Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard

Date

1700-1799

Object Number

IX.978

Provenance

Purchased at Sotheby's sale, 23 July 1954, Lot 90.

Physical Description

Ivory grip in form of hounds and beasts of the chase; silver quillons and shell. Hilt Grip of ivory, carved with a representation of hounds attacking beasts of the chase: a stag at the end by the quillons and and a boar by the tang-button. The remander of the hilt is in silver, comprising short quillons, each formed like a boar's(?) fore-leg, the hooves or trotters pointing in opposite directions; and a vestigial shell-guard supported on an oval washer.


Curved, single edged blade with a false edge for the last XX in (XX cm) and three narrow fullers near the back which rise XX in (XX cm) from the hilt. The fuller nearest the back extends to the start of the false edge, the centre one XX in (XX cm) further and the the third one extends to the tip. The blade is etched and gilt at the forte with a panel of foliar starpwork and, on on the outer face, a boar and on the inner face a stag.


scabbard of wood, covered in black leather, the mounts of silver. The locket is pierced with the letters, 'D S I [ or E? - CHK] / S C V'.


In a pocket near the locket is a bi-knife with a silver handle fashioned in the form of a hoof, en suite with the quillons of the sword.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Sword: overall length: 737 mm (29 in), blade length: 584 mm (23 in), Scabbard: length: 589 mm (23.3 in), Knife: ength: 165 mm (6.5 in) Weight: Sword: 1 lb 3 oz, Scabbard: 0 lb 5 oz, Knife: 0 lb 2 oz

Associations

Places Germany

Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and A. Borg, European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London, London, 1974, p. 26 and Pl. 60b.

Notes

The sword was dated in the IBE and on the display label in (Tower) Hunting & Sporting Gallery (to 1991) 'c. 1720'.
A number of hunting swords with similar hilts exist. One with the hounds attacking a lion etc. and a shell in the form of a bird is in the Deutsches Klingenmuseum, Solingen (T.M. Johnson and T.T. Whitehorn, 'Collecting the Edged Weapons of Imperial Germany', I, priv. publ., 1988, p. 15 (illus.): its blade is marked 'F.W. and Co.' and it is dated in the caption to c. 1850. Another, with a grip incorporating several different beasts, was offered for sale at Sotheby's (Billingshurst), 8 December 1997, Lot 12 (col. illus. in cat., p. 12): it was described as 'South German, 18th Century, possibly Schwõbisch-Gm³nd'. Another with a boar at the top, like IX.978, was offered for sale by Fischer (Luzern), 18-20 September 1997, Lot 627 (illus in cat., Pl. 40 (left)): the grip was dated to the end of the 18th century but the silver hilt mounts were marked Vienna 1816 with the maker's mark SGW. The catalogue description is followed by a discursive note which mentions IX.978 and should be translated and extracted (PJL).
For other ivory sword-hilts in the Royal Armouries, see entry for IX.2214 (under Notes).