Category: royal armouries

Tunisian Sword, 19th Century

An interesting sword type with a wooden hilt, and associated with the Berber peoples of Libya and Tunisia.
Dimensions: The length of the blade is 900 mm, the overall length being 1070 mm. Weight: The weight of the sword is 0.7 kg.
Purchased from the Great Exhibition, 1851.
© Royal Armouries

Intense cavalry training | Sean Bean on Waterloo

Having played the lead role in Sharpe, Sean Bean is perfectly placed to tell the story of Waterloo, one of history’s most decisive battles.

Here, in episode 2, Sean finds out the special techniques and clever tricks the allied cavalry employed in their battle against Napoleon.

Most importantly, he looks at swords!

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Centrefire four-barrelled Large Frame Holster Model Thorn patent pistol by Charles Lancaster, circa 1881

Description

A.A.Thorn Patent oval bore single trigger four barrel pistol. The single-trigger action operates a rotating firing-pin. A side lever operates a dolls head barrel lock on the top of the frame (known as a 1st type locking latch). Plain finish with much original bluing stamped with Birmingham proof marks. The square shaped chequered walnut butt has provision for a rod butt extension and a lanyard-loop. The hinged barrels are bored with Charles Lancaster’s patent oval bores and have open-sights and a German silver foresight. The barrel cluster is fitted with a self-acting extractor star. The assembly number, 22, is stamped on the bottom of the frame.

Notes

In 1878, the firm of Charles Lancaster Gunmakers, previously run by C.W. Lancaster who died in that year, was acquired by Henry A.A. Thorn from his widow. In 1881 Thorn patented an action for two and four barrel guns, he would subsequently use this patent in the manufacture of both shotgun/rifles and pistols. 

The pistols were designed to take a variety of calibres, but in the main they would be for the four barrel pistol .455 and .476 government cartridges and for the two barrel pistol the .577 short Snider or Boxer, they were also fitted with Lancaster’s oval bore rifling.

In all about 712 four barrel pistols and about 234 two barrel versions were produced between 1882 and 1897.

This is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, known examples of Lancaster’s four barreled pistols.

Measurements

Overall Length 11 in.

Overall Length 279 mm

Overall Weight 1.085 kg

Barrel Length 6.25 in.

Barrel Length 160 mm

Calibre .455 in

© Royal Armouries

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British Pattern 1859 Cutlass Bayonet with “Verney’s Catch”

Heavy steel bowl guard with fixing for the bayonet bar and slot for Verney’s scabbard catch. The grip is formed of two scales of pressed chequered leather secured by four pins. The blade is slightly curved and is unfullered. The tip is sharpened on both sides, the back being 12.5 in (318mm) long.
The lether scabbard has polished steel chape and scabbard mouth. Verney’s spring catch is fixed to the left side of the scabard. On the right side is the frog stud.

The catch design was proposed by Lieut. Verney, RN and approved for fitting in the List of Changes (para. 369) on 19 September 1861. This example is likely to be the sealed pattern version. The blade was made in Solingen and accepted as such, the likely maker was Weyersberg Bros.

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“Welsh knife” of the 9th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers, c.1917-18

Of steel with flat oval pommel, pierced by two holes, for the wrist cord (which it retains) with the pointed angular end of the tang projecting beyond; wide tang to serve as the grip (retaining its cord binding); stepped disc hand-guard which can be folded flat.

The broad, double-edged, leaf-shaped blade with a flattened central ‘ridge’ for the last 335 mm (13.2 in.). The ricasso of the blade bears the engraved motto DROS URDDAS CYMRU.

The scabbard has a full width brown leather belt-loop extending from the inside of the mouth and the scabbard itself appears to be made of a cross-woven fabric over card, the whole covered in khaki canvas webbing, with a brown leather chape.

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Iron Mask  17th or 18th Century

Possibly from a scold’s bridle or mask of infamy. A scold’s bridle was an instrument of punishment, as a form of torture and public humiliation. The device was an iron muzzle in an iron framework that enclosed the head. A bridle-bit (or curb-plate), about 2 inches long and 1 inch broad, projected into the mouth and pressed down on top of the tongue. 

The mask of infamy was a torture device used as a form of humiliation. The mask itself caused no physical torture, but the wearer was often chained to a post where he or she was tortured by various members surrounding the scene. The mask would sometimes have a ball, or other type of inner device, to prevent the wailing or screaming of the wearer. The types of masks represented the crime. For example, if the person was considered dirty, he or she would wear the pig shaped mask. It would be locked onto the head for a time determined by the accuser. 

This item was originally displayed as an executioner’s mask alongside a block and axe in the Tower of London.

Arms & Armour (The Journal of the Royal Armouries): 15th Anniversary Collection:

Indian Khanjar, Lahore, 18th Century

The blade is double edged and double curved with a medial ridge on each side and a slightly reinforced point. At the top of the blade on each side is a panel of gold koftgari, one side being more geometric than the other. The hilt is of ivory with rather stylised flowers carved on the quillon block. The block extends on each side and terminates in small bud shaped knops. Above the quillons is a carved collar of eight panels, each enclosing a sytylised flowering plant. The grip is octagonal and plain. The pommel, made of a separate piece, is carved as a lion’s head with the mouth stained red. The scabbard is of wood covered in red velvet and fitted with a gilded chape.

Dimensions: The length of the blade is 220 mm, the overall length of the knife being 330 mm, the length of the scabbard being 268 mm. Weight: The weight of the knife is 0.182 kg, the weight of the scabbard being 0.036 kg.

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British Pattern 1859 Cutlass Bayonet with “Verney’s Catch”

Heavy steel bowl guard with fixing for the bayonet bar and slot for Verney’s scabbard catch. The grip is formed of two scales of pressed chequered leather secured by four pins. The blade is slightly curved and is unfullered. The tip is sharpened on both sides, the back being 12.5 in (318mm) long.
The lether scabbard has polished steel chape and scabbard mouth. Verney’s spring catch is fixed to the left side of the scabard. On the right side is the frog stud.

The catch design was proposed by Lieut. Verney, RN and approved for fitting in the List of Changes (para. 369) on 19 September 1861. This example is likely to be the sealed pattern version. The blade was made in Solingen and accepted as such, the likely maker was Weyersberg Bros.

Blade Length 26.75inches
Blade Length 680mm
Blade Width 1.5inches
Blade Width 38mm
Scabbard Length 28.75inches
Scabbard Length 730mm
Scabbard Weight 0.34kg
Overall Length 32.5inches
Overall Length 825mm
Bayonet Weight 1.095kg
Combined Weight 1.43kg

Pattern 1908 cavalry sword | Royal Armouries: undefined