Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New publication: The Cromwell Collection

I recently perused a copy of noted researcher and collector Giles Cromwell's new book: The Cromwell Collection: Virginia Weapons and other Materiel of the American Revolution.  The author is a long time Virginia arms researcher and collector who I have the honor of considering a friend. Cromwell's previous work includes his definitive study on the 19th century Virginia Manufactory of Arms (published in 1975) and his excellent (1995) account of the Revolutionary War importation of French Swords for Virginia.

French Grenadier and Artillery of Virginia hangers ca. 1779 from 
Cromwell's French Swords for Virginia (linked above).

The hardbound tome is over 300 pages long and highlights his wide ranging private collection- featuring many full color images and descriptions of 18th century firearms, edged weapons, various militaria, contemporary frontier art, Virginia related ephemera, and excavated artifacts. Of particular interest is the inclusion of dug firearms parts from the Point of Fork arsenal and other Virginia sites that can be used to pinpoint several specific types of arms (numerous pre 1754 French musket sling swivels, an unsigned Potzdam style musket lockplate and etc.). Cromwell's text is well written, and includes supporting information from primary documents, period maps, dig reports, as well as family/dealer provenance from prior sales. Copies of this very informative and well executed book can be obtained here, and will be a welcome addition to the reference library of any 18th century arms enthusiast.