A good clean example of a Victorian crowned 17th Lancers chapska. The skull in excellent undamaged, slightly crazed overall to the finish of the body. Complete with its undamaged white mortarboard top, some mild cracking to the edge of the mortarboard top. The white ribbed sides only showing very minor moth nips. The blue and yellow lace that surrounds the base of the mortarboard sides has faded and matches exactly the faded wool of the yellow and blue pompom, which has its correct skull and crossbones regimental button inset. The helmet is complete with its correct enlisted ranks plume holder and white horsehair plume, which is full length. The helmet is complete with its correct front plate, skull and crossbones below the Royal Coat of Arms with battle honours, which include Central India, South Africa 1879, Sebastopol, Balaklava, Inkerman, Alma. Also with its lion’s head side bosses and full length chin chain. To the interior the helmet is with its correct oilskin and leather lining with an original brown leather insert in the forehead area. To the upper inner mortarboard the leather is stamped with WD mark ‘1902’ with the stamp ‘3 Years’ indicating that the helmet still had three years service left. Out of the 6 regiments of Lancers in the British Army the 17th is the hardest and most desirable to obtain. The motto ‘DEATH OR GLORY’ below the skull and crossbones on the plate.
One of the most attractive cavalry helmets of the late Victorian/early Edwardian era being the 1905 pattern Austrian Dragoon officers helmet. The very thin metallic skull all finished in its original black without any damage, indentations or scratches with its highly impressive fire gilded comb, either side having a raised image of a lion fighting a snake. To the face the double headed FJ1 Austrian double headed eagle plate with its officers chin scales, lion’s head bosses with floriated individual chin scales on their original leather and velvet backing. To the interior the tan leather officers lining with its inner silk tan lining all intact and undamaged. Some minor indentations to the top of the comb. A very difficult helmet to find especially in this condition.
A most magnificent condition officers helmet of the Guard Nationale A Cheval model 1814 to 1830. The silvered skull has toned beautifully over the years with a dark patination, the areas underneath the chin scales where the chin scales have been suspended from their purposely placed hook are still in the original silver colour. All of the other fittings, which includes the Roman style comb, the large front plate, peak trim, unique style chin scales, side bosses all in excellent gilt. The large front plate with the early period French Crown with a white metal Fleur de Lys. All of the original velvet backing to the chin scales are present and have not been replaced. There is no damage or repair to anywhere on the helmet. It is with its original black horse hair bush, its correct white plume with its original white metal plume holder. To the interior the officers liner is all untouched. Over the years some of the French helmets of this age we have had have invariably been in this condition and it never ceases to amaze us how they have stayed in this condition, English helmets of this period are very rarely as good as this.
A 17th century hand beaten lobster tail helmet, which we believe to be possibly Polish or of East European origin. The helmet is complete with its original ear flaps, which have been re-attached to the main body, this is quite a common occurrence with these lobster tail helmets, the leather over the 100’s of years has rotted to the earpieces, sometimes they get lost completely other times they have been successfully replaced and this is such an example. Large size pot with a very large multi plate lobster tail. The skull, as previously mentioned, hand beaten with six seams, the peak and lobster tail fitted to the skull with their original rivets, all the rivets match overall indicating that there have been no replacements. The rivets on the edges of the earpieces match the rivet heads on the main helmet. There is a possibility the spike may have been replaced. Some slight losses to the leather that lines the interior edges of the lobster tail. Complete with its original nasal bar. We have not been able to find any arsenal marks. This is without doubt a period piece and is not a Victorian replacement.
A fabulous condition 1902 to10 period officers lance cap of the famous 17th Lancers. The skin overall to the body has light crazing, no damage to the skull. The white mortarboard top has slight age staining to the edges only, no moth damage. All the gilt lace to the complete helmet is good and bright with its correct heavy bullion intertwined ‘GR’ pompom. The gilt to the lion’s head chin chain retainers good, which matches the gilt to the officers velvet backed chin chain. The double constructed front plate has all the Battle Honours of the 17th Lancers from Central India and the Crimea to South Africa 1900 to 1902 including the famous Battle Honour where the 17th Lancers charged at Balaclava. To the interior the helmet is complete with its Morocco grained leather sweatband, which shows some light wear use and both its attached crimson inner band and its inner crimson lining. Slight remains of the gold block name of the manufacturer to the upper inner crown. The helmet is complete with its officers full length white swan feather plume and its correct officers plume holder.
A very fine example of the model 1849 Russian infantryman’s all leather helmet. The first country to introduce the leather helmet of this height and style was the German States and as fashion follows fashion especially with military uniforms the Russians soon followed and by 1844 had introduced the tall leather helmet. This example being the 1849 model having an excellent all leather skull, good and firm, some slight weakness to the right hand side of the peak where it joins the main body. The rear peak has strong stitching to the main body with what appears to be a small rodent gnaw out of the right hand side of the rear peak. All of its fittings match in brass with the regimental number ‘26’ fitted to a plaque to the lower part of the front plate with the Russian double headed eagle and the Order of St. George to the centre. To the interior the leather sweatband all complete with slight leather rot with its original canvas inner lining with what appears to be a pencil marking of an original wearer’s name to the inner skull, which still retains a lot of its light tan leather colour. It is amazing that a helmet of this age would still be in such good firm displayable condition. We believe that this helmet was sold by the auctioneers Christies and another interesting fact is that we have owned a number of these helmets over the years and as in most things patterns emerge and we recall that a lot of the helmets we have had have either been Regiment 26 or Regiment 36, it would seem that the British forces captured a great many of the helmets from these particular regiments, in fact studying the excellent work Crimean Memories, Artefacts of the Crimean War which is a Schiffer Military History publication, on pages 251 and 255 two examples at least of Regiment 26 helmet plates are shown. The writers of this excellent work comment ‘Helmet plates with the number 26 were quite common in military stores in Sevastopol, as the 13th Division formed a peacetime garrison there. When the city fell these stores became easily obtained trophies for the British and French troops. Comment courtesy of the Duke of Wellington’s Regimental Museum. The number 26 indicates the 26th Bialystok Infantry Regiment or the 26th Lithuanian Jager Regiment.’ An historic piece of headdress.
An excellent condition smooth bore Flintlock trade musket, very similar in style and composition to the Brown Bess musket. The lock on this example is plain and unmarked, Indian Arsenal markings to the butt stock. The wood overall is generally excellent, three brass pipes below the stock, with its original ramrod. The Flintlock action is perfect, with what appears to be its original strap, barrel length 39 inches with English proof marks.
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