Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard

Date

1790-1820

Object Number

IX.3355

Provenance

Purchased from Andrew Lumley, 28th May, 1987.

Physical Description

Hilt: silver and silver gilt, of conventional form but lacking arms of the hilt. Decorated all over in chiselled relief with motifs of fish fin and palm leaves on a stippled ground.


Pommel: a variant of Norman, type 92, being of inverted ovoid form, slightly flattened in the plane of the blade, having ba prominent tang button and a stand. The inner and outer faces are decorated with palm leaves and the rear face carries a grotesque mask in an oval cartouche. The tang button has a series of radiating petals on its upper surface.


Knuckle guard: basically rectangular section and having three distinct elements. The upper portion terminates at the pommel with a fluted lotus or papyrus bud flanked by an acanthus leaf and a small scroll and the inner and outer faces carry a floral and foliate decoration. The central portion is symmetrical about a diamond shaped panel, having a circular panel each side supported in a cupped acanthus leaf at its junction with the upper and lower portions of the bow. The bottom section terminates in a grotesque dolphin's head at its junction with the quillon block. The rear quillon takes the form of a dolphin's head at the junction with the quillon block, sweeping outwards and slightly upwards as a serpent's tail and finally turning outwards in a tight scroll to form the quillon finial. The quillon block has a pronounced flare where it meets the shell guard and seems to act as a liner for the shell.


Shell guard: is a slightly dished oval with a border of facetted silver studs on the hand side.


Blade: hollow ground, triangular section blued and gilt for a length of 9 inches from the guard and etched with floral and foliate motifs.


scabbard : wood covered with white fish skin and fitted with 3 silver gilt mounts.
Both top and middle lockets are fitted with a loose suspension ring and the chape terminates in a ball finial.
The scabbard has been broken approximately 483 mm (19 inches) from the top.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Sword: overall length: 965 mm (38 in), blade length: 805 mm (31.75 in), Scabbard length: 851 mm (33.5 in)

Inscriptions and Marks

On the inside face of the top locket is inscribed: 'Manuf/de Versaille/Entrep re/Boutets/106'.

Associations

Places France

Bibliographic References

G M Wilson et al., 'Recent Acquisitions for the Royal Armouries', Burlington Magazine, 130, no. 1027, Oct. 1988, pp. 799-803 at pp. 799-800 (illus.) (entry by S C B[evan]).

Notes

Cf similar sword and scabbard in the collection of Duke d'Otrante, Schloss Elghammer, Sweden by Boutet which was presented to Duke d'Otrante, Joseph Fouche as minister of Police 1799-1802, 1804-1810 and 1815-16. Illustrated in 'Armes Anciennes' no. 10, Heribert Seitz, 'Quelques Armes Exquises de la manufacture de Versailles'. The Boutet in question is Nicholas-Noel, born 31st August 1761 and in 1792 appointed directeur-artistique of the Manufacture de Versailles (latter termed Manufacture Imperiale 1800-1808, Manufacture Nationale 1808-1814).