Plates from a 12th or 13th century klivanion (Byzantine armour), estimated £4000-6000 at TimeLine Auctions.

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The 138 iron elements would have been interlaced and attached to an undergarment to form a compact cuirass. The lamellar protection was particularly effective when used by mounted troops as it provided not just protection but enabled free movement due to its loose construction.

This rare survivor comes from a vendor in London and was acquired by his grandfather sometime before the early 1970s. It is guided at £4000-6000 at TimeLine Auctions in Harwich, Essex, on December 5-7.

Secret weapons


Cased pair of 180-bore continental percussion muff pistols, estimated £2000-3000 at Holts.

First fashionable in the 1700s, muff pistols as the name suggest could be concealed in a lady’s muff – or slipped inside a gentleman’s pocket (and gentlemen also used muffs).

Pictured here is a cased pair of 180-bore continental percussion muff pistols of small size, unsigned with no visible serial numbers, but probably French c.1840. They are housed in an embossed leatherette case. At Holts in Norfolk on November 27-28 the estimate is £2000-3000.