These pages display a number of the rare items that I have had the pleasure of selling. To view more details and a larger photograph please click on the thumbnail picture.
Regency Period 8th Regt of Foot Officer\'s Shoul
The 8th Foot was one of Britain's finest line Regiments that fought during the Napoleonic Wars both in Spain and North America in 1812. One of the Battalions served in the Caribbean and was dispatched to Canada to face the United States attempt to seize the fledgling colony. The Regiment served in most of the critical battles of the War including York, Fort George, Stony Creek, Chippewa, Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie. This is a fine example of an Officer's belt plate of the period worn on the chest holding the sword shoulder belt together and in place, retaining its gilt finish and parts with its added silver insignia, including the battle honors from that era. This particular design is not found in Parkin's Book on Buttons and Belt Plates of the British Army, but it is definitely a cross over between the one issued during the war and the one described in the book for 1830. Likely worn during the Regency era under King George IV 1816 to 1830. The Regiment did not do much in this period of peace in the 1820s, but certainly a beautiful item representing the deeds of the regiment only a few years before this was made. The patina and the construction of the hooks are typical of a plate from this era.
No2 Construction Bn CEF cap badge
The No. 2 Construction Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) — also known as the Black Battalion — was authorized on 5 July 1916, during the First World War. It was a segregated non-combatant unit recruited mostly from Nova Scotia, the first and only all-Black battalion in Canadian military history. Although it was not a front line unit, it did see service in France and Flanders and played an important role for the Canadian Corps. The black population was relatively small in Canada and was focused in certain communities along the border. These folks were decedents of those lucky enough to escape slavery in the underground railroad prior to the civil war. Blacks in Canada faced discrimination from the system and many were either turned away or placed in the aforementioned Bn, but unlike the US, the policy was not consistent and many managed to be recruited locally into non segregated units along with other immigrants. First nations soldiers, Japanese, Chinese and others managed to be recruited into front line regiments. The policy of segregation was not as deliberate as it was in the US. COs probably had a say in manning and units like the Canadian Scottish 16th Bn had more diversity than other units. Period paintings and photographs show proof of this fact. Some of these front line soldiers saw extensive action, some put up for decorations for gallantry, but denied by the chain of command. They did, however, get the standard campaign medals. Nice patina and original lugs.
1803 Light Infantry Sword
For the most part the British Infantry used a blade known as a Spadroon. The first of these to be an established pattern was introduced in 1788 and its design was further refined to the pattern 1796 Line Officer Sword. These were not government issue, but an approved pattern of sword by the Army used by the Infantry and Foot Artillery and were purchased from well established blade smiths in England by the officers themselves. The pattern remained in service until 1821. However, during the Napoleonic wars Officers of the Flank Companies of British Line Regiments often purchased their own unapproved curved sabers for use in battle. As a result the Government approved the pattern 1803 saber for Grenadier and Light Infantry within the line regiments. The blade shape can vary in curvature, length, grip and refined details, but for the most part were based on the standard model offered here with a shorter blade than the Cavalry version. This example has its original leather scabbard with brass gilt fittings, two strap rings and leather scabbard stud. The gilt has worn off the fittings and the frog stud is intact, the leather is in good shape retaining its black finish, but some stitching has come loose along the seam. The leather remains supple, the internal wood sleeve still functional. The blade has a subtle curve to it and has no etching, bluing or gilt finish. It is a plain steel fighting blade. The brass hilt has lost most of its gilding and the leather grip is in good condition with its wire wrap. A classic sword of the period that would have been carried by British regular Flank Officers during the Napoleonic Wars.
Custom 1796 Light Cavalry Officer\'s Sword by Pr
This is an interesting variant to the standard 1796 Light Cavalry Sabre made by Prosser. John Prosser was appointed Sword Cutler and Beltmaker to King George III in 1795 and to King George IV in 1827. The blade has a very slight curve compared to the standard pattern of this sword type, probably to fit the custom scabbard. The blade is etched, missing its blue and gilt finish with typical aged wear, pitting and dark patina. It has not been cut down at all and fits the unusual leather scabbard well. The hilt is gilded brass, instead of the typical steel hilt. and has an added bar to the pommel in addition to its standard stirrup hilt with an etched border. The leather grip is in good condition with its wire wrap. The black leather scabbard is boxed in a gilded brass reinforced frame giving the scabbard strength and a unique look reminiscent of the French Hussar style. The maker marked scabbard retains its two rings for sword slings and has an added stud for carry on a cross belt. Most of the gilt finish is about 40%, leaving most surfaces exposed brass finish. A unique example of the standard blade made by a well known maker, likely custom made for an Officer in a Yeomanry Volunteer unit. It is probably late 1700s with the Yeomanry still using shoulder belts at that time.
NMWP .476 Cal Mk II Enfield DA Pistol 1882 - 1905
The North West Mounted Police (NWMP) were raised in 1873 and were first issued with the Adams Revolver. The Force was not pleased with this firearm and spent years trying to find a replacement. In 1882 the Force finally sourced 1079 MkII Enfield DA Pistols and brought them into general service. The pistol offered here has serial number 5359 confirmed In Klancher's book "Arms and Accoutrement of the Mounted Police" as an original issue to the NWMP. Further, the pistol grip is engraved on the left side "NWMP" with rack number "21". This particular example rates a 2 as an antique and is well marked with crisp maker label, inspector marks and serial number. The engraved NWMP is worn, but the wood grip is tight and has its original finish with only minor surface dents and scratches. The 5.25" Barrel is clean, no pitting and clear rifling with normal service wear. The Body has typical wear to the finish leaving about 60% blue finish. The Action is tight and functional, and the break mechanism is operational. An overall good example of an early issue pistol to the force used in its most romantic and adventurous era of service in the North West Frontier, Canada's wild west. This is the model of firearm that would have been used during the North West Rebellion. The history behind this particular firearm based on its serial number is as follows: On charge to “E” Division (Calgary) on February 13, 1894. On charge to “E” Division (Calgary) on January 25, 1897. On August 10, 1904, it was shown as issued to Regimental Number 3859, Cst. J. A. Mousseau of Dominion Detachment, Yukon On October 8, 1904, it was shown on the inventory of Dominion Detachment. Joseph Alfred Marie Mousseau served in the NWMP and RNWMP for a five year term, from April 21, 1902 until April 20, 1907. At the time he took his discharge, he held the rank of Acting Corporal. the 1896 Yukon Gold Rush ended in 1899, but forever changed the region. With the new population in the territory the RNWMP were charge with maintaining law and order in the region during and long after the rush. A fine addition to any Mountie collection.
TORONTO POLICE FORCE Antique WEBLEY RIC No. 1 Revo
Offered here is a fine example of an antique Webley RIC No. 1 Revolver, marked "T.P.F." for the Toronto Police Force. These pistols were made in England circa the late 1800s and adopted for the Royal Irish Constabulary, hence the R.IC. reference and stamp. It would become extremely popular and was adopted by law enforcement and even civilians all over the world. It was a double & single action revolver that was relatively compact and came in several different configurations. This example is chambered in .442 center fire (CF), with a barrel length of 3-5/8 inches. It is marked officially to the Toronto Police Force, engraved “T.P.F.” on the left side of the frame, under which is stamped a rack number or inventory number, possibly with the issued officer's number 535. The Webley company trademark is located under this number with “WEBLEY’S R.I.C. .442 CF” with the serial number 101963 below. Each of the cylinder flutes is proofed along with the barrel. Lovely 80% blue finish with a handsome patterned wood grip. The overall condition is very good. The action is strong, however there is some movement in the cylinder. The bore is bright with sharp rifling. This is a seldom seen firearm of Canadian police history issued in the forces infancy in the Victorian era. This is an antique and not a reproduction. It does not require a license or carry permit.
1876 Officer\'s Binocular Case with Binoculars
Offered here is one of the rarest pieces of NWMP kit. The set includes the pouch with Officers gilt badge and shoulder belt all in lacquered black leather with adjustable brass shoulder buckle. There is a set of old binoculars that fit the pouch, but they are in rough shape with black body wrap peeling, marked by a French maker as was the case for Officer private purchase optics. The badge is anchored properly with its original nuts and has a distinct foot print into the leather surface suggesting it has been there forever. The gilt leafed anchors on either side of the pouch should have two swivel loops to feed the shoulder belt though to wear on the left shoulder, the binocular case resting on the lower back. The case lid is secured shut with a securing strap buttoned to contain the binos in their pouch when riding or running. It is worn mounted or dismounted, set comfortably to allow it to drop to the side for ease of access to the optics. There are a few issues with this example, first the leather is cracked and blistered a bit from poor storage and climate controls, secondly the one swivel is missing off the right side anchor not allowing the shoulder strap to carry the pouch, but will display nicely in a cabinet. A jeweler or specialist maybe able to manufacture the part to replace it as a restoration. Lastly, the leather tab meant to hold the lid shut is torn at the button hole and the red liner is no longer tight to the body of the inside of the pouch, needing some conservation. This example is priced accordingly. A very hard piece of kit to find and an acceptable, rare, example.
Gunner E. Armstrong - Welland Canal Field Battery
This is a rare Fenian Raid medal group that includes the CGS Fenian Raid medal with 1866 bar and the silver Welland County medal named in the recipients honor. The grouping includes copies of news paper clippings, the original box for the CGS medal, a veterans medal and a funeral ribbon worn for one of the Gunner's comrades. Gunner Edward Armstrong served under Maj RS King March to June 1866 at Fort Erie. He was in battle at Fort Erie and was taken Prisoner by the Fenians. His medal #14147 was sent to his Address in Port Colbourne June 19, 1902. Includes his Commemorative Veterans medal. Everyone looks for the Ridgeway medals, but few know about the Fort Erie engagement. During the raid the Fenians set up base camp and HQs in what is today Fort Erie. From there the main column marched Northeast and ran into the Canadian Militia Column at Ridgeway. Along the Niagara River a gunboat manned by the Dunnville Naval Company and members of the Welland Battery travelled to Fort Erie gathering POWs along the banks. The little force of 77 soldiers and sailors had captured about 54 and soon entered Fort Erie running right into the retreating Fenian Column from Ridgeway. A massive firefight ensued and the little force found itself up against 400 plus Fenians. After making a controlled withdrawal from the town into a small wooden building they fought off the Fenians until they ran out of ammunition and were taken prisoner. The small force suffered 4 dead, 16 wounded and 54 were captured. The Fenian were soon routed by Peackocks Column coming from the East, with the Fenians scrambling across the river, only to be arrested on the opposing shore by US authorities. Those captured by the Canadian Militia were sent to Toronto and put on trial. The Veteran Fenian leadership latter praised the Welland and Dunnville force for the stellar stand they made being out numbered by close to 800 Fenians. The local community was so proud of the little force, they commissioned a silver medal under the Welland County name for presentation to all 73 survivors. They were issued as medals with red ribbons. This example offered here was converted into a broach. The CGS is a fine example, with good patina, the Welland silver medal broach pin is broken, but the medal is named. A rare find for a very hard fought engagement by a brave little force of Canadian Militia from the local area.
LCol HJ Grasett 10th Royal Grenadiers
Lieutenant-Colonel Henry James Grasett CMG (June 18, 1847 – September 30, 1930) was a Canadian army and militia officer, and a Toronto police chief. He is the longest-serving police chief in the history of the Toronto Police, having served for 34 years from 1886 to 1920 as Chief Constable. Grasett was the third son of the Reverend Henry James Grasett, the Rector of St. James Cathedral in Toronto, and Sarah Maria Stewart. He was educated at a Toronto private school and at Leamington College for Boys in England. At 19, he returned to Canada and joined the Canadian militia. He fought on the Niagara Peninsula during the Fenian raid of 1866 with the 2nd Battalion, Volunteer Militia Rifles of Toronto (QOR), In 1867, he joined the British Army serving with The Royal Canadian Regiment 100th Foot in Canada and England and rose to the rank of lieutenant by the time he retired to Toronto in 1875, where he became a partner in a firm of shipping and commission merchants. In 1885, he was given the rank of lieutenant colonel in the militia and put in command of the 10th Battalion Royal Grenadiers which fought in several battles during the North-West Rebellion of 1885, including the charge at Batoche. On December 1, 1886, Grasett was appointed Chief Constable of Toronto. During his command of the Toronto Police he saw the force grow from 172 to 662 men. Under Grasett, the police remained largely British and Protestant in composition. Patrolmen were armed for the first time under Grasett. He also oversaw innovations such as the institution of an electric call box and signal system, patrol wagons, bicycles, motorcycles and ultimately police cars and also reorganized the morality squad and department of detectives. Training and promotion was modelled on the military. Grasett served as vice-president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 1902 and as president of the Chief Constables' Association of Canada in 1906. Unlike previous Toronto chief constables, Grasett largely refrained from making controversial public statements except during World War I when he spoke out against foreigners in Toronto and banned outdoor anti-conscription meetings. He was appointed to the Order of St Michael and St George in 1916 for his contributions to the war effort. In 1918, dissatisfied with wages, discipline and work conditions, Toronto police constables unionized, joined the Toronto Trades and Labour Council, and went on strike. At the provincial commission that was created to investigate the unrest, Grasett expressed his opposition to one of the union's key demands, promotion by seniority. Grasett retired as chief constable in 1920, at the age of 73. He died of pneumonia at his home in 1930 and was buried in St James' Cemetery. This group is very rare and important group with significant history both military and police regarding Toronto and its contributions to service and growth as a city. The medals are very fine condition and the CMG comes with its original case.