Chinese Trophies. Source: The Illustrated London News (6 January 1844): 8. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

A very interesting collection of military weapons, taken during the Chinese war by the gallant crew of her Majesty’s steamer Nemesis, Commander Hall, has recently been presented to her Majesty at Windsor by the officers of the ressel, and are now, by the gracious permission of her Majesty, in the course of exhibition to the private visitors of the Castle. By express command we have been favoured with an opportunity of drawing them, and they are copied in the accompanying engravings. These “celestial” trophies are very superior in their proportions, workmanship, and adaptation to the purposes of offensive warfare—for John Chinaman, in the simplicity of his valorous arrangements, seldom dreams of making defensive preparations; and they exemplify in a curious manner the comparatively accelerated growth of a semi-civilized people in the belligerent arts, in preference to those of a more peaceful character. One of the swords and several of the guns might almost be taken for European productions, and to not a few political alarmists they will without doubt suggest a host of Russian associations. The collection comprises several very elegant matchlocks, of the lengths of 5 feet, 5 feet 11 inches, and 6 feet 6 inches; a blunderbuss 4 feet in length, and a cannon 2 feet 8 inches, both constructed in the manner of the ringed guns of the time of Edward III.; a number of pike-like swords, from 4 to 6 feet in length, fitted with banded or indented handles for securing the weapons a steady grasp; and some straight swords, with double edges and modern guards. In these weapons, the “sights,” matches, rests, slings, temper, edge, &c., exhibit considerable practical knowledge of the arts of gunnery and the use of the sword.

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Chinese Trophies at Windsor Castle.” The Illustrated London News I, No. 27 (6 January 1844): 8. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 4 December 2015. The text above was created from the web version with ABBYY FineReader. — George P. Landow

Last modified 9 December 2015