Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard



Object Number



No information in Typed Inventory. Presumed Tower arsenal.

Physical Description

General Type Description: The brass hilt consists of a flattened basket guard pierced with a series of triangles round the base of the blade and with three crescents where the guard curves upwards to form a knuckle-guard. The end of the knuckle-guard nearer the pommel is pierced for a sword knot; there is a small down-turned quillon at the rear of the basket. The brass backpiece is made in one with the beaked pommel and the wooden grip is covered with dark brown leather which has raised ribs formed either by grooves carved in the wood or by string wound round it. There is a brass ferrule at the end nearer the blade.

Long, almost straight, single-edged blade with a broad, shallow fuller on each face, and terminating in a hatchet point. The buff-piece is lacking (only mentioned below if present).

Brass scabbard with suspension hook on the outside and a separate mouthpiece secured by two iron screws. The screws can be of ferrous metal (only mentioned below when not so) or brass, though some are clearly later replacements. The mouthpiece top is sometimes curved or slightly curved to mate with the curved face of the guard.

Variations, losses, damage etc: guard somewhat bent towards pommel at sides and back; grooved wooden grip with small piece missing under pommel, leather covering lacking; blade has corrosion patches, more so on inside; scabbard is slightly compressed in area of frog hook (from display mounting) and has small dents and small cracks at mouth and on forward edge by frog hook; scabbard mouthpiece has both screws missing.


Dimensions: Sword: overall length, approx.: 1015 mm (40.1 in), blade length, along back: 891 mm (35.1 in), blade width, by hilt: 41 mm (1.6 in), Scabbard: length: 920 mm (36.2 in) Weight: Sword: 1086 gm (2 lb 7 oz), Scabbard: 790 gm (1 lb 12 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On blade, on back, by hilt, stamped: I.GILL.


Places Britain

Bibliographic References

C ffoulkes, Inventory and Survey of the Armouries of the Tower of London, London, 1916, II, p. 293 (group entry for IX.256-314).

C Blair, European and American Arms, c.1100-1850, London, 1962, pp. 94-5, line illus. II(l) - general description and discussion of pattern (citing nos IX.256-314) with drawing of example of hilt and part of blade.


For this pattern generally and for other examples in the Royal Armouries, see entry for IX.256, under Notes. It is unlikely that many of the swords of this pattern in the Royal Armouries are now with their original scabbard: this has not normally been noted unless the fit is especially good or especially bad.
For the maker Gill, see entry for IX.257, under Notes.