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: plain wood grip (cracked), string and leather covering lacking; extensive patches of rust on blade, some quite deep; back edge of blade slightly eaten away approx. 135 mm (5.25 in.) from tip; scabbard slightly compressed in are of frog hook and frog hook bent slightly out, otherwise in quite good condition (a few dents) with a few small patches of white paint; scabbard mouthpiece broken and both screws missing; mouthpiece top originally straight or slightly curved.


Dimensions: Sword: overall length, approx.: 1020 mm (40.2 in), blade length, along back: 894 mm (35.2 in), blade width, by hilt: 38 mm (1.5 in), Scabbard: length: 907 mm (35.7 in) Weight: Sword: 1140 gm (2 lb 9 oz), Scabbard: 875 gm (1 lb 12 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On blade, on outside, near hilt, stamped: crown over 4.On blade, on back, by hilt, stamped: DAWE[S] (i.e. Dawes) - S not legible; other letters incompletely struck.


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 scabbards.
For the maker Dawes, see entry for IX.250, under Notes.