Category: 19th century

North African Dagger with Possible Connections to Gordon of Khartoum

A low quality late 19th century North African / Arabic dagger with two piece horn handle, double edged blade with stuck decoration to the top section. Cloth covered wooden scabbard with white metal fittings having patterned relief. Accompanying the dagger is a very interesting letter written by a Louise Erskine of 9 Cheriton Place Folkestone, believed to date from 1935, in which she writes that this dagger was given to a member of her family by the eldest nephew of General Gordon, and was amongst General Gordons possessions when he died, “When their uncle General Gordon died all his belongings were packed in cases & some came to our house to store”, “Donald Gordon the eldest nephew came & unpacked some of them, my sister was mad about curios so Donald said, here you are, who knows if this was used to assassinate uncle Charlie with”. The letter goes on to describe other items which they were given by the family of the late General Gordon. Accompanying the two items are various other written items of provenance and history which indicates the items, along with the other items mentioned in the letter, were removed by a house clearance firm from the attic rooms of Harewood House, Yorkshire, under the instructions of Lord Harewood, the Queens cousin. A very interesting item which could possibly tell an interesting story and was without doubt owned by one of the most famous personalities of the Victorian era. Major-General Charles George Gordon CB, known more famously as Gordon of Khartoum, was a Military officer who made a name for himself firstly in China in the 1860’s. He was instrumental in putting down the Taiping Rebellion. After service with the Military, he entered the service of the Khedive of Egypt in 1873 and later became the governor general of the Sudan. He returned to England in 1880. When the revolt in the Sudan broke out, led by the Islamic leader and self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, Gordon was once again sent to the Sudan, to evacuate from Khartoum loyal soldiers and civilians, once he managed to evacuate about 2,500 civilians, he ignored his orders and remained in Khartoum with a force of soldiers and non-military men. He held out the besieged city for almost a year, it was this heroic actions that gave him the publicity back in the UK. The government at the time was not pleased with the situation they felt that Gordon had got them in and reluctantly sent a relief force to Khartoum, however this arrived too late, the Mahdi’s men had finally taken the city and Gordon had been killed in action on the steps of the Governor Generals Palace. The image of his death is immortalised in the painting by George William Joy, titled General Gordons Last Stand. It is believed that the Mahdi’s men cut off the head of General Gordon and took it back to the Mahdi as a prize, his body was then desecrated and thrown down a well. It is said that “the head transfixed between the branches of a tree, where all who passed it could look in disdain, children could throw stones at it and the hawks of the desert could sweep and circle above”. General Gordon was a prominent figure in Kent, he commanded the Royal Engineers in Gravesend, he was responsible for the erecting of forts to defend the River Thames. He was also heavily involved in charity work in the town. A statue of Gordon proudly stands in the Gordon Gardens, as does a statue of him at the Royal Engineers barracks in Gillingham.

Kaskara, 19th Century

Straight double edge blade, iron cross piece, grip partly covered with embossed sheet silver, leather pommel. Blade 35.5”.

British Pattern 1822 Infantry Officer’s Sword with Coat of Arms of Spain

Perhaps dating to the First Carlist War? Britain sent volunteer and regular Army forces to oppose the Carlist army.

“Fantasie” French Officers M1882 Sword, “Préval” Smallsword Blade

This antique example of the French 1882 style Infantry Officers sword has an unusual, non-regulation blade. It is hollow ground triangular in cross-section, and is known as a Préval blade, named after General Claude Antoine de Préval, who trialed a similar style of blade in the 1830s as he believed it made sense from a cavalry perspective, being light, strong and very stiff.

The guard is also non-regulation. It is made of steel, instead of the standard German Silver (a white bronze alloy). It also has reinforcing ribs, unlike the regulation variant. It also has 1 extra outer sidebar and two inner bars.

It is marked Coulaux & cie, Klingenthal.

This style of Saumur hilt, combined with various unique blades, were often used by Zouave and Chasseur d’ Afrique regiments from around 1855 onward, and formed the basis on which the 1882 hilt was eventually built.

French Model 1829 Mounted Artillery Sword

I used to have one of these in much worse condition. They are really nice swords with excellent handling.

European Sword Stick, Late 19th Century or Early 20th Century

A sword stick, late 19th/early 20th century, the grip well carved in the form of a dogs head with painted nose and mouth and inset glass eyes, upon a bamboo body with horn ferrule enclosing a cross form blade indistinctly struck “NUTT”. Blade 67.5 cm, 97 cm overall.

Omani Kattara, 19th Century

A good 19th century Omani sword kattara from Zanzibar. Broad straight DE blade 77 cm cut with a short shallow fuller, leather grip entirely covered with woven silver tape and wire, tall silver pommel, in its leather covered scabbard with decorative string work, fitted with silver chape and twin hanging bands chiselled with flowering foliage en suite (locket missing). Note: See Elgood 1994 pl.2.16 for a similar example; and ibid. p.2 et seq. for a discussion of the history of Omani possessions on the African coast and their significance to Omani arms production.


Egyptian Cavalry Sword by Wilkinson Sword Co.

Sort of a British sword and sort of not! This is one of the rarest Wilkinson troopers’ swords you can find – made on contract for the Egyptian Army when it was under British control, some time at the end of the 19th century. Sword collectors will instantly recognise the shape as that of a French M1822 light cavalry sabre, which the Egyptians wanted for their cavalry – so Wilkinson made them. This is one of the only ways that you’ll get a French/US styled cavalry trooper’s sword made by Wilkinson and this example is in wonderful condition. The blade is perfect, like new. The maker’s mark is crisp. The hilt is rock solid and in equally great condition. The brass is aged, but perfect. The shark skin is 100% perfect. The grip wire is all there and tight.

French Egyptian Sword with British History – Tel el Kebir 1882

An unusual and historically interesting antique sword – a French 1822 sabre with Egyptian and British connections.

Egypt began importing French swords and weapons under the rule of Muhammad Ali Pasha.

European Sword Stick, c.1900

Straight, sharpened blade of square section. White metal ring-nut, wooden, lacquered grip, with silver pommel, engraved with rinceaux and with monogram on the back. Wooden, lacquered scabbard with brass and iron foot. Total length 91.7 cm. length 70 cm.