Antique Arms & Militaria

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Scarce, Victorian, 3rd City of London Silvered Shako Helmet Plate

Scarce, Victorian, 3rd City of London Silvered Shako Helmet Plate

An extremely fine example in silver plate being a crowned eight pointed star with overlays of oak sprays and central strap 'Domine Dirige Nos' enclosing a number 3
bearing the arms of the City, over a shield and London. A rare and most collectable piece of Victorian militaria. Two loop fasteners very good condition. 4.75 inches x 3.85 inches  read more

Code: 18441

325.00 GBP

An Absolutely Stunning Napoleon IIIrd, French Bronze. The Woman Reading, ‘La Liseuse’ by World Renown Sculptor, Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, Mentor to His Apprentice Auguste Rodin Who Became One of The Worlds Most Famous and Valued Sculptors

An Absolutely Stunning Napoleon IIIrd, French Bronze. The Woman Reading, ‘La Liseuse’ by World Renown Sculptor, Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, Mentor to His Apprentice Auguste Rodin Who Became One of The Worlds Most Famous and Valued Sculptors

One of three versions he sculpted titled 'the Reader' by Carrier-Belleuse, and the rarest. One other, was the same model but she was wearing full Renaissance dress, including head-covering, another, of the same model was a woman reading with two small companions, and this scuplture, the erotic version, was of his favourite female model of a woman in a classical robe, semi naked reading a small book.

Albert-Ernest Carrier de Belleuse as known as Carrier-Belleuse (1824 - 1887) is one of the the most famous sculptors of the Second Empire, who touched all areas of sculpture, from porcelain of Sevres to monumental sculpture of marble, by way of a production of terracotta and bronze statuettes. He also trained one of the worlds greatest sculptors Auguste Rodin, who impressed his mentor to such a degree they even later collaborated on sculptures together.

Until 1872 Rodin's principal employer was Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, the renowned decorative sculptor whose work cites those of the 18th century Rococo master Clodion. Rodin conceived of L'innocence tourmentée par l'amour, and, per his agreement with his teacher, Carrier-Belleuse signed the younger artist's works that were made at his studio. Rodin revisited this theme of cupids encouraging the sexual flourishing of a young woman in his later works, such as in Toilette de Vénus. Compagnie des Bronzes de Bruxelles produced editions of L'innocence tourmentée par l'amour for Carrier-Belleuse in terracotta, marble, biscuit de Sèvres and bronze until 1910.

Rodin created what is said to be the world's most famous sculpture. 'The Kiss' for Boston Millionaire E.P. WARREN, for £1,000 in around 1900 and it was delivered in 1904, and it lived in Warren House in Lewes East Sussex, then Lewes Town Hall in 1914. Then to a stable block in 1917, due to its unacceptable erotic nature, It lived in Lewes for a total of around 30 years.

12 years ago a pair of bronzes by Carrier-Belleuse, of the same age, quality and styl, titled, Spring and Summer, 2 works of gilt and patinated bronze and onyx circa 1850-1875, height 35.4 inches. They were sold at Christie's London April 29, 2010 lot 100 for $366,529.

Beginning at the age of thirteen at chiseler Beauchery’s workshop, Carrier-Belleuse learned from different goldsmiths, and was marked by the importance of the decorative arts. He worked quickly with Ferdinand Barbedienne and Deniere, the greatest bronze craftsmen of the century, in the realization of decorative objects, such as candelabra and fireplace garniture.

Fatherless orphan and protege of the Arago family, he obtained an official commission in 1848, a statue of the muse Rachel in gilded plaster. In 1863, his Bacchant in marble shown at the Salon is bought by Napoleon III, confirming his importance in the Second Empire. It was placed in the garden of the Tuileries from 1872 until 1984. He hence made the decoration of several prestigious buildings, in the Louvre, the Theatre of the Renaissance, on the pediment of the Bank of France, or at the Opera House of Palais Garnier, of which he supplied the two torches of the grand staircase.

As early as 1855, Carrier-Belleuse opened a workshop at the rue de la Tour d'Auvergne, 15, which welcomed many pupils, including Jospeh Cheret, Jules Dalou, and especially the great Auguste Rodin, who greatly benefited from this apprenticeship, and made his portrait in bust.

Carrier-Belleuse was probably best known for his production of statuettes and busts, as he realized many portraits of the personalities of his time, such as Theophile Gautier, Honore Daumier and Eugene Delacroix. He also sculpts portraits of some official figures with several busts of Napoleon III, and an important statue of the Countess of Castiglione. On the day following the ball of the 9th of February 1863 at the Tuileries, she wanted to make a portrait of her in her costume of Queen of Etruria, in a dignified pose, in order to counteract the slanders she had been the target of.

Carrier-Belleuse is also a great admirer of the Renaissance and the 18th century, from which he sculpts portraits of Shakespeare or Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He is inspired in his works by Renaissance art, especially the art from Fontainebleau. But he is also often considered as a new Clodion, 18th century sculptor of terracotta statuettes, for many gallant subjects and elegant busts of young women, such as the Bust of a young woman wearing a diadem, preserved in the Orsay Museum.

Thus, the monumental mirror exhibited by Barbedienne at the World’s Fair of 1867 , the true centerpiece of the stand, which emphasizes the pre-eminence of French skills in ornamental bronze, is decorated with characters by Carrier-Belleuse, in a Benvenuto Cellini manner.

Being one of the founding members of the Central Union of Fine Arts applied to Industry, now the Decorative Arts, his work is in keeping with the motto of this institute: "Beautiful in Useful". At the end of his career, he became art director of the Manufacture de Sevres, where he invented many designs with small sculptures, such as the Buire de Blois, at which Rodin worked. Finally, at the end of his life, a collection of drawings by Carrier-Belleuse was published, showing his involvement in the diffusion of beauty by the objects of everyday life: Application of the human figure to industrial decoration and ornamentation, 1884.

The son of Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse, also became a renowned artist of decorative arts. Trained as a painter, and also a sculptor like his father, he mainly worked in ceramics, becoming art director of the Choisy

Famed works of art he created;

Monument to André Masséna
Nice, 1869
Hebe asleep, 1869
Paris, Musée d'Orsay
Pediment sculpture of Abundance, Pavillon de Flore, South façade of the Great Galerie, Louvre palace, Paris, circa 1863
Caryatids themed on the four seasons, Vichy Opera, for architect Charles Badger, 1865
Architectural sculpture for the Tribunal de commerce de Paris (Commercial Court of Paris), on the Île de la Cité, for architect Antoine-Nicolas Bailly, completed 1865
A silvered bronze chimney-piece for the Hôtel de la Païva, Paris, 1866
Monument to André Masséna, Nice, 1869
Architectural work at the Brussels Stock Exchange, Brussels, circa 1870
Mary Queen of Scots, Private Collection, ca. 1870
Two elaborate multifigure torchères for the base of grand staircase, Palais Garnier (Paris Opera), Pairs, 1873
Tomb of Belgian photographer Louis Ghémar, Laeken Cemetery, Brussels, 1873
Architectural work for the Théâtre de la Renaissance, Paris, for architect Charles de Lalande, 1873
Sea Nymph for the fountain at the Place du Theâtre-Français, Paris, for architect Gabriel Davioud, 1874
Bust of Aimée-Olympe Desclée for her tomb, 1874
Four Seasons fountain, Hotel de Ville, Fleurance
Mausoleum of José de San Martín, Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral, Buenos Aires
Equestrian statue of Mihai Viteazul, University Square, Bucharest, Romania
Equestrian statue of Manuel Belgrano, Plaza de Mayo Square, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Equestrian statue of Bernardo O'Higgins, Alameda, Santiago de Chile, Chile
Statue for the victims of the La Compañía fire, originally at the place of the fire, today in front of the General Cemetery in Santiago de Chile, Chile

41cm height x 13cm depth x 15cm width

The much less rare 'fully clothed' version of The Woman Reading is shown in photo 10 in the gallery  read more

Code: 24454

4950.00 GBP

An Exceptional And  Rare, Late-Renaissance, 1500's to Early 1600's, Nuremberg, Iron, Strongbox or Ship's Treasure Chest, With its Original Key. Used Aboard Galleons To Store The Ship's Bullion or Treasure

An Exceptional And Rare, Late-Renaissance, 1500's to Early 1600's, Nuremberg, Iron, Strongbox or Ship's Treasure Chest, With its Original Key. Used Aboard Galleons To Store The Ship's Bullion or Treasure

Also known as in some quarters as a Pirate's Treasure Chest, for when the pirates of the King James and Queen Anne period captured ships, their victim's ship's gold and treasure were in chests exactly such as this, and then, they were transferred by block and tackle to the pirate's ship {see an antique print of Captain Avery loading treasure into his ship's hold in the gallery}, and later, it would have been exactly such chests, containing their stolen booty, including jewels, treasure, gold doubloons etc., as was buried by the pirates in the deserted Caribbean Islands, as described by Robert Louis Stevenson's treasure Island.

Although made primarily in southern Germany during the 16th and 17th century, especially the Nuremburg region, these boxes were identified in the Georgian period to be Spanish treasure chests, and were henceforth called Armada chests in the 19th century. Some were for the use of ship's captains at sea, and would have been bolted to the deck of the owner's cabin.

During the sixteenth and seventeenth century money chests were forged completely in sheet iron and reinforced with intersecting strips and fittings made of iron. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a host of cities in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland were renowned for their craftsmanship, especially Augsburg and Nuremberg. The shops were usually old family businesses in which younger generations were trained by their elders. They became extremely skilled blacksmiths, along with equally skilled colleagues in specialities such as sheet metalworking, etching, hammered inlay, steel-plate engraving, painting and rustproofing.

By the dawn of the Renaissance they had already achieved a strong tradition of craftsmanship and a dominant position in Europe. Forging production in certain cities focused mainly on steel and iron armor, as well as equipment for entire armies of foot soldiers, cavalry, officers and horses. Blacksmiths produced all types of small arms for the era, along with accessories, swords, rapiers, lances, helmets, breastplates, and armor.

Armada chests and money boxes were in demand far beyond the borders of the German states and were used to hold taxes, tariffs, and soldiers’ wages, jewelry, coin and bullion of nobles as well as treasure taken by pirates.This chest is in great condition. The locking mechanisms work nicely and the chest includes its original key.

An 1837 woodcut from The Pirates Own Book by Charles Ellms depicting Henry Every receiving three chests of treasure on board his ship, the Fancy.  read more

Code: 25269

5750.00 GBP

A Very Scarce Austrian {Austro-Hungarian Empire} Model Lorenz 1854/67 Wänzl Jäger Rifle, Trapdoor Conversion

A Very Scarce Austrian {Austro-Hungarian Empire} Model Lorenz 1854/67 Wänzl Jäger Rifle, Trapdoor Conversion

In good sound condition for age. With strap.
In 1866 the Austrians fought a disastrous seven week war with Germany, where the German breechloading needle fire rifles decimated the Austrians with their muzzle loading Lorenz rifles. The following January (1867), the Austrians adopted the Wanzl system for converting their muzzle loading rifles to breechloading cartridge arms. Six months later they adopted the rotary breech Werndl system for new rifles to be made by the newly formed firm of Steyr. This is the standard infantry model Wanzl, with total barrel length of about 37.5 inches and overall length of about 53 inches. The lock bears the original manufacture date of 1856, stamped in the Austrian method of only the last three digits, 856.

The Lorenz rifle was the third most widely used rifle during the American Civil War. The Union recorded purchases of 226,924 and the Confederacy bought as many as 100,000. Confederate-bought Lorenz rifles saw heavy use in the Army of Mississippi in 1863–64, with many of them being issued to re-equip regiments captured at the siege of Vicksburg and later exchanged. On the Union side, continental European firearms were mostly distributed to the Western armies—as such, the Lorenz Rifle was relatively uncommon in the Army of the Potomac (although two regiments of the famous Iron Brigade carried them) but heavily used by the Army of the Cumberland and Army of the Tennessee.

The Wanzl conversion is somewhat similar to the later Allin Trapdoor system, where a new receiver is attached to the old barrel, having a breechblock that flips up like the trapdoor. The locking system is unusual, being an internal rod that locks into the rear of the breechblock as the hammer falls. The tang is marked Labeda, the firm that did the conversion. The breechblock is marked Bollman. The barrel is marked 63 possibly indicating acceptance at Vienna (Wein) in 1863. Overall condition is about fine. The beech stock has a few assorted minor handling. The Wanzel is a very scarce gun, and would be an excellent addition to a collection of European military arms. Other examples that would fit into the breech conversion rifles would be the British Sniders, the French Tabatier, the Swiss Milbank-Amsler; the U.S. first and second Allin trapdoors, some of the Remington rolling blocks, and several others. Note- The Lorenz muskets were nominally .54 calibre and the conversion used a rimfire cartridge variously called any of the following: 13.9 x 33mm Wanzel Model 1867 rimfire; 14 mm rimfire Wanzl ; 14.3 x 32.3mm rimfire Austrian Wänzel; 14.3 x 32.3mm rimfire Wänzel Mod. 1869; 14.5 x 32.5mm rimfire Austrian Wänzel; 14 mm Scharfe gewehrpatrone or the 14 x 33mm rimfire Wänzel.

No licence required now simply an original antique collectors item.Section 58 (2) antique / obsolete calibre  read more

Code: 25267

595.00 GBP

A Superb US 'Wild West' Period Marlin Fire-Arms Co. Lever Action Repeating Rifle Manufactured in 1883. Nr. Exactly As Used By Apache Indian Fighter Brig. Gen. George C. Crook. A Superior Gun Compared To The Winchester Lever Repeater.

A Superb US 'Wild West' Period Marlin Fire-Arms Co. Lever Action Repeating Rifle Manufactured in 1883. Nr. Exactly As Used By Apache Indian Fighter Brig. Gen. George C. Crook. A Superior Gun Compared To The Winchester Lever Repeater.

A very rare and good all original Marlin .40-60 lever action repeating rifle. Model 1881 in an obsolete calibre.
This has a very good rifle indeed and has gathered a beautiful patina. Serial no. 4456, for 1883. octagonal barrel, the top-flat signed ‘MARLIN FIRE-ARMS CO. NEW-HAVEN C.T. USA’ over patent dates to ‘1880’, dove-tailed fore-sight, elevating buckhorn rearsight, slab-sided receiver with sliding load gate and top ejection.
Bolt with integral dust-cover walnut butt-stock and fore-end and full-length under-barrel magazine, overall length 45.5in., weight approx

According to Flayderman’s Guide To Antique American Firearms, “The Model 1881
was years ahead of the Model 1886 Winchester, and proved a very popular rifle.”

In October 1881, the Miles City, Montana Territory, gun dealer Broadwater, Hubbell
& Co. advertised that a case of the Model 1881 Marlins had already been sold to “Hunters,” adding that, “these guns promise to be very popular and take preference over all others.” In March 1882, another of their advertisements lauded
the Model 1881: “The New Buffalo Gun. A large Stock on hand, of various weights,
from 8 to 16 lbs., from which to make selection. These are THE Buffalo Gun.” In 1882 other dealers—such as W.H. Bradt in Leadville, Colo., and C.D. Ladd in San Francisco—were also advertising the Model 1881. The Marlin Company itself promoted the Model 1881 in July 1885 in Denver’s Rocky Mountain News as “The Best In The World.” And in April 1889, Marlin advertised in the Sitka Alaskan, “The Best And Simplest Rifles Made, Strongest Shooting, Easiest Working.”

Apache Indian fighter Brig. Gen. George C. Crook, who coined the frontier axiom that “the only way to catch an Apache is with another Apache,” used a Model 1881 Marlin. Crook spent most of his military career trying to placate, instead of kill, renegade Indians from the Pacific Northwest to the central Plains. But he is most famous for bringing a semblance of peace to the Apache-ravaged southeast corner of Arizona Territory in the 1870s and again in the 1880s at a time when another frontier axiom was “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.”
One of the rifles that Crook passed down to his godson, Webb C. Hayes (son of President Rutherford B. Hayes), is a Model 1881 Marlin, serial number 4254. It was Webb Hayes’ favourite rifle on hunting trips with his godfather. The gun now resides in the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio.

Mickey Free, (part Mexican, Irish and Apache) one of Crook’s most trusted Apache-wars Indian scouts, is also known to have favoured a 'brass-tack Indian-decorated' Model 1881 Marlin, which is now in the private collection of the Frontier Gun Shop in Tucson, Ariz.
On January 27, 1861, Apache Indians had kidnapped 12-year old Free from the ranch of his stepfather, John Ward, near Sonoita, Arizona Territory. The incident sparked the killing of Apache prisoners by the U.S. Army and white prisoners by the Apaches and drove Chief Cochise on a bloody warpath until 1872. Blinded in the left eye when he was young, the reddish blond–haired Free was raised by White Mountain Apaches.
Free joined the U.S. Army’s Indian Scouts on December 2, 1872, and served with them until 1893.
A .40-60-calibre Model 1881 Marlin that was used by Oklahoma Territory outlaw “Red Buck” Waightman is now on display at the Ralph Foster Museum, College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Mo.
In spite of the Model 1881 repeating rifle’s reputation for quality and simplicity, John Marlin discontinued it in 1892 after having produced only about 20,000 of
them.

Section 58 (2) antique / obsolete calibre no licence required to own and collect/display  read more

Code: 25265

3500.00 GBP

More Fabulous & Rare Pieces Added Every Day, & Some to Be Added This Coming Week On To The Lanes Armoury Website, Fresh From Our Conservation Workshop & Another Collection From the Workshop Early Next week

More Fabulous & Rare Pieces Added Every Day, & Some to Be Added This Coming Week On To The Lanes Armoury Website, Fresh From Our Conservation Workshop & Another Collection From the Workshop Early Next week

Early next week we have arriving a fantastic, large collection of original French Ist Empire Napoleonic sabres, from a very rare General's sword, an Imperial Garde Light Cavalry officer's sword, a very rare Grenadier a Cheval De La Garde Imperial sword, a General Staff of Light Cavalry officer's Sword,, Cuirassier officer's swords, an incredibly rare French Naval, Sabre D'Officier De Marine Model Prairelle An XII {1804 Trafalger } Officer's sword, Light Cavalry officer's sabres {some blue and gilt blades}, a rare Sabre D'Officier De Cavalrie Legere, with the Marengo pattern hilt, and a really very rare officer of the Carabiniers shell guard sword, plus several others. All are in superb condition for age. We also have a very rare 1940 MK1 'dove site' Bren gun, one of only 2,300 Bren guns left to defend England after the Dunkirk debacle. 27,700 MK 1 Bren guns were either left to the mercy of The Third Reich as captured booty, or, were destroyed on the beaches of Dunkirk. Thus this gun is either one of 2,300 remaining examples, or even rarer, { judged by survival rates} it one of the ones used by 'Jerry' against us!. This very rare earliest Bren Gun is now ‘Sold’
However, the good news is we have another good Bren {but manufactured later, post Dunkirk} arriving next week!

Just last week, for those with in interest in British Spycraft original collectables, we have some incredibly rare, original SOE WW2 items, including, probably, the best a rarest complete SOE Agents suitcase transceiver available, if not the best and most untouched ‘barn find’ of its type in the world!!. Just as would have been used by the one of history’s greatest heroines, Violette Szabo G.C. SOE espionage agent & radio operator. Plus, an SOE clamshell mine, and a SOE suitcase radio bicycle generator.
Also, American Civil War revolvers, such as by Remington, Manhattan, Starr, & Whitney, and very, very rare, US Civil War General’s sabre and knot complete, that is identical to General’s W.T.Sherman, J.E.B.Stuart, & John Bell Hood’s generals pattern swords. Plus, a Confederate British contract Tranter revolver. Also, a simply stunning collection of amazing sword sticks, all first division, some with full silver handles, others in very fine and beautiful woods, and all in incredible condition, plus, Samurai Ninja Shikome-zue sword sticks that are due in in a couple of weeks. Also an incredibly rare Qing Dynasty Chinese matchlock musket, one of the first we have seen in decades, a stunning WW2 RAF fighter scramble bell. An amazing 16th century ‘Holy Water Sprinkler’ a particularly gruesome looking pole arm of the rarest kind. A 1st Empire Napoleonic, French Cuirassiers sword, and a French Light Cavalry sabre by Nicolas Noel Boutet, a 17th to 18th century Royal Naval Admiral’s saw back cutlass, an Ancient Greek pure gold and carved scarab and intaglio swivel seal ring, around 2600 year old, and an ancient Roman noble’s silver & carved gemstone seal ring. A rare German 1930’s NSFK flyer’s summer helmet, some wonderful ancient samurai swords, a stunning pair of English, by one of the finest maker’s, original, cased, duelling pistols with tools, and an amazing antique samurai menpo face armour, and a really rare 1790’s French naval officers sea service pistol. Plus lots more as usual.

Just last Saturday we were simply delighted by an unexpected return visit from an old dear customer, a much respected London University professor and academic of numerous decades, who, amongst so many other things, lectures around the world on oriental studies, and was an advisor to Margaret Thatcher. He paid us the enormous compliment of declaring that despite travelling all over the globe, he has still never seen a shop so full of original antique pieces that are amazingly diverse, fascinating and historically eclectic anywhere else in the world. We thank you Professor P for your kindest of compliments. Another regular visitor on Saturday, a retired US Congressman, stated “ I know of no other shop in the world where you can buy a 300,000 year old Stone Age hand axe, and an ancient Egyptian mummy’s face mask and a 1st Gulf War Scud missile launching optical site, all under the same roof!”

We added last week the rarest of the rare. A wonderful selection of Flintlocks, Scottish, British Crimean War Sea Service Pistol, and a War Dept. Colt Navy, Crimean contract purchase, and as per the HMS Warrior armoury contract. Napoleonic, French, and British Swords, and American Civil War Swords. Antique Japanese Samurai Katanas, and WW2 Japanese Shin Gunto officer's swords, several 1st Editions of P.G.Wodehouse's, Bertie Wooster, ( the books have yet to be added) plus, lots more as usual

The Lanes Armoury is many things, including, but not exclusively, Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword & Armoury Antiques Gallery.

After over 53 years personal experience as a partner and director by Mark, since 1971, and over 43 years by David, we are Europe’s leading original samurai sword gallery, with hundreds of swords to view and buy online 24/7, or in our gallery in Brighton on a personal visit, 6 days a week.

It has been said that the Hawkins family have, in their sword dealing history, handled, bought and sold more original Japanese swords than any other sword dealers outside of Japan since World War I, numbering well into the tens of thousands of samurai weapons. In fact we still know of no better and varied original samurai sword selection, for sale under one roof, anywhere in the world today outside of Japan, or possibly, even within it. Hundreds of antique pieces for sale to choose from, and some up to 800 years old. We have had personal dealings {both buying and selling} with curators, experts and collectors from numerous leading museums around the world, {including Japan}. Such as The Tower of London, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Mark’s personal antiques mentor in the 1970’s was Edward ‘Ted’ Dale, when he was Managing Director and chief auctioneer of one of the worlds leading auction houses, Bonhams of Knightsbridge, London.

Both Mark and David can usually be found here at the gallery and shop, most days, often buried under a pile of swords, pistols, books and bayonets. It is always the case of ‘take us as you find us’ as they say, but they are both always delighted to chat about everything swords, guns, books and history, with no purchase necessary!

In memoriam
For over 30 years we had the enjoyment of the company of the late Christopher Fox as our consultant on Nihonto. A great friend to us all, and one of the most modest and knowledgable experts on Japanese swords in England. Also he was a member of the leading European sword appreciation society for several decades, and a student and instructor of the martial art of Iaido for four decades. The second in command so to speak of sensei Roald Knutsen, one of the worlds greatest experts and author on samurai polearms. {Chris was also a whizz on all things of a military nature from 20th century Germany.}


Did you know? the most valuable sword in the world today is a samurai sword, it belongs to an investment fund and has appeared illustrated in the Forbes 400 magazine. It is valued by them at $100 million, it is a tachi from the late Koto period 16th century and unsigned. Its blade is grey and now has no original polish remaining.  read more

Code: 25201

Price
on
Request

An Original, Rare, Silver Imperial Roman Centurion or Tribune's Military Ring of Victory, from the 2nd Century AD

An Original, Rare, Silver Imperial Roman Centurion or Tribune's Military Ring of Victory, from the 2nd Century AD

Engraved with the intaglio of Winged Victory, wearing her helmet and holding the laurel wreath of Victory. The rings surface shows combat service wear, yet has survived remarkably well considering it is near 2000 years old.
The laurel wreath was worn symbolically by the Imperial Roman Emperors. Military Roman bronze rings were allowed to be worn by the Legionary or Centurion, but silver grade was only for the ranks of such as the Centurion, Tribune or Legate.

Victoria, in Roman religion, personification of victory, the equivalent of the Greek goddess Nike. She was often associated with Jupiter, Mars, and other deities and was especially worshipped by the army. In later times she had three or four sanctuaries at Rome, including a temple on the Palatine Hill and an altar in the Senate House.

After the Marian reforms of 107 BC (subsequently further formalised by the emperor Claudius) created a professionalised military system, legions were commanded by a legionary legate (legatus). Six tribunes were still posted to a legion, but their duties and responsibilities had changed, becoming more a political position than a military rank. The second-in-command to the legate was the tribunus laticlavius or 'broad-stripe' tribune (named after the width of the stripe used to demarcate him on his tunic and toga),6 usually a young man of senatorial rank. He was given this position to learn and watch the actions of the legate. They often found themselves leading their unit in the absence of a legate, and some legions were permanently commanded by a broad-stripe tribune, such as those stationed in Egypt, as an Augustan law required that no member of the Senatorial Order ever enter Egypt.

A Centurion was a position in the Roman army during classical antiquity, nominally the commander of a century, a military unit originally consisting of 100 legionaries. The size of the century changed over time, and from the first century BC through most of the imperial era was reduced to 80 men.

In a Roman legion, centuries were grouped into cohorts and commanded by their senior-most centurion. The prestigious first cohort was led by the primus pilus, the most senior centurion in the legion and its fourth-in-command who was next in line for promotion to Praefectus Castrorum, and the primi ordines who were the centurions of the first cohort.

This fine ring was worn by higher ranked military officer's from the era of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, 161 to 180 ad, the last part of his reign was dramatically represented in the blockbuster film 'Gladiator', starring Richard Harris as the Emperor. He acceded to the throne of Emperor alongside his adoptive brother, who reigned under the name Lucius Verus. Under his rule the Roman Empire witnessed heavy military conflict. In the East, the Romans fought successfully with a revitalised Parthian Empire and the rebel Kingdom of Armenia. Marcus defeated the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatian Iazyges in the Marcomannic Wars; however, these and other Germanic peoples began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire.

Commodus. the successor and son of Marcus Aurelias, was the Roman emperor who ruled from 177 to 192. He served jointly with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until the latter's death in 180, and thereafter he reigned alone until his assassination. His reign is commonly thought of as marking the end of a golden period of peace in the history of the Roman Empire, known as the Pax Romana.
Commodus became the youngest emperor and consul up to that point, at the age of 16. Throughout his reign, Commodus entrusted the management of affairs to his palace chamberlain and praetorian prefects, named Saoterus, Perennis and Cleander.

Commodus's assassination in 192, by a wrestler in the bath, marked the end of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty. He was succeeded by Pertinax, the first emperor in the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors.

As with all our items it comes complete with our certificate of authenticity  read more

Code: 24629

945.00 GBP

A Beautiful Original Roman 2nd Century ad Modius or Fire Alter Intaglio Engraved, Bronze Equites Status Ring.

A Beautiful Original Roman 2nd Century ad Modius or Fire Alter Intaglio Engraved, Bronze Equites Status Ring.

A variation on the Henig type Xb ring form, Wide oval bezel affixed to flattened shoulders engraved copper alloy. Almost identical to one found in the UK near Hadrian's Wall. Engraved to either to represent the Zaroastrian fire altar, or vessel of sprouting grains. the ring was important for displaying the Roman's status. For example Tiberius, who was after all left-handed according to Suetonius, thus displays a ring in his bronze portrait as the Pontifex Maximus: The complete Roman Empire had around a 60 million population and a census more perfect than many parts of the world (to collect taxes, of course) but identification was still quite difficult and aggravated even more because there were a maximum of 17 men names and the women received the name of the family in feminine and a number (Prima for First, Secunda for Second…). A lot of people had the same exact name.
So the Roman proved the citizenship by inscribing themselves (or the slaves when they freed them) in the census, usually accompanied with two witnesses. Roman inscribed in the census were citizens and used an iron or bronze ring to prove it. With Augustus, those that could prove a wealth of more than 400,000 sesterces were part of a privileged class called Equites (knights) that came from the original nobles that could afford a horse. The Equites were middle-high class and wore a bronze or gold ring to prove it, with the famous Angusticlavia (a tunic with an expensive red-purple twin line). Senators (those with a wealth of more than 1,000,000 sesterces) also used the gold ring and the Laticlave, a broad band of purple in the tunic.

The equites literally "horse-" or "cavalrymen", [though sometimes referred to as "knights" in English] constituted the second of the property-based classes of ancient Rome, ranking below the senatorial class. A member of the equestrian order was known as an eques

Because the Senate was limited to 600 members, equites equo publico, numbering several thousands, greatly outnumbered men of senatorial rank. Even so, senators and equites combined constituted a tiny elite in a citizen-body of about 6 million (in AD 47) and an empire with a total population of 60–70 million. This immensely wealthy elite monopolised political, military and economic power in the empire. It controlled the major offices of state, command of all military units, ownership of a significant proportion of the empire's arable land (e.g., under Nero (r. 54–68 AD), half of all land in Africa Proconsularis province was owned by just six senators) and of most major commercial enterprises.

Overall, senators and equites cooperated smoothly in the running of the empire. In contrast to the chaotic civil wars of the late Republic, the rule of this tiny oligarchy achieved a remarkable degree of political stability. In the first 250 years of the Principate (30 BC – AD 218), there was only a single episode of major internal strife: the civil war of 68–69.

So the rings were very important to tell from a glimpse of eye if a traveller was a citizen, an equites or a senator, or legionary. People sealed and signed letters with the rings and its falsification could bring death.
The fugitive slaves didn’t have rings but iron collars with texts like “If found, return me to X” which also helped to recognise them. The domesticus slaves (the ones that lived in houses) didn’t wore the collar but sometimes were marked. A ring discovered 50 years ago is now believed to possibly be the ring of Pontius Pilate himself, and it was the same copper-bronze form ring as is this one. It will come in a complimentary display box as shown  read more

Code: 24569

325.00 GBP

A Nice US Civil War Staghorn Gripped Bowie Knife By Buck of Tottenham Court Road Circa 1855. German Silver Crossguard and Hilt Panel. With Its Original German Silver Mounted Pressed Card Scabbard.

A Nice US Civil War Staghorn Gripped Bowie Knife By Buck of Tottenham Court Road Circa 1855. German Silver Crossguard and Hilt Panel. With Its Original German Silver Mounted Pressed Card Scabbard.

Traditional and original American Civil War London made imported Bowie knife, with clip back blade, maker marked by its rare maker, Buck of Tottenham Court Rd, {London}.
The blade has overall salt and pepper pitting, but the German silver {nickel} hilt mounts are superb condition, as are the staghorn grip plates. The original pressed card scabbard has the surface feel of suede and it's still complete {with slight seam separation} and its original German silver throat mount and frog button belt stud.

The old traditional early Bowie knife was both a hunting knife and a tool. With it, one could clear a path, hack a sapling, dig a hole, or butcher game. In the siege of Bexar in 1835, Texans used Bowie knives to dig through roofs and walls and engage in hand-to-hand combat with the Mexicans. The knife was not designed or balanced for throwing.

Southerners replaced their sword canes with Bowie knives, and sought expert cutlers, North and South, to craft fine blades. The cutlers usually were surgical and dental instrument makers in large cities. Most signed their works; Peter Rose and John D. Chevalier were prominent in New York, English & Huber and Clarenbach & Herder in Philadelphia, Reinhardt in Baltimore, Thomas Lamb in Washington, Dufilho in New Orleans, Alfred Hunter in Newark, Marks and Rees in Cincinnati, Daniel Searles in Baton Rouge, and Rees Fitzpatrick in Natchez. Henry Schively also made improved versions in various styles. English cutlers in Sheffield, who had dominated the American cutlery market since colonial times, took advantage of the fascination with the Bowie knife. They capitalized on vivid reports by English journalists of murder and mayhem in America involving the weapon.

A trickle of Sheffield Bowie knives in the early 1830s developed into a flood before the Civil War. Bowie knife collections indicate that only about one in ten was American made. English cutlers applied clever motifs and blade etchings that appealed to American tastes and patriotic spirit. Examples include such labels as "American Bowie Knife," "Texas Ranger Knife," "Arkansas Toothpick," "Patriot's Self Defender," "Death to Abolition," "Death to Traitors," "Americans Never Surrender," "Rio Grande Camp Knife," and "I'm A Real Ripper." Handle and guard mountings also carried symbols and slogans with American appeal. Cutlers attached handles of ivory, pearl, tortoise shell, black and gray buffalo horn, India stag horn, and fine woods. Handle pommels of nickel silver featured horse heads, shells, and geometric designs. Manufacturers generally signed their blades and added such distinctive trademarks as I*XL, B4ANY, and XCEED. At the outbreak of the Mexican War in 1846, the Bowie knife was a popular weapon in Texas. Texas Rangers under Jack (John Coffee) Hayes and Ben McCulloch carried Bowie knives and Colt Dragoon pistols into battle. Knife blades stamped and etched with Mexican War motifs appeared. Zachary Taylor, mounted on Old Whitey, was a favorite subject. Bust etchings included "Old Zach," "General Taylor Never Surrenders," "Palo Alto," and "Buena Vista." Pommels featured a Taylor bust with a patriotic slogan.

In the late 1830s an alarmed public in several Southern states demanded stringent laws to curtail the increasing "rule of the Bowie knife." In January 1838 the Tennessee legislature passed "An Act to Suppress the Sale and Use of Bowie Knives and Arkansas Toothpicks in this State." However, the sale of the knives continued to accelerate, reaching a peak after the Civil War. During that war, crude Bowie knives were popular among Confederate soldiers. Some had large, wide blades, like those of artillery shorts words; most were unmarked. The Confederates considered the knife an essential accoutrements in the early months of the war, but as the conflict wore on the knife was replaced with the bayonet. The knives had hickory or hardwood handles and iron mounts, and were worn in heavy leather sheaths with throats and tips of tin, iron, or brass. Blades had scratch engravings and crude acid etchings, with such patriotic motifs as "Sunny South," "Confederate States Defender," or "Death to Yankees." A few Confederate Bowie knives were made by experienced cutlers and exhibited excellent workmanship. Union soldiers generally wore Sheffield or British made Bowie knives.

"In the history of American arms," wrote historian Harold L. Peterson (1958), "three weapons stand out above all the rest: the Kentucky rifle, the Colt's revolver, and the Bowie knife." Each became a part of the "great American Legend."

Overall in scabbard approx. 13 inches long, Blade approx. 8 inches long.  read more

Code: 25263

795.00 GBP

A Superb Quality, Antique, Edwardian Hallmarked Repoussé Silver Handled Sword-Stick. A Most Elegant & Sophisticated Beauty In Near Mint Condition.

A Superb Quality, Antique, Edwardian Hallmarked Repoussé Silver Handled Sword-Stick. A Most Elegant & Sophisticated Beauty In Near Mint Condition.

A wonderful repoussé silver long handle in super condition, a long bamboo haft with superb patination and a quatrefoil four sided edged blade.

Repoussé silver came into popularity during the rococo revival period in decorative arts. Silversmiths nationwide used the technique, but Baltimore was its greatest champion. The silversmiths there created a regional style featuring masses of repoussé flowers with chased details. (Chasing is opposite to repoussé, as it refines the front of the piece, and the two techniques are often used together). Known today as “Baltimore repoussé,” Samuel Kirk introduced this type of decoration in 1828. It was thoroughly copied soon after, but unlike his competitors, Kirk’s iconic pattern, simply called Repoussé, is still made today under the name Kirk Stieff.

And while America fell under the spell of neoclassicism, art nouveau, and other decorative styles, repoussé silver—outfitted in its rococo glory—has never fallen out of favour. When accounting for the style’s longevity, writer Jack Tanis noted the following in an article for Silver magazine: “What you see is what you get, and what you get is an eyeful of pretty—drippingly saturated pretty.”

Lord Byron's was a most exponent of the use and carrying of the gentleman’s sword stick. His was exhibited in King's College London, bearing a mercurial gilt collar bearing his name, coronet and adopted surname Noel. Upon the death of Byron's mother-in-law Judith Noel, the Hon. Lady Milbanke, in 1822, her will required that he change his surname to "Noel" so as to inherit

An interesting 19th century conversation and collector's piece, and one can ponder over of the kind of gentleman who would have sought and required such a piece of personal defence paraphernalia. Although one likes to think that jolly old England had a London full of cheerful cockneys and laddish chimney sweeps, it was also plagued with political intrigue, nefarious characters and caddish swine prowling the endless foggy thoroughfares and dimly lit passageways. The swordstick was a popular fashion accessory for the wealthy during the 18th and 19th centuries. While the weapon's origins are unknown, it is apparent that the cane-sword's popularity peaked when decorative swords were steadily being replaced by canes as a result of the rising popularity of firearms, and the lessening influence of swords and other small arms.

The first sword canes were made for nobility by leading sword cutlers. Sixteenth century sword canes were often bequeathed in wills. Sword canes became more popular as the streets became less safe. Society dictated it mandatory that gentlemen of the 18th and especially 19th centuries would wear a cane when out and about, and it was common for the well-dressed gentleman to own and sport canes in a variety of styles, including a good and sound sword cane. Although Byron was proficient in the use of pistols, his lameness and his need to defend himself in some potentially dangerous situations made a swordstick doubly useful to him. He received lessons in London from the fencing master Henry Angelo and owned a number of swordsticks, some of which were supplied by his boxing instructor Gentleman John Jackson.

On Byron’s sword cane was the name NOEL BYRON, upon the ferrule of his one indicated that it was used after 1822, when Byron added the surname Noel after the death of his mother-in-law.

There are several references to sword sticks in the correspondence of Byron and his circle. Byron wrote to Hobhouse from Switzerland on 23 June 1816 asking him to Bring with you also for me some bottles of Calcined Magnesia a new Sword cane procured by Jackson he alone knows the sort (my last tumbled into this lake ) some of Waite's red tooth-powder & tooth-brushes a Taylor's Pawrsanias Pausanias and I forget the other things. Hobhouse responded on 9 July: Your commissions shall be punctually fulfilled whether as to muniments for the mind or body pistol brushes, cundums, potash Prafsanias Pausanias tooth powder and sword stick.

In the entry for 22 September 1816 in Byron's Alpine Journal he describes how, at the foot of the Jungfrau,
"Storm came on , thunder, lightning, hail, all in perfection and beautiful, I was on horseback the Guide wanted to carry my cane I was going to give it him when I recollected it was a Sword stick and I thought that the lightning might be attracted towards him kept it myself a good deal encumbered with it & my cloak as it was too heavy for a whip and the horse was stupid & stood still every other peal."

In a letter to Maria Gisborne of 6-10 April 1822, Mary Shelley described the "Pisan affray" of 24 March, in which Sergeant-Major Masi was pitch-forked by one of Byron's servants. She recounted how Byron rode to his own house, and got a sword stick from one of his servants.

Sword sticks came in all qualities, and for numerous purposes, from the simplest bamboo sword cane personal defender to stout customs officer’s ‘prod’, to offensive close quarter stiletto dagger canes and even to the other side of the world in the form of Japanese samurai’s shikome-sue, hidden swords.

We show two famous sword sticks in the gallery, one that belonged to Lord Byron, and another in a Presidential Centre Library collection, a historic sword stick is part of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Centre Library collection in Fremont, Ohio from the Waggoner family, the sword-cane was said to have been presented to Mr Waggoner by General George Washington in honour of Waggoner's service in Washington's Life Guard during the American Revolutionary War.  read more

Code: 25262

1495.00 GBP