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The Basiliscoe Mercury 303

The Basiliscoe Mercury 303

The Internet newsletter for the arms and armour community

Already the nights are drawing in, the clocks have gone back, the first frost has arrived and it is the annual Hallowe’en Bazzy already. Ghoulish stories seem to have crept into every section; I particularly recommend the Titanic and the Curse if the Mummy - no doubt coming to big and small screens soon… Long may you dook for your apples!

Arms and armour in the news

Ancient arms and forts

Prehistoric tools made from antlers found in Scotland

New Mycenaean-era fortress found in South Bulgaria

Byzantine tower in Istanbul collapses

Investigating the Picts
Hunting round the world and through the ages

Fishing farming in ancient times

Grave stories

More on the Jerusalem massacres

Sir Walter Raleigh and the head-in-the-bag (well, it is almost Hallowe’en)

Through the gunloop…

New discoveries at Čičva castle, eastern Slovakia (gunloops AND vampires!)

If ever you wanted to buy an island fortress, complete with artillery…

…and a nice piece about a visit there

Nice illustrated piece on Fort Ostenburg, Sri Lanka - pictures of cannon!

Cannons to the left, cannon to the right

Repainting Tufts University cannon

Conserving a 1920 cannon

Living in the past

That sword in your car may not legal…

Re-enacting 1066

Simple ides for medieval costume

Café Basiliscoe: this week’s snacks



Miscellany - mainly weapons

How the crossbow changed the world

Short piece on the longbow at Agincourt

What’s coming out of the glaciers goes on show in Sion

Into the 20th century

Touching piece about five families remembering World War I

Kipling’s response to the loss of his son

Papers of TE Lawrence find a home

A visit to Verdun

Nautical news

Update on the Black Sea findings

Viking ship found buried in Ostefold

Medieval ship found in Enköping

Selection of finds from HMS London

Two Danish slave-ships from 1710 found in Caribbean

Update on the Mentor lost 1802

Conserving the ships’ figureheads for Plymouth

Titanic and the Mummy’s Curse

Museum news and exhibitions


New Director at the Fitzwilliam

New museums

National Museum of Syria re-opens

St Fagans re-opens

Nigeria prepares for the return of looted art

But Southend scraps its proposed new museum

Museum developments

Trying to improve your exhibition programme

Museum musings

Reviving the Monuments Men

Conservation corner

Fascinating story about sticking together three Frans Hals portraits into one!

Watch the Night Watch being conserved


Historic Ardgour gunpowder horn on show at new V&A

Louvre Abu Dhabi buy samurai armour

French flag captured by Nelson goes on show in Norwich


Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms in London

Recreating Strawberry Hill

Playing with pirates in London

Burne-Jones in London

Manuscript treasures in Dublin

Italian women artists in Ghent

Family treasures at Leuven

Florentine paintings in Munich

The long view - tracing the history of war in Vienna

Bartolomé Bermejo in Madrid

Frans Hals portraits at Toledo, Ohio

Napoleon’s court in Kansas City

Jodhpur in Seattle


Alfred Geibig; Gebt Feuer! Ready to Fire!

Pests in Houses Great and Small (the real stuff of nightmares - moths & mice!)

Recent books reviewed

Books from Les Invalides

Medieval Warfare Magazine

Online book

MR James: ‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’

Popular culture

Ghost stories from English Heritage, inspired by their properties

Medieval films

Zombies and war films - you knew it was going to happen

Clooney goes coffee hunting in armour

Knotted guns - I think it is a thing now…


Diary Dates

10 May 2019 Leeds
The heart of the art of combat - Exploring medieval manuscript I.33

Sales, fairs and auctions

November dates for Hermann Historica

Websites and downloads


Veste Coburg’s new website

Historic ships in Copenhagen

1066 etc: Medieval rebellions, Templars & Kingly horsemanship


All the best ghost stories come from Scotland and The National Trust for Scotland has put together a number of themed stories about spooky happenings round their castles and other properties


This fortnight we tweeted on visits to East Anglian castles, cannons and effigies…

Compiled by Ruth Rhynas Brown – 30 October 2018

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