Antique Arms & Militaria

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An Incredibly Rare French Naval, Sabre D'Officier De Marine Model Prairelle An XII 1804. Officer's Sword, Most Likely Surrendered or Captured At Trafalgar in 1805. Possibly Even From the Redoutable or Bucentaure

An Incredibly Rare French Naval, Sabre D'Officier De Marine Model Prairelle An XII 1804. Officer's Sword, Most Likely Surrendered or Captured At Trafalgar in 1805. Possibly Even From the Redoutable or Bucentaure

Overall in very good condition for age, very tight and sound with no looseness, yet with commensurate wear for its age, considering its use as a hand to hand combat sword in the service of their emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

It has a very finely engraved blade with feint traces of blue and gilt, and usual age and surface wear overall.
Almost all of the senior French naval officers at Trafalgar could have carried a sword just as this, and this sword may even have been likely surrendered at Trafalgar itself. Its official title is; Sabre d'officier du Marine, modele de Prairal an XII of 1804. Scabbard throat mount beautifully decorated with a Mermaid, with two tails and modest skirt, as was the identifying feature on a naval officer's sabre of the prairial model. The reverse side of the scabbard has a design of a pattern of the constellation of the stars.

It was by formal decree, dated the 7th of Prairial of the year XII May 28, 1804, that the French First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte approved the creation of the model of this stunning sabre. This is such a rare sword they are almost impossible to find, even in museums.

This French naval officer's combat sword is a stunningly beautiful sabre, and so very rare, as so many warships of the French Napoleonic navy, and their officer's and crew, were captured or destroyed so precious few survive. The British equivalent is the rare 1805 pattern Royal Naval officer's sword, which Nelson also took to at Trafalgar, but the French surviving equivalent, this sword, is at least 100 times the rarer sword. The last known example, of a surrendered French ship's captain's sword, we sold here over 5 years ago.

Sabre naval officer model of the 1st Prairial Year XII, guard a brass branch chiselled and gilded, bow body adorned with an anchor resting on two flags, half round langets chiselled with a radiant head, fluted ebony grip with carved grooves; flat-backed blade, one hollow pan and lateral throat, traces of blue and gilded in the third; leather scabbard with seam, two gilded brass fittings, the throat is provided with two long side hooks for the wearing of the sword with a belt or the harness, it is decorated with a mermaid with two tails, finely engraved with reeds; dart shaped shell;

Prairial was the ninth month in the French Republican Calendar. This month was named after the French word prairie, which means meadow. It was the name given to several ships.
Prairial was the third month of the spring quarter.
The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval engagement fought by the British Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies, during the War of the Third Coalition (August–December 1805) of the Napoleonic Wars (1796–1815).

Twenty-seven British ships of the line led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships of the line under French Admiral Villeneuve. The battle took place in the Atlantic Ocean off the southwest coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar, near the town of Los Caños de Meca. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships and the British lost none.

The victory confirmed the naval supremacy Britain had established during the course of the eighteenth century and it was achieved in part through Nelson's departure from the prevailing naval tactical orthodoxy of the day. Conventional practice at the time was for opposing fleets to engage each other in single parallel lines, in order to facilitate signalling and disengagement, and to maximise fields of fire and target areas. Nelson instead arranged his ships into two columns to sail perpendicularly into the enemy fleet's line.


During the battle,Victory locked masts with the French Redoutable, whose crew, including a strong infantry corps (with three captains and four lieutenants), gathered for an attempt to board and seize Victory. A musket bullet fired from the mizzentop of Redoutable struck Nelson in the left shoulder, passed through his spine at the sixth and seventh thoracic vertebrae, and lodged two inches below his right scapula in the muscles of his back. Nelson exclaimed, "They finally succeeded, I am dead." He was carried below decks.

Victory's gunners were called on deck to fight boarders, and she ceased firing. The gunners were forced back below decks by French grenades. As the French were preparing to board Victory, Temeraire, the second ship in the British windward column, approached from the starboard bow of Redoutable and fired on the exposed French crew with a carronade, causing many casualties.

At 13:55, the French Captain Lucas of Redoutable, with 99 fit men out of 643 and severely wounded himself, surrendered. The French Bucentaure was isolated by Victory and Temeraire, and then engaged by HMS Neptune, HMS Leviathan, and Conqueror; similarly, Santísima Trinidad was isolated and overwhelmed, surrendering after three hours.
Nelson was shot by a French musketeer As Nelson lay dying, he ordered the fleet to anchor, as a storm was predicted. However, when the storm blew up, many of the severely damaged ships sank or ran aground on the shoals. A few of them were recaptured, some by the French and Spanish prisoners overcoming the small prize crews, others by ships sallying from Cádiz. Surgeon William Beatty heard Nelson murmur, "Thank God I have done my duty"; when he returned, Nelson's voice had faded, and his pulse was very weak. He looked up as Beatty took his pulse, then closed his eyes. Nelson's chaplain, Alexander Scott, who remained by Nelson as he died, recorded his last words as "God and my country." It has been suggested by Nelson historian Craig Cabell that Nelson was actually reciting his own prayer as he fell into his death coma, as the words 'God' and 'my country' are closely linked therein. Nelson died at half-past four, three hours after being hit, before the battle ended. Villeneuve was captured, along with his ship Bucentaure. He later attended Nelson's funeral while a captive on parole in Britain. Admiral Federico Gravina, the senior Spanish flag officer, escaped with the remnant of the fleet. He died five months later from wounds sustained during the battle. The battle resulted in 10 French ships captured,
one ship destroyed,
3,373 dead,
1,155 wounded,
over 4,000 men captured
Spain:
11 ships captured,
1,022 dead,
1,386 wounded,
3 to 4,000 captured
Total: about 15,000

It would be wonderful to know for certain that this sword was surrendered by such as a senior officer of the Redoutable or Bucentaure , and although it is certainly possible it may have been, in fact we can't say it wasn't, but in reality it is a speculation that may never be satisfied.

The sword is 36.5 inches long overall in its scabbard. The carved ebony grip has one slight split on one side, but still as tight as a drum, the leather scabbard has had a contemporary field service leather repair near the chape.  read more

Code: 25277

6995.00 GBP

A Rare & Absolutely Stunning 1st Empire, Combat, 'Blue and Gilt' Officer's Sabre of the Cavalerie Legere, Hussards, and Mounted Chasseurs.  An IX, Circa 1810, and by Officers of the Mounted Chasseurs of the Imperial Guard

A Rare & Absolutely Stunning 1st Empire, Combat, 'Blue and Gilt' Officer's Sabre of the Cavalerie Legere, Hussards, and Mounted Chasseurs. An IX, Circa 1810, and by Officers of the Mounted Chasseurs of the Imperial Guard

A fabulous Ist Empire deluxe quality Light Cavalry officer's 'blue and gilt' sabre with three bar guard hilt called "Hunter-style". Maker marked blade, within the gilt under one langet, S & K for Schnitzler and Kirschbaum, a well regarded maker of swords for 1st Empire officers from December 1808. Many officers swords marked S & K are in Les Invalides Musee de l’Armee in Paris. See ref below;

Light cavalry Hussars.
These fast, light cavalrymen were the eyes, ears, and egos of the Napoleonic armies. They regarded themselves as the best horsemen and swordsmen (beau sabreurs) in the entire Grande Armée. This opinion was not entirely unjustified and their flamboyant uniforms reflected their panache. Tactically, they were used for reconnaissance, skirmishing, and screening for the army to keep their commanders informed of enemy movements while denying the enemy the same information and to pursue fleeing enemy troops. Armed only with curved sabres and pistols, they had reputations for reckless bravery to the point of being almost suicidal. It was said by their most famous commander General Antoine Lasalle that a hussar who lived to be 30 was truly an old guard and very fortunate. Lasalle was killed at the Battle of Wagram at age 34. There were 10 regiments in 1804, with an 11th added in 1810 and two more in 1813.
Chasseurs à Cheval (Mounted Hunters)

These were light cavalry identical to hussars in arms and role. But, unlike the chasseurs of the Imperial Guard and their infantry counterparts, they were considered less elite. Their uniforms were less colourful as well, consisting of infantry-style shakos (in contrast to the fur busby worn by some French hussars), green coats, green breeches, and short boots. They were, however, the most numerous of the light cavalry, with 31 regiments in 1811, 6 of which comprised Flemish, Swiss, Italians and Germans. was a cavalry composed of chasseurs but on the horse, they could ride into melee or shoot as light infantry

The Mounted Chasseurs of the Imperial Guard would use this form of sword, and officers of wealth and status could afford, if they so chose, to have Chasseurs à cheval de la Garde impériale engraved onto the sword blades back strap etc. But many chose not to.
Chasseurs à cheval de la Garde impériale constituted a light cavalry regiment in the Consular, then Imperial Guard during the French Consulate and First French Empire respectively. They were the second senior "Old Guard" cavalry regiment of the Imperial Guard, after the Grenadiers à Cheval. The regiment had its origins in the Guides raised by General Bonaparte during his Italian Campaign of 1796. It was the Chasseurs that usually provided personal escort to Napoleon, and he often wore the uniform of the regiment in recognition of this service. The regiment was not only known for its lavish uniform, but its combat history as well.

On 1 August 1811, the regiment was increased to five squadrons and the vélites were done away with. During the year, squadrons were sent successively to serve with the divisions of the Garde in Spain. Guyot was promoted général de division, but still retained the command. To replace Corbineau and Daumesnil as majors, the regiment received Colonel François d'Haugéranville (6 August) and General Baron Exelmans (24 December).

On 6 May 1812, General Lefebvre-Desnouettes, who had escaped by breaking his parole, returned from his captivity in England and resumed command of the regiment. The chasseurs, five squadrons and the company of Mamluks, went through the Russian campaign, but though they lost 500 men, they only had 10 officers hit. At Borodino, they had no officer casualties at all. But on 25 October, the day after the Battle of Maloyaroslavets, two squadrons, escorting the Emperor on a reconnaissance, were sharply engaged and had 4 officers wounded. A body of Cossacks appeared suddenly from a wood and charged straight at Napoleon. General Rapp and the escort managed to beat them off, but not before one had fought his way to within twenty yards of the Emperor. From this day forth, haunted by the fear of captivity, he always carried a bag of poison on a string about his neck. The regiment's losses in this campaign must on the whole be attributed not so much to the fighting as to the Russian climate.

In 1813, the regiment was expanded from five to nine squadrons. The first five of these remained under the Old Guard while the newly raised 6th through 9th squadrons formed part of the Young Guard and in 1815 were redesigned as the 2e régiment de chasseurs de la Garde impériale.

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.

Ref; 'German Knife and Sword Makers' ( Complete Edition A to Z Hardcover – published 2015 )
by Anthony Carter (Author), John Walter (Author), Henning Ritter (Author). John Walter has been a most welcome visitor to us for decades, and a very dear friend and colleague of our late colleague of over 30 years, Christopher Fox.  read more

Code: 25286

3950.00 GBP

A Magnificent Tower of London Armoury 1801 Pattern 'Battle of Trafalgar 1805 Issue' Royal Navy, British Sea Service Pistol From Admiral Lord Nelson's Navy. Long 12 inch Barrel

A Magnificent Tower of London Armoury 1801 Pattern 'Battle of Trafalgar 1805 Issue' Royal Navy, British Sea Service Pistol From Admiral Lord Nelson's Navy. Long 12 inch Barrel

This one has now been sold, as was our other 1805 dated example just last week.

However, we have another that will be arriving next week, one might say, somewhat akin to the ending of old English ditty about London busses, that they they often come in threes! It is a similarly very fine example indeed, profusely stamped, but possibly undated as it is yet to be closely examined. We also have an officially shortened nine inch barrel example arriving with it.

Probably one of the best complete and original examples of a Royal Navy Sea Service pistol that we ever have seen. Profusely struck with numerous ordnance and inspectors marks, clearly issue dated 1805 into the stock, with its original belt hook. Some hooks were removed in service, and we have another absolute beauty without the hook. {sn 25217}

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 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.
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 minor dings. But when taken into consideration its service use, it is of little consequence compared to it's 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.

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.  read more

Code: 25266

SOLD

An Exceptional Third Pattern Napoleonic Wars Brown Bess, FrontlIne Issue Made At The Tower of London with Bayonet Circa 1808. The British ‘Brown Bess’ Was The Most Famed and Feared Musket In The World. No Army In The World Failed To Respect Them

An Exceptional Third Pattern Napoleonic Wars Brown Bess, FrontlIne Issue Made At The Tower of London with Bayonet Circa 1808. The British ‘Brown Bess’ Was The Most Famed and Feared Musket In The World. No Army In The World Failed To Respect Them

Probably the most famous military flintlock musket in the world today, and certainly one of the most historically important and desirable long guns of its type from the Napoleonic wars.

A typical regulation example but in exceptional and excellent condition, with a stunning colour and patina. A British Napoleonic Wars regulation, regiment of the line issue musket, Crown GR and Tower, ring neck cock lock with government GR Crown stamp, regulation brass mounts, iron ramrod, sling swivels and triangular socket bayonet. Walnut stock with signs of combat use but still exceptionally fine. A musket that it would be highly unlikely ever to improve upon to find a better example.
The Brown Bess musket began its life almost 300 years ago, and it helped in creating one of the greatest trading empires the world has ever seen and, among other achievements, made the 'British Square' the almost undefeated form of infantry defence throughout the world. Made in four distinct patterns it originally started life as a 46 inch barrel musket called the Long Land or Ist pattern Brown Bess. Then in around 1768 the gun evolved and the barrel was shortened to 42 inches as 46 was deemed unwieldy and renamed the Short Land or 2nd pattern. Although the Long Land was made continually for another 20 years. With the onset of the Napoleonic Wars in the 1790s, the British Board of Ordnance found itself woefully short of the 250,000 muskets it would need to equip its forces. It managed to produce around 20,000 short land pattern muskets but this was simply not sufficient. At that time the British East India Company maintained it own troops and had contracted with makers to produce a simplified version of the Brown Bess musket with a 39-inch barrel and less ornate furniture and stock work. It was generally felt that the standard of these "India pattern" muskets was not up to the standard of the earlier Besses, but necessity required action so the authorities convinced Company officials to turn over their stores to the Crown. By 1797 the urgencies of war ultimately created the demise of the Short Pattern, and all manufacture was turned to building the more simple 'India' pattern. For the most part, the gun underwent few changes from its introduction until Waterloo, with the exception of the cock, which was altered from the traditional swan-neck style to a sturdier, reinforced ringed version in around 1808. Barrel 39inch overall 54.75 inches long.

Action has a very good and strong mainspring. As with all our antique guns no license is required as they are all unrestricted antique collectables  read more

Code: 25271

3750.00 GBP

Was This Once The 2500 Year Old Sword of an Ancient Chinese King of Yue? One Of the Nine Kings of Yueh . It Is So Similar To The Sword of Goujian, King of Yueh, As to Be Remarkable

Was This Once The 2500 Year Old Sword of an Ancient Chinese King of Yue? One Of the Nine Kings of Yueh . It Is So Similar To The Sword of Goujian, King of Yueh, As to Be Remarkable

This fabulous treasure is so similar to another, that is now determined to have been made for one of the nine Kings of Yue, Goujian, discovered in a waterlogged tomb in the 1960's. Now known as 'The Sword of Goujian'. It has superbly chiselled or cast patterning at the forte of the blade that still contains some blue crystals and tortoise. Our sword has near identical stunning patterning {made by chiselling or casting} but our sword also has chiselling on the two grip rings and the pommel, that undoubtedly once contained the same crystals and turquoise inlays, but are no longer present.

With help from Wu's enemy Chu, Yue won after several decades of conflict. The famous Yue King Goujian destroyed and annexed Wu in 473 BC. During the reign of Wuqiang (無彊), six generations after Goujian, Yue was partitioned by Chu and Qi in 306 BC.
During its existence, Yue was famous for the quality of its metalworking, particularly its swords. Examples include the extremely well-preserved Swords of Goujian and Zhougou.

The King's Sword of Goujian still has, remarkably, all its original pure gold decor to the blade, ours has some remaining as well, but much less so.

The king's sword is also still amazingly sharp, just as is ours. The exquisitely forged blade was made primarily of copper, but the edges likely have a higher tin content, making them harder and able to keep a sharper edge.

The Sword of Goujian still has its bird-worm script in gold engraved upon the blade face, and that script has been translated and thus after extensive research, has determined its ownership by the king, Goujian, ours may have indeed had such script, some of which is visible, possibly naming another such king, but no longer.

The Goujian King's sword, currently in Hubei Museum, has a total length of 22 inches, with a 3.3-inch hilt. The exquisitely forged blade was made primarily of copper, but the edges have a higher tin content, making them harder and able to keep a sharper edge. Both sides of the blade are decorated with a repeating rhombi pattern, their dark lines standing out from the sword’s overall golden hue. The guard, meanwhile, is inlaid with blue crystals and turquoise.

On one side of the blade are eight characters engraved in what is known as bird-worm seal script. Six of these ancient characters have been deciphered. The script reads: “King of Yue” and “made this sword for his personal use.” The other two characters could not be identified, but analysts believe that they state the name of the aforementioned King of Yueh.

These intriguing details provoked much debate as to the owner of the sword. Nine kings had ruled Yue during the period attributed to the sword, making identifying one as the true owner no easy task. But after studying both the sword and the tomb for many months, archaeologists, historians and Chinese linguists came to a consensus: The sword belonged to Goujian, who ruled the Kingdom of Yueh from 496 to 465 BC.

The earliest swords in China date back to the Bronze Age, around 1600 BC. This was a critical period in the development of ancient Chinese civilization. It was during this time that metalworking techniques were first developed and applied to the creation of weapons, swords included.

The earliest known examples of hand-forged bronze swords date back to the Shang Dynasty, and they were primarily used for ceremonial and symbolic purposes, rarely seeing real combat. The very first variations were quite simple, featuring a straight blade, some of which were single-edged and others were double-edged, as well as no guard or handle.

It wasn’t until the rise of the Zhou Dynasty that swords started becoming a lot more intricate. The blades of these swords were typically quite heavy and were often decorated with intricate patterns and designs to symbolize the prestige of the owner. Swordsmiths also began implementing a guard to their designs, as a means of protection for the wielder’s hand.

Goujian (句踐) (reigned 496–465 BC) was the king of the Kingdom of Yue (越國, present-day northern Zhejiang) near the end of the Spring and Autumn period (春秋). He was the son of Marquis Yunchang.

Goujian's reign coincided with arguably the last major conflict of the Spring and Autumn period, the struggle between Wu and Yue, wherein he eventually led his state to victory, annexing the rival. As such, King Goujian is sometimes considered the last of the Five Hegemons.

The war between Wu and Yue comprised several separate phases. It began when a Yue princess, who was married to one of the princes of the neighboring state of Wu, left her husband and fled back to the State of Yue. This became the spark for the war to come. Also, as Yunchang developed Yue's strength, he came into conflict with King Helü of Wu, causing a feud between the two states.

Upon the death of Yunchang and the accession of Goujian, Helü seized the opportunity and launched an attack on Yue. At the Battle of Zuili (槜李之战), however, Yue defeated Wu, and King Helü was mortally wounded. Before his death, he instructed his son, the later King Fuchai of Wu, "Never forget Yue!" Yue would be defeated three years later by a resurgent Wu, and Goujian captured, to serve as Fuchai's servant for three years before he was eventually allowed to return to his native state.

Upon resuming his rule, King Goujian quickly appointed skilled politicians as advisors, such as Wen Zhong and Fan Li, to help build up the kingdom. During this time, his ministers also worked to weaken the State of Wu internally through bribes and diplomatic intrigue.

Whilst ruling his kingdom, Goujian never relished kingly riches, but instead ate food suited for peasants, as well as forcing himself to taste bile, in order to remember his humiliations while serving under the State of Wu. The second half of a Chinese idiom, wòxīn-chángdǎn (臥薪嚐膽, "sleeping on sticks and tasting gall"), refers to Goujian's perseverance.

After ten years of economic and political reforms, the last phase of the war began, by which time the State of Yue had come a long way from its previous defeat; as described in the Shiji, Ten years of reforms; the state is rich, the warriors well-rewarded. The soldiers charge in the face of arrows like thirsty men heading for drink... (修之十年,國富,厚賂戰士,士赴矢石,如渴得飲).

Taking advantage of Fuchai's expedition to his north to defeat Qi, Goujian led his army and successfully attacked the Wu capital, killing the Wu crown prince, You. In the 24th year of his reign (473 BC), Goujian led another expedition against Wu, laying siege to the capital for three years before it fell. When a surrender from Fuchai was refused, Fuchai committed suicide and Wu was annexed by Yue. After his victory, Goujian ruthlessly killed Fuchai's scholars, even those who helped him (including Bo Pi), not allowing himself to make the same mistake Fuchai had made by sparing the lives of his enemies. However, Goujian would not stop there; he would later force Wen Zhong to commit suicide; Fan Li, knowing that Goujian was a man who can share woe but not wealth together, left Goujian after the defeat of Wu.

King Goujian's army is known for a common misconception: scaring its enemies before battle with a front line formed by criminals sentenced to death who committed suicide by decapitating themselves. However, in the passage, "越王句踐使死士挑戰,三行,至吳陳,呼而自剄。", the literal translation of "死士" is "soldiers (who are) willing to die", not "criminals sentenced to death". "自剄" means to "commit suicide by cutting one's throat," which was a common way to end one's own life in Ancient China

In the gallery, photograph 2 shows our sword in the middle, to its left is the sword of Gujian, and to its right, a sword in the Metropolitan Museum. all incredibly similar, but in different stages of preservation. Photo 3 in the gallery is our sword's hilt on the left, and the Sword of Goujian on its right. the similarity is amazing. Photo 4 in the gallery is a close up of our blade sections that shows the original surface of gold, with what appears to be what remains of archaic script characters, possibly, one could speculate, it was the name of the king for whom it made and thus belonged. Photo 8 shows our sword's hilt and another, very similar, now in a Paris museum, the Musee Guimet. The Paris sword hilt still has its turquoise and enamel inlay still present and in place.

From a large collection of antiquities, swords daggers that recently arrived, many pieces sold for the part benefit of the Westminster Abbey fund, and the Metropolitan Museum fund

This is from part two of a stunning collection of original archaic bronze age Zhou dynasty weaponry . Many are near identical to other similar examples held in the Metropolitan in New York, the British royal collection, and such as the Hunan Provincial Museum, Hunan, China.
From the Tony Dove F.S.A. Collection, formed circa 1970's, one of England’s most revered and respected collectors, especially early silver, & he was a past honorary President of London’s Silver Spoon Society, and learned joint contributor to many scientific appraisals on ancient Chinese swords

Sword total length 20 1/4 inches long, 4 inch hilt

Ref; SOME OBSERVATIONS ON EARLY CHINESE BRONZE SWORDS
By
Anthony Dove, and Alan Williams {The Wallace Collection} 65 publications  read more

Code: 24846

34995.00 GBP

Rare, Napoleonic Wars Sabre of an Officer of The Grande Armee Carabiniers De Cheval Ist Empire

Rare, Napoleonic Wars Sabre of an Officer of The Grande Armee Carabiniers De Cheval Ist Empire

Traditional brass fully engraved shell guard pattern also for use by an officer of cuirassiers, but, with two very small holes within the shell, for the addition of a carabiniers grenade, but the grenade could be then removed {as was this one} if the officer transferred to the cuirassiers. Sword manufactured circa 1805

Double fuller blade and steel combat scabbard with two belted rings. Small wear hole at the base of the inner scabbard above the chape.

The 1st and 2nd Carabiniers-à-Cheval were created in 1788, as regiments of heavy cavalry. They participated with distinction to the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. Their uniform was described by the Etat militaire de l'an X (1802): "National blue costume and scarlet lapels, blue collar, bearskin hat, yellow bandolier and belt, with white plait on the edges. Horse equipage: saddle à la française, blue cover with white plait on the edges, a grenade in the corners, the ornaments of the bridle stamped with a grenade." Before 1810, the Carabiniers-à-Cheval did not wear a cuirass.

The decree of 24 December 1809 altered the uniform of the carabiniers: to, a white costume, double steel cuirass (breastplate and backplate) covered with brass sheathing (copper for officers), helmet with a peak and which covered the back of the neck, with a golden-yellow copper crest decorated with a chenille made of scarlet bristle. Their armament for other ranks included a carbine, a sabre (straight-bladed before c. 1811, then "a la Montmorency" – with a very slight curve) and a pair of pistols.

All of Napoleon's Heavy Cavalry Regiments fought at Waterloo, there were no reserve regiments. Some of the battles this would have been used at were; 1805: Wertingen, Ulm, Hollabrunn, Raussnitz, and Austerlitz.
1806: Jena and the Capture of Lubeck.
1807: Hoff and Eylau.
1809: Eckmuhl, Ratisbonne, Essling, Wagram, Hollabrunn, and Znaim.
1812: Borodino and Moscow, Ostrowno, and Winkowo 1813: Reichenbach and Dresden, Leipzig and Hanau
1814: La Rothiere, Rosnay, Champaubert, Vauchamps, Athies, La Fere-Champenoise and Paris
1815: Quatre-Bras and Waterloo

This would have seen service in the Elite Carabiniers of Napoleon's great heavy cavalry regiments of the Grande Armee such as in 1807 at Friedland. And in the French invasion of Russia ( Campagne de Russie) that began on 24 June 1812 when Napoleon's Grande Armee crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army. Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia. Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to curry favour with the Poles and provide a political pretence for his actions. The Grande Armee was a very large force, numbering nearly half a million men from several different nations. Through a series of long marches Napoleon pushed the army rapidly through Western Russia in an attempt to bring the Russian army to battle, winning a number of minor engagements and a major battle at Smolensk in August. Napoleon hoped the battle would mean an end of the march into Russia, but the Russian army slipped away from the engagement and continued to retreat into Russia, while leaving Smolensk to burn. Plans Napoleon had made to quarter at Smolensk were abandoned, and he pressed his army on after the Russians. The battles continued, but once the winter set in Napoleon's army was facing insurmountable odds that left it effectively shattered beyond repair. Napoleon fled, it is said, dressed as a woman, and the army left to it's sad and miserable fate. Only around 27,000 were able to return after a mere six months of the Russian campaign. The campaign was a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. The reputation of Napoleon was severely shaken, and French hegemony in Europe was dramatically weakened.
The Grande Armee, made up of French and allied invasion forces, was reduced to a fraction of its initial strength. These events triggered a major shift in European politics. France's ally Prussia, soon followed by Austria, broke their alliance with France and switched camps. This triggered the War of the Sixth Coalition. The Heavy Cavalry Regiments used the largest men in France, recruited to serve in the greatest and noblest cavalry France has ever had. They fought with distinction at their last great conflict at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and most of the swords in England very likely came from that field of conflict, after the battle, as trophies of war.
Every warrior that has ever entered service for his country sought trophies. The Mycenae from a fallen Trojan, the Roman from a fallen Gaul, the GI from a fallen Japanese, the tradition stretches back thousands of years, and will continue as long as man serves his country in battle. In the 1st century AD the Roman Poet Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis Juvenal
wrote; "Man thirsts more for glory than virtue. The armour of an enemy, his broken helmet, the flag ripped from a conquered trireme, are treasures valued beyond all human riches. It is to obtain these tokens of glory that Generals, be they Roman, Greek or barbarian, brave a thousand perils
and endure a thousand exertions". A truly magnificent Napoleonic sword in superb condition for it's age.
The brass basket guard on this sword is first class, the grip is totally original leather and a great colour  read more

Code: 25275

4950.00 GBP

NOW SOLD! Napoleonic Wars French Sabre De Grenadier À Cheval De La Garde Imperiale of the Grande Armee 1811. The Elite Senior

NOW SOLD! Napoleonic Wars French Sabre De Grenadier À Cheval De La Garde Imperiale of the Grande Armee 1811. The Elite Senior " Vieille Garde, {Old Guard}”, Heavy Cavalry Regiment

Superb Ist Empire French Napoleonic Imperial Guard sword. With hilt manufactured by Versailles, and stamped thereon, a single knucklebow with two branches and a grenade within a circle set between the two branches. Early type 1 straight blade {as can be seen on the early cuirassier and dragoons sword} engraved on the back strap. Painting in the gallery of a French Grenadier a Cheval de la Garde Imp. with his type 1 straight bladed sword .
Blade engraved Manufacture Imple De Klingenthal October 1811, and stamped at the forte AP for Atelier Precision/Paris, combined with stick and fasces. Scarce variant brass scabbard with two long ovoid window panels of leather, and a pair of hanging rings {un-banded}.

The Mounted Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard (French: Grenadiers à Cheval de La Garde Impériale) was a heavy cavalry regiment in the Consular, then Imperial Guard during the French Consulate and First French Empire respectively. They were the senior Old Guard cavalry regiment of the Imperial Guard and from 1806 were brigaded together with the Dragoons of the Imperial Guard.

A part of the Republican Consular Guard, the Grenadiers became the senior "Old Guard" heavy cavalry regiment when the Imperial Guard was founded, in 1804. Their maximum official complement was just over 1100 officers and troopers, commanded by a general of division or a seasoned general of brigade, with some of the most famous cavalrymen of the time as commander.

Rarely committed to battle during the Napoleonic Wars, they were usually kept in reserve, alongside the Emperor, during the most significant battles. When sent into action, such as during the battles of Marengo, Austerlitz, Eylau, Hanau or Waterloo, as well as during a number of actions of 1814, results were usually impressive. The regiment was disbanded in 1815, after Napoleon's downfall and the second restoration of the Bourbons.

In 1812 the battles this sword would have likely seen service, but mostly as Napoleon's personal protection reserve, would be around 30 in number including
Borodino, Moscow,
Ostrowno,
and
Winkowo

In 1813: Reichenbach and
Dresden,
Leipzig and
Hanau

In1814: La Rothiere,
Rosnay,
Champaubert,
Vauchamps,
Athies,
La Fere-Champenoise and
Paris

Then in 1815: During the war of 100 Days, upon Napoleon's return from exile in Elba,
The Battles of Quatre-Bras and
Waterloo.

To put into context, where this sword would have been used, by a Grande Armee Cheval of the Imperial Guard, in just a single days battle, at the Battle of Borodino in 1812, the fighting involved around 250,000 troops and left at least 68,000 killed and wounded, making Borodino the deadliest single-day-battle of the Napoleonic Wars and one of the bloodiest single-day battles in the military history of France before WW1.

The casualties of the battle were staggering: according to French General Staff Inspector P. Denniee, the Grande Armée lost approximately 28,000 soldiers: 6,562 (including 269 officers) were reported as dead, 21,450 as wounded. But according to French historian Aristid Martinien, at least 460 French officers (known by name) were killed in battle. In total, the Grande Armée lost 1,928 officers dead and wounded, including 49 generals. The list of slain included French Generals of Division Auguste-Jean-Gabriel de Caulaincourt, Louis-Pierre Montbrun, Jean Victor Tharreau and Generals of Brigade Claude Antoine Compère, François Auguste Damas, Léonard Jean Aubry Huard de Saint-Aubin, Jean Pierre Lanabère, Charles Stanislas Marion, Louis Auguste Marchand Plauzonne and Jean Louis Romeuf.

Suffering a wound on the Borodino battlefield was effectively a death sentence, as French forces did not possess enough food for the healthy, much less the sick; consequently, equal numbers of wounded soldiers starved to death, died of their injuries, or perished through neglect. The casualties were for a single day of battle, while the Russian figures are for the 5th and the 7th, combined. Using the same accounting method for both armies brings the actual French Army casualty count to 34,000–35,000.

Both the French and Russians suffered terrible casualties during the fighting, losing over a third of their armies. Some 52,000 Russian troops were reported as dead, wounded or missing, including 1,000 prisoners; some 8,000 men were separated from their units and returned over the next few days, bringing the total Russian losses to 44,000. Twenty-two Russian generals were killed or wounded, including Prince Bagration, who died of his wounds on 24 September. Historian Gwynne Dyer compared the carnage at Borodino to "a fully-loaded 747 crashing, with no survivors, every 5 minutes for eight hours". Taken as a one-day battle in the scope of the Napoleonic conflict, this was the bloodiest battle of this series of conflicts with combined casualties between 72,000 and 73,000. The next nearest battle would be Waterloo, at about 55,000 for the day  read more

Code: 25274

SOLD

Rare, Archaic Chinese Warrior Prince's Bronze Jian Sword, Overlaid With Gold, Auspicious Metal, Around 2,400 to 2,600 Years Old, From the Zhou Dynasty to the Chin Dynasty, Including the Period of Sun-Tzu'. Likely of The Kingdom of Yue

Rare, Archaic Chinese Warrior Prince's Bronze Jian Sword, Overlaid With Gold, Auspicious Metal, Around 2,400 to 2,600 Years Old, From the Zhou Dynasty to the Chin Dynasty, Including the Period of Sun-Tzu'. Likely of The Kingdom of Yue

Chinese Bronze 'Two Ring' Jian sword, a bronze alloy construction, with traces of pure gold, the Chinese ‘Auspicious Metal’, overlay, and now with up to 2400 years of natural aged patination and surface encrustations, made and used in the era of China's Seven Kingdoms period, likely with royal connections in the Kingdom of Yue, up to the latter part of the Eastern Zhou dynasty (475 BC). It is incredibly rare to find a sword from this period of ancient history with gold decor. It's surface is covered in superb patination and age encrustations, with various areas showing traces of layered pure gold. Of course, naturally, in its day, it would have been visibly fully covered in gold and look quite magnificent. It would have undoubtedly have been made for an ancient Chinese warrior Prince or general, absolutely a man of the highest possible status within the King’s army. 535mms long, weight 800gms

We show in the gallery photographs of another sword very similar, from the same era and reign, a non ringed hilt type, that was once also covered in gold, but now encrusted with age, like ours, that sold in 2013 for $183,750.
However, that gold sword was detailed and inlaid with surviving archaic script, somewhat like our other engraved two ring sword, that has revealed, through diligent effort, a potential translation, and the name of its owner. In a fashion, our two similar swords, but combined, would have the merged result of that single gold sword. Yet at less than a small percentage of the cost of the Christie’s sword

The Zhou script engraved on that other gold sword may state the following : Gongwu wang Guang ? yi ji jin zi zuo yong jian ('King Guang of the State of Gongwu forged this sword with auspicous metal for his usage')

From a large collection of antiquities, swords daggers, and rings, that recently arrived, many pieces sold for the part benefit of the Westminster Abbey fund, and the Metropolitan Museum fund. Formerly the property of a highly regarded renown British expert and collector, who has collaborated with museum experts, such as the Wallace Collection, on the origins, forms, styles and metallurgical investigations on ancient Chinese Bronze Age antiquities, and early British silver.

Swords of this type are called “two-ring” swords because of the prominent rings located on the hilt. this is the very type of sword used by the highest ranking officer warriors or princes alongside the world renowned General Sun Tzu, in the Kingdom of Wu, {although this sword is more likely from the Kingdom of Yueh} who is thought by many to be the finest general, philosopher and military tactician who ever lived. His 2500 year old book on the methods of warfare, tactics and psychology are still taught and highly revered in practically every officer training college throughout the world.
We show a painting in the gallery of a chariot charge by a Zhou dynasty warrior armed with this very form of sword.
The Chinese term for this form of weapon is “Jian” which refers to a double-edged sword. This style of Jian is generally attributed to either the Wu or the Yue state. The sword has straight graduated edges reducing to a pointed tip, which may indicate an earlier period Jian.

The blade is heavy with a midrib and tapered edges with seal script engraving on both sides of the bottom section of the blade near the hilt. See the photo in the gallery that shows a close up of the section of blade with the seal script.

A very impressive original ancient Chinese sword with a long, straight blade with a raised, linear ridge down its centre. It has a shallow, short guard. The thin handle would have had leather or some other organic material such as leather or hemp cord, wrapped around it to form a grip. At the top is a broad, round pommel.

A very similar sword had a detailed metallurgical analysis carried out at the Wallace Collection was measured by Graham McArthur in the Conservation Department of the Wallace Collection at a number of points near the edge using a Branson Krautkramer electronic surface hardness tester giving results ranging from 158 to 289 VPH with an average of 247 VPH, and thus thought to be from 500 BC. That particular sword, had a number of features in common with one in the Catalogue of the Warner Jennings Collection in the Chinese National Palace Museum, Peking, that is considered to have royal associations with a king of Yueh.

The Seven Kingdom or Warring States period in Chinese history was one of instability and conflict between many smaller Kingdom-states. The period officially ended when China was unified under the first Emperor of China, Qin pronounced Chin Shi Huang Di in 221 BC. It is from him that China gained its name.

The Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE) was among the most culturally significant of the early Chinese dynasties and the longest lasting of any in China's history, divided into two periods: Western Zhou (1046-771 BCE) and Eastern Zhou (771-256 BCE). It followed the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046 BCE), and preceded the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE, pronounced “chin”) which gave China its name.

In the early years of the Spring and Autumn Period, (770-476 BC) chivalry in battle was still observed and all seven states used the same tactics resulting in a series of stalemates since, whenever one engaged with another in battle, neither could gain an advantage. In time, this repetition of seemingly endless, and completely futile, warfare became simply the way of life for the people of China during the era now referred to as the Warring States Period. The famous work The Art of War by Sun-Tzu (l. c. 500 BCE) was written during this time, recording precepts and tactics one could use to gain advantage over an opponent, win the war, and establish peace.

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer, and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking. His works focus much more on alternatives to battle, such as stratagem, delay, the use of spies and alternatives to war itself, the making and keeping of alliances, the uses of deceit, and a willingness to submit, at least temporarily, to more powerful foes. Sun Tzu is revered in Chinese and East Asian culture as a legendary historical and military figure. His birth name was Sun Wu and he was known outside of his family by his courtesy name Changqing The name Sun Tzu by which he is more popularly known is an honorific which means "Master Sun".

Sun Tzu's historicity is uncertain. The Han dynasty historian Sima Qian and other traditional Chinese historians placed him as a minister to King Helü of Wu and dated his lifetime to 544–496 BC. Modern scholars accepting his historicity place the extant text of The Art of War in the later Warring States period based on its style of composition and its descriptions of warfare. Traditional accounts state that the general's descendant Sun Bin wrote a treatise on military tactics, also titled The Art of War. Since Sun Wu and Sun Bin were referred to as Sun Tzu in classical Chinese texts, some historians believed them identical, prior to the rediscovery of Sun Bin's treatise in 1972.

Sun Tzu's work has been praised and employed in East Asian warfare since its composition. During the twentieth century, The Art of War grew in popularity and saw practical use in Western society as well. It continues to influence many competitive endeavours in the world, including culture, politics, business and sports.

The ancient Chinese people worshipped the bronze and iron swords, where they reached a point of magic and myth, regarding the swords as “ancient holy items”. Because they were easy to carry, elegant to wear and quick to use, bronze swords were considered a status symbol and an honour for kings, emperors, scholars, chivalrous experts, merchants, as well as common people during ancient dynasties. For example, Confucius claimed himself to be a knight, not a scholar, and carried a sword when he went out. The most famous ancient bronze sword is called the “Sword of Gou Jian”.

The Warring States period saw a transition in military styles, from bronze weaponry and chariot-based fighting to iron and cavalry. However, the old period was still revered. Despite the cost of manufacturing bronze swords like this on a mass scale, this particular style of duan jian – a double-edged straight sword – was used in China for approximately 2,500 years. Finely made bronze weapons such as this one were signs of prestige, wealth, and fighting prowess used in both ceremonial and funerary contexts. For example, swords were worn by the Emperor and his officials in ceremonial or official dress, attached to the belt with jade ornaments.

This is one of a stunning collection of original archaic bronze age Zhou dynasty weaponry we have just acquired. Many are near identical to other similar examples held in the Metropolitan in New York, the British royal collection, and such as the Hunan Provincial Museum, Hunan, China. As with all our items, every piece is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Just over 26 inches long overall.
From the Tony Dove F.S.A. Collection, formed circa 1970's, one of England’s most revered and respected collectors, especially early silver, & he was a past honorary President of London’s Silver Spoon Society.

Other bronze swords bearing inscriptions inlaid in gold include the example dated to the 5th century BC in the Freer Gallery of Art, illustrated by T. Lawton, Chinese Art of the Warring States Period, Change and Continuity, 480-222 BC , Washington, DC , 1982, p. 70-71, no. 28, and one in the Musée Guimet dated 5th-4th century BC, illustrated by C. Delacour, De bronze, d'or et d'argent, Sumptuary Arts of China , Paris, 2001, p. 131. Both the Freer sword and the Guimet sword bear the same twenty-character inscription, arranged in ten characters to each side, which Thomas Lawton translates as, "On the auspicious day jen-wu, this sword was made for righteous use .

We show in the gallery, another very similar sword in a most similar state of aged preservation, but, with surviving gold inlaid archaic script upon the blade. It was sold at Christies in 2013, for $183,,750 . Lot number 1234. A very rare and important gold-inlaid bronze sword, Eastern Zhou dynasty, late 6th-early 5th century BC; 19 3/8 in. (49.3 cm.) long. Estimate 150,000 - USD 250,000. Price realised USD $183,750. Formerly of the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, New York.

Ref; SOME OBSERVATIONS ON EARLY CHINESE BRONZE SWORDS
By
Anthony Dove and Alan Williams {The Wallace Collection} 65 publications  read more

Code: 24842

7775.00 GBP

Archaic Chinese Warrior's Bronze Sword, Around 2,300 to 2,800 Years Old, From the Zhou Dynasty to the Qin Dynasty, Including the Period of the Great Military Doctrine 'The Art of War' by General Sun-Tzu

Archaic Chinese Warrior's Bronze Sword, Around 2,300 to 2,800 Years Old, From the Zhou Dynasty to the Qin Dynasty, Including the Period of the Great Military Doctrine 'The Art of War' by General Sun-Tzu

Chinese Bronze 'Two Ring' Jian sword used in the era of the Seven Kingdoms period, likely in the Kingdom of Yue up to the latter part of the Eastern Zhou dynasty (circa 475 BC). A specific kingdom, which had been known as the "Yue Guo" (越國) in modern Zhejiang, was not mentioned until it began a series of wars against its northern neighbor Wu during the late 6th century BC. According to the Records of the Grand Historian and Discourses of the States, the Yue are descended from Wuyu, the son of Shao Kang, the sixth king of the Xia dynasty.

With help from Wu's enemy Chu, Yue won after several decades of conflict. The famous Yue King Goujian destroyed and annexed Wu in 473 BC. During the reign of Wuqiang (無彊), six generations after Goujian, Yue was partitioned by Chu and Qi in 306 BC.
During its existence, Yue was famous for the quality of its metalworking, particularly its swords. Examples include the extremely well-preserved Swords of Goujian and Zhougou.

From our wonderful collection of ancient Chinese weaponry we recently acquired, another stunning ancient sword around 2500 years old or more. From the Zhou dynasty, and the area of the King's of Wu, in Chu, or more likely the Kingdom of Yueh. From a collection of antiquities, swords daggers, and rings, many pieces sold for the part benefit of the Westminster Abbey fund, and the Metropolitan Museum fund

Swords of this type are called “two-ring” swords because of the prominent rings located on the hilt. this is the very type of sword used by the warriors serving under the world renowned General Sun Tzu, in the Kingdom of Wu, who is thought by many to be the finest general, philosopher and military tactician who ever lived. His 2500 year old book on the methods of warfare, tactics and psychology are still taught and highly revered in practically every officer training college throughout the world.
We show a painting in the gallery of a chariot charge by a Zhou dynasty warrior armed with this very form of sword.
The Chinese term for this form of weapon is “Jian” which refers to a double-edged sword. This style of Jian is generally attributed to either the Wu or the Yue state. The sword has straight graduated edges reducing to a pointed tip, which may indicate an earlier period Jian.

The blade is heavy with a midrib and tapered edges
A very impressive original ancient Chinese sword with a long, straight blade with a raised, linear ridge down its centre. It has a very shallow, short guard. The thin handle would have had leather or some other organic material such as leather or hemp cord, wrapped around it to form a grip. At the top is a broad, round, dished pommel.

The Seven Kingdom or Warring States period in Chinese history was one of instability and conflict between many smaller Kingdom-states. The period officially ended when China was unified under the first Emperor of China, Qin pronounced Chin Shi Huang Di in 221 BC. It is from him that China gained its name.

The Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE) was among the most culturally significant of the early Chinese dynasties and the longest lasting of any in China's history, divided into two periods: Western Zhou (1046-771 BCE) and Eastern Zhou (771-256 BCE). It followed the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046 BCE), and preceded the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE, pronounced “chin”) which gave China its name.

In the early years of the Spring and Autumn Period, (770-476 BC) chivalry in battle was still observed and all seven states used the same tactics resulting in a series of stalemates since, whenever one engaged with another in battle, neither could gain an advantage. In time, this repetition of seemingly endless, and completely futile, warfare became simply the way of life for the people of China during the era now referred to as the Warring States Period. The famous work The Art of War by Sun-Tzu (l. c. 500 BCE) was written during this time, recording precepts and tactics one could use to gain advantage over an opponent, win the war, and establish peace.

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, writer, and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking. His works focus much more on alternatives to battle, such as stratagem, delay, the use of spies and alternatives to war itself, the making and keeping of alliances, the uses of deceit, and a willingness to submit, at least temporarily, to more powerful foes. Sun Tzu is revered in Chinese and East Asian culture as a legendary historical and military figure. His birth name was Sun Wu and he was known outside of his family by his courtesy name Changqing The name Sun Tzu by which he is more popularly known is an honorific which means "Master Sun".

Sun Tzu's historicity is uncertain. The Han dynasty historian Sima Qian and other traditional Chinese historians placed him as a minister to King Helü of Wu and dated his lifetime to 544–496 BC. Modern scholars accepting his historicity place the extant text of The Art of War in the later Warring States period based on its style of composition and its descriptions of warfare. Traditional accounts state that the general's descendant Sun Bin wrote a treatise on military tactics, also titled The Art of War. Since Sun Wu and Sun Bin were referred to as Sun Tzu in classical Chinese texts, some historians believed them identical, prior to the rediscovery of Sun Bin's treatise in 1972.

Sun Tzu's work has been praised and employed in East Asian warfare since its composition. During the twentieth century, The Art of War grew in popularity and saw practical use in Western society as well. It continues to influence many competitive endeavours in the world, including culture, politics, business and sports.

The ancient Chinese people worshipped the bronze and iron swords, where they reached a point of magic and myth, regarding the swords as “ancient holy items”. Because they were easy to carry, elegant to wear and quick to use, bronze swords were considered a status symbol and an honour for kings, emperors, scholars, chivalrous experts, merchants, as well as common people during ancient dynasties. For example, Confucius claimed himself to be a knight, not a scholar, and carried a sword when he went out. The most famous ancient bronze sword is called the “Sword of Gou Jian”.

This is one of a stunning collection of original archaic bronze age weaponry we have just acquired and has now arrived. Many are near identical to other similar examples held in the Metropolitan in New York, the British royal collection, and such as the Hunan Provincial Museum, Hunan, China.
As with all our items, every piece is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

21 inches long overall 17 inch blade

Ref; SOME OBSERVATIONS ON EARLY CHINESE BRONZE SWORDS
By
Anthony Dove and Alan Williams The Wallace Collection} 65 publications  read more

Code: 24388

3795.00 GBP

A Superb Collection of 10 Original Byzantine Roman  Trade, Scale, Jewellery Weights Circa 8th Century

A Superb Collection of 10 Original Byzantine Roman Trade, Scale, Jewellery Weights Circa 8th Century

A barrel weight, 4 polyhedron weights stamped with concentric circles, the largest one weighing around 95 grams, 1 cylindrical weight and 4 square. Including I uncia Literally, “a twelfth part.” The word is the source of the English words “ounce” and “inch, Plus a ”half an uncia called a semiuncia All in good well preserved condition with nice patina. One inlaid with silver


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: 23735

395.00 GBP