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Self-Defence gallery

A sinister looking vampire killing kit containing a wooden mallet and four stakes, bottles of garlic, silver and holy water, a crucifix and bible

The gallery explores the history of personal protection, from the middle ages to the 21st century.

It highlights how these different forms of protection have changed alongside fashions and technological advances.

It also explores the sometimes controversial issues of using weapons for self-defence and also how these feature in popular culture.


  • Chevalier d'Eon's sword - inscribed 'Donne par la Chevalïere d’Eon à son ancïen Ami Geo: Keate Esquïre. 1777'. translated as 'Given by the knightess of Eon to her old friend George Keate Esquire 1777'
  • 'Ball's patent' anti-garotting pistol from Belgium - a belt mounted pistol designed to be fired at close range if attacked from behind.
  • The guns of James Bond - examples of real guns of those featured in the films featuring the character James Bond.
  • A presentation pair of Colt Model 1861 Navy revolvers presented to Mark Firth of Thomas Firth and Sons, Steelmakers, Sheffield. It is inscribed: 'To Mark Firth Esq. from President Colt's PFM Co'. Firth supplied Colt with steel.