CMH Forum

The Basiliscoe Mercury 311

The Basiliscoe Mercury 311

The Internet newsletter for the arms and armour community

Lots of interesting items this week, from DNA testing of the Mary Rose’s crew, work on the early artillery collections of Lisbon, and a plethora of naval stories. And the days are stretching out, too!

Arms and armour in the news

Battles, towers and forts

Warfare in Minoan Crete explored

Update on recent work on Hadrian’s Wall

Popular feature on Hannibal
Hunting round the world and through the ages

Rabbit hunting for Neanderthals

Grave stories

Lots of coverage of the Mary Rose’s crew DNA investigation and its results

Soldier’s graveyard from Revolutionary New York state

Facial recognition software to identify Civil War soldiers – no pictures….

Uncovering a WW2 mass grave in Belarus

Calling in the fashion police…

Arrow-slits and gun-loops

Blairfindy castle re-opens

Update on work on early Jamestown

Leith’s Napoleonic defences uncovered

Going underground at Fort Alcatraz

Cannons to the left, cannon to the right

Another wrought-iron gun found in the fortifications at Hull

Long wrought-iron piece at Culemborg, Netherlands moved to the Dutch Army Museum

Civil War round shot found in Castle Cornet, Guernsey

The intriguing story of Washington’s Long Tom - and a nice photo!

Sri Lanka wants their cannon back

The rather sad state of Colombo’s dilapidated forts and cannon

Living in the past

Romans in Baltimore

A knight in Brooklyn

The swords behind the Iron Throne


Neville’s Cross battlefield under threat from bypass

Well, sword-folk, what do we think of the new Caravaggio?

Glencoe’s story

Princesses and Amazons

More on the Viking women warriors

Mary Queen of scots for the #metoo generation

And Chaucer for the #metoo generation, too…

Nautical news

Viking ship burial found in North Iceland

Long, illustrated piece on an exhibition at The Vietnam National Museum of History on underwater archaeology

Spanish survey of the shipwrecks of the old Spanish empire

Anchor recovery sparks Royal Merchant fever

Finds including Cup from the Palmwood wreck off Texel go on show

And thanks to Nico Brinck for alerting me to this video on the subject

Swedish EICo ship lost off Shetland gains protection

New pictures from the San Jose

Short feature on HMS Sirius and her loss

USS Wasp found in Coral Sea

Italian light cruiser Giovanni Delle Bande Nere sunk in 1942 located

Museum news and exhibitions


Money for curators in the UK for research projects

While Leicester removes all museum curators

The British Museum in WWI

RAF Museum wins a trio of prizes

New museums

Feature on the new museum at Agincourt

Painted Hall re-opens in Greenwich

Museum developments

UK Industrial museums to visit

New thoughts on exhibition design

RAF Museum allows you to bust dams, virtually

Museum musings

UK’s National Army Museum returns hair of king of Ethiopia

Dutch museums start discussions on repatriation of colonial objects

Conservation corner

Moving art


Colonial Williamsburg acquire portrait of Captain Richard Bayly by Joseph Wright of Derby

1818 London panorama goes on display

Search your attics - you may have treasures of Tipu Sultan, worth millions….


Dundee doctor’s collection of Asian artefacts

Verrocchio in Florence

Jodhpur’s treasures in Toronto

Raffles and his collections in Singapore


Neil Melville: The Two-Handed Sword: History, Design and Use

Keith Dowen: Arms and Armour of the English Civil Wars

Martin Pegler: Sniping Rifles on the Eastern Front 1939–45

The National Museum, Sultanate of Oman: The Building and Collections

Aidan Dodson: British Royal Tombs

Online books
Estela Marisa de Matos Marzia: Inventário da artilharia histórica dos séculos XIV a XVI do Museu Militar de Lisboa: bases para uma proposta de salvaguarda e valorização

Ed. Katy Bell: Bridging the Gap in Maritime Archaeology: Working with Professional and Public Communities{99D201F4-CA06-429F-AEEB-8278D8959B97}

Popular culture

Henry Moore and his helmet inspiration

A future for Whitechapel foundry


Diary Dates

19 – 22 April jousting in Leeds


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

Calls for papers

September 2019 Kyoto
ICOMAM 2019 Conference, Kyoto (Japan)

12-13 2019 September 12-13, 2019 Paris
Craftsmen and metalworking in medieval cities: 35 years later

16-17 November 2019 Portsmouth
Wooden Walls and Stone Bastions: Ship and ordnance remains on land and under the sea

Sales, fairs and auctions

Thomas del Mar dates for 2019
25 June & 4 December 2019

Guns for sale

Websites and downloads

Museo del Ejército, Toledo

Hudson Bay Company records being digitalized

Trattati di architettura ingegneria e arte militare

1066 etc: Crusaders, knights and their daughters, and King Alfred

Finally From Brian Godwin, one of the guest curators for exhibition at the BRLSI Bath 29 March - 28 September 2019.
This includes some of the weapons from the Museum’s collection and among the firearms is a rare Colt Navy and an early pair of percussion pistols.

"The weapons I have chosen are fall into 4 main themes: material, decoration, craftsmanship and technology, all of which excite me about the subject. From the earliest times humans made weapons out of simple natural, materials such as wood, stone and bone, to both hunt and to defend themselves. The discovery of metal working led to more sophisticated weapons – swords, armour, and firearms. Each of these weapons demonstrates one or more of these themes, some seemingly quite simple, but all highly crafted and the result of human skill and ingenuity."

This fortnight I will be tweeting pictures from Spain

Compiled by Ruth Rhynas Brown – 22 March 2019

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