Object Title

Sword (khanda)

Sword (khanda)



Object Number



Transferred from the Royal United Services Institute, 1963, no. 3351. Formerly the property of Colonel Obeidullah Khan of Bhopal, placed on loan to the RUSI by Colonel N. M. Smyth V. C., February 1909.

Physical Description

The blade is of watered crucible steel, straight and double edged for the last 20 cm. It is heavily reinforced along its back and forte in burnished steel, the edges of which are fretted and pierced with palmettes. A single hole near the reinforce of the forte is plugged with a brass rivet. The hilt is of Indo-Muslim type, with short flaring quillons, long seating processes terminating in fleurons, a bulbous grip and a broad dish pommel, slightly tipped forwards, and surmounted by a small dome with a pierced knop at the top, for a missing suspension loop. It is decorated overall with flowers and foliage in gold koftgari. The scabbbard is of wood covered with green velvet, with a tiny silver chape and a rib bordered with orris braid around the throat.


Dimensions: The overall length: is 860 mm (33.9 in), The blade length: is 745 mm (29.3 in) Weight: The weight of the sword 0.90 kg (2 lb 0 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks




Nevill Maskelyne Smyth (1868-) served in the Queen's Bays and 2nd Dragoon Guards (Captain) in Africa. He received his V. C. for Khartoum, 2 September 1989 (London Gazette, 15 November 1989). Promoted Major into the Carabiniers, 1903, and Commandant of the Khartoum District 1913-14, he was a Brigadier-General by the outbreak of World War I, and was at the Dardanelles commanding the 1st Autralian Infantry Brigade in 1915, then at the First Battle of the Somme in 1916, Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. As Major-General Smyth he was mentioned in despatches eight times. He retired in 1920, and was still alive in 1940. (O'M. Creagh and E. M. Humphris, 'The Victoria cross 1856-1920', repr. Polstead, 1985, p. 110-11).