. Each was administered by a Prior or, if there was more than one priory in the langue, by a Grand Prior.

At Rhodes, and later Malta, the resident knights of each langue were headed by a baili. The English Grand Prior at the time was Philip De Thame, who acquired the estates allocated to the English langue from 1330 to 1358. In 1334, the Knights of Rhodes defeated Andronicus and his Turkish auxiliaries. In the 14th century, there were several other battles in which they fought.

In 1374, the Knights took over the defence of Smyrna, conquered by a crusade in 1344. They held it until it was besieged and taken by Timur in 1402.

On Rhodes the Hospitallers, by then also referred to as the Knights of Rhodes, were forced to become a more militarized force, fighting especially with the Barbary pirates. They withstood two invasions in the 15th century, one by the Sultan of Egypt in 1444 and another by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1480 who, after capturing Constantinople and defeating the Byzantine Empire in 1453, made the Knights a priority target .Good condition for age, with superbly well surviving armourers stamps. Early Christian Knight’s symbols of crucifixes symbols, and variations, can be still be seen chiselled into stone in the numerous remains of Templar Knights or Christian knight’s castle sites in the Holy Land, the Mediterranean and France. As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity.

Code: 23837

365.00 GBP


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A Superb And Highly Imposing Crusader Knights Hammer-Axe With Likely Templar Armourer’s Stamps, & A Pierced Apostle’s Cross

An original medieval, long, socketed Christian Knights’s battle hammer-axe made in around the early Crusades era of the 1200’s and most likely used until at least the 1400’s, with crucifix and crescent stamps, over pressed with gold. The second of two original Crusades period, crucifix war hammer-axes we were delighted to acquire. This axe though has two easily identifiable Templar type gold armourer's stamps.
A large iron axehead with long triangular-section blade and shaped open socket, rectangular hammer extension to the rear with incised chequerboard design; one side of the neck with two distinctive double armourer’s stamp marks of twin crucifixes standing above a crescent moon, one of the symbols used by Knights Templar, it has a a horizontal line with three transverse strokes above, a cross-shaped opening to the neck. A very large, substantial and beautiful iron battle-axe cum war-hammer, very likely the combat weapon of a so called ‘Warrior of Christ’, such as the Knight's Templar and Knight’s of St John of Jerusalem. It is pierced within the body with a superb, large open work Christian ‘bottonee or budded’ cross, sometimes known as part of the Apostles cross. A cross with three circles or discs on each end in a Christian context represents the Holy Trinity but was probably also copied from earlier Celtic Druidry, where the circles or rings represent the three dominions of earth, sky and sea. It has a an open socket for the now rotted away haft [original wooden hafts of such axes simply no longer exist after the passing of such a great time], the blade with straight upper edge and bearded profile, square-section cross hatched short hammer. After the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1291 (the city of Jerusalem had fallen in 1187), the Knights of St, John were confined to the County of Tripoli and, when Acre was captured in 1291, the order sought refuge in the Kingdom of Cyprus. Finding themselves becoming enmeshed in Cypriot politics, their Master, Guillaume de Villaret, created a plan of acquiring their own temporal domain, selecting Rhodes to be their new home, part of the Byzantine empire. His successor, Foulques de Villaret, executed the plan, and on 15 August 1310, after more than four years of campaigning, the city of Rhodes surrendered to the knights. They also gained control of a number of neighboring islands and the Anatolian port of Halicarnassus and the island of Kastellorizo.
Pope Clement V dissolved the Hospitallers' rival order, the Knights Templar, in 1312 with a series of papal bulls, including the Ad providam bull that turned over much of their property to the Hospitallers.

The holdings were organised into eight "Tongues" or Langues, one each in Crown of Aragon, Auvergne, Crown of Castile, Kingdom of England, France, Holy Roman Empire, Italy and Provence. Each was administered by a Prior or, if there was more than one priory in the langue, by a Grand Prior.

At Rhodes, and later Malta, the resident knights of each langue were headed by a baili. The English Grand Prior at the time was Philip De Thame, who acquired the estates allocated to the English langue from 1330 to 1358. In 1334, the Knights of Rhodes defeated Andronicus and his Turkish auxiliaries. In the 14th century, there were several other battles in which they fought.

In 1374, the Knights took over the defence of Smyrna, conquered by a crusade in 1344. They held it until it was besieged and taken by Timur in 1402.

On Rhodes the Hospitallers, by then also referred to as the Knights of Rhodes, were forced to become a more militarized force, fighting especially with the Barbary pirates. They withstood two invasions in the 15th century, one by the Sultan of Egypt in 1444 and another by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1480 who, after capturing Constantinople and defeating the Byzantine Empire in 1453, made the Knights a priority target. Original crusaders war axe-hammers of this particular type are now very rare indeed to find, and we are delighted to have two stunning examples, the only place one can see similar examples are in museums, or as reproduction copies for re-enact ours. Around 900 grams, approx 10.25” long .Good condition for age, with superbly well surviving armourers stamps. We show In the gallery two pictures early Christian Knight’s symbols of crucifixes and crescents. These symbols, and variations, can be still be seen chiselled into stone in the numerous remains of Templar Knights or Christian knight’s castle sites in the Holy Land, the Mediterranean and France As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity.

Code: 23527

2950.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Edward Ist, Medieval 'Type XII' Double-Edged Knightly Crusades Period Sword13th century

A simply stunning historical original double-edged original knight's crusades period iron longsword of Oakeshott's Type XII (Oakeshott, 1991, p.105). Incredibly, still complete with its iron scabbard mount. Oakeshott is the standard that describes and by which defines Medieval swords, their types, and periods of use. The swords' broad, flat, evenly tapering blade is typical of specimens of its category, with the blade tending to widen below the hilt; incredibly the iron mouth of its original scabbard is also still present decorated with an openwork flower; the fuller is well defined, extending from below the guard for a little more than half of the blade's length; This is the dominant style of knightly sword in use during the time of King Edward 1st of England [Edward Longshanks] such as in the first War with Scotland against Robert the Bruce and Sir William Wallace. The 'Great Seal of Robert The Bruce' shows him holding the very same type of sword. This type was frequently made in Venice, by their great armourers, and many king's around all Europe had this form of sword. King Edward's sword, for example, was very similar to this sword, in its shape and form, but the king's sword would have been thinly coated with gold on the hilt. The Battle of Falkirk, (22 July 1298) was the initial Scottish victory over the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, but was soon avenged by Edward at the Battle of Falkirk. English rule was thus re-established over Scotland, forcing William Wallace to wage a lengthy guerrilla campaign until he was hunted down, betrayed, and eventually executed for treason in 1305. After the disaster of Stirling Bridge, King Edward I of England determined to crush the Scots once and for all. He headed north to invade the country in 1298, advancing with an army of around 2,500 mounted knights [many using swords just as this one] and 12,500 infantry, including large numbers of Welsh and English archers armed with longbows. In response, Wallace tried to avoid a pitched battle, because his own forces were smaller than the English, totalling around 1,000 mounted knights and 5,000 infantry. Wallace preferred to conduct guerrilla warfare against the invading army, but was eventually forced into battle at Falkirk.
On the morning of battle, Wallace formed his pikemen up into four schiltrons, hedgehog like circular formations of pikemen standing shoulder to shoulder with their pikes facing outward through an outer row of men in armour. The gaps between the schiltrons were filled with archers. The four schiltrons withstood the initial English cavalry and infantry attacks but then became vulnerable to steady fire from Edward?s longbowmen, the first time significant use had been made of this deadly weapon in battle. As the arrows poured down, supplemented by crossbow and slingshot, the schiltrons were soon broken up by the charging English cavalry. The Scots then fled into the neighbouring woods. Wallace escaped, although he lost many supporters. English losses, too, were high, testimony to the effectiveness of the schiltrons in battle.

Losses: English, 2,000 of 15,000; Scottish, 2,000 of 6,000. This sword's blade's cross-section, being of lenticular design, was originally from thirty to thirty-two inches long; the grip is a little longer than previous Oakshott type XI; the style of guard is short and straight, with a flattened cross-section at the edges; the pommel is a thick spherical piece, slightly flattened at the centre. Nice condition for age. A most rare sword that was inspected by military antiquities specialist Dr Raffaele D'Amato. Dept of Historical Studies University of Ferrara

To see references on this sword see Oakeshott, J, R.E., The Archaeology of the weapons, London, 1960 (Woodbridge, 1999); Oakeshott, E. 'Records of the Medieval Sword', Woodbridge, 1991; Nicolle, D., 'Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era', 1050-1350, vol I,, London, 1999; Scalini, M., 'A bon droyt, spade di uomini liberi, cavalieri e santi', Milano, 2007.

Oakeshott considered this category of sword as one of the most difficult to interpret, because of the affinity of the hilt with the types X and XVI (Oakeshott, 1991, p.65). Characteristics are the noticeable taper blade, with acute point, and the grip quite short, never of hand-and-a-half length. The fuller is usually running for at least half of the length of the blade. The sword was the most typical chivalry weapon diffused in all the Europe, largely attested by archaeological finds and artefacts from historical collections. Among the most famous specimen of such sword we should remember the one of Sancho IV (El Bravo) of Castilla, died in 1295 AD [see photo in the gallery], which show a slightly curved hilt, and a cross-guard also expanded at the edges (Nicolle, 1999, cat.391). Our sword finds a good parallel in a Venetian sword preserved in Padova Museum (inv. IG 321119, s. Scalini, 2007, pp.126-127, cat.19), realised by an unknown Italian craftsman. Many of these swords were taken as booty from the Muslims [taken from the vanquished crusader knights initially] and preserved until recent times in the Arsenal of the Imperial Palace in Istanbul. Such weapons were mainly of Venetian origin, with slightly broader blades than our specimen. Scalini has suggested that such swords could also have been employed during the XIII-XIV century by the Venetian infantry in the operations of the Aegean Sea against Muslims and Eastern Romans. If this is true, the importance of the weapon consists in its functional use, not only reserved to the European and British knights, but also army of the Venetian Republic. The early flat disc pommels appear in the Mediterranean Sea at the beginning of the 12th century (for similar pommels s. Oakeshott, 1991, p.69) and persist in use until the 15th century and even later, although with significant variations. In art and medieval iconography, the best samples of swords of XII types can be seen on the famous Bible of Maciejowski made in approximately 1250 (Nicolle, 1999, 49a-49 as). Many of the swords illustrated therein seem to indicate a full length fuller; this might seem to indicate a Type X. However, most of the illustrations feature far too much profile taper to be a true Type X. Given the period of the Bible's manufacture they are far more likely to indicate swords of Type XII design. There is also an Apocalypse in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge (Nicolle, 1999, 189a-b) that was made around twenty years earlier that features illustrations of the type. Many of the illustrations from the Royal Armouries Manuscript I.33 can be interpreted as being of type XII pattern. More specifically, the typology of our specimen is visible on the sculpture of a warrior in the Church of Saint Justyna in Padua, confirming again the Venetian origin of such swords.

"Most probably our specimen is from a battlefield or, most probably, a river find. Type XII (Oakeshott, 1960 (1999) p.206), is generally dated between about 1180 and 1320, It has a large blade, very similar in shape to the Ulfberht ones but generally with a more acute point, and a well-marked and slightly narrower fuller starting in the tang and running about halfway along the blade; this occasionally is of two or more grooves. The pommel is generally in the form of a thick disc, sometimes with the edges bevelled off, sometimes of the so-called "wheel" form. Its cross is generally straight, circular in section and widening at the ends, but it may be of a square section; or it may be curved or have decorated terminals. Inscriptions on examples of these swords dating after about 1220 are slightly different again; the letters are closer together, often so dose that it is nearly impossible to make them out; and instead of the clearly legible religious phrase there is a jumble of repetitive letters which seems meaningless. Typical of the High Middle Ages, these swords begin to show greater tapering of the blade and a shortened fuller, features which improve thrusting capabilities while maintaining a good cut. The Cawood sword is an exceptionally well preserved type XII specimen, exemplifying a full-length taper and narrow fuller, which terminates two thirds down the blade. A number of Medieval examples of this type survive. It certainly existed in the later 13th century, and perhaps considerably earlier, since the Swiss National Museum in Zurich possesses an example that has a Viking Age-type hilt but clearly a type XII blade." Above quote on this sword from Dr Raffaele D'Amato. Dept of Historical Studies University of Ferrara. Small hole damage to central fuller and extreme tip missing. As with all our items they are accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity and thus Guaranteed for Life. Just under a kilo in weight, 74.5cm (29 1/4" inches long overall). As usual the wooden handle and scabbard leather perished centuries past. Almost every iron 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.

Code: 22938

11275.00 GBP


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A Napoleonic Pattern Spanish Dragoons Cavalry of the Line Sword

M1832. In the Napoleonic wars the Spanish heavy line cavalry troopers were equipped with this pattern of sword, based on the French cuirassiers sword, having a hilt of the French heavy cavalry Cuirassiers, An XI pattern, in brass, with knuckle-bow, three curved quillons and pommel. Later this was regularised to create the model 1832 pattern. This sword's blade is maker marked, Toledo 1863. This sword has certainly seen service and evidence of combat use. This is a big, scarce Napoleonic pattern Cuirassier battle sword, and a most impressive and fascinating example, and the first of it's kind we have seen in nearly 10 years, These huge and impressive original 19th century Spanish heavy cavalry swords are very rarely seen to survive and this is a very impressive piece. The Cavalry Regiment El Rey (Spanish: Regimiento de Caballer?a El Rey is the oldest cavalry regiment in the Spanish Army, distinguishing itself on several occasions during the Peninsular War. They are known bestn for there charge at the Battle of Talavera where they dealt the decissive blow against General Jean Fran?ois Leval's German Division. The Cavalry Regiment El Rey is Spain's oldest cavalry regiment, founded in 1538 under the reign of King Charles I of Spain, and as such bore the title The King's in the Spanish Army. During the Napoleonic era it was considered as one of the best Spanish regiments and it distinguished itself during the Spanish War of Independence, frequently being commented as performing very well in those years. In 1807 the regiment was assigned to Marq?es de la Romana's Division of the North. In 1808 it joined the fight against France after evacuating from Denmark.

Upon arrival in Cantabria the cavalrymen marched to Extremadura where they were to collect horses, thus avoiding the defeat that fell upon Romana's division at Espinosa de los Monteros. In 1809 the regiment would see much action while serving in Gregorio Garc?a de la Cuesta y Fern?ndez de Celis' Army of Extremadura, as part of General Jos? de Henestrosa's 1st Cavalry Division. It would fight at the Battle of Talavera, where they captured four French cannons and would be highly praised in Cuesta's report. During the Spanish War of Independence the unit wore a blue coat with scarlet cuffs, collar, lapels, turnbacks, gold piping and buff breeches. Like all regiments at the start of the Peninsular War they wore a red plume on their hat to show their loyalty to the Bourbon monarch, Ferdinand VII of Spain, instead of the "hated foreigner" Joseph Bonaparte. In 1870 the regiment wore a blue coatee with scarlet cuffs, collar and lapels, white turnbacks, and yellow piping and had brass buttons, they also wore blue breeches. The troopers wore a black bi-corn hat with gold lace and a red cockade with a gold cockade loop.

In 1898 the regiment had a uniform of a light blue dolman with black Austrian loops and white metal buttons; red collar and cuffs, and red trousers with a light blue stripe. They had also, after the Napoleonic Wars adopted the use of a cuirass and helmet, of steel with brass ornamentation. However, in the colonies of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Las Carolinas Islands and the Philippines they wore the Rayadillo colonial uniform with red collar and cuffs and Leopoldina shakos with the Spanish red and yellow cockade 95 cm blade

Code: 22097

935.00 GBP


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