Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard


about 1758

Object Number



Purchased from the Beriah Botfield collection at Norton Hall, Northamptonshire, with the aid of the National Art Collections Fund, 1942 (Norton Hall No. 249). Previously Deposit No 92, April 1982.

Physical Description

Hilt: silver, of conventional form. The main elements are chiselled and pierced with decorative motifs of foliage and trophies of arms. The barrel shaped wooden grip is bound with silver wire and ribband.

Blade: hollow ground triangular section, etched and gilt with the figures of the apostles, each with his name.

scabbard : wood covered with black leather. The back of the locket is inscribed:

'Feesey/Pall Mall'


Dimensions: Sword: Overall length of sword: 985 mm (38.8 in.), blade length: 805 mm (31.6 in.), Scabbard: length: 820 mm (32.25 in.) Weight: Sword: 1 lb 0 oz, Scabbard: 0 lb 4 oz

Inscriptions and Marks

On the knuckle guard:1. the name 'CLARE'2. the London assay office marks for 1758/59.


Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and A. Borg, European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London, London, 1974, pl 66a.

A.V.B. Norman and C.M. Barne, The Rapier and Small-Sword, 1460-1820, London etc., 1980, pp. 207 and 389.

Royal Armouries, Royal Armouries Museum [souvenir guide], Royal Armouries, Leeds, 2000, p. 21 (illus., hilt and base of blade only; printed back to front).

L Southwick, London silver-hilted swords, their makers, suppliers and allied traders, with directory, Leeds, Royal Armouries, 2001[a]: 285, pl. 53 (hilt and base of blade only) - 'maker's mark of John Clare'. INF. ON MAKER NOT YET FULLY EXTRACTED.

L Southwick, 'Some silver-hilted swords by London makers in the Royal Armouries', Royal Armouries Yearbook, 6, 2001, pp. 32-54, at p. 45, fig. 20. NOT YET EXTRACTED.


Compare a silver-hilted small sword, Christies, 25/10/1986, Lot 50, with the mark CL/ARE at the end of the knuckle guard. Mark wrongly listed in sales catalogue.
For another sword with apostles decorating the blade, see IX.2806. INF. FROM SOUTHWICK 2001 A & B STILL TO BE ENTERED.
The mark was formelry identified in this entry as that of John Clare. This was changed May 2002 on the basis iof Southwick's published identification of it as that of Joseph Clare (PJL).


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