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Acquired in the 1820's while on a Grand Tour of Anglo French battle sites of Northern & Western France from Crécy-en-Ponthieu in the Somme region, in Azincourt the Pas-de-Calais, to Poitiers in Aquitaine. Subsequently acquired by us recently as part collection of a selection of artefacts and antiquities from battle sites around Europe. Many English war arrows for Longbows would have some type of bodkin or “plate cutter” since their job was to penetrate armour (gambesons, hauberks, and plate). long and short bodkin, plate cutter, leaf, trefoil, crescent, and swallowtail broadheads. Broadheads were for un-armoured men and horse..From the time of King Edward IIIrd of England. Edward Plantagenet (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377) was King of England from 1327 until his death, and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His reign saw vital developments in legislation and government – in particular the evolution of the English parliament – as well as the ravages of the Black Death. He remains one of only six monarchs to have ruled England or its successor kingdoms for more than fifty years.
His reign saw the beginning of the Hundred Years War against France. Crecy was one of history's most decisive battles. After the battle of Sluys, Edward III landed in Normandy in July 1346 with about 10,000 men. The French pursued. Edward III decided to halt near Crecy in Normandy and to prepare for battle the next day. However, the French vanguard made contact and started to attack without the benefit of a plan. The French made as many as 15 attacks and the English checked each one in turn mainly because of the English longbowmen. At the end, the French were decimated and the English had a decisive victory.
At Crécy, the carefully deployed and well disciplined army of Edward III humbled King Phillip VI of France and left 1,500 of the chivalry of France dead on the field in this famous battle during Edward's chevauchee of 1346 AD during the 100 Years War.
First major battle of the Hundred Years' War fought on Saturday, August 26, 1346. in which Philip VI of France was defeated by Edward III of England at the village of Crécy-en-Ponthieu, now in Somme département, France, 18 km/11 mi northeast of Abbeville. The English victory reinforced the lesson of Courtrai – that infantry were well capable of dealing with cavalry.
Edward's forces were arranged in three divisions, all dismounted, with Welsh archers and spearmen in the front ranks. The French arrived in the afternoon; their Genoese crossbowmen opened the battle, but rain had slacked their bowstrings and they were rapidly annihilated by the Welsh bowmen who had unstrung their bows and kept the strings dry. The French knights, impatient for victory, then rode forward but, clustered together by the confined battlefield, they were rapidly picked off by bowmen and spearmen. The battle then resolved itself into a series of charges – some historians say as many as 15 – by the French knights against the English lines, but they were eventually beaten off and before nightfall were in retreat. Edward achieved a victory scarcely bettered in any battle before or since. With somewhere between 9,000 to12,000 Welsh and English men he fought King Phillip Vith of France's 35,000 men and knights. Edwards casualties were 2 knights and a few hundred men lost, Phillip had 1,542 Knights and around 20,000 plus men slain.
Edward was born on 13 November 1312, possibly at Windsor, although little is known of his early life, the son of Edward II and Isabella of France. Edward himself became king in 1327 after his father was deposed by his mother and her lover, Roger Mortimer. A year later Edward married Philippa of Hainault - they were to have 13 children. Isabella and Roger ruled in Edward's name until 1330, when he executed Mortimer and banished his mother.
Edward's primary focus was now war with France. Ongoing territorial disputes were intensified in 1340 when Edward assumed the title of king of France, starting a war that would last intermittently for over a century. In July 1346, Edward landed in Normandy, accompanied by his son Edward, the Black Prince. His decisive victory at Crécy in August scattered the French army. Edward then captured Calais, establishing it as a base for future campaigns. In 1348, he created the Order of the Garter.
War restarted in 1355. The following year, the Black Prince won a significant victory at Poitiers, capturing the French king, John II. The resulting Treaty of Bretigny in 1360 marked the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years War and the high point of English influence in France. Edward renounced his claim to the French crown in return for the whole of Aquitaine. In 1369, the French declared war again. Edward, by now an elderly man, left the fighting to his sons. They enjoyed little success and the English lost much of the territory they had gained in 1360.
This is one of the highest quality English examples we have seen in quite a while. Hand carved ivory handle of great quality and condition, with no cracks or splits, Malacca haft and triple edged long blade, with hallmarked London silver collar. A great Victorian conversational 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 Victorian 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. The name NOEL BYRON on 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. Overall 34.5 inches long, blade 27.75 inches. An original antique collectable for display purposes only
A 19th Century Burmese sword dha, curved, shallow fullered silver inlaid blade 26", slight swollen towards point, silver damascened for its full length on both sides, with a scene depicting seated warriors and sages, a dog chow, foliage and inscriptions, zig zag panel along the top edge, silver hilt, the central panels depicting figures of male and female deities, plain darkwood ball pommel, in its plain sheet copper- silver alloy panelled scabbard in eleven sections. Circa 1870. Callied a ‘story' dha, the whole sword is superbly decorated. A picture we show in the gallery of a Burmese prince with his similar sword dha on a stand before him. The blade decoration, with silver overlay on both sides, it is said, is sometimes believed to the horoscope of the Burmese nobleman for whom the dha was commissioned. This sword is a “story” dha, the silver onlay illustrate a popular folktale and Jataka legend, complete with vignette scenes of the highlights of the story, and accompanying captions in Burmese or Pali. The broad use and diffusion of the dha across Southeast Asia makes it difficult to attribute a definitive origin. The Burmese moved into Southeast Asia from the northwest (present day India), passing through Assam and Nagaland. The dha and its variants were possibly derived from the Naga dao, a broadsword used by the Naga people of northeast India for digging as well as killing. The Naga weapon was a thick, heavy, eighteen-inch long backsword with a bevel instead of a point, and this form of blade is found on some dha. Alternatively, the dha may have its origins with the Tai people who migrated to the area from present-day Yunnan Province in southern China. The Khmer and Mon peoples were well established before the arrival the Tai or the Burmese people; perhaps they invented the dha as 13th-century reliefs at Angkor depict the weapon. The history of the region includes many periods where one or the other of these groups dominated, bringing along their culture and weapons to conquered areas.
Similar terms exist in the surrounding area with slightly different meanings. The Chinese word dao (dou in Cantonese) means knife but can refer to any bladed weapon with only one edge. In Bengali, a dao is a six inch long knife. From the Himalayas, the dao spread to Southeast Asia where it came into its present shape. While it is pronounced dha in Burmese, among Khmer-speakers it is known as dao and it may be related to the Malay words pedang and sundang, meaning sword. A related term, dap, means a long-handled sword in Malay. In Thailand, the dha corresponds to the krabi but the equivalent Thai term is daab which is usually a stout double-edge sword. Other elaborate swords might have been made as presentation pieces perhaps to foreigners but the nature of the script on the blade suggests that this example may have been made for a very senior Burman or Shan aristocrat. Overall in scabbard 37.5 inches long, blade 26 inches long
A most beautiful sword made and used in the Napoleonic Wars against Napoleon. The 1803 British Flank regiment officer's combat sword follows the same design as the 1796 Light Dragoon officers sword. The hilt is beautifully engraved with Union flag shield and stands of arms, the lion's head pommel and wire bound fish skin grip. The blade has fine engraving with royal cyphers and crest of the king. There is a lot of dark blue remaining and gilt within the engraving. On a damp, overcast Sunday in June 1815, twenty years of continuous warfare the Napoleonic Wars came to a violent and bloody conclusion on a rain-soaked field in Belgium. These wars were truly a world affair, with European powers fighting battles not only on the mainland of Europe but as far as India, Egypt, the Caribbean and America.
The greatest generals of the age finally faced each other on the field of battle; The Duke of Wellington, rooted to a little-known ridge, faced, the Emperor of the French. Napoleon Bonaparte, a master of attack, opposed brigades of British, Germans, Dutch and Belgians; brigades of an infamous army that, despite horrific casualties, clung to the ridge for over nine hours to ensure that the arrival of Blucher's Prussian army would put the Duke's victory beyond doubt.
The Battle of Waterloo became a true landmark in military history, one that will never fade, and nothing on such a grand scale would be seen again. The development of the Pattern 1803 Flank Officer's sword goes back to the late 18th century, when light infantry units were formed in the British Army. The grenadiers and light companies of a battalion were considered the elite of these infantry regiments, and could be detached and deployed separately as skirmishers. Grenadiers were the senior company of any infantry battalion and would typically lead an assault. When the battalion was deployed in line, the grenadier and light companies were deployed on the right and left flanks respectively, and both companies could be could be called upon to operate in looser formations and semi-independently.
The added element of risk associated with detached skirmishing in looser formations meant that officers of light infantry needed a more robust fighting sword. By 1799, sufficient numbers of officers of these regiments and companies were using sabres rather than the more ornamental Pattern 1796 Infantry Officer's sword, enough for them to be given official leave to wear sabres instead. In addition to being a more practical weapon, these sabres could be more easily hitched up, as they were suspended on slings rather than the shoulder belt and frog of the Pattern 1796 Infantry Officer's sword. This ensured that the weapon did not inhibit movement when skirmishing over broken ground.
This need for a more robust weapon was formally acknowledged by the King in 1803, when he approved 'a Pattern Sword for the Officers of Grenadiers and Light Infantry'. Despite this regulation there exists a great deal of variety in 1803 Pattern swords. The most common form has a slotted hilt with the royal cypher (GR) on the knuckle-guard, which joins the head of the back piece at a lion's head pommel. The blade is commonly quite broad for an infantry sword, with a single fuller and a hatchet point. In terms of general form, the sword is similar to the curved sabres of the light cavalry, and the blade is comparable to a slighter version of the 1796 Light Cavalry sword.
This similarity was perhaps deliberate, as at this time light infantry across Europe were increasingly taking their military stylings from their light cavalry counterparts. Both light infantry and cavalry considered themselves an elite, and were keen to distinguish themselves from their comrades in the line through different uniform and equipment. However, light infantry officers neither needed such a robust sword (as it would not have to withstand the stress of mounted combat) nor did they need a steel scabbard to protect the sword from bumps and falls when mounted. As such, the 1803 usually had a much thinner back and was carried in a lighter leather scabbard.
There were three other common blade types found on 1803 hilts. These included a narrower, straighter, flat-bladed version, which was double-edged for the final portion and ended in a spear point. There was also a shorter, thicker-bladed version with a double fuller blade, which again ended in a spear point ? closer to a hanger of the 18th century in terms of blade proportions. The third had a heavily curved narrow blade, almost crescentic in shape, without a fuller and it usually ended in a spear point, despite its pronounced curve. This last type closely resembles the blade form of the Persian Shamshir. A very sound and good quality old repair to the knucklebow.
A Fabulous and such a rare pistol, somewhat like an amazing short barrelled huge muzzle blunderbuss. Made in the 1760's, it is a hand portable grenade or mortar launcher sometimes known as a cohorn, and also known as a pyrotechnic gun. It is such a rarity today as to be a near unique survivor of its type. We show in the gallery [photo 10] another example of a rare hand held mortar / grenade gun, that sold at auction 3 years ago in Germany, for a remarkable 120,000 euros [although it was certainly somewhat more elaborate as it was a civilian type]. The two stage barrel is stunning and has traces and of scrolling flames engraved across the top. The butt has a grotesque cast mask and a most finely engraved trigger guard, depicting anf ancient helmetted warrior, and an engraved brass side plate. Certainly used in the Americas in the 18th and early 19th century. Last year we were delighted to have a very, very rare, shoulder mounted grenade launcher, used by the early grenadiers, but a hand held version, such as this in some respects is even rarer still. It has had a percussion conversion lock by R Ashmore [an American maker] converted by him in the first quarter part of the 19th century. His name is engraved on the lock [but worn]. The hand mortar is a firearm that was used in the late 17th century and 18th century to throw fused grenades. The action was similar to a flintlock, matchlock, or wheellock firearm (depending on the date of production), but the barrel was short, usually less than 2 inches (5 cm) to 4 inches (10 cm) long (though some are reported to have barrels up to 13 inches (33 cm) long), and had a large bore to accommodate the grenade; usually between 2 and 2.5 inches (5 to 6 cm). Between 1672 and 1740, the Royal Foundry of Berlin (Knigliches Giehaus zu Berlin) produced 302 hand mortars (Handmorser). Additionally, a mortar at the Museum of Artillery in Woolwich, Great Britain bears the inscription Fondeur Strasbourg (made in Strasbourg (France)) and several other surviving pieces bear the coat of arms of Wurttemberg indicating that they might have been made there. The first references to the type of grenade used in a hand mortar occur in a 1472 work entitled Valturius, where an incendiary prototype may have been produced. However, widespread use of the explosive grenade does not occur until the early-to-mid-16th century under Francis I of France. An early casualty of this type of grenade was Count de Randan who died of shrapnel wounds to the legs from a grenade during the Siege of Rouen (probably the battle of Issoire) in 1562. Explosive grenades were made from brass, glass, and possibly clay, and incendiary projectiles were made from canvas, however, Nathanael Nye, Master Gunner of the City of Worcester in a work entitled Art of Gunnery published in 1647, remarks that the soldiers of his day were not fond of handling the grenades because they were too dangerous. While there are substantial records of infantry units called grenadiers throughout the 18th century in Europe, these units generally threw the grenades by hand, but maybe a few men of the regiment could be armed with launchers such as this. After priming the firearm and adding the gunpowder, the shooter would light a grenade fuse, place the grenade in the muzzle of the mortar, then fire it at the enemy. However, accidents could occur if the weapon misfired and the lit grenade remained in the barrel. Additional modifications attempted to light the grenade using the burning gunpowder, but accounts say that the fuse would be forced into the grenade which would explode immediately.
The low number of surviving specimens of this firearm indicate that it was not a popular weapon, possibly due to the safety issues. In his essay on the weapon, Hewitt opines that the mortar is among a variety of "projects for destruction which have never destroyed anything but the fortunes of their inventors". At least one version of the hand mortar was probably invented by John Tinker in 1681. However, his mortar may have been an improvement on an earlier piece. A reference to this mortar may have appeared in a work entitled Ancient Armour which refers to a tinker's mortar. Another account refers to a hand mortar as a cohorn, and attributes its invention to a Dutch engineer, Menno Van Coehoorn, who lived from 1641 to 1704. Hand Mortars were also to be found in the New World. References to a hand mortar being transferred in Maryland are found in the record of The Proceedings of the Council of Maryland in 1698. Another account in the journal of Alexander Henry the younger tells of a hand mortar (called a cohorn; after Menno van Coehoorn) being loaded with a pound of powder, 30 balls, and fired in an action against Sioux indians in 1808.
Another reference to the use of cohorns in the New World can be found in The Life of Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) including the Border Wars of the American Revolution by William L. Stone (two volumes) published Albany NY 1865. Stone in describing Sir William Johnson's Niagara campaign of 1759 notes the following: "The youthful warrior likewise accompanied Sir William during the Niagara Campaign of 1759, and in the brilliant achievements of the Baronet, after the chief command had devolved upon him upon the death of General Prideaux, is said to have acquitted himself with distinguished bravery. General Prideaux, commanding the expedition, was killed by the accidental explosion of a cohorn on the 20th of July?" (Stone, Vol 1, p. 20). The action is tight and the forend has old working life stock repairs. 12.5 inches long , barrel 6.75 inches long 1.25 inch bore
A simply superb, original artifact of Ancient Rome. from the time of the Great Julius Caeser, and the subsequent Emperors, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. The very form and type of dagger that was used to assassinate the great Julius Caesar on the Ides of March, and that was actually depicted at the time on a Roman coin, the "Brutus “Eid Mar” Denarius", considered by some to be the rarest and most important coin ever made in Roman history [see photo 8 in our gallery] and the only coin minted to openly celebrate a murder.
Plus, the highly distinctive pugio dagger was an essential weapon of the roman legionaries. The hilts of original roman swords and daggers very rarely survive to today, as their material of construction [such as wood, ivory, horn or bone] does not last as long over 2000 years as the iron blades can. Only the very few that had cast bronze hilts remain intact. The pugio (plural: pugiones) was a dagger used by Roman soldiers as a sidearm, and it seems most likely that the pugio dagger was intended as an auxiliary weapon, after the sword or lance. Officials of the empire took to wearing ornate daggers in the performance of their offices, and some would wear concealed daggers as a defence against contingencies. The dagger was a common weapon of assassination and suicide; for example, the conspirators who stabbed Julius Caesar used pugiones. Roman writer Vegetius, wrote
"A stroke with the edges, though made with ever so much force, seldom kills. On the contrary, a stab, though it penetrates but two inches, is generally fatal. If the body is covered while a thrust is given, and the adversary receives the point before he sees the sword." This was the method of fighting principally used by the Romans. There are a number of surviving Roman depictions of soldiers slashing with their weapons in addition to stabbing with them. This is shown best on the Adamklissi metopes.
Attempts to cast pugios in the role of utility knives are misguided, as the blade form is not suited to this purpose, it being far better suited for use as a close quarter weapon. Small utility knives are found in profusion at military sites and there is no reason to think that soldiers needed to use their pugios for anything other than fighting. Tacitus reports that Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo had a soldier executed for not wearing a sword while digging a trench and another for wearing only a pugio in the same activity. The pugio became an ornate sidearm of officers and dignitaries as well, a custom reminiscent of the knives after which the Saxons were named. These Germanic mercenaries served in the Roman army. The emperors came to wear a dagger to symbolize the power of life and death. The emperor Vitellius attempted to resign his position and offers his dagger to the consul, but it was refused and Vitellius was forced to stay by popular acclaim and the Praetorian guard. Tacitus also relates that a centurion, Sempronius Densus, of the Praetorian guard drew a dagger to save Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus momentarily. One picture in the gallery is from Barry Strauss book the Death of Caesar, it shows a complete original pugio with its intact cast bronze hilt, the blade shape of ours is identical and highly identifiable. This blade is superb, with an aged russetted surface condition as normal for surviving Roman iron blades today. Blade. 14 1/4 inch blade length total. An original silver minted version of the "Brutus “Eid Mar” Denarius today can sell for around $ 500,000 [it is estimated for there to be only around 56 surviving examples] and the gold minted version, recently sold for $4.2 million [and it is estimated for there to be only 2 surviving examples]. It thus makes this original pugio dagger, from the same period, to be somewhat of a bargain by comparison.
A stunning museum grade sword, worthy of a finest collection of 18th century fine art and furnishings. Likely made at Versailles by a Royal swordsmith of King Louis XVIth, such as the master swordsmiths of the king, Lecourt, Liger or Guilman. A very finest grade sword of the form as was made for the king to present to favoured nobles and friends. He presented a similar sword to John Paul Jones [see painting in the gallery] now in the US Naval Academy Museum. Three near identical swords to this now reside in the Metropolitan A simply superb small-sword, with stunningly engraved chiselled steel hilt, overlaid with pure gold over a fish-roe background,, decorated with hand chiselled scenes in the rococo Italianate renaissance style depicting various hunting scenes, of hunting hounds and game birds. The multi wire spiral bound grip is finest silver, in with Turks head finials. The blade is in the typical trefoil form, ideal for the gentleman's art of duelling. The degree of craftsmanship of this spectacular sword is simply astounding, worthy of significant admiration, it reveals an incredible attention to detail and the skill of it's execution is second to none. Other similar swords are in also in the British Royal Collection and in Les Invalides in Paris. Trefoil bladed swords had a special popularity with the officers of the French and Indian War period. Even George Washington had a very fine one just as this example. For example of the workmanship in creating this sword for such as the King and Marie Antoinette we show the keys for the Louis XVI Secretary Desk (Circa 1783) made for Marie-Antoinette by Jean Henri Riesener, one of the worlds finest cabinetmakers, and whose works of furniture are the most valuable in the world. The steel and gold metalwork key for Marie Antoinette's desk, is attributed to Pierre Gouthi?re (1732?1813), the most famous Parisian bronzeworker of the late eighteenth century who became gilder to the king in 1767. This sword bears identical workmanship and style to that magnificent key. This is the quality of sword one might have expected find inscribed upon the blade 'Ex Dono Regis' [given by the King]. Very good condition overall, with natural aged patination throughout. This painting, entitled John Paul Jones and Louis XVI, by the American artist Jean Leon Gerome Ferris depicts John Paul Jones and Benjamin Franklin at the court of Louis XVIth and being presented a similar sword now in US Naval Academy Museum. 39.1/4 inches long overall.
Ideal for duelling or close quarter combat, as well as being a fabulous finest quality sword of immense beauty. Fine cast and chased silver hilt in the elegant roccoco style with double shell guard single knucklebow and pas dans. The grip has silver banding intersperced with herringbone pattern twisted silver wire. The guard has enchanting workmanship with a scrolling, pierced, rococo Arabesque pattern. Colishmarde blade with blackened steel finish. The highly distinctive colishmarde blades appeared in 1680 and were popular during the next 40 years at the royal European courts. The colichemarde bladed swords had a special popularity with the officers of the French and Indian War period. Even George Washington had a very fine one just as this example.
The colichemarde descended from the so-called "transition rapier", which appeared because of a need for a lighter sword, better suited to parrying. It was not so heavy at its point; it was shorter and allowed a limited range of double time moves.The colichemarde in turn appeared as a thrusting blade too and also with a good parrying level, hence the strange, yet successful shape of the blade.
This sword appeared at about the same time as the foil. However the foil was created for practising fencing at court, while the colichemarde was created for dueling. With the appearance of pocket pistols as a self-defense weapon, the colichemardes found an even more extensive use in dueling.
This was achieved thanks to a wide forte (often with several fullers), which then stepped down in width after the fullers ended.The result of this strange shape was a higher maneuverability of the sword: with the weight of the blade concentrated in one's hand it became possible to maneuver the blade at a greater speed and with a higher degree of control, allowing the fencer to place a precise thrust at his/her adversary. This sword is a true work of art, in it's beauty form, quality and balance. One photo in the gallery is of General Burgoyne surrendering his similar gilt sword after the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777. Another portrait of George Washington with his very similar solid silver sword sword
A rare, original, and glorious18th to 19th century legendary "Zulfiqar" [Lord of Cleaving] tulwar, with its distinctive bifurcated blade, covered in it's full length with Islamic script. Inlaid with silver circlets on the iron hilt. The middle eastern equivalent to the legendary British Medieval sword "Excalibur". A very similar sword is shown in W. Egerton's book, Handbook of Indian Arms? Plate XV, item 658. According to the tradition of Islam, the prophet Muhammad had two swords. The first was a straight bladed sword, common to the period, which is now shown in the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul. The second sword is believed to have had a split double ended blade such as this sword. This sword was given to Ali, the prophet's son in law, who fought with it in many great battles and saw great victories. That sword was nicknamed Zulfikar (Lord of cleaving). This sword was lost, and no one exactly knows it's form other than by legend.In legend, the exclamation "la fata illa Ali la sayf illa Du l-Fiqar" is attributed to Muhammad, who is said to have uttered it in the Battle of Uhud in praise of Ali's exploit of splitting the shield and helmet of the strongest Meccan warrior, shattering his own sword in the same stroke. Muhammad is said to then have given his own sword Dhu-l-Fiqar to Ali to replace the broken sword. In another variant, the exclamation is not due to Muhammad but to "a voice on the battlefield", and the sword was given to Ali by archangel Gabriel directly. Many attempts to describe the Zulfikar have been made during the development of Islamic swords. Certainly that there is a possibility that this sword is one of those attempts to create a version of the legendary sword of Ali. By most accounts, Muhammad presented the Zulfiqar to a young ?Ali at the Battle of Uhud. During the battle, ?Ali struck one of the fiercest adversaries, breaking both his helmet and his shield. Seeing this, Muhammad was reported to have said " There is no hero but ?Ali and no sword except Dhu l-Fiqar". Blade cutting edge 78cm, width of blade at the ricasso 4.5cm, bifurcated points 23 cms long. Overall in superb condition for age. No scabbard
With typical traditional officer grade fancy cast hilt, with a shell embossed quillon, acanthus leaf casting to the pommel, knuckle bow and bars, and a finely etched blade, with fabulous natural age patina, etched with the monogram U.S, stands of arms with flags etc., and the usual complimentary acanthus leaf and arabesque scrolling. The hilt still has its original leather binding and, remarkably, part of its original brass wire binding. The scabbard is plain steel with considerable signs of combat use light denting etc. Number stamped 43 twice on the scabbard chape. In common with European officers the American officers often had the swords decorated with gilding & foliage. The most well known of these officers included George Armstrong Custer and J.E.B. Stuart. The Famous Model 1860 Light Cavalry Sabre also had the name of M1862 taken from when the initial 800 were issued saw service with the US cavalry during the American Civil War. It remained in service up to the end of the Indian wars.
Indeed examples remained in service through the Spanish?American War. Its length was approx. 41 inches including a 35 inch x 1inch blade. It had an approx. weight of 2 lb 6oz. The iron scabbard weighed 3 lb 10oz. [weights could change with different makers including Civil War imports such as by Kirschbaum of Solingen] A most famous owner an user of such an officer's US Light Cavalry sword was George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 - June 25, 1876)who was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars.
Custer graduated from West Point in 1861 at the bottom of his class, but as the Civil War was just starting, trained officers were in immediate demand. He worked closely with General McClellan and the future General Pleasonton, both of whom recogniSed his qualities as a cavalry leader, and he was brevetted brigadier general of volunteers at age 23. Only a few days after his promotion, he fought at Gettysburg, where he commanded the Michigan Cavalry Brigade and despite being outnumbered, defeated J. E. B. Stuart's attack at what is now known as the East Cavalry Field. In 1864, Custer served in the Overland Campaign and in Sheridan's army in the Shenandoah Valley, defeating Jubal Early at Cedar Creek. His division blocked the Army of Northern Virginia's final retreat and received the first flag of truce from the Confederates, and Custer was present at Robert E. Lee's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox.
After the war, Custer was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the Regular Army and was sent west to fight in the Indian Wars. On June 25, 1876, while leading the 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana Territory against a coalition of Native American tribes, he was killed along with all of the five companies he led after splitting the regiment into three battalions. This action became romanticiSed as "Custer's Last Stand".
His dramatic end was as controversial as the rest of his career, and reaction to his life and career remains deeply divided. Custer's legend was partly of his own fabrication through his extensive journalism, and perhaps more through the energetic lobbying of his wife Libbie Custer throughout her long widowhood
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