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Gentleman's Military Interest Club

Mike McLellan

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Everything posted by Mike McLellan

  1. It would be better with pictures.
  2. Christerd / What a fascinating thread! From beginning to end, the story gets more interesting, and the information that was given to Mira made it all the more exciting. This is one example of why GMIC is the finest site on the whole damn internet! Mike
  3. My dear gentlemen, I wonder if “Fake” is too callous a term for this piece. We know that Bow Street has been the seat of policing for a century and a half. In all that time there has been no strictly adhered-to pattern of official accoutrements or equipment. This thing is woefully ugly. The apparatus on the top, in place of the pattee, resembles a beer-bottle opener; Something that could be quite utile in the keeping of the Queen’s Peace. The wooden handle shows no wear of any kind, although the shaft itself does. Nor does it resemble any wood native to England. Lastly, Bow Street is not within the City of London’s ancient limits. I suspect it’s a souvenir manufactured for who-knows-what market, or to commemorate some occasion that none of us were invited to. The bidding is fairly active, and in the end, we may find that, to at least one collector, this “Holy Grail” will find a place of honor in his collection. None of us were born experts. We learned what we know the same way the high bidder is going to gain a little bit of expertise. I hope he thinks it’s a bargain. Mike (Been there / Done that) McLellan
  4. Beautiful. I’ve never seen one before. When Professor Google called it a “gold medal”, was he refering to the colour or the content of the metal? Very nice, indeed! Mike
  5. Mazel Tov! It doesn’t happen often. But when it does, it’s sweet!
  6. What a cool picture! My over-active imagination suggests at least three men (prisoners?) under the watchful eye of that stern looking gent just out of focal range. That gun looks brand spanking new. If we rule out Somali pirates, that leaves...uh... anyone...anyone? Very cool picture. Mike.
  7. Good morning Alan. If you ask the moderators to move your inquiry to the “Mervyn Mitton Police” forum, I’m sure that you will attract the attention of some of the experts who haunt that forum. There is a wealth of historical information within the membership. I’m certain that they will be eager to assist you. Mike.
  8. Kevin and Dave, Thanks for the interesting bit of history. Very nice reading. Mike.
  9. Great story and photo. It appears that the lance is his primary weapon with rifle being present “just in case”. A formidable adversary either way.
  10. OGIII to a Baker

    Great story. Thanks for sharing.
  11. Madrazo, kings of Spain and military portraits

    Absolutely breathtaking! When I look closely at works of this caliber, I’m left speechless. Beautiful.
  12. Terrific reading. Thanks for posting. Mike
  13. In his description of the shown rattle, the seller, from England, wasn't sure of its origin or what to call it. He wrote that it was quite load and perhaps it was used as a fire or police alarm or used to scare birds away. In fact, on the customs declaration, he wrote, "Bird Scarer". It is very similar to the watchman's rattle shown in Mervyn Mitton's extraordinary book in several ways. An examination of it suggests, by the patina, tool marks. and fastening devices, that it is quite old. There is a hole in the body that approximates the location of the turning knob in Mervyn's book. I would like to believe that it is. in fact, an early rattle with a policing connection, and I'm leaning that way. It's pictured along side a Parker, Field ( 59 Leman St E) rattle in my small collection for comparison. My question to the experts of this fine forum; Would I be justified in believing that this rattle is the "real deal", or should I face reality and take it outside and scare some birds way? Thanks for any comments, Mike.
  14. As long as we're still riveted to the exciting world of old police rattles, allow me to show you another from my collection. There is no maker's mark on it, but it appears quite similar to the Parker Field rattles. It predates the folding handle and is about a half-inch shorter. There is no crow's foot stamp, but if you squint your eyes just right, and with optimal lighting, you can make out an "S", a "0", and maybe an "E", "F", or perhaps an "X". Under these is the number 9 (maybe). The lead inserts, I think, indicate police use, but I suppose that that's just a wildly baseless assumption on my part. I don't know why I'm drawn to these old rattles. Maybe their absence of technology is a refreshing respite from a world that pretty much leaves me in the dust. At any rate, I really do like these old things! Cheers, Mike.
  15. Beautiful! Displays like yours add volumes to the lexicon of police history. What other treasures do you have? Can you show some close-up photos of the uniform components (badges, whistle, truncheon, etc.)? Really, really nice. Thanks for letting us see your collection. Where did you get all that stuff? Mike.
  16. Beautiful! They look as though they were carefully stored in a socks drawer for the last hundred years! Mike.
  17. Well? What did you find out from the Heritage Centre? I'm willing to bet that your truncheon was used by the Metropolitan Police, and not associated with any dockyard agency. In his book on truncheons, Alan Cook reminds us that the Defense Ministry inspected as much of the Met's equipment that they could lay their hands on in 1884, and left the ubiquitous WD Broad-Arrow stamp on everything. This thread is four years old now. What else have you scored for your collection. Let's have some more pictures! Mike.
  18. It's disappointing to note that the photos of PeterMc's pre-harp RIC rattle have disappeared. His is probably the coolest policeman's rattle in existence! I hope he can re-post his photos as everybody needs to see this rattle! It's a real beauty. Better yet, he should sell it to me and I'll post the photos. Anyway, I have a new rattle that I'd like to show you. It's a Parker, Field item, and I'm sure it was delivered to the Metropolitan Police in 1883. The firm, Parker Field moved from their shop at 233 Holborn in 1877, and moved again from Lehman St. in 1883 to Tavistock Street. Alan Cook reminds us in his book on truncheons, that the Defense Ministry Ordnance Board inspected the Metropolitan Police equipment in 1884, leaving their broad-arrow WD mark as proof. We also know, with some certainty, that in February of 1884, the Metropolitan Police received their first consignment of 21,000 General Purpose Whistles. With the introduction of the police whistle, the rattles, which served policemen, constables, and the watchmen from the seventeenth century, were deemed obsolete, Although reincarnated in 1939 as an all-clear signal as needed by the ARP and again later to supplement the din at football games, the rattle became an historical curiosity. This rattle, despite being 133 years old, is in brand, spanking new condition.
  19. What a fine story. The gallantry of individual soldiers and the sacrifices that they made magnify, in retrospect, the horrible folly of war. All soldiers deserve our tribute. Thanks for sharing the story and photo. Mike.
  20. Help identifying

    Honor cross (Hindenburg) combatant & Kaiser Karl's Troop Cross WWl. (?) Welcome to the forum. I'm not one of the experts on medals here. I just happen to be awake at this ungodly hour (4:40 am).
  21. Display Eagles

    Don't forget Waterloo medals. Just kidding. Simply amazing work. Your posts (with pictures, of course) are among my favorites. Your artistry is unbelievable. Keep it coming. Mike.
  22. French Aux Heros De Fachoda Medal information please

    Don't know anything about the medal, but the ribbon strongly resembles the Crimea Medals of 1855(?).
  23. Nothing seems to elude you for very long! Beautiful collection. Thanks for sharing. Mike
  24. Without the benefit of a cup of coffee, a clear head, or any knowledge whatsoever, I'd have to guess that it is an unofficial representation of "Hermes'" wings. Maybe to commemorate service on the aircraft carrier?