A pair of silver inlaid miquelet pistols originating from Catalonia, late 17th century.
Sold at Auction: €20,000
A pair of silver inlaid miquelet pistols originating from Catalonia, late 17th century.
Sold at Auction: €20,000
I really don’t have much of an idea. I’ve only seen two auctions for those, one with James A. Julia estimated at $500 - $1000, another with an auctioneer I have never heard of estimated at $1,000 - $2,000.
While this may seem like small numbers, remember that the Becker semi auto revolving shotgun is extremely rare with only 100 made. Most gun collectors probably have no idea they exist.
And for all does wondering what we are talking about, the Becker was a semi automatic revolving shotgun (yes semi auto revolving shotgun) produced in Germany in 1899.
Costumes of the Coronation of Napoleon I, First Emperor of the French, and Consecration of the Empress Josephine
I. Great dress of the Emperor:
The imperial purple velvet coat, dotted with golden bees; in the embroidery are entwined branches of olive, of laurel and of oak that surround the letter N. The lining, the border and the épitoge are in ermine. The open left side of the coat reveals the sword supported by a white satin sash embroidered and trimmed with golden twists; the robe of white satin embroidered with gold on all the seams, the bottom of the robe embroidered and garnished with a golden twist. The tie and the shirt collar are of lace. The gold laurel wreath on his head, the scepter in his right hand, and the “hand of justice” in the left, the Grand Collar of the Order on the épitoge. The white satin cothurnus, embroidered and laced with gold.
II. Undress of the Emperor:
A coat of purple velvet, embroidered with gold and silver; the lining of white satin embroidered with gold on the cuffs and collar. The velvet coat is of the same color, embroidered with gold cobs on the seams; collar and cuffs of white velvet, embroidered in the same way. Black felt hat, topped with white feathers, diamond piping. Tie and shirt collar of lace, the Grand Collar and Grand Cordon of the Legion of Honor; sword enriched with diamonds on the hilt-guard, diamond known as the “Regent”; the white satin sash, embroidered and topped with gold twists, white velvet shoes with satin rosettes, embroidered with gold.
III. Great dress of the Empress:
A coat of purple velvet, sown with golden bees; .in the embroidery, are entwined branches of laurel, of olive and of oak, that surround the letter N. The lining and the border are in ermine. The coat is fastened with a clip, on the belt on the left side. The long-sleeved dress, of silver brocade, strewn with golden bees embroidered on seams … the bottom of the dress, embroidered and trimmed with gold fringes, the bodice and upper sleeves are studded with diamonds. The golden crown, enriched with pearls and colored gemstones, necklace and earrings with engraved gems, surrounded by brilliants, the collar lace in gold lamé.
IV. Undress of the Empress:
The court mantle is in colored velvet with embroidery ten inches tall, and attached to the belt by two clips, the dress with short sleeves is in white satin, embroidered and studded with golden bees; the waist and the slashed sleeves are furnished with diamonds, the collar is in lace; diadem, comb, earrings and necklace are in diamonds.
V. Dress of the Pope:
A cope of golden cloth, embroidered with “bouquets detachés”, lined with colored moire; … the hood and the orfroi are embroidered in the same way, … the ratchet is trimmed with lace; … the tiara is in silvered cloth; … the three crowns and the cross are in gold, enriched with diamonds, pearls and colored gems; … the stole and the slippers are of golden stuff.
VI. Dress of a Princess:
Court dress in white silk, with long-sleeved, embroidered with gold, … Court tail of colored velvet attached to the belt, and it is sown and embroidered with gold, … the collar is of lace; … white feather headdress; … egret, necklace and earrings are of diamonds.
VII. Dress of a Lady of the Palace, carrying the offerings:
Court dress with long sleeves, of satin, embroidered on seams and on the trimming; … court mantle of colored velvet, fastened at the waist; … silver embroidery; … lace collar; … the headdress is of hair and pearls. The tray-cloth is of batiste, embroidered in gold lamé.
All pictures of the coronation are taken from "Livre du sacre de l’Empereur Napoleon" by Isabey, Percier and Fontaine. Text by Frederic Masson. Bibliothèque Nationale, Réserve des Imprimés, Paris.
An interesting find from Wessex Archaeology.
This Saxon gilt button-brooch appears to have a stylized human face (?) in the centre. Similar brooches have been found in other locations across southern England, this particular one was excavated at the Ham Hill Iron Age hillfort.
Why would you put a bayonet on a revolver?
Why wouldn’t you?
I turned the TV to Ancient Aliens just for shits and giggles. They just made the claim that the Blarney stone was imbued with special energies and powers by the aliens.
The Great Soviet Propaganda Plane,
At the time it was the largest and most advanced airplane in history. Designed by Andrei Tupolev, the ANT-20 was a Soviet airplane that pushed the boundaries of aviation. It wingspan was similar to that of a modern day Boeing 747. To power such a massive plane, the ANT-20 utilized eight 900 horsepower engines. It was also the largest airplane made of corrugated sheet metal. Finally it was the first airplane to use both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).
Named after Maxim Gorsky, a popular Soviet writer and founder of the Socialist realism art movement, the ANT-20’s purpose was to spread Stalinist propaganda across the Soviet Union and Europe. To do this, the ANT-20 was equipped with a radio station whose transmitter (called the “voice from the sky”) could override all but the most powerful local radio stations, a printing press that could distribute propaganda leaflets from the air, a library, a photography lab, and a film projector with sound to show movies to the plane’s 75 passengers. It was Stalin’s plan that a whole fleet of such airplanes were to be built, which were to cruise the world’s skies while spreading communist propaganda across the globe.
On May 18th, 1935 the Maxim Gorky made it first demonstration flight over Moscow escorted by two I-5 fighters. While the ANT-20 flew over Moscow spreading Soviet propaganda, the two fighters were to perform a series of dazzling aerial maneuvers around the massive plane. Unfortunately the two planes simultaneously crashed into the Maxim Gorky, sending it plummeting to the ground where it crashed in a residential district near the present day Sokol Metro Station. The crash killed 45 people, including two pilots, all 33 passengers, and ten people who were family members of the airplane’s designers.
After the devastating crash, the Soviet government made a scapegoat of the deceased pilot Blagin, claiming that he had made a reckless maneuver causing the crash and that he had a “cocky disregard of authority.” A year after the fatal crash, a replacement airplane, called the ANT-20bis went into production. It was similar to the Maxim Gorky, but with more powerful engines. In 1942 it likewise crashed when the pilot allowed a passenger to take his seat momentarily and the passenger apparently disengaged the automatic pilot, sending the airplane into a nosedive from an altitude of 1,500 ft and killing all 36 on board.
Stalin’s grand scheme of building a massive fleet of gigantic propaganda planes was scrapped in 1939 after several purges of the Soviet aviation industry resulted in a shortage of qualified engineers.
The German MG-34 General Purpose Machine Gun,
Perhaps the most advanced machine gun design of the 1930’s and early 1940’s, the MG-34 was a new concept of warfare called the general purpose machine gun. During World War I and the post war era, machine guns came in two general classes. Heavy machine guns were large mounted weapons used primarily in defensive roles because of their exceptional firepower and lack of mobility. Light machine guns were made to be man portable, and thus used for offensive actions. However they often lacked the firepower of the heavy machine guns. During World War II, the German Wehrmacht revolutionized warfare by introducing the concept of the general purpose machine gun, a man portable machine gun which also sported exceptional firepower, and thus could be utilized in a number of roles.
The MG-34 was designed in 1934 by Rheinmetall and based on an earlier design called the MG-30. It was first introduced to the German Army in 1936 after Adolf Hitler formally denounced the Versailles Treaty and began the large scale rearmament of the Germany Army. It was also supplied to the fascist government in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. During the 1930’s and throughout World War II, the MG-34 would serve as the primary infantry machine gun of the Wehrmacht. What made the MG-34 truly unique among other machine guns of its era was its incredible firepower at 800 rounds a minute. Most other machine guns of the time, whether light or heavy, could only manage around 500-600 rounds per minute. This combined with its portability gave the common German infantry platoon an incredible amount of firepower. Such high rate of fire was accomplished using an open short recoil action. The MG-34 was both semi and fully automatic, utilizing a special double crescent trigger. The upper trigger fired the weapon in semi auto, the lower trigger fired it in full auto.
The MG-34 was air cooled, but had a detachable barrel which could be quickly switched out in case of overheating. It was chambered for 8x57 Mauser, also the standard infantry rifle round of the Wehrmacht.
The most important aspect of the MG-34 was its versatility as a general purpose machine gun. In different forms it was used in three main roles; as an offensive machine gun, as a light machine gun, and as a heavy machine gun. In its light machine gun form, it was carried by only one man, firing from a 50 or 75 drum magazine. In its light machine gun role, it was operated by two men, firing from an ammunition belt. In a pinch, the MG-34 could even be fired from the back or shoulder of another soldier.
In its heavy machine gun role, the weapon was mounted on a large tripod for added stability, which also included a range finder and telescopic sight. In addition, the MG-34 could be mounted on vehicles and aircraft, or mounted in groups of two or four as light anti-aircraft guns.
Throughout World War II German infantry tactics, both offensive and defense, revolved around the general purpose machine gun, with two or three MG-34’s serving as the backbone of a German platoon, while it was the duty of the other infantry to support the machine guns. Later, an improved version of the MG-34 was introduced called the MG-42. Simpler to mass produce, it had a blistering rate of fire at around 1,200 - 1,500 rounds per minute. As great as it was, German production could not produce enough for wartime demands. As a result the MG-34 remained the most popular general purpose machine gun in the German Army. After World War II, the concept of the general purpose machine gun became a mainstay of almost all modern military’s.