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A Superb Original Spencer Carbine, Probably the Best Carbine Rifle of the American Civil War, and, In The Wild West

A Superb Original Spencer Carbine, Probably the Best Carbine Rifle of the American Civil War, and, In The Wild West

An absolutely cracking example in superb condition for age, probably one of the best we have seen in years, and comparable or possibly better to one we had last year, which was, until then, the finest we had seen anywhere in the last 10 years. Complete with its removable and reloadable magazine. Serial numbered 33k range.

It bears a US inspector’s cartouche stamp on the stock, and that particular inspector is seen on the Colorado issue range, within the 33k serial numbered guns, this is rare in that only 500 carbines from this serial numbered range were transferred to the Colorado territory, and this is only the second we have ever seen, both in that rarely seen 33k serial number sequence.

Colorado, in the world famous Rocky Mountains aka ‘The Rockies’, was at the very heart of what is known today as the “Wild West’ period, and it went through an incredible series of historical events at this time, it was not granted statehood till August 1st 1876, as President Andrew Jackson vetoed it in 1865, it had an amazing and violent ‘Gold Rush’ period during the war, and it was experiencing all manner of difficulties and dangers regarding the breaking of the Fort Laramie Treaty, which became known as the the Colorado War, between the warring Native American tribes. It became the centre of so many Hollywood ‘Wild West’ films in the entire 20th century, in the telling of the stories of Colorado and ‘The Rockies’ that one way or another it became one of the most famous territories and states of America around the world.

In modern movie times the 1860 Spencer Rifle was used by Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman in ‘The Unforgiven’ and in ‘3.10 to Yuma’ by Christin Bale

The Spencer was the most advanced infantry weapon in the world of its times, it was patented in 1860 by Christian Spencer, a machinist who worked in Hartford. Conn. For Sharps and developed the Spencer on his own time. We are offering this simply superb example that is in great condition for its age. This carbine was a fundamental game changer of the entire Civil War. Although Confederates captured some of these weapons, the South's armament industry was unable to manufacture much of the ammunition due to a shortage of copper. It is only a small exaggeration to state that this cartridge decided the outcome of the Civil War.
Col. John T. Wilder said of them:"Hoover's Gap was the first battle where the Spencer repeating rifle had ever been used, and in my estimation they were better weapons that has yet taken their place, being strong and not easily injured by the rough usage of army movements, and carrying a projectiile that disabled any man who was unlucky enough to be hit by it." One of his soldiers wrote about the Spencer that it "never got out of repair. It would shoot a mile just as accurately as the finest rifle in the world. It was the easiest gun to handle in the manual of arms drill I have ever seen. It could be taken all to pieces to clean, and hence was little trouble to keep in order -- quite an item to lazy soldiers." According to Smith Aktins, a colonel in Wilder's regiment, it was "the best arm for service in the field ever invented, better than any other arm in the world then or now, so simple in its mechanism that it never got out of order, and was always ready for instant service.".

Major-General James H. Wilson, who was instrumental in crushing Hood at Nashville (15-16 Dec. 1864) and defeated Forrest at Selma (2 April 1865), wrote the following about them: "There is no doubt that the Spencer carbine is the best fire-arm yet put into the hands of the soldier, both for economy of ammunition and maximum effect, physical and moral. Our best officers estimate one man armed with it [is] equivalent to three with any other arm. I have never seen anything else like the confidence inspired by it in the regiments or brigades which have it. A common belief amongst them is if their flanks are covered they can go anywhere. I have seen a large number of dismounted charges made with them against cavalry, infantry, and breast-works, and never knew one to fail. It was the world's first practical repeater and fired a .52 calibre metallic rimfire cartridge (patented by Smith & Wesson in 1854 and perfected by Henry in the late 1850's} which completely prevented gas leakage from the back because the brass casing expanded on ignition to seal the chamber. It had a "rolling block" (actually a rotating block) activated by lowering the trigger guard. This movement opened the breech and extracted the spent cartridge. Raising the lever caused a new cartridge, pushed into position by a spring in the 7-round magazine, to be locked into the firing chamber. The 7-round magazine was located in the stock.
The Spencer was easy to manufacture (given the requisite industrial infrastructure), had relatively few parts, many of which were in common with the Sharps rifles, and was cheaper than other repeaters on the market such as the Henry. It also turned out to be extremely reliable under battlefield conditions. Its great advantage over the muzzle loading rifles such as the Enfields and Springfields lay not only in the rapidity of fire, but also in the ability of the shooter to aim each shot. In a normal battle situation, the muzzle loaders were fired in an aimed manner only the first few shots, thereafter it was usually a case of hurried fire after frantic loading. A trained soldier could get off two or three shots a minute with them until the barrel fouled with lead deposit. With the Spencer the soldier could fire 20 to 30 times a minute when necessary, taking advantage of the cartridge box which held 10 preloaded magazines. The only disadvantage of the Spencers was the relatively small powder charge in the cartridge which limited its range. Some marksmen therefore preferred the single shot Sharps breechloader which used paper or linen cartridges with a larger powder charge and had greater range. With the Sharps you could fire about 10 times a minute. But for the cavalry which fought mostly at close range, the Spencer was the weapon of choice.

Introduced in Jan. 1862, it found its first major use by Col. John Wilder's Indiana "Lightning Brigade" of mounted infantry at Hoover's Gap during the Tullahoma Campaign (22 June - 3 July 1863). The firepower and speed of this unit overwhelmed Wheeler's cavalry guarding the southern end of this pass and allowed George H. Thomas's 14th infantry corps to place itself on the flank of the Confederate General Hardee. This sudden development misled Hardee into thinking he had been outflanked by the entire Union Army of the Cumberland, and he retreated without orders back to Tullahoma, 15 miles in his rear. Wilder then spearheaded the turning movement to the east of Tullahoma, and this in turn undermined Bragg's entire defensive line, and he had to pull back into Chattanooga. At the price of about 500 casualties the Union Army advanced 100 miles and made military history. Later, at the battle of Chickamauga (19-20 Sept. 1863), his troops used them with decisive effect on the first day, keeping Bragg's troops from cutting the road to Chattanooga, and slowing Longstreet's attack on the second day. This is the scarcer Burnside Spencer Repeating Rifle Contract Carbine,

Made in Providence Rhode Island This specimen is one of the Burnside Contract, making it much scarcer and thus rarer than those standard carbines made by the Spencer Repeating Rifle Company. Out of the 34,000 made by Burnside, over 30,000 were purchased by the U.S. government, which in gun production numbers, during this period, 30,000 was a most small contract indeed.

On October 16, 1868, 500 Burnside Contract Spencer Carbines were transferred by the Ordnance Department to the Colorado Territory. The Ordnance inspector cartouche remain visible on the left side of the stock behind the sling ring bar, this particular Ordnance stamp is also the ones used for the 500 Colorado Territory guns shipment.

Thousands of people had flooded into Colorado between 1858-1861 trying to find quick riches. As a result, the Colorado territory was born. This was the first time that a concentrated group of people had began to settle the region. It was almost immediately filled with wealth, trade, and rail transportation. By 1865, more than 1 million ounces of gold had been found. But this now overpopulated area had spilt out and violated an already unstable situation; The Treaty of Fort Laramie had been broken. The Treaty was meant to establish boundaries and offer peace, internally and externally, among both the United States and Natives. The American miners settling on the Native land only exaggerated the existing conflicts between tribes. The result ended up being years of war between multiple tribes and the U.S. Government, in what is now known as the Colorado War.
As the conflicts ceased, population growth flourished, and resources kept flowing, the territory became a state on August 1, 1876. Colorado could have been a state a little sooner if President Andrew Jackson didn’t issue a veto against the statehood in 1865. A lot of American history happened in a short span of time. Colorado played a huge role in the history of the American West, making the potential of this rifle in our opinion very special indeed.
As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables

Code: 23152

4750.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Most Attractive Carved Bone Hilted British King George IIIrd Period 18th Century Spadroon

A Most Attractive Carved Bone Hilted British King George IIIrd Period 18th Century Spadroon

A scarce form of spadroon with a trefoil [triple edged] blade, and traditional brass stirrup 'spadroon ' guard.
A spadroon is a light sword with a straight edged blade, enabling both cut and thrust attacks. The style became popular among military and naval officers in the 1700s, as well as pirates, spreading from England to the United States and to France, where it was known as the epee anglaise.

Code: 21581

595.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Historical, Northern Irish 3 x 1910’s-1920's ‘Gun- Runners’ Ulster Volunteer Force U.V.F. Issue Steyr Knife Bayonets, from an Unearthed 1970's UVF Arms Cache

Historical, Northern Irish 3 x 1910’s-1920's ‘Gun- Runners’ Ulster Volunteer Force U.V.F. Issue Steyr Knife Bayonets, from an Unearthed 1970's UVF Arms Cache

3 rare Steyr manufactured M1904 Knife Bayonet & Scabbard. With distinctive and identifiable hump back grip, These bayonet knives & scabbards were originally part of a cache of arms involved in the Larne gun-running operation. Its rare to get these original UVF used bayonets. They are in worn long stored condition, so priced accordingly for all three together, a single near mint example would be three times the price

See the original 1910’s photo in the gallery of the UVF all armed with the Steyrs and this bayonet affixed.

The smuggling exercise was master-minded by Major Frederick Crawford and Captain Wilfrid Spender on behalf of the Ulster Unionist Council, to equip the recently formed Ulster Volunteer Force (U.V.F.). The U.V.F. had been set-up to fight against the imposition of Home Rule and Crawford was tasked with the procurement of arms. He approached several manufacturers including Steyr, and after several failed attempts, due to Customs intervention, the Larne plan was hatched.

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

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

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

Code: 24257

300.00 GBP


Shortlist item
The Shop Will Be Closed on Tuesday 24th We Re-open Wednesday as Usual

The Shop Will Be Closed on Tuesday 24th We Re-open Wednesday as Usual

01273 321357 {from within the UK}
+ 44 {0} 1273 321357 {for international callers}

mail@thelanesarmoury.co.uk

We are also always contactable on 07721 010085
or from outside the UK on + 44 07721 010085 or via email mail@thelanesarmoury.co.uk

Code: 24256

Price
on
Request


A WW2 Japanese Officer's 'Shin Gunto' Occupation Sword, Made During The Imperial Japanese Army's Occupation of Java in Circa 1943/44

A WW2 Japanese Officer's 'Shin Gunto' Occupation Sword, Made During The Imperial Japanese Army's Occupation of Java in Circa 1943/44

Untouched since its return from WW2 from a naval family. Combat leather covered mounts, over plain wood shirasaya, with a locally Javan cast Japanese cherry blossom decorated military tsuba. Very, very sharp grey blade. Very likely made in Sumaran Semerang, a Japanese Garrison on the island of Shiyawaka. It had an occupation steelworks that made swords for Japanese officers, who could no longer at the latter part of the war, obtain swords from Japan. They also produced swords for the Indonesian collaborating officers. The sword has been stored since around 1947. A basic officer's sword of regular quality but an especially and incredibly interesting piece from the Japanese Pacific campaign.

As it is an occupation sword it is probably one of the cheapest examples of an original Japanese officer’s service swords of WW2 available on the market today, but also one of the most intriguing, to specifically come from the occupation of the Indonesian Islands by Japan in WW2

The Japanese Empire occupied Indonesia, known then as the Dutch East Indies, during World War II from March 1942 until after the end of War in 1945. The period was one of the most critical in Indonesian history. Under German occupation, the Netherlands had little ability to defend its colony against the Japanese army, and less than three months after the first attacks on Borneo the Japanese navy and army overran Dutch and allied forces. Initially, most Indonesians optimistically and even joyfully welcomed the Japanese as liberators from their Dutch colonial masters. This sentiment changed as Indonesians were expected to endure more hardship for the war effort. In 1944–45, Allied troops largely by-passed Indonesia and did not fight their way into the most populous parts such as Java and Sumatra. As such, most of Indonesia was still under Japanese occupation at the time of their surrender in August 1945. On 29 April 1945, Japanese occupation force formed BPUPKI (Indonesian Independence Effort Exploratory Committee) (Japanese: Dokuritsu Jyunbi Choosakai ), a Japanese-organized committee for granting independence to Indonesia. The commanding officer of 16 IJA was General Nagano Lt-General Nagano Yuichiro. Indonesian independence meeting and discussion were prepared through this organization. The final stages of warfare were initiated in October 1945 when, in accordance with the terms of their surrender, the Japanese tried to re-establish the authority they relinquished to Indonesians in the towns and cities. Japanese military police killed Republican pemuda in Pekalongan (Central Java) on 3 October, and Japanese troops drove Republican pemuda out of Bandung in West Java and handed the city to the British, but the fiercest fighting involving the Japanese was in Semarang. On 14 October, British forces began to occupy the city. Retreating Republican forces retaliated by killing between 130 and 300 Japanese prisoners they were holding. Five hundred Japanese and 2000 Indonesians had been killed and the Japanese had almost captured the city six days later when British forces arrived. Picture in the gallery of Indonesian boy volunteers training for the Japanese volunteer army. Major Kido, in charge of a Kido Butai (an Officer Training School with an armoury in Semarang), was recommended for a British DSO for his assistance in securing the city and for subsequent help in the relief of internee camps at Ambarawa. (In fact the Japanese mistakenly opened fire upon the arriving British forces killing several members of 3/10 GR.) The DSO for Kido was not approved (which was hardly surprising, as it was just a few weeks since the Japanese surrender, and it would have caused uproar in Britain). This recommendation is mentioned in General Christison's memoirs held in the IWM, quoted by the following scholars:
The Secret of Major Kido: The battle of Semarang, 15-19 October 1945.’ Han, Bing Siong. Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, Volume 152, Issue 3 (1996), pages 382–428.
‘Sleeping with the Enemy: Britain, Japanese Troops and the Netherlands East Indies, 1945–1946.’ Roadnight, A. History, Volume 87, Number 286, April 2002 , pp. 245-268(24).
‘Side-stepping Geneva: Japanese Troops under British Control, 1945-7.’
Connor, S, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 45 (2) April 2010: 389-405. Kido Butai (battalion) was so well regarded by the British forces that it was afforded the unique honour of departing Java carrying its small arms for disposal at sea. Kido Butai was then interned on Rempang island (south of Singapore in Dutch territorial waters) before being repatriated to Japan. Interestingly the Semarang kenpeitai (military police corps), which suffered considerable casualties carrying out British orders, were arrested and handed over to the Dutch military courts for subsequent for 'war guilt' investigations and trial. No account was taken of their assistance against Indonesian nationalists. There was considerable post war ill-feeling in Japanese ex-servicemen's circles over the actions of Kido Butai with former kenpeitai being contemptuous of 'treacherous' and 'anti-Indonesian' actions by pro-Indonesian Japanese veterans. (From interviews with former IJA personnel, including ex-Kido Butai, in Connor's PhD thesis.)

The battle for Semarang, Anglo-Dutch friction and the combined British-Japanese operation to relieve internee camps as well as the British military disaster at Surabaya in October 1945 (430 dead in three days!) are the subject of the new and controversial story Black Sun, Red Moon: A Novel of Java by Rory Marron. Mr Marron suspects many of the PETA militia officers, trained by the Japanese, would have been carrying swords such as these and carried them throughout the revolution until Indonesia gained independence from the Dutch in 1949. Much of the above history was by courtesy of Mr Rory Marron author of Black Sun, Red Moon:


The original habaki [small blade collar] split many years ago and was lost but we can have a replacement one bespoke made for around £140.

Code: 24255

775.00 GBP


Shortlist item
British Admiral’s Royal Naval Wilkinson Sword of Rear-Admiral Edward Balfour Cloete, Royal Navy.

British Admiral’s Royal Naval Wilkinson Sword of Rear-Admiral Edward Balfour Cloete, Royal Navy.

For sale together with the midshipman's dirk as a father and son pair, [no 25253]

Overall in excellent plus condition, retaining around 95% original gilt to the hilt, with rare spring clip locking half basket, the so-called officer's cutlass solid hilt, as opposed to the regular folding guard hilt. Deluxe full etching with royal naval anchor and royal cypher. Made by Wilkinson in 1914, supplied by Royal Naval outfitters, Gieve Matthews and Seagrove Portsmouth. Name engraved E.B.Cloete RN to the scabbard throat, with Wilkinson's of Pall Mall makers shield.
Despite being over 100 years old it would still be perfect for current service use.

Edward Balfour Cloete was born in 1885, the son of Lieutenant-General J. G. Cloete of Guernsey, where he was educated at Elizabeth College prior to entering Britannia as a Cadet. A Lieutenant-Commander by the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, he survived the sinking of the cruiser H.M.S. Aboukir in the following month, and afterwards served in the Grand Fleet in the battleship HMS Canada, in which he was present at Jutland, HMS Canada's first assignment was with the 4th Battle Squadron, Grand Fleet, in Scapa Flow.
HMS Canada saw action at the Battle of Jutland, under orders of Captain William Nicholson. In total she fired 42 main guns rounds and 109 secondary guns rounds during it. She was not hit once, and sent two salvoes on SMS Wiesbaden, fired five more at an unknown target around 19:20 plus its 6-inch guns on German destroyers about that time.
Then he was commander of the Destroyer Flotilla Mediterranean fleet.
FIRST DESTROYER FLOTILLA
Captain E. B. Cloete

MACKAY (F)
Capt. E. B. Cloete
WORCESTER (temp F)
Capt. F. R. M. Johnson
VIMIERA
Lt. Cmdr. D. H. M. Leggatt
VIVACIOUS
Lt. Cmdr. A. F. C. Layard
VOYAGER
Cmdr. B. C. S. Martin
WATERHEN
Lt. Cmdr. A. D. B. James
WALRUS
Lt. Cmdr. J. L. Younghusband
VENDETTA
Lt. Cmdr. B. S. Davies
WRYNECK
Cmdr. T. B. Fellowes
FIRST SUBMARINE FLOTILLA
Captain F. H. Taylor, DSC
WOLSEY (F)
Capt. F. H. Taylor, DSC
CYCLOPS (depot ship)
Cmdr. H. N. Lake, DSO, DSC
OBERON
Lt. Cmdr. F. L. Merriman
OXLEY
Lt. Cmdr. W. R. Fell
OTWAY
Lt. Cmdr. T. H. Dickson
ROVER
Lt. Cmdr. C. B. Allen
REGENT
Lt. Cmdr. J.R.H. D'Aeth
REGULUS
Lt. Cmdr. L. M. Shadwell
DESTROYER DEPOT SHIP
SANDHURST
Capt. J. Powell, DSO
attached drifter (no crew provided)
EDDY
SLOOP
BRYONY
Cmdr. I. W. L. Frewen-Loton

Gaining steady advancement between the Wars, one of Cloete’s final appointments was as King’s Harbour Master at Portland and he was placed on the Retired List as a Rear-Admiral in June 1936. He was, however, recalled on the renewal of hostilities, and appears to have been employed for a while at the Royal Naval training establishment as President. Later he was Vice Commodore, rear Admiral RNR, second in command of a convoy service, including personally, with 32 ships in CONVOY HGF 18 sailing on the Aguila, [out of Liverpool] departing 1940 February 6th from Gibraltar to Liverpool.

The Gibraltar convoys of World War II were oceangoing trade convoys of merchant ships sailing between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom. Gibraltar convoy routes crossed U-boat transit routes from French Atlantic ports and were within range of Axis maritime patrol aircraft making these convoys vulnerable to observation and interception by bombers, submarines, and surface warships during the Battle of the Atlantic. OG convoys brought supplies from the United Kingdom to Gibraltar from September 1939 until September 1942. Beginning with Operation Torch, OG convoys were replaced by KM convoys transporting military personnel and supplies from the United Kingdom to and past Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. HG convoys brought food, raw materials, and later empty ships from Gibraltar to the United Kingdom from September 1939 until September 1942. After Operation Torch, HG convoys were replaced by MK convoys returning mostly empty ships from the Mediterranean to the United Kingdom. KM and MK convoys ended in 1945.

Admiral had two sons who entered the Royal Navy, the eldest who was an Lt. then Lt Commander in WW2, serving with distinction in three of the most important allied invasions of the entire war, Operation Torch, Operation Overlord and Operation Dragon, later on battleship HMS Duke of York, and aircraft carriers Ark Royal, and Eagle, promoted to captain and awarded the OBE by the Queen in 1953.
His other, second son, Midshipman R. E. Cloete, Royal Navy, was killed in action on the battleship H.M.S. Barham in November 1941. He was killed in action aboard, when Barham was sunk off the Egyptian coast.

Admiral Cloete died shortly after the war in 1947.

The Cloete family is remarkable in that it was to produce three generals’ and one admiral in the British and Indian armed forces, namely General Sir Abraham Josias Cloete, British Army; General Henry Daniel Cloete, British-Indian Army, Lieutenant-General Josias Gordon Cloete, British-Indian Army and Rear-Admiral Edward Balfour Cloete , Royal Navy.

Just returned from 8 hours full hand cleaning and conservation.

The scabbard throat bears his name and the blade bears the Wilkinson serial number for 1914, the royal cypher on the blade is quite worn but otherwise the etching is superb.

Photo in the gallery of battleship HMS Canada of Jutland.

Code: 24254

Price
on
Request


1879-1901 Pattern Victorian Midshipman's Dirk, later Admiral of Distinguished Naval Family Last Used by a Lt Commander of HMS Argonaut of the Operation Torch and Normandy Landings

1879-1901 Pattern Victorian Midshipman's Dirk, later Admiral of Distinguished Naval Family Last Used by a Lt Commander of HMS Argonaut of the Operation Torch and Normandy Landings

in excellent plus condition, with the traditional 1879-1901 Victorian retaining spring-clip attachment. With excellent overall gilt remaining to the hilt, fine sharkskin grip with original binding, deluxe etched blade with overall wear to the etching, excellent leather to the scabbard the scabbard. The scabbard throat is monogrammed for Midshipman, later Captain Cloete. Originally it was made for and used by his father when a midshipman, who later became a British rear admiral. It was then past to his eldest son when he enlisted, who was later became a most distinguished Lt Commander of WW2.
His other, second son, Midshipman R. E. Cloete, Royal Navy, was killed in action on the battleship H.M.S. Barham in November 1941. Tragically he was killed in action aboard, when Barham was sunk off the Egyptian coast by the German submarine U-331 with the loss of 862 crewmen, approximately two thirds of her crew.
We also have the admiral's named, Wilkinson RN sword, that was purchased in 1914.

The dirks last owner was the Admiral’s son, Captain Peter Lawrence Cloete OBE, RN, who served on HMS Argonaut as lieutenant and lieutenant commander in WW2 from 1941 til 1944, in numerous wartime fields of maritime conflict, including three of the most important allied invasions of WW2, Operation Torch, the Anglo-American invasion of French Morocco and Algeria during the North African Campaign, Operation Overlord, the Normandy Landings, and Operation Dragoon, the invasion of Southern France. Later, after 1944, he served on the battleship HMS Duke of York, and the Aircraft Carrier HMS Ark Royal. The Dirk is monogrammed to him on the scabbard throat.

HMS Argonaut was a Dido-class cruiser of the British Royal Navy which saw active service during the Second World War. Constructed at the Cammell Laird shipyard, Birkenhead, Argonaut was laid down in 1939, launched in September 1941, and formally commissioned into service on 8 August 1942.

She saw service in the Mediterranean in 1942, and was badly damaged on 14 December. After being repaired she took part in Operation Overlord, the Normandy Landings, and Operation Dragoon, the invasion of Southern France, before serving as an escort carrier group flagship.

During October and November 1942, Argonaut served as part of Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa. The cruiser formed part of Force H, based in Gibraltar and commanded by Vice Admiral Sir E.N. Syfret. It was charged with guarding the landings against possible attack from Italian or Vichy French naval forces. HMS Argonaut, in particular, was dispatched on a diversionary mission into the Mediterranean.

In December 1942 Argonaut joined the newly formed Force Q, commanded by Rear Admiral Cecil Harcourt, with the mission of disrupting German–Italian convoys on the Tunisian coast. In addition to Argonaut, Force Q included the cruisers Aurora and Sirius, and the destroyers Quentin and HMAS Quiberon.

On 1 December, Argonaut and the other ships in Force Q took part in the Battle of Skerki Bank – attacking and largely destroying an Italian convoy. While the Axis forces lost four troop ships and the destroyer Folgore the Allies emerged from the engagement intact. On the following day, the German Air Force sank HMS Quentin westward of Cap Serrat. On 14 December 1942, Argonaut was heavily damaged when the Italian submarine Lazzaro Mocenigo struck the cruiser with two torpedoes from a spread of four, causing serious damage. The bow and stern sections of the cruiser were effectively blown off and the steering wrecked. Though only three crew members were killed, the damage was so severe that German authorities mistakenly believed the Argonaut had been sunk. The ship was patched up and limped to Algiers for more temporary repairs. It then sailed for the United States, where it underwent a seven-month reconstruction, completed in November 1943.

Repairs and later service
When the Argonaut returned to the UK, it was refitted and received the new Type 293 and 277 radars. It took part in bombardment duties on D-Day under the command of Captain Longley. It also supported the Allied invasion of Southern France, Operation Dragoon, before seeing duty as an escort carrier flagship.

Subsequently, the ship conducted a sweep of the Aegean Sea, sinking a number of small Axis craft, before sailing east to the Indian Ocean, where Argonaut joined the British Pacific Fleet in 1945.


Peter Laurence Cloete, the son of Rear-Admiral E. B. Cloete, R.N., was appointed a Naval Cadet in May 1931 and, having attended the Royal Navy’s Engineering College and been advanced to Midshipman, joined the cruiser H.M.S. Leander, in which ship he was serving as a Lieutenant (E.) by the outbreak of hostilities in September 1939. Leander served in the Mediterranean and East Indies 1940-41, and sank the Italian armed merchant cruiser Ramb I in the Indian Ocean in February of the latter year.

Removing to the cruiser H.M.S. Argonaut in August 1941, Cloete remained similarly employed until coming ashore to the Columbo base Lanka in September 1944, thereby sharing in her Battle Honours for North Africa 1942 and Normandy 1944, and gaining advancement to Lieutenant-Commander (E.) at the time of the Normandy landings. So, too, in such notable actions as the destruction of four enemy supply ships and a destroyer north of Tunis in December 1942 and, less happily, an attack by the Italian submarine Mocenigo in February 1943, when Argonaut’s bow and stern were blown off - subsequent repairs being undertaken in the U.S.A. and U.K.

Post-war, after promotion to Commander (E.) he served in the cruiser H.M.S. Belfast and the battleship H.M.S. Duke of York, and was awarded his O.B.E. in the Coronation Honours List in 1953, while serving in the cruiser H.M.S. Jamaica, which distinction he received at a Buckingham Palace investiture in the following month. Appointments in the aircraft carriers H.M.S. Ark Royal and Eagle ensued, in which latter ship he is believed to have qualified for his “Near East” clasp in 1956.

The Cloete family is remarkable in that it was to produce three generals’ and one admiral in the British and Indian armed forces, namely General Sir Abraham Josias Cloete, British Army; General Henry Daniel Cloete, British-Indian Army, Lieutenant-General Josias Gordon Cloete, British-Indian Army and Rear-Admiral Edward Balfour Cloete , Royal Navy.

Code: 24253

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on
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11th Century Earliest Crusader Knight's Period Bronze Encolpion Reliquary Cross, Still Sealed.

11th Century Earliest Crusader Knight's Period Bronze Encolpion Reliquary Cross, Still Sealed.

From a collection of ancient artefacts from an 1820 Grand Tour family, from the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, the Crusuder Knights era, through to the Battle on Agincourt and on to the battle of Waterloo.
This is the second of two very similar original Crusader era Encolpion Reliquary Crosses we were delighted to acquire in the collection.

On the face of this work the engraved cross. it will have a hollow portion formed inside the box was intended for the sacred relic that the faithful would have worn around the neck. Incredibly, its mounting hanging ring is still nicely intact and appears to be perfectly wearable still today [by adding a loop and chain]. Part four of the amazing collection of Crusades period Crucifixes and reliquary crosses for the early Anglo Norman Crusader knights and Jerusalem pilgrims. As used in the early Crusades Period by Knights, such as the Knights of Malta Knights Hospitaller, the Knights of Jerusalem the Knights Templar, the Knights of St John.The new Norman rulers were culturally and ethnically distinct from the old French aristocracy, most of whom traced their lineage to the Franks of the Carolingian dynasty from the days of Charlemagne in the 9th century. Most Norman knights remained poor and land-hungry, and by the time of the expedition and invasion of England in 1066, Normandy had been exporting fighting horsemen for more than a generation. Many Normans of Italy, France and England eventually served as avid Crusaders soldiers under the Italo-Norman prince Bohemund I of Antioch and the Anglo-Norman king Richard the Lion-Heart, one of the more famous and illustrious Kings of England. An encolpion "on the chest" is a medallion with an icon in the centre worn around the neck upon the chest. This stunning and neck worn example is bronze with a good ring mount . 10th to 12th century. The hollow portion formed inside the cross was intended for the sacred relic that the faithful would have worn around the neck. The custom of carrying a relic was largely widespread, and many early bronze examples were later worn by the Crusader knights on their crusades to liberate the Holy Land. Relics of the True Cross became very popular from the 9th century, and were carried in cross-shaped reliquaries like this, often decorated with enamels, niellos, and precious stones. The True Cross is the name for physical remnants from the cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified. Many Catholic and Orthodox churches possess fragmentary remains that are by tradition believed to those of the True Cross. Saint John Chrysostom relates that fragments of the True Cross were kept in reliquaries "which men reverently wear upon their persons". A fragment of the True Cross was received by King Alfred from Pope Marinus I (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, year 883). An inscription of 359, found at Tixter, in the neighbourhood of Sétif in Mauretania, was said to mention, in an enumeration of relics, a fragment of the True Cross, according to an entry in Roman Miscellanies, X, 441.

Fragments of the Cross were broken up, and the pieces were widely distributed; in 348, in one of his Catecheses, Cyril of Jerusalem remarked that the "whole earth is full of the relics of the Cross of Christ," and in another, "The holy wood of the Cross bears witness, seen among us to this day, and from this place now almost filling the whole world, by means of those who in faith take portions from it." Egeria's account testifies to how highly these relics of the crucifixion were prized. Saint John Chrysostom relates that fragments of the True Cross were kept in golden reliquaries, "which men reverently wear upon their persons." Even two Latin inscriptions around 350 from today's Algeria testify to the keeping and admiration of small particles of the cross. Around the year 455, Juvenal Patriarch of Jerusalem sent to Pope Leo I a fragment of the "precious wood", according to the Letters of Pope Leo. A portion of the cross was taken to Rome in the seventh century by Pope Sergius I, who was of Byzantine origin. "In the small part is power of the whole cross", says an inscription in the Felix Basilica of Nola, built by bishop Paulinus at the beginning of 5th century. The cross particle was inserted in the altar.

The Old English poem Dream of the Rood mentions the finding of the cross and the beginning of the tradition of the veneration of its relics. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle also talks of King Alfred receiving a fragment of the cross from Pope Marinus (see: Annal Alfred the Great, year 883). Although it is possible, the poem need not be referring to this specific relic or have this incident as the reason for its composition. However, there is a later source that speaks of a bequest made to the 'Holy Cross' at Shaftesbury Abbey in Dorset; Shaftesbury abbey was founded by King Alfred, supported with a large portion of state funds and given to the charge of his own daughter when he was alive – it is conceivable that if Alfred really received this relic, that he may have given it to the care of the nuns at Shaftesbury

Most of the very small relics of the True Cross in Europe came from Constantinople. The city was captured and sacked by the Fourth Crusade in 1204: "After the conquest of the city Constantinople inestimable wealth was found: incomparably precious jewels and also a part of the cross of the Lord, which Helena transferred from Jerusalem and which was decorated with gold and precious jewels. There it attained the highest admiration. It was carved up by the present bishops and was divided with other very precious relics among the knights; later, after their return to the homeland, it was donated to churches and monasteries.To the category of engolpia belong also the ampullae, or vials or vessels of lead, clay or other materials in which were preserved such esteemed relics as oil from the lamps that burned before the Holy Sepulchre, and the golden keys with filings from St. Peter's chains, one of which was sent by St. Gregory the Great to the Frankish King Childebert.

Encolpion, a different anglicization of the same word, covers the early medieval tradition in both Eastern and Western Christianity. Superb condition, top swivel ring mount immobile, still sealed, so it may still contain part of the 'real cross'.
Surface in very good condition, with typical natural aged patina with encrustations.

Code: 24252

450.00 GBP


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An Amazing and Very Fine Original Moghul Empire Katar, 17th Century European Blade From the Time Of Shah Jahan

An Amazing and Very Fine Original Moghul Empire Katar, 17th Century European Blade From the Time Of Shah Jahan

Indian katar from the era of Shah Jahan, builder of The Taj Mahal, the most famous monument to a beloved wife in the world. This wonderful Katar push dagger is mounted with a likely German sword blade from the early 1600s. It was very popular in the Moghul era to import German blades and mount them with Indian hilts. The blade is attached to the hilt with traditional multi rivetting, and the chisseled hilt is overlaid in areas of sheet silver or gold, as would be suitable for a prince. It appears gold in colour but it may be aged silver. Painting [circa 1650] of Moghul Shah Shuja who was the second son of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and Empress Mumtaz Mahal, wearing his similar Katar. He was the governor of Bengal and Odissa and had his capital at Dhaka, presently Bangladesh.

] Shah Jahan is best remembered for his architectural achievements. His reign ushered in the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan commissioned many monuments, the best known of which is the Taj Mahal in Agra, in which is entombed his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. His relationship with Mumtaz Mahal has been heavily adapted into Indian art, literature and cinema. He owned the royal treasury, and several precious stones such as the Kohinoor and has thus often been regarded as the wealthiest person in history.

The death of his father Jahangir in late 1627 spurred a war of succession between his sons Shahryar and Khurram from which Shah Jahan emerged victoriously. He executed all of his rivals for the throne and crowned himself emperor on January 1628 in Agra, under the regnal title "Shah Jahan" (which was originally given to him as a princely title). His rule saw many grand building projects, including the Red Fort and the Shah Jahan Mosque. Foreign affairs saw war with the Safavids, aggressive campaigns against the Shia Deccan Sultanates,[10] conflict with the Portuguese, and positive relations with the Ottoman Empire. Domestic concerns included putting down numerous rebellions, and the devastating famine from 1630-32.

In September 1657, Shah Jahan fell seriously ill. This set off a war of succession among his four sons in which his third son, Aurangzeb, emerged victorious and usurped his father's throne. Shah Jahan recovered from his illness, but Emperor Aurangzeb put his father under house arrest in Agra Fort from July 1658 until his death in January 1666. He was laid to rest next to his wife in the Taj Mahal. His reign is known for doing away with the liberal policies initiated by Akbar. Shah Jahan was an Orthodox Muslim, and it was during his time that Islamic revivalist movements like the Naqsbandi began to shape Mughal policies

Code: 21565

785.00 GBP


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Sword of US General John H Eaton, President Jackson’s Personal Envoy, and Aide in the Creek War, and the War of 1812. A Superb Spanish Epee Presented by the Queen of Spain to US General J.H. Eaton in 1837

Sword of US General John H Eaton, President Jackson’s Personal Envoy, and Aide in the Creek War, and the War of 1812. A Superb Spanish Epee Presented by the Queen of Spain to US General J.H. Eaton in 1837

This fabulous sword was later worn, after its inheritance from General Eaton, by a friend of Ulysses S. Grant, Col. James A. Magruder, at the funeral of President Lincoln.

Since 1967, for several decades, this wonderful and historic sword was on display at Dumbarton House in Washington DC, a federal historic house museum

A simply stunning historical Spanish full dress epee, by tradition, presented to United States General John H Eaton, Envoy Extraordinary & Minister Plenipotentiary for President Andrew Jackson's America, to the Kingdom of Spain, by Her Majesty Maria Christina de Borbon, Queen Consort, and Regent [for her daughter] Isabella II Queen of Spain, in 1837. The sword has a fine tapering double-edged blade of flattened-hexagonal section, stamped 'Ano D 1837' and 'Fa Ntl Di Toledo' on the respective faces at the forte, finest gilt bronze hilt cast with wonderful classical ornament in relief, including oval shell-guard decorated with the Iberian eagle flanked by classical figures, the quillon-block bears the letter 'F' for Ferdinand' enclosed within a laurel wreath, a
pair of straight quillons, knuckle-guard and pommel, and integral grip all decorated en suite, in its blued iron scabbard (now oxidised to brown) with gilt-bronze suspensions mounts and drag 76.8 cm; 30 1/4 in blade
Provenance;
By tradition presented to General John H. Eaton US General J.H.Eaton, Envoy Extraordinary for President Andrew Jackson to Spain, who was married to the ward of President Andrew Jackson. It was presented by the Regent of Spain, Her Majesty Queen Maria Christina in 1837, when General Eaton was Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Spain (1836-1840). Maria Christina of Spain (when Regent for her daughter, the future Isabella II) was Maria Cristina de Borbon, Princesa de las Dos Sicilias; 27 April 1806 - 22 August 1878) she was Queen Consort of Spain (1829 to 1833) and Regent of Spain (1833 to 1840). This sword was thence passed after his death to his friend and physician Dr William B. Magruder; thence to his brother Colonel James A. Magruder, a personal friend of General Grant, who wore the sword on full dress occasions including the funeral of President Lincoln, thence by descent to
Mrs. Millicent Magruder Nichols, Massachusetts who gifted the sword to Dumbarton House in 1967. Dumbarton House, is a Federal period historic house museum in Washington, DC. The house serves as the headquarters for The National Society of Colonial Dames of America, a group of women whose ancestors contributed to America’s founding. Eaton originally became active in the Tennessee militia, and attained the rank of major. He developed a close friendship with Andrew Jackson, and served as an aide to Jackson during the Creek War and the War of 1812. Eaton took part in all Jackson's major campaigns. He supported Jackson's controversial decision in November 1814 to attack Pensacola in Spanish Florida, claiming that Spain had put herself in a belligerent position by allowing its territory to be occupied by British soldiers. Eaton participated in the Battle of New Orleans, and became a major proponent of Jackson's presidential candidacy following the war

The First Carlist War was a civil war in Spain from 1833 to 1840, the first of three Carlist Wars. It was fought between two factions over the succession to the throne and the nature of the Spanish monarchy: the conservative and devolutionist supporters of the late king's brother, Carlos de Borbón (or Carlos V), became known as Carlists (carlistas), while the progressive and centralist supporters of the regent, Maria Christina, acting for Isabella II of Spain, were called Liberals (liberales), cristinos or isabelinos. It is considered by some authors the largest and most deadly civil war of the period.

The Carlist forces were split in three geographically distinct armies: Norte ('North'), Maestrazgo and Cataluña ('Catalonia'), which by and large operated independently from each other.

Aside from being a war of succession about the question who the rightful successor to king Ferdinand VII of Spain was, the Carlists’ goal was the return to a traditional monarchy, while the Liberals sought to defend the constitutional monarchy. Portugal, France and the United Kingdom supported the regency, and sent volunteer and even regular forces to confront the Carlist army.

As with every item we sell it will be accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity, our unique lifetime guarantee

Code: 21497

3795.00 GBP


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