Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard



Object Number

IX.2565 A-D


Purchased at Phillips (London) sale, 7 July, 1982 lot no 110 (illus. in cat.).

Physical Description

Gilt bronze hilt consisting of cap-pommel made in one with the backpiece, a stirrup guard pegged into the mouth of the lion, straight quillon, and a quillon block with rounded triangular langets.

Pommel and backpiece have been cast in the form of a lion's skin. Knuckle-guard has been cast as the club of Hercules, with a snake entwined about it and terminating through a loop in the lion's mouth. The quillon is cast as Roman fasces. The T-shaped quillon block is cast in relief to show a trophy of arms consisting of a cannon, anchor, trident, two lances and two flags. Langets have each been cast as a floral pendant.

The bellied ivory grip has been diamond knurled. There is a ferrule towards the blade, cast in relief to show a laurel wreath.

Curved, single-edged blade with a false edge for the last 8 in. and a wide, central extending from the hilt for approximately 23 1/2 in. The blade is etched and gilt against a blued background for most of its length. The decoration includes, on both sides, a pair of linear and foliate ornament, acanthus foliage and a terminating panel containing a thistle, a rose and a spray of oakleaves and acorns. Inside the hand, motifs include a trophy of arms consisting of a canon, anchor, trident, crossed flags and a globe; the figure of Hope within a laurel wreath; an acheivement of the Royal arms as used 1801-1816; the figure of Britannia. Outside the hand are: a panel containing the inscription:'FROM THE PATRIOTIC FUND AT LLOYD'S TO LIEUTNT. JAMES BOWEN OF HMS LA LOIRE WHO COMMANDED / ONE OF HER BOATS ENGAGED IN A DARING AND SUCCESSFUL ATTACK ON THE FRENCH NATIONAL BRIG VENTEUX / CLOSE UNDER THE BATTERIES OF THE ISLE DE BAS, ON THE 27 JUNE 1803 RECORDED IN THE LONDON GAZETTE 5 JULY'; and the crowned GR cypher.

The leather covered wooden scabbard is mounted in gilt metal so that the leather is seen through one large panel with scalloped edges (both sides). There are two loose suspension rings and an assynmetrical shoe, terminating in a conical finial. The edge of the mouth is engraved, 'R. TEED . SWORD CUTLER . LANCASTER COURT STRAND. The mounts have been cast in relief to show three oval medallions, each superimposed over a trophy of arms and each alternating with leather panels (both sides). From the top-locket to the chape, the medallions in turn contain: Hercules with Ceberus on a leash, Hercules and the Hydra, and Hercules fighting the Nemean lion.

The black leather sword-belt consists of a waist belt and two slings. The waist belt is secured together by two gilt metal circular mounts, each with a small loop, through which and S-shaped catch pases. Both slings are secured to the belt by a similar mount, and have a smaller, but similar mount towards their ends.

The leather is edged by a straight border of silvered wire and decorated with a medial spiral of silver wire which is regularly punctuated by a floral, motif of five metal sequins. The mounts are made in cast relief to show a lion within a reeded circular medallion. The S-shaped catch has been cast to show the upper half of the body of two serpants, meeting together to form a baluster moulding at its mid-point.

Of polished mahogany. The lid has an inlaid folding handle and a rectangular brass plate. The plate is engraved with the recipient's name, the donor and the date.


BladeLength767 mm
ScabbardLength768 mm
ScabbardWeight665 g
SwordOverall length889 mm
SwordWeight849 g

Bibliographic References

L. Southwick, 'Patriotic Fund Swords', part I, Journal of the Arms and Armour Society, XII, No. 4 (Sept. 1987), pp. 223-84, pls LXXXIX-LXXXVII, at p. 240.

T. Richardson and G. Rimer, Treasures from the Tower in the Kremlin, Moscow, 1997, cat. no. 45, pp. 116-119 (col. illus. - gen. view, swd and scabb., det. inscr., det hilt and base of blade), 189 (b. & w. illus. - gen. view, as before, but smaller).

Royal Armouries, Royal Armouries Museum [Leeds]. Souvenir guide, Royal Armouries, Leeds etc. [2006], p. 53,illus. (gen. view).


The Patriotic Fund at Lloyd's (later renamed the Lloyd's Patriotic Fund) awarded swords worth £30, £50 and £100. This £50 sword was one of a group of three which were the first to be presented.

A printed obituary of Lieutenant Bowen (source not given), is on the inventory file. It may have come with the sword (not mentioned in sale cat.).

Bowen died at Ilfracombe (Devon) on 27 April 1835, having attained the rank of Rear Admiral. For further details of his life, see entry in the 'Dictionary of National Biography' (photocopy on inv. file).

A small printed card was presented with each sword describing the hilt's symbolism:
National Union (figured by the Roman fasces),
Herculean efforts (symbolic of the club of Hercules),
Wisdom (denoted by the serpent),
Victory (denoted by the skin of the Nemean Lion),
Rewards (denoted by the laurel wreath).

For the Lloyds Patriotic Fund swords generally, see Southwick 1987 (under Publications above) and L. Southwick, 'Patriotic Fund Swords', part II, 'Journal of the Arms and Armour Society', XII, No. 5 (March 1988), pp. 291-311.
D. Spalding, 'London Naval Swords of Honour 1797-1816', in R.Held (ed.), 'Art, Arms and Armor: An International Anthology', Chiasso : Acquafresca, 1979, pp. 418-439, at p.430 illustrates a one hundred guinea sabre belonging to Vice Admiral Sir Thoms Mastermann Hardy, dated 1806, which bears the maker's mark R.T, probably for Richard Teed (who made swords for the Lloyds Patriotic Fund). [This included in IBE when done in 1987; inf. may have been superceded and probably extended by Southwick's articles (op. cit.) which have not yet been extracted for general information.