Basiliscoe offers a consultancy service for museums, heritage organizations and individuals on all aspects of arms and armour with a particular specialism in artillery.

We are Ruth Rhynas Brown and Kay Douglas Smith. Both of us formerly worked for the Royal Armouries, at the Tower of London and in Leeds.

Ruth Brown is internationally known for her work on artillery from the 16th century to 1850. She is the compiler of the Basiliscoe Mercury, a twice monthly internet newsletter for the arms and armour community, for which she was awarded the Arms and Armour’s Society’s medal “In recognition of distinguished service to the arms and armour community”. She has published and lectured widely on historic artillery.

Kay Smith specialises in artillery from earliest times till 1600 and has a particular interest in early gunpowder. She has a background in conservation and regularly advises on arms and armour in general. She is the author of a number of books on artillery and conservation topics.

  • We can help in many ways – from conservation surveys to identification and cataloguing of artefacts. We identify individual pieces of artillery, carry out historical research, and advise on care, maintenance and display of objects.

Our particular speciality is artillery from the earliest times up to the mid-19th century We have over thirty years of research on artillery and can help on a wide range of areas, for example Identification; research; publication; cataloguing; conservation and routine care; mounting and display

  • We offer a specialist service in writing and fully illustrated reports on historic artillery
  • We offer lectures on the history of artillery and on a specific aspect of this, as well as more general arms and armour.
  • We are active on social media on Twitter and Facebook.
  • We have written books on historic artillery.

In recent years we have written a regular article on weapons and arms for the magazine Medieval Warfare.

  • We have many years of experience both while in museums and as freelance in identifying and writing up fully illustrated reports on cannon identification.
  • We are a small publisher and offer a range of books and e-resources on arms and armour and artillery.

We are also interested in publishing specialist arms and armour books and invite authors to submit proposals for books.