Captain South’s Lorenzoni Pistol

Research into this ‘Lorenzoni’ type repeating flintlock pistol has turned up an interesting (and Christmassy!) human story. The pistol, which belonged to a Captain James South, connects Christmas dinner with chimney sweeping, from Florence, Italy to London. Jonathan Ferguson, Interim Keeper of Firearms & Artillery, explains how.  Ours is not the most obvious collection to have a Christmas association, but believe it or not we have at least one. Captain South’s Pistol It’s a favourite object of mine; a so-called ‘Lorenzoni’ typeRead more

When Christmas was cancelled

From swords to muskets, buff coats to pistols: in preparation for the museum’s ‘Christmas is Cancelled’ event we take a look at some of the most significant objects in the Royal Armouries collection from the British Civil Wars. In part two of this two-part blog series, we take a look at objects from the period, including an armour of Charles I and a sword associated with Charles Worsley.  Objects from the Time The Royal Armouries houses the ‘Littlecote Collection’, the most important surviving armoury of the British CivilRead more

Civil War collection

From swords to muskets, buff coats to pistols: in preparation for the museum’s ‘Christmas is Cancelled’ event we take a look at some of the most significant objects from the British Civil Wars in the Royal Armouries collection and unearth why festivities were outlawed between 1647-1660. Christmas is Cancelled Some of us grumble every year about the increasing commercialisation of Christmas, but would you seriously suggest closing the shops altogether? 360 years ago, in the middle of the British CivilRead more

The writhen hilt sword

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. In this blog post, Assistant Curator Scot Hurst traces the fascinating history of the Writhen Hilt sword, from the hands of two of the world’s most prodigious collectors of art and antiques to the silver screen.  It would be impossible to even begin writing about this hand-and-a-half sword without addressing the obvious talking point. Our eye is instantly drawn to the beautiful, almostRead more

1907 pattern bayonet

The evolution of the 1907 Pattern bayonet was not a single-step event and some wonderful rarities appeared in the process. In this blog post, Peter Smithurst, Curator Emeritus at the Royal Armouries traces the development of the 1907 Pattern bayonet. …Then here’s to the British bay’nit Made of Sheffield steel, And here’s to the men who bore it – Stalwart men and leal… Chorus of ‘The Ballad of the Bayonet’ from “A Yeoman’s Letters,” PT Ross, 1901 Read the full poemRead more

The art of war

Royal Armouries presents an exhibition of First World War paintings on loan from Preston Park Museum and Grounds at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, 11 November 2017 – 29 April 2018. Entry to the museum and exhibition is free. The exhibition focuses on a unique set of watercolours painted by Colonel G.O. Spence, Commander of the 5th Durham Light Infantry, during the First World War. Spence made a great impact as an industrialist, an army officer and mayor. He was also a passionate artist andRead more