Object Title

Sword (nimcha) and scabbard

Sword (nimcha) and scabbard



Object Number



Transferred from St James' Palace 1954

Physical Description

The blade is slightly curved, singled edged and terminates in a spear point. On either side is a fuller. The upper part of the blade is profusely decorated with gold overlay on a dark, possibly blued ground. The decoration, which differes on both sides of the blade, consists of either scrolls or foliage. Along the back of the blade are gold curved strokes. On either side of the forte are cartouches containing inscriptions. The guard is of iron overlaid with flowers and foliage in gold and consists of the downturned quillons and a knuckle bow. The grip is of massive proportions, made of horn that is blond on one side and darker on the other. At the base of the grip is a cast brass collar with sunk panels containing a resinous filling in blue and green. The scabbard is of wood covered in green velvet and provided with brass cast fittings with sunk panels in the form of stars of David amid other geometric designs, all filled with either blue or green enamel.


Dimensions: The length of the blade is 876 mm, the overall length of the sword being 1040 mm. The length of the scabbard is 923 mm. Weight: The weight of the sword is 0.95 kg, that of the scabbard being 0.45 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks

Inscription on forte.


Places Morocco


RC3: Royal association to be noted on loan papers to the Royal Armouries Board of Trustees. Another similar sword was acquired by Archibald Madden, Vice Consul in Tangier, Morocco, in 1896 (XXVIS.102). Another contemporary presentation nimcha was given to Kaid Sir Harry MacLean (1824-1920) of the 69th Regiment, who resigned his commission to serve the Sultan of Morocco as 'Instructor in Drill and Discipline', and there is a portrait of him wearing it (Clan MacLean Association, on loan to the Isle of Mull Museum, iformation from Bill Cleg, Hon. Curator, 2005).