click for more images

HMS Victory Battle of Cape St. Vincent Flying Pre 1801 Union Flag
Original HMS Victory flown Union Jack. We have had a number of enquiries over the years asking the origin of our Union Flag, that is used by us as the background for all our stock photos. It is in fact the British Union flag of pre 1801 [without the red saltire of St Patrick] and it was commissioned for, and it once flew on HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship, on the jack staff, in the 20th century. Needless to say it is not for sale

Code: 19996Price: On Request

click for more images

A Remington 'Old Model' Navy Revolver .36 Cal. 1861, 17th Alabama
Possibly used by Pikes Rangers of the 17th [Confederate] Alabama Regt. A most interesting revolver from the early Remington Arms Co. stable and we were delighted to re-acquire it from one of our late clients. The action is worn, but still comfortably works. Civil War revolvers from this era are prone to wear due to the length and time of continual service during the war and well into the Wild West era. During it's servicing our gunsmith noticed the grips are originally inscribed, possibly by it's second owner as war booty, in 1863. The 1861 Navy production of only 7,000 was nearly all taken up by a Union Government contract, however in the first years of the Civil War the North was losing and many thousands of Northern made arms were captured and then used by the Confederates. This gun is inscribed R.J.H. 1863 and on the reverse 17 ALA. This is a typical marking for the 17th Alabama. We would like to thank Mr Ken Jones of Stephenville, Texas, USA for his wonderful assistance in potentially identifying the owner of this revolver, using his invaluable work in regard to the Alabama muster rolls. We now believe it would likely be named to.. RAINER, Joel H., Co. “I”, Bvt. 2nd Lt.,Captain.. "I" company was called the 'Pike Rangers', of Pike County,17th Alabama Infantry. Officers and gentleman at this time [and many still do] traditionally write or inscribe their monogramme or name, surname first. The 17th Alabama regiment was organized at Montgomery in August 1861. In November it moved to Pensacola, and was present at the bombardment in that month, and in January after. In March 1862 the regiment was sent to west Tennessee. Brigaded under J.K. Jackson of Georgia - with the Eighteenth, Twenty-first, and Twenty-fourth Alabama regiments - the regiment fought at Shiloh, and lost 125 killed and wounded. A month after, it was in the fight at Farmington with few casualties. In the autumn, when Gen. Bragg moved into Kentucky, the Seventeenth, much depleted by sickness, was left at Mobile. It was there drilled as heavy artillery, and had charge of eight batteries on the shore of the bay. It remained at that post till March 1864, when it was ordered to Rome, Ga. The brigade consisted of the Seventeenth and Twenty-ninth Alabama, and the First and Twenty-sixth Alabama, and Thirty-seventh Mississippi, were soon after added, the command devolving at different times on Gen. Cantey of Russell, Col. Murphey of Montgomery, Col. O'Neal of Lauderdale, and Gen. Shelley of Talladega. It was engaged at the Oostenaula bridge, and in the three days' battle of Resaca, with severe loss. The Seventeenth had its full share of the trials and hardships of the campaign from Dalton to Jonesboro, fighting almost daily, especially at Cassville, New Hope, Kennesa, Lost Mountain, and Atlanta. In the battle of Peach-tree Creek it lost 130 killed and wounded, and on the 28th of July 180 killed and wounded. The entire loss from the Resaca to Lovejoy's Station was 586, but few of whom were captured. The regiment moved into Tennessee with Gen. Hood, and lost at least two-thirds of its forces engaged at Franklin; and a number of the remainder were captured at Nashville. A remnant moved into North Carolina, and a part fought at Bentonville. It was then consolidated with the Twenty-ninth and Thirty-third Alabama regiments, with E.P. Holcombe of Lowndes as colonel, J.F. Tate of Russell lieutenant colonel, and Willis J. Milner of Butler major. The regiment surrendered at Greensboro, N.C. April 1865. We show in the gallery [for information only] a photo of the surviving 18th Alabama Infantry Civil War Flag [the fate of the 17th's Flag is unknown to us], and the Alabama Infantry Officer in a US Civil War original photograph.

Code: 19995Price: 3950.00 GBP

click for more images

A Very Good Silver 1914 Iron Cross With 1939 Eagle & Swastika Clasp
Affixed together on the original WW1 silk ribbon. From a WW1 & 2 combat veteran. This medal and it's clasp [spange] were awarded for gallantry to a German soldier who accomplished acts of gallantry in both world wars. We show in the gallery Field Marshall Kietel wearing his identical WW1 iron cross and 1939 eagle swastika clasp [affixed to the ribbon worn across his left lapel]. The Iron cross is hallmarked 800 silver on it's ring. If the recipient of the 1939 Iron Cross has been decorated with one or both classes of the Iron cross of World War I, he will then receive a silver clasp showing the National Eagle with the year 1939. The clasp to the Iron Cross 2nd class will be worn attached to a ribbon in the button hole. The 1939 1st Class clasp will be worn attached to the tunic above the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. 4 fixing pins to the clasp [spange].The Iron Cross is a black four-pointed cross with white trim, with the arms widening toward the ends, similar to a cross pattée. It was designed by the neoclassical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and reflects the cross borne by the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century.

Initially the Iron Cross was worn with the blank side out. This did not change until 1838 when the sprig facing could be presented.

Since the Iron Cross was issued over several different periods of German history, it was annotated with the year indicating the era in which it was issued. For example, an Iron Cross from the First World War bears the year "1914", while the same decoration from the Second World War is annotated "1939". The reverse of the 1870, 1914 and 1939 series of Iron Crosses have the year "1813" appearing on the lower arm, symbolizing the year the award was created. The 1813 decoration also has the initials "FW" for King Frederick William III, while the next two have a "W" for the respective kaisers, Wilhelm I and Wilhelm II. The final version shows a swastika. A cross was the symbol of the Teutonic Knights (a heraldic cross pattée), and the cross design (but not the specific decoration) has been the symbol of Germany's armed forces (now the Bundeswehr) since 1871. As with all our items, each one comes with our unique, lifetime guarantee, certificate of authenticity

Code: 19989Price: 425.00 GBP

click for more images

Italian Fascist MSVN [Black Shirts] 10 Year Service Cross Circa 1933
The front of the medal depicts a cross with four Fasces and a center circle with the letters "MVSN" standing for Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale (National Security Volunteer Militia) and the reverse "DIECI ANNI" (ten years) with a red, white, green, and navy blue ribbon. The medal is un-marked, as issued and probably made by Lorioli of Milan. The Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale (MVSN, "Voluntary Militia for National Security"), commonly called the Blackshirts or squadristi, was originally the paramilitary wing of the National Fascist Party and, after 1923, an all-volunteer Militia of the Kingdom of Italy. Its members were distinguished by their black uniforms (modelled on those of the Arditi, Italy's elite troops of World War I) and their loyalty to Benito Mussolini, the Duce (leader) of Fascism, to whom they swore an oath. The silk ribbon on this medal is it's original, the green stripe colour on the ribbon is almost entirely faded out to white .

Code: 19987Price: 125.00 GBP

click for more images

Royal Observer Corps Badge, WW2, In Blue Enamel With Red Enamel Crown
Lapel badge. After the Fall of France, the goal of Germany was to achieve air superiority over Great Britain by destroying RAF fighters, both in the air and on the ground, and by bombing aircraft manufacturing facilities. Winning the Battle of Britain, as it became known, was Germany's prerequisite in preparation for the invasion of Britain; Operation Sea Lion.

The British Chain Home radar defence system was able to warn of enemy aircraft approaching the British coast, but once having crossed the coastline the Observer Corps provided the only means of tracking their position. During the period from July to October 1940, the Observer Corps was at full stretch operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, plotting enemy aircraft and passing this essential information to RAF Fighter Command Groups and Sector Controls. (ROC personnel were deployed in two specific roles: Those in Class A were required to undertake 56 hours duty per week, while Class B personnel undertook up to 24 hours duty per week). The Battle of Britain also saw the introduction of the Blitz campaign and the shift of German bombing from airfields to cities. Again, the Observer Corps provided vital information which enabled timely air-raid warnings to be issued, thereby saving countless lives. The Blitz itself continued until early in the summer of 1941 and bombing continued, albeit on a reduced scale, until March 1945. The Observer Corps formed the cornerstone of Air Marshal Hugh Dowding's air defence system, who stated in a despatch following the Battle of Britain that:
"It is important to note that at this time they (the Observer Corps) constituted the whole means of tracking enemy raids once they had crossed the coastline. Their work throughout was quite invaluable. Without it the air-raid warning systems could not have been operated and inland interceptions would rarely have been made."
As a result of their role during the Battle of Britain, in April 1941 the Observer Corps was granted the title Royal by King George VI, and the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) became a uniformed civil defence organisation administered by RAF Fighter Command. Also during that same year, in a change from the policy of the Observer Corps, the ROC undertook to recruit women personnel for the first time. Initially, the only uniforms provided were RAF overalls, (boiler suits), with an ROC breast badge, commonly referred to as the "soup plate" because of its shape and size. Standard issue RAF No.2 Battledress uniforms were issued in a rolling programme over the next two years. For the remainder of the war, the ROC would provide an essential part of Great Britain's air defences.

Code: 19985Price: 24.00 GBP

click for more images

An Italian WW2 Fascist Mothers Honour Medal For Mass Child Production,
In the Fascist and Nazi controlled areas of the 1930's [Germany and Italy] the production of children for the long term growth and the creation of little fascists was considered essential. Both nations created a medal to honour mothers who engaged in high quantity multiple child rearing. The Italian medal of Mussolini was Instituted by order No. 917 on the 22nd of May 1939 and awarded to mothers of large families with at least seven children. For each additional child, a metal bow is attached on the ribbon. When the number of bows would surpass ten (17 children), the ribbon is worn without bows in a V shape. This version is likely produced by Emilio Pagani. This medal would represent a mother who bred an incredible 15 children for the fascist cause.

Front: a mother with seven children, with the child at the right holding Fasces. At the left the text: "FASCIST UNION FAMILIES" (Fascist Union of Large Families).
Reverse: two large Fasces separated by a tree of life and the letter M of Benito Mussolini.
Ribbon: green with two blue stripes.

Code: 19984Price: 120.00 GBP

click for more images

A Napoleonic Wars French 'Charleville' Musket Bayonet
An unusual example as all the socket's barrel dimensions match the year 9 musket, but it the blade is quite a measure longer than standard. This may indicate it was for a French regiment that used a shorter carbine length musket, and thus required a longer bayonet to make up the length in order to reach an enemy on horseback. Traces of an inspectors stamp and numbering on the blade. The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. A French army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by two of the armies of the Seventh Coalition: an Anglo-led Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington, and a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Prince of Wahlstatt. The battle resulted in the end of Bonaparte's reign and of the First French Empire, and set a chronological milestone between serial European wars and decades of relative peace.

Upon Napoleon's return to power in March 1815, many states that had opposed him formed the Seventh Coalition and began to mobilize armies. Wellington and Blücher's armies were cantoned close to the north-eastern border of France. Napoleon chose to attack them in the hope of destroying them before they could join in a coordinated invasion of France with other members of the coalition. Waterloo was the decisive engagement of the Waterloo Campaign and Napoleon's last. According to Wellington, the battle was "the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life". The defeat at Waterloo ended Napoleon's rule as Emperor of the French, and marked the end of his Hundred Days return from exile. Napoleon abdicated 4 days later, and on 7 July coalition forces entered Paris.

After the Battle of Quatre Bras, Wellington withdrew from Quatre Bras to Waterloo. After the simultaneous Battle of Ligny the Prussians withdrew parallel to Wellington, drawing a third part of Napoleon's forces away from Waterloo to the separate and simultaneous Battle of Wavre. Upon learning that the Prussian army was able to support him, Wellington decided to offer battle on the Mont-Saint-Jean escarpment, across the Brussels road. Here he withstood repeated attacks by the French throughout the afternoon, aided by the progressively arriving Prussians. In the evening Napoleon committed his last reserves to a desperate final attack, which was narrowly beaten back. With the Prussians breaking through on the French right flank Wellington's Anglo-allied army counter-attacked in the centre, and the French army was routed.

Code: 19983Price: 475.00 GBP

click for more images

A Samurai Master Smith Sword Blade Signed Inaba Kuni ju Fujiwaya Fuyuhiro
He often signed Wakasa Inshu, his name appears in Fujishiro's index Meito zukan, Catalogue of Fine Swords. Fujishiro were the great family of Japanese sword appraisers. The blade is also dated 1601. A very good blade, but is very rare in that is also dated, which is very scarce indeed for the early Shinto period, Shinto blades were most rarely dated especially in the early period. It is a most fine unmounted blade, in beautiful polish with it's habaki [blade collar]. If one wanted a project to create a bespoke sword with traditional, original antique katana fittings of your choice, it would be absolutely ideal, now, or sometime in the future. Or, to have it fitted in a traditional Japanese plain shirasaya storage mounts. In summary if one wanted a fine no frills master sword smith made blade this is the perfect example. Straight sugaha hamon. Blade length 28.20 inches from bottom of habaki [from the tsuba if present] to tip.

Code: 19982Price: 4250.00 GBP

click for more images

Early Victorian Staffordshire Regiment Cavalry Officers Sabretache and Belt
With mounting straps and sword straps. Crimean War vintage. A sabretache is a flat bag or pouch, which was worn suspended from the belt of a cavalry officer together with the sabre. Raised in 1794 following Prime Minister William Pitt's order to raise volunteer bodies of men to defend Great Britain from foreign invasion, the Staffordshire Yeomanry began as a volunteer cavalry regiment. Future Prime Minister Robert Peel was an officer in the Staffordshire Yeomanry Cavalry in 1820. The sabretache is derived from a traditional Hungarian horseman's flat leather bag called a tarsoly. Early examples have been found the tombs of Magyar warriors from the 10th century Conquest of Pannonia. They were often strengthened and decorated with silver plates and would have contained fire-making tools and other essentials In the early 18th century, hussar cavalry became popular amongst the European powers, and a tarsoly was often a part of the accoutrements. The German name sabretache was adopted, tache meaning "pocket". It fulfilled the function of a pocket, which were absent from the tight fitting uniform of the hussar style. Part of the wartime function of the light cavalry was to deliver orders and dispatches; the sabertache was well suited to hold these. The large front flap was usually heavily embroidered with a royal cypher or regimental crest, and could be used as a firm surface for writing. By the 19th century, other types of cavalry, such as lancers, also wore them.

In the British Army, sabretaches were first adopted at the end of the 18th century by light dragoon regiments, four of which acquired "hussar" status in 1805. They were still being worn in combat by British cavalry during the Crimean War; The Staffordshire Yeomanry, after a short period of training at Diss, Norfolk with the North Midland Mounted Brigade, was ordered to join the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in 1915. The Regiment was attached to the 22nd Mounted Brigade, Yeomanry Mounted Division in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign against the Ottoman Turkish and German army 1916-1918. It fought in the indecisive First Battle of Gaza and Second Battle of Gaza in March and April 1917. They finally won through in the Third Battle of Gaza in October 1917 and the crucial follow up Battle of Beersheba on 6 November 1917, where Allied victory at last left the field open for the capture of Jerusalem on 9 December 1917.

In July 1918 the Division was reformed as the Fourth Cavalry Division under the command of General Allenby and the Regiment played a key role in the decisive Battle of Megiddo (1918). The 1/1st Staffordshire Yeomanry joined the Desert Mounted Corps under the Australian General Harry Chauvel and took part in his strategic cavalry ‘bound’ from the desert through Beisan, a forced march which covered an epic 87 miles in 33 hours: a record in cavalry history. After resting four days during which they took 5,800 prisoners, they converged with the spearhead of the Allied advance and made a triumphal entry into the Syrian city of Damascus with Allenby on 1 October 1918.

After a week, the Regiment started on a 200-mile trek to Aleppo, having been reduced to just 75 men, 200 of them having become casualties from malignant malaria caught in the Jordan valley. However, Aleppo was captured on 25 October 1918. Five days later, Turkey surrendered.

Code: 19981Price: 1650.00 GBP

click for more images

Autograph of Benjamin Disreali, Framed With Small Portrait Print.
One of the great political and historical characters of the 19th century. From his personal letter to a gentleman in South Audley St. in London. Signed Disraeli in ink. Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS (21 December 1804 – 19 April 1881) was a British politician and writer, who twice served as Prime Minister. He played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party, defining its policies and its broad outreach. Disraeli is remembered for his influential voice in world affairs, his political battles with the Liberal Party leader William Ewart Gladstone, and his one-nation conservatism or "Tory democracy". He made the Conservatives the party most identified with the glory and power of the British Empire. He is the only British Prime Minister of Jewish birth.

Disraeli was born in London. His father left Judaism after a dispute at his synagogue; young Benjamin became an Anglican at the age of 12. After several unsuccessful attempts, Disraeli entered the House of Commons in 1837. In 1846 the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel split the party over his proposal to repeal the Corn Laws, which involved ending the tariff on imported grain. Disraeli clashed with Peel in the Commons. Disraeli became a major figure in the party. When Lord Derby, the party leader, thrice formed governments in the 1850s and 1860s, Disraeli served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons. He also forged a bitter rivalry with Gladstone of the Liberal Party.

Upon Derby's retirement in 1868, Disraeli became Prime Minister briefly before losing that year's election. He returned to opposition, before leading the party to a majority in the 1874 election. He maintained a close friendship with Queen Victoria, who in 1876 created him Earl of Beaconsfield. Disraeli's second term was dominated by the Eastern Question—the slow decay of the Ottoman Empire and the desire of other European powers, such as Russia, to gain at its expense. Disraeli arranged for the British to purchase a major interest in the Suez Canal Company (in Ottoman-controlled Egypt). In 1878, faced with Russian victories against the Ottomans, he worked at the Congress of Berlin to obtain peace in the Balkans at terms favourable to Britain and unfavourable to Russia, its longstanding enemy. This diplomatic victory over Russia established Disraeli as one of Europe's leading statesmen.

World events thereafter moved against the Conservatives. Controversial wars in Afghanistan and South Africa undermined his public support. He angered British farmers by refusing to reinstitute the Corn Laws in response to poor harvests and cheap imported grain. With Gladstone conducting a massive speaking campaign, his Liberals bested Disraeli's Conservatives in the 1880 election. In his final months, Disraeli led the Conservatives in opposition. He had throughout his career written novels, beginning in 1826, and he published his last completed novel, Endymion, shortly before he died at the age of 76.

Code: 19980Price: 300.00 GBP

Website designed & maintained by Concept500