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A Very Fine Napoleonic, Ist Empire, General Staff Officer's Sabre. Three Bar Hilt with Deluxe Imperial General Staff Officer's Scabbard

A Very Fine Napoleonic, Ist Empire, General Staff Officer's Sabre. Three Bar Hilt with Deluxe Imperial General Staff Officer's Scabbard

A fabulous Ist Empire deluxe quality Light Cavalry pattern staff officer's sabre with three bar guard hilt, called in France the "Hunter-style".

Overall in excellent plus condition for its age, with original wire bound leather grip.

During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars the French armies had approximately 2,000,000 plus serving soldiers, of those there were around 2000 generals commanding them in the armies of France, directly under their commander-in-chief, the Emperor Napoleon. However, for example, at the Battle of Borodino, Napoleon lost 1928 of his officer's including 49 Generals, in just one day!

This sword would have been used and carried in combat by one of those officer's on Napoleon's general staff. Napoleon was, and remains, famous for his battlefield victories, and historians have spent enormous attention in analysing them.

Napoleon had numerous general staff officer's. However, a general in the field would have a relatively smaller cadre of officers supporting them.. Whether they were on Napoleon's staff or the staff of a general, their function was the same, to gather reports from field officers, précis them and ensure Napoleon and the generals have the right information. Then take Napoleon's or the general’s high level orders and ensure they get to the correct field officers, which may mean encoding them by hand.
Manage all the logistics, ensure that all the units are supplied with food, equipment and munitions.

In 2008, Donald Sutherland wrote:

The ideal Napoleonic battle was to manipulate the enemy into an unfavourable position through manoeuvre and deception, force him to commit his main forces and reserve to the main battle and then undertake an enveloping attack with uncommitted or reserve troops on the flank or rear. Such a surprise attack would either produce a devastating effect on morale, or force him to weaken his main battle line. Either way, the enemy's own impulsiveness began the process by which even a smaller French army could defeat the enemy's forces one by one.

After 1807, Napoleon's creation of a highly mobile, well-armed artillery force gave artillery usage increased tactical importance. Napoleon, rather than relying on infantry to wear away the enemy's defences, could now use massed artillery as a spearhead to pound a break in the enemy's line. Once that was achieved he sent in infantry and cavalry. The Napoleonic Wars brought radical changes to Europe, but the reactionary forces returned to power and tried to reverse some of them by restoring the Bourbon house on the French throne. Napoleon had succeeded in bringing most of Western Europe under one rule. In most European countries, subjugation in the French Empire brought with it many liberal features of the French Revolution including democracy, due process in courts, abolition of serfdom, reduction of the power of the Catholic Church, and a demand for constitutional limits on monarchs. The increasing voice of the middle classes with rising commerce and industry meant that restored European monarchs found it difficult to restore pre-revolutionary absolutism and had to retain many of the reforms enacted during Napoleon's rule. Institutional legacies remain to this day in the form of civil law, with clearly defined codes of law an enduring legacy of the Napoleonic Code.

While Napoleon is best known as a master strategist and charismatic presence on the battlefield, he was also a tactical innovator. He combined classic formations and tactics that had been used for thousands of years with more recent ones, such as Frederick the Great's "Oblique Order" (best illustrated at the Battle of Leuthen) and the "mob tactics" of the early Levée en masse armies of the Revolution. Napoleonic tactics and formations were highly fluid and flexible. In contrast, many of the Grande Armée's opponents were still wedded to a rigid system of "Linear" (or Line) tactics and formations, in which masses of infantry would simply line up and exchange vollies of fire, in an attempt to either blow the enemy from the field or outflank them. Due to the vulnerabilities of the line formations to flanking attacks, it was considered the highest form of military manoeuvre to outflank one's adversary. Armies would often retreat or even surrender if this was accomplished. Consequently, commanders who adhered to this system would place a great emphasis on flank security, often at the expense of a strong centre or reserve. Napoleon would frequently take full advantage of this linear mentality by feigning flank attacks or offering the enemy his own flank as "bait" (best illustrated at the Battle of Austerlitz and also later at Lützen), then throw his main effort against their centre, split their lines, and roll up their flanks. He always kept a strong reserve as well, mainly in the form of his Imperial Guard, which could deliver a "knockout blow" if the battle was going well or turn the tide if it was not.

Overall the condition is stunning . The scabbard's inner and outer side has just a very few surface contact bruises. In the 20th century generals plotted campaigns and were not often in the thick of combat. In the Napoleonic wars era general staff officers fought, more often than not alongside their men in hand to hand combat, hence, Napoleon lost so many of his general staff officers.  read more

Code: 25315

5250.00 GBP

Great, Antique, Militaria Collector’s Items Arriving Daily At The Lanes Armoury Britain’s Favourite Armoury Shop, Established Through Four Generations of Brighton Based Antique & Collectors Merchants Over The Past Century.

Great, Antique, Militaria Collector’s Items Arriving Daily At The Lanes Armoury Britain’s Favourite Armoury Shop, Established Through Four Generations of Brighton Based Antique & Collectors Merchants Over The Past Century.

As usual we have showing another superb, intriguing and amazing selection of another collection of rare and fascinating pieces. Including some fabulous and most beautiful historical collectables from The Royal Navy, The Samurai era of Japan and Napoleonic France, The Roman Empire, The Viking Age and Ancient China. Also Roman antiquities and rings from an 1820 Grand Tour Collection. A Beautiful original Edo period Samurai Armour, that has lain untouched for likely over 100 years, arrives later today!

We also try our best to offer a large selection of original, small, historic and ancient collectables that are easily affordable.

Naturally every single purchase is accompanied with our unique Certificate of Authenticity. The certificate will include not just the basic description, but any specific provenance, if known, plus, generic provenance detailing the era and the historical context of when and where the item was, or may have been used, and also any past history of the piece if known. Our certificates are unique in that we take considerable time and effort in order to detail as much history of each collectible, the era of its use, and how such a piece or similar example may have been used, how, where, and potentially, by whom. Some certificates have been known to be as much as two or even three pages in length. If any future collector wishes for just a basic, brief and informative certificate please let us know.

We Are Also Europe's Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists, almost every day another stunning example of early samurai weaponry arrives, with over 20 historical swords { some over 500 years old} are still yet to be added to our web gallery during the next week or so. So sorry for the delay, as they arrived earlier, but we have been too busy to be able to list, photograph and detail them sooner.

We were listed a few years ago by the world famous New York Times as one of the ‘must see’ places for Americans to visit when in Europe!! and regularly, we are declared and told by our legions of visitors every day, we are one of the very best and fascinating shops in the whole of Great Britain. And bearing in mind, in the UK, recorded in 2019, there were 306,655 retail outlets, apparently, so as you can imagine, the competition was pretty stiff. We are certainly not one of the largest attractions in the UK, far from it, but many tell us every single day they consider us to be the best they have ever seen. For us it is vitally important that every customer, old and new, has confidence to deal with an old, well established company that believes every customer must have an enjoyable, successful and satisfactory experience, and you can know that you can enjoy personal one to one contact with our partners, which for us is a priority.

Ancient pieces and antiquities from the 18th and 19th century ‘Grand Tour’ acquisitions are one of our specialities too, and such artefacts from all the ancient civilisations over the past three and a half thousand years or more arrive every week.


Richard Lassels, an expatriate Roman Catholic priest, first used the phrase “Grand Tour” in his 1670 book Voyage to Italy, published posthumously in Paris in 1670. In its introduction, Lassels listed four areas in which travel furnished "an accomplished, consummate traveler" with opportunities to experience first hand the intellectual, the social, the ethical, and the political life of the Continent.

The English gentry of the 17th century believed that what a person knew came from the physical stimuli to which he or she has been exposed. Thus, being on-site and seeing famous works of art and history was an all important part of the Grand Tour. So most Grand Tourists spent the majority of their time visiting museums and historic sites.

Once young men began embarking on these journeys, additional guidebooks and tour guides began to appear to meet the needs of the 20-something male and female travelers and their tutors traveling a standard European itinerary. They carried letters of reference and introduction with them as they departed from southern England, enabling them to access money and invitations along the way.

With nearly unlimited funds, aristocratic connections and months or years to roam, these wealthy young tourists commissioned paintings, perfected their language skills and mingled with the upper crust of the Continent.

The wealthy believed the primary value of the Grand Tour lay in the exposure both to classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music. A Grand Tour could last from several months to several years. The youthful Grand Tourists usually traveled in the company of a Cicerone, a knowledgeable guide or tutor.

The ‘Grand Tour’ era of classical acquisitions from history existed up to around the 1850’s, and extended around the whole of Europe, Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, and the Holy Land.  read more

Code: 24114

Price
on
Request

An Exemplary 1777 Pattern Tower of London, Royal Navy Sea-Service Flintlock Pistol Dated 1800. From Admiral Lord Nelson's Navy. With Long 12 inch Barrel. Equal To & Likely Better Than The Best Surviving Examples In The National Maritime Museum Collection

An Exemplary 1777 Pattern Tower of London, Royal Navy Sea-Service Flintlock Pistol Dated 1800. From Admiral Lord Nelson's Navy. With Long 12 inch Barrel. Equal To & Likely Better Than The Best Surviving Examples In The National Maritime Museum Collection

Fantastic patina to the stock. The King George IIIrd issue British Royal Naval Sea Service pistol has always been the most desirable and valuable pistol sought by collectors, but this example, like our last other 1805 sea service pistol, is truly exceptional.
Exactly as issued and used by all the British Ship's-of-the-Line, at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. {although this pistol would have seen five years of service before Trafalgar.}
Finest walnut stock with wondrous patination, Tower of London engraved lock with GR Crown, long belt hook with ordnance crown stamp, all traditional brass furniture, skull-crusher butt, crown ordnance stamped trigger guard, very good steel, patinated barrel with centre position at the breech, proof stamps.

Ships that used this pistol at Trafalgar, such as;
HMS Victory,
HMS Temeraire,
HMS Dreadnought,
HMS Revenge,
HMS Agamemnon,
HMS Colossus
HMS Leviathan &
HMS Achilles.
Some of the most magnificent ships, manned by the finest crews, that have ever sailed the seven seas.

Battle of Trafalgar, (October 21, 1805), naval engagement of the Napoleonic Wars, which established British naval supremacy for more than 100 years; it was fought west of Cape Trafalgar, Spain, between Cádiz and the Strait of Gibraltar. A fleet of 33 ships (18 French and 15 Spanish) under Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve fought a British fleet of 27 ships under Admiral Horatio Nelson.

At the end of September 1805, Villeneuve had received orders to leave Cádiz and land troops at Naples to support the French campaign in southern Italy. On October 19–20 his fleet slipped out of Cádiz, hoping to get into the Mediterranean Sea without giving battle. Nelson caught him off Cape Trafalgar on October 21.

Villeneuve ordered his fleet to form a single line heading north, and Nelson ordered his fleet to form two squadrons and attack Villeneuve’s line from the west, at right angles. By noon the larger squadron, led by Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood in the Royal Sovereign, had engaged the rear (south) 16 ships of the French-Spanish line. At 11:50 AM Nelson, in the Victory, signaled his famous message: “England expects that every man will do his duty.” Then his squadron, with 12 ships, attacked the van and centre of Villeneuve’s line, which included Villeneuve in the Bucentaure. The majority of Nelson’s squadron broke through and shattered Villeneuve’s lines in the pell-mell battle. Six of the leading French and Spanish ships, under Admiral Pierre Dumanoir, were ignored in the first attack and about 3:30 PM were able to turn about to aid those behind. But Dumanoir’s weak counterattack failed and was driven off. Collingwood completed the destruction of the rear, and the battle ended about 5:00 PM. Villeneuve himself was captured, and his fleet lost 19 or 20 ships—which were surrendered to the British—and 14,000 men, of whom half were prisoners of war. Nelson was mortally wounded by a sniper, but when he died at 4:30 PM he was certain of his complete victory. About 1,500 British seamen were killed or wounded, but no British ships were lost. Trafalgar shattered forever Napoleon’s plans to invade England.

Obviously this arm has signs of combat use and the stock has very minor dings. But when taken into consideration its service use, it is of little consequence compared to it's fabulous condition, which is truly exceptional, with, incredibly, absolutely not a trace of rust or corrosion on the more usually heavily pitted, steel, lock and barrel. A steel belt hook was attached to the reverse of the pistol by the rear most lock mounting screw, and a stud at the inboard rear of the hook engaged a hole in the side plate to keep the belt hook from swiveling when in use. A recurved iron trigger was suspended from a single iron wire pin that passed through the stock and into the lock mortise. A simple, brass-tipped wooden rammer secured under the stock by the ramrod pipe

It still has it's original 12" barrel, which is very scarce as the barrels were shortened by official order, to 9", before the Napoleonic wars.

The first pattern date applied to the Sea Service pistol in this form is 1716. The Pattern 1716 Sea Service Pistol was very similar to the Land Service Pistol of the same era, in overall appearance and design. The pistol was a single shot, flintlock ignition gun with a 12” long, round iron smoothbore barrel in “pistol bore”, approximately .56 caliber. The guns were of simple, but robust construction, and like their land service brethren were built with an eye towards the gun seeing equal service as a club, as it did as a firearm! In fact, US Naval manuals from the first decades of the 1800s included instruction on how to throw the pistol at an enemy, a tactic that no doubt originated in the Royal Navy.  read more

Code: 25296

3995.00 GBP

A Beautiful, Original, 16th Cent. Italian Knight’s ‘Close’ Helmet From  William Randolph Hearst’s Castle, San Simeon Formerly the Most Famous Private Museum Collection in the World. He Was Portrayed in Orson Welles Film Masterpiece ‘Citizen Caine’.

A Beautiful, Original, 16th Cent. Italian Knight’s ‘Close’ Helmet From William Randolph Hearst’s Castle, San Simeon Formerly the Most Famous Private Museum Collection in the World. He Was Portrayed in Orson Welles Film Masterpiece ‘Citizen Caine’.

Although Orson Welles, possibly the greatest genius filmmaker Hollywood ever produced, hid the depiction of W.R. Hearst as the near despotic millionaire fictional character Charles Foster Caine, in his masterpiece, not a single person ever believed it not to be a depiction of Hearst, {least of all Hearst himself} thus, it resulted in Orson to be, possibly the first, movie star and director to be effectively ‘cancelled’, and his career henceforth was thus ruined and destroyed by Hearst’s media empire. Many believed, and some still do, this was the greatest tragedy to befall Hollywood film making in its 20th century history. Like the death of Mozart in his youthful prime, when mentioned, Orson Welles, is often followed by one of the saddest of remarks “what might have been?”.

A similar form of helmet is illustrated in the *treatise of René of Anjou, Duke of Anjou, Count of Provence, King of Jerusalem and Sicily. See picture of the similar helmet from the treatise in the gallery.

A fine original close helmet, probably Italian, with funerary face visor. Fine original brass rose head rivets. The front visor was adapted when the knight perished and this helm would have been mounted above his tomb with his achievements, in circa 1590, likely with his sword. Such as two other helmets *King Henry Vth (d. 1422), buried in Westminster Abbey. Set up over the dead king’s monument until the 20th century was his funerary helmet, a finely decorated jousting helm, now kept in the abbey museum.

Edward the Black Prince or Edward of Woodstock (15 June 1330 - 8 June 1376), eldest son of Edward III, King of England. Dating from 1376 his funerary visored helmet is to be found above his funerary monument in Canterbury Cathedral.

This helmet we offer is a stunning piece with amazing provenance, was owned by one of the greatest yet notorious men in world publishing history. William Randolph Hearst ( April 29, 1863 - August 14, 1951) was an American newspaper Mogul, a publisher who built the nation’s largest newspaper chain and whose methods profoundly influenced American journalism. His collecting took his agents around the Europe to acquire the finest treasures available, for his project of building the largest and finest private estate in the world, Hearst Castle in San Simeon. In much of this he succeeded. Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887 after taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father. Moving to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer's New York World that led to the creation of yellow journalism sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak. He later expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world.

He was twice elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives, and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City in 1905 and 1909, for Governor of New York in 1906, and for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1910. Nonetheless, through his newspapers and magazines, he exercised enormous political influence, and was famously blamed for pushing public opinion with his yellow journalism type of reporting leading the United States into a war with Spain in 1898.

His life story was the main inspiration for the development of the lead character in Orson Welles's film Citizen Kane. His mansion, Hearst Castle, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean near San Simeon, California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, was donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, and is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours. Hearst formally named the estate La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Slope), but he usually just called it the ranch. This helmet was acquired by Hearst for his mansion, Hearst Castle, but when his empire began to crumble much of his collection was sold at Gimbels In New York in 1941, which is where the Higgins Armory acquired this helmet. Orson Welles film, Citizen Kane, is thought by many to be one of the greatest masterpieces of film ever made, and it's portrayal of Charles Foster Kane was so mirroring WR Hearst that there was no doubt in any mind what it was meant to represent. So much so, Hearst dedicated some considerable time and effort during the next 10 years in order to destroy Orson Welles' career, and prevent him fulfilling his obvious potential as one of the greatest directors of all time. In much of this, once more, Hearst succeeded. Items from Hearst's collection rarely surface, as owners tend to keep hold of them for obvious reasons of historical posterity and provenance, and to be able to offer such a piece from that collection is a great privilege, and a rare opportunity for it's next fortunate owner.

*Ref; The saddle, helmet, sword and shield of King Henry V, which once formed part of his funeral 'achievements', are displayed in Westminster Abbey Museum, located in the abbey's eleventh century vaulted undercroft of St Peter. They were carried at his funeral in 1422 and later suspended on the wooden beam above the Henry V chantry for centuries, but in 1972 they were restored and placed in the abbey museum.
We show in the gallery an illustration from ‘Traictie de la Forme et Devis D'ung Tournoy’, that was written circa 1460 by King Rene of Anjou, King of Jerusalem and Sicily. The tournament book shows how a helmet, such as this one, would have been dressed for the tournament and it describes a style of tournament which Rene says he has adapted from the ancient customs of France and other countries.  read more

Code: 22346

8995.00 GBP

A Fine & Most Rare Viking Spear Head, Circa 900 A.D. Socket Mount With Rivet.

A Fine & Most Rare Viking Spear Head, Circa 900 A.D. Socket Mount With Rivet.

This may well be a pattern welded blade in the traditional 'Wolf's Teeth' form but the surface is too russetted to tell, however its shape is very similar to the most famous recovered 'Wolf's Teeth' Viking spear head in Helsinki Museum see gallery. According to the older parts of the Gulating Law, dating back to before the year 900 AD covering Western Norway, a free man was required to own a sword or ax, spear and shield. It was said that Olaf Tryggvason, King of Norway from 995-1000 AD, could throw two spears at the same time. In chapter 55 of Laxdaela saga, Helgi had a spear with a blade one ell long (about 50cm, or 20in). He thrust the blade through Bolli's shield, and through Bolli. In chapter 8 of Kroka-Refs saga, Refur made a spear for himself which could be used for cutting, thrusting, or hewing. Refur split Porgils in two down to his shoulders with the spear. The spearheads were made of iron, and, like sword blades, were made using pattern welding techniques (described in the article on swords) during the early part of the Viking era . They could be decorated with inlays of precious metals or with scribed geometric patterns
After forming the head, the smith flattened and drew out material to form the socket . This material was formed around a mandrel and usually was welded to form a solid socket. In some cases, the overlapping portions were left unwelded. Spear heads were fixed to wooden shafts using a rivet. The sockets on the surviving spear heads suggest that the shafts were typically round, with a diameter of 2-3cm (about one inch).

However, there is little evidence that tells us the length of the shaft. The archaeological evidence is negligible, and the sagas are, for the most part, silent. Chapter 6 of Gisla saga tells of a spear so long-shafted that a man's outstretched arm could touch the rivet. The language used suggests that such a long shaft was uncommon.

Perhaps the best guess we can make is that the combined length of shaft and head of Viking age spears was 2 to 3m (7-10ft) long, although one can make arguments for the use of spears having both longer and shorter shafts. A strong, straight-grained wood such as ash was used. Many people think of the spear as a throwing weapon. One of the Norse myths tells the story of the first battle in the world, in which Odin, the highest of the gods, threw a spear over the heads of the opposing combatants as a prelude to the fight. The sagas say that spears were also thrown in this manner when men, rather than gods, fought. At the battle at Geirvor described in chapter 44 of Eyrbyggja saga, the saga author says that Steinporr threw a spear over the heads of Snorri gooi and his men for good luck, according to the old custom. More commonly, the spear was used as a thrusting weapon. The sagas tell us thrusting was the most common attack in melees and one-on-one fighting, and this capability was used to advantage in mass battles. In a mass battle, men lined up, shoulder to shoulder, with shields overlapping. After all the preliminaries, which included rock throwing, name calling, the trading of insults, and shouting a war cry (aepa herop), the two lines advanced towards each other. When the lines met, the battle was begun. Behind the wall of shields, each line was well protected. Once a line was broken, and one side could pass through the line of the other side, the battle broke down into armed melees between small groups of men.

Before either line broke, while the two lines were going at each other hammer and tongs, the spear offered some real advantages. A fighter in the second rank could use his spear to reach over the heads of his comrades in the first rank and attack the opposing line. Konungs skuggsja (King's Mirror), a 13th century Norwegian manual for men of the king, says that in the battle line, a spear is more effective than two swords. In regards to surviving iron artefacts of the past two millennia, if Western ancient edged weapons were either lost, discarded or buried in the ground, and if the ground soil were made up of the right chemical composition, then some may survive exceptionally well. As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity. 11.5 inches long. 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.  read more

Code: 23045

675.00 GBP

A Most Elegant Equestrian Walking Stick Cum Dandy Cane

A Most Elegant Equestrian Walking Stick Cum Dandy Cane

Finely carved handle of a horses hoof and fetlock. The stick is a superb close grain hardwood. Overall in super condition. Every other portrait of a Georgian, Victorian, or Edwardian gentleman, shows some nattily dressed fellow with a walking stick pegged jauntily into the ground or a slim baton negligently tucked under the elbow. The dress cane was the quintessential mark of the dandy for three centuries, part fashion accessory, part aid to communication, part weapon, and of course, a walking aid. A dandy, historically, is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of self. A dandy could be a self-made man who strove to imitate an aristocratic lifestyle despite coming from a middle-class background, especially in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain.

Previous manifestations of the petit-maitre (French for "small master") and the Muscadin have been noted by John C. Prevost, but the modern practice of dandyism first appeared in the revolutionary 1790s, both in London and in Paris. The dandy cultivated cynical reserve, yet to such extremes that novelist George Meredith, himself no dandy, once defined cynicism as "intellectual dandyism". Some took a more benign view; Thomas Carlyle wrote in Sartor Resartus that a dandy was no more than "a clothes-wearing man". Honore De Balzac introduced the perfectly worldly and unmoved Henri de Marsay in La fille aux yeux d'or (1835), a part of La Comedie Humaine, who fulfils at first the model of a perfect dandy, until an obsessive love-pursuit unravels him in passionate and murderous jealousy.

Charles Baudelaire defined the dandy, in the later "metaphysical" phase of dandyism, as one who elevates esthetics to a living religion, that the dandy's mere existence reproaches the responsible citizen of the middle class: "Dandyism in certain respects comes close to spirituality and to stoicism" and "These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons, of satisfying their passions, of feeling and thinking Dandyism is a form of Romanticism. Contrary to what many thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of mind."

The linkage of clothing with political protest had become a particularly English characteristic during the 18th century. Given these connotations, dandyism can be seen as a political protest against the levelling effect of egalitarian principles, often including nostalgic adherence to feudal or pre-industrial values, such as the ideals of "the perfect gentleman" or "the autonomous aristocrat". Paradoxically, the dandy required an audience, as Susann Schmid observed in examining the "successfully marketed lives" of Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron, who exemplify the dandy's roles in the public sphere, both as writers and as personae providing sources of gossip and scandal. Nigel Rodgers in The Dandy: Peacock or Enigma? Questions Wilde's status as a genuine dandy, seeing him as someone who only assumed a dandified stance in passing, not a man dedicated to the exacting ideals of dandyism. 36.5 inches long  read more

Code: 23211

275.00 GBP

Original 18th Century Scottish Fencible Regimental Basket Hilted Broadsword

Original 18th Century Scottish Fencible Regimental Basket Hilted Broadsword

With distinctive two part centrally welded basket, in sheet iron, with scrolls and thistles there over. Interesting original regimental swords of the 18th century, from Scottish regiments are very much sought after throughout the entire world. Scottish Fencible Regiment's swords are now jolly rare indeed, and they are highly distinctive in their most unique form. Fancy carved replacement grip. Some ironwork separation on the basket by the forte of the blade, but overall in good sound condition. Overall natural age surface pitting. Made for the war with Revolutionary France in the 1790's. The total number of British fencible infantry regiments raised during the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence was nine, of which six were Scottish, two were English and one was Manx. The regiments were raised during a time of great turbulence in Europe when there was a real fear that the French would either invade Great Britain or Ireland, or that radicals within Britain and Ireland would rebel against the established order. There was little to do in Britain other than garrison duties and some police actions, but in Ireland there was a French supported insurrection in 1798 and British fencible regiments were engaged in some pitched battles. Some regiments served outside Great Britain and Ireland. Several regiments performed garrison duties on the Channel Islands and Gibraltar. A detachment of the Dumbarton Fencibles Regiment escorted prisoners to Prussia, and the Ancient Irish Fencibles were sent to Egypt where they took part in the operations against the French in 1801.

When it became clear that the rebellion in Ireland had been defeated and that there would be peace between France and Britain in 1802 (The preliminaries of peace were signed in London on 1 October 1801) the Fencible regiments were disbanded.
The British cavalry and light dragoon regiments were raised to serve in any part of Great Britain and consisted of a force of between 14,000 and 15,000 men. Along with the two Irish regiments, those British regiments that volunteered for service in Ireland served there. Each regiment consisted of eighteen commissioned officers and troops of eighty privates per troop. The regiments were always fully manned as their terms of service were considered favourable. At the beginning of 1800 all of the regiments were disbanded  read more

Code: 20632

2750.00 GBP

A Spectacular & Beautiful 'Harvey' British Dragoon Basket Hilted Sword, Culloden Period, With Large King George's Crown & Cypher Engraved Blade Museum Grade Example

A Spectacular & Beautiful 'Harvey' British Dragoon Basket Hilted Sword, Culloden Period, With Large King George's Crown & Cypher Engraved Blade Museum Grade Example

As used by the Scot's Dragoon's and the 7th Queens Dragoons, in fact all the British heavy dragoons in the 1740's up to 1790's. From the Battle of Culloden until the American Revolutionary War in the 1770's.

Likely made by the world famous English blade maker of his day, Samuel Harvey, and bearing the royal GR Cypher of King George. The Harvey surname was one of the marks of renown Birmingham maker, Samuel Harvey, 1718-1778, who supplied many basket hilted swords to the British Crown, mostly for use by Highland troops. This sword is marked with the surname alone, HARVEY below the Crown and Cypher [the overlapping monogram of GR] for King George. His more common mark was a running wolf, his other marks could be Harvey or S.Harvey. The fabulous basket hilt has the large oval ring insert, for the holding of the horses reins while gripping the sword when riding to battle, and part of the original buff hide basket liner. Wire bound fishskin grip, discoid pommel.

The British dragoon regiments were a decisive force in the Battle of Culloden for example; At the close of the battle the stand by the Royal Ecossais may have given Charles Edward Stuart the time to make his escape. At the time when the Macdonald regiments were crumbling and fleeing the field, Stuart seems to have been rallying Perth's and Glenbuchat's regiments when O'Sullivan rode up to Captain Shea who commanded Stuart's bodyguard: "Yu see all is going to pot. Yu can be of no great succor, so before a general deroute wch will soon be, Seize upon the Prince & take him off ". Shea then led Stuart from the field along with Perth's and Glenbuchat's regiments. From this point on the fleeing Jacobite forces were split into two groups: the Lowland regiments retired in order southwards, making their way to Ruthven Barracks; the Highland regiments however were cut off by the government cavalry, and forced to retreat down the road to Inverness. The result was that they were a perfect target for the government dragoons. Major-general Humphrey Bland led the charge against the fleeing Highlanders, giving "Quarter to None but about Fifty French Officers and Soldiers He picked up in his Pursuit". The basket hilted sword of this very form and character were used by British heavy dragoons for several decades, importantly in the American Revolutionary war. There is a near identical sword by Harvey, bearing the same form of maker mark and crown GR in a collection of American War of Independence weaponry featured in "Swords and Blades of the American Revolution" by George C. Neumann. Page 148 sword 261s
The shortage of cavalry in the Revolutionary War was a major drawback for the British. A strong cavalry presence at battles like Long Island and Brandywine could have enabled the British to encircle the Americans and prevent their retreat. It is possible that a strong cavalry force would have captured Washington's army entirely during the march south through New Jersey in 1776. This is the form of sword used by the Scot's Greys Dragoons in the 7 Years War against France, and by the 7th Queen's Dragoons. One of the earliest basket-hilted swords was recovered from the wreck of the Mary Rose, an English warship lost in 1545. Before the find, the earliest positive dating had been two swords from around the time of the English Civil War. At first the wire guard was a simple design but as time passed it became increasingly sculpted and ornate. During the 18th century, the fashion of duelling in Europe focused on the lighter smallsword, and fencing with the broadsword came to be seen as a speciality of Scotland. A number of fencing manuals teaching fencing with the Scottish broadsword were published throughout the 18th century. Portraits from the time show this very sword as worn. 35 3/4 inch blade length  read more

Code: 21608

3995.00 GBP

A Fine French Consular Period Sabre of A Cavalry Officer, With 'Marengo' Hilt. A Sabre D'Officier De Cavalrie Legere, By Repute, Said To Be The Privilege of Officer's To Wear That Served At Marengo With Napoleon

A Fine French Consular Period Sabre of A Cavalry Officer, With 'Marengo' Hilt. A Sabre D'Officier De Cavalrie Legere, By Repute, Said To Be The Privilege of Officer's To Wear That Served At Marengo With Napoleon

A very fine and rare example, in very fine condition for age, with a few usual scabbard combat bruises.

Modelled after Napoleon’s sabre, re-named by him the Marengo sabre, that he used from the battle of the Nile and at Marengo during his defeat of the Austrians. He presented it to his brother Jerome who was crowned King of Westphalia.
Napoleon ordered a sword to be commissioned based on his own sabre and presented it as a Sword of Honour to Captain Blou for his important and vital service at Marengo, and that sword is near identical to this sword that we offer. See photo 10 in the gallery. Napoleon’s Marengo sword was sold at auction in 2007 for $6.5 million dollars.

Sabre D'Officier De Cavalrie Legere, 1800 circa, with the 'Marengo' pattern hilt, and double fullered Montmorency pattern blade. A fabulous French Sabre from the French consular period.

An original Consular period, 'Marengo' style light cavalry officer's sabre, with very fine and bright Montmorency-style blade one-third beautifully engraved with an incised decoration of weapon trophies and foliage, gilt bronze hilt, mellon pattern pommel, single guard branch with a side engraved with a farandole of foliage, the front side has a V-shaped groove, the rear side has a concave gutter, basal half ear, quillon arched towards the front with button ending, cross hatched carved wooden grip, in its origina sheet brass scabbard, two large brass bands each carrying a supension ring,

These styles are said to have gained popularity following Consular Napoleon's victory over the Austrians in Jun 1800 at the Battle of Marengo. French sword cutlers purportedly drew their inspiration from the sabre carried by Napoleon during the campaign.

It has been claimed that only officers who had participated in the battle with Napoleon were permitted to carry this style of hilt, although there is no official recognition of this claim.

The Battle of Marengo was fought on 14 June 1800 between French forces under the First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian forces near the city of Alessandria, in Piedmont, Italy. Near the end of the day, the French overcame General Michael von Melas' surprise attack, drove the Austrians out of Italy and consolidated Bonaparte's political position in Paris as First Consul of France in the wake of his coup d'état the previous November.

Bonaparte needed to depart for Paris urgently and the next morning sent Berthier on a surprise visit to Austrian headquarters. Within 24 hours of the battle, Melas entered into negotiations (the Convention of Alessandria) which led to the Austrians evacuating northwestern Italy west of the Ticino, and suspending military operations in Italy.

Bonaparte's position as First Consul was strengthened by the successful outcome of the battle and the preceding campaign. After this victory, Napoleon could breathe a sigh of relief. The generals who had been hostile to him could see that his luck had not abandoned him. Thus, he had surpassed Schérer, Joubert, Championnet, and even Moreau, none of whom having been able to inflict a decisive blow on the Coalition. Moreau's victory at Hohenlinden, which was the one that in reality had put an end to the war, was minimised by Bonaparte who, from then on, would pose as a saviour of the fatherland, and even of the Republic. He rejected offers from Louis XVIII, who had considered the Consulate to be a mere transition toward the restoration of the king. Thanks to the victory at Marengo, Napoleon could finally set about reforming France according to his own vision.

Napoleon ordered that several ships of the French Navy be named Marengo, including Sceptre (1780), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1795), Ville de Paris (1851) and Marengo (1810). In 1802, the Marengo department was named in the honour of the battle. Furthermore, Napoleon's mount throughout the battle was named Marengo and further carried the Emperor in the Battle of Austerlitz, Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, Battle of Wagram, and Battle of Waterloo.  read more

Code: 25313

4250.00 GBP

Rare English Light Dragoon Officer's Sword 1773, of the American Revolutionary War, Used By Both American and British Dragoon Regiments.

Rare English Light Dragoon Officer's Sword 1773, of the American Revolutionary War, Used By Both American and British Dragoon Regiments.

One of the of the American Revolutionary War cavalry swords used by both protagonists. This superb sword was near identical {apart from the blade engraving} to one formerly in the world renown Tower of London collection, see it featured in photo plate 70, sword D, in "European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London" by Arthur Richard Dufty, Master of the Armouries.

A beautifully engraved blade with King George's crest and family motto of the Hanovarian princes, 'Suscipere et Finire' trans. 'to support and finish', and another, on the other blade face, a loyalty motto 'for king and country', also in Latin, 'Pro Rege et Patria' This blade may well be an ancestral blade, as the regular blade would usually be flat sided without fuller. The Coat of Arms of HM King George III as King underwent a number of changes during his reign because the British Royal Arms are territorial and represent the main countries over which the Monarch rules rather than being personal. The Hanoverian Dynasty 'inherited' the Arms of the last Stuart Monarch, Queen Anne, and added a Quarter for their own territory, namely the then Electorate/Duchy of Brunswick and Lüneburg, commonly known as Hanover.

Although practised no longer by the Tower of London Executors, during the past two centuries, on just a very few occasions, the Tower of London has sold a few items by auction in order to facilitate an influx of funds for new acquisitions

A sword of particular fine elegance, yet this was designed to do a very specific task for an 18th century dragoon officer, and it did it well. Brass stirrup hilt now very finely and naturally heavily patinated, through age, and a very long clipped back blade. It has all its original ribbed carved horn grip. This English sword is most rarely seen, with very little known of it's design origins, the blade, and as very few remain in existence it rarely appears photographed in many reference books on British/American swords of the American Revolutionary War or War of Independence as it is also known.

Little or no documentation on its original ordnance order, made some 250 years ago, regarding its manufacture, exists. What is known however, is that it is estimated it was made from 1773, but possibly slightly earlier, and it was replaced by the more abundant 1788 pattern version. That replacement 1788 sword is far more well recorded, and fair number of that type survive. A very few examples of this sword are kept in just a few, select American museums, that contain the military collections of captured British weapons, and also those used by former American born British officers that moved over to serve in the new American Continental Army Light Dragoons under George Washington in the American Revolutionary War. We show two paintings of American Continental Dragoons using this pattern of sword. In our conversations in the 1980's with the eminent Howard Blackmore, Assistant Keeper of Weapons at the Tower of London, he believed these cavalry swords, when they surfaced, were possibly one of the most interesting of swords used in the Revolution in America, in that they were used by officers of both sides, but sadly so few survived the war itself that they are now considered to be one of the rarest swords of their type to exist. These swords were originally made for, and used by, the British Light Dragoon Regiments, including the infamous and well recorded through history 'Tarleton's Green Dragoons'. Banastre Tarleton was originally a young British officer of the 1st Dragoon Guards, who purchased his rank of cornet. He proved to be such a gifted horseman and leader of troops, due to his outstanding ability alone, he worked his way up through the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel without having to purchase any further commissions.

In December 1775, he sailed from Cork as a volunteer to North America where rebellion had recently broken out triggering the American War of Independence. Tarleton sailed with Lord Cornwallis as part of an expedition to capture the southern city of Charleston. After this failed, he joined the main British Army in New York under General Howe. His service during 1776 gained him the position of a brigade major of cavalry. After becoming the commander of the British Legion, a mixed force of cavalry and light infantry also called Tarleton's Raiders, he proceeded at the beginning of 1780 to South Carolina, rendering valuable services to Sir Henry Clinton in the operations which culminated in the capture of Charleston. This was part of the 'southern strategy' by which the British directed most of their efforts to that theater hoping to restore authority over the southern colonies where they believed there was more support for the crown. On 29 May 1780, Tarleton, with a force of 150 mounted soldiers, overtook a detachment of 350 to 380 Virginia Continentals led by Abraham Buford. Buford refused to surrender or even to stop his march. Only after sustaining heavy casualties did Buford order the surrender. What happened next is cause of heated debate. According to American accounts, Tarleton ignored the white flag and mercilessly massacred Buford's men. In the end, 113 Americans were killed and another 203 captured, 150 of whom were so badly wounded that they had to be left behind. Tarleton's casualties were 5 killed and 12 wounded.6 The British called the affair the Battle of Waxhaw Creek, while the Americans called it the "Buford Massacre" or the "Waxhaw Massacre." In recounting Tarleton's action at the scene, an American field surgeon named Robert Brownfield wrote that Col. Buford raised a white flag of surrender, "expecting the usual treatment sanctioned by civilized warfare". While Buford was calling for quarter, Tarleton's horse was struck by a musket ball and fell. This gave the loyalist cavalrymen the impression that the rebels had shot at their commander while asking for mercy. Enraged, the loyalist troops charged at the Virginians. According to Brownfield, the loyalists attacked, carrying out "indiscriminate carnage never surpassed by the most ruthless atrocities of the most barbarous savages." Tarleton's men stabbed the wounded where they lay. In Tarleton's own account, he virtually admits the massacre, stating that his horse had been shot from under him during the initial charge and his men, thinking him dead, engaged in "a vindictive asperity not easily restrained." However there are strange contraditions as to Tarleton's behaviour, for, contrary to his nature, as described by his conduct at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson himself later noted,

"I did not suffer by him. On the contrary he behaved very genteely with me. … He gave strict orders to Capt. Mcleod to suffer nothing to be injured." Tarleton materially helped Cornwallis to win the Battle of Camden in August 1780. He was completely victorious in an engagement with Thomas Sumter at Fishing Creek, aka "Catawba Fords", but was less successful when he encountered the same general at Blackstock's Farm in November 1780. Then in January 1781, Tarleton's forces were virtually destroyed by American Brigadier General Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens. Tarleton however managed to flee the battlefield with perhaps 250 men. Although Tarleton had a deservedly dastardly reputation, many other Light Dragoon forces were commanded by far more respected and gentlemanly officers, and the troops under their command fought in the most formative conflicts of both American and British history. A war that shaped the whole world that followed it, arguably more than any other war before it. Although in terms of casualties, fewer men perished in the whole war of Independence, that covered several years, than in a single day during the Battle of Gettysberg, less than 100 years later in the Civil War.

The carved ribbed horn grip is expansion cracked North to South.  read more

Code: 24756

2350.00 GBP