Homage to Napoleon

The month of May marks the 197th anniversary of Napoleon’s death and an opportunity to look at a hidden gem in the Royal Armouries collection. In this blog post, Shannon Kee, placement student at the Royal Armouries Museum, explores the elaborately decorated percussion double-barrelled shotgun, which commemorates the return of Napoleon’s body to France in 1841 and pays homage to his lifetime and legacy. After his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo Napoleon was exiled to the small island of St. Helena in theRead 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

Dangerous Arts

With the release of ‘Dangerous Arts’ the newest publication from the Royal Armouries, we are providing you with the chance to preview a sample of the book. From the earliest times, the finest craftsmen in the world created beautiful objects for their wealthiest patrons. Worn by kings and coveted by emperors, these items not only revealed the owners’ power but also their standing as great connoisseurs of the arts. Dangerous Arts reveals a world that combines art with conflict, deathRead more

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s campaign for better armour on the Western Front

  Part Three: Private Companies Written by Philip Abbot  Archives and Records Manager for the Royal Armouries in Leeds. At least eighteen designs for armour using steel plate, mail and even textiles were manufactured commercially in Britain during the First Word War, and no less than forty patents for helmets and armour were taken out in Britain between 1914 and 1918. It comes as no surprise therefore to learn that Conan Doyle also received letters from a number of private companiesRead more

The Missaglia Breastplate

On 29th June, at the Thomas Del Mar sale, the Royal Armouries purchased a rare breastplate by a famous family of armourers, the Missaglia family. The breastplate is stamped with the armourer’s mark of the Missaglia family: a Lombardic ‘M’ under a split cross on the right shoulder. The Missaglia’s were the foremost armourers of the Middle Ages, working from their famous workshop in Milan. This breastplate was made by Giovanni Angelo Missaglia (recorded 1504-1529), a third generation armourer ofRead more

Meet the Jouster Stacy Van Dolah-Evans

  Age: 40 High: 5’11 Weight: 12.5 stone Armour: Burgundian Export 1475-1490 Motto: Mors Aut Gloria – Death or Glory Jousting: 16 years Strengths: experience in Jousting & Melee. Won the Royal Armouries melee at the Easter Tournament 2015. Weakness: NONE! (Perhaps overconfidence?) Stacy is the producer of the International Tournament of Arundel Castle and also one of England’s finest jousters. Stacy has ridden horses since childhood at a competitive level, and progressed into mounted 15th century cavalry and tournamentRead more