Object Title

Sabre and scabbard

Sabre and scabbard



Object Number



Purchased at Sotheby's (London) Sale, 11th May 1989, Lot 184 (colour ill. in Cat.).

Physical Description

Cast gilt-bronze 'stirrup' hilt. The pommel and backpiece is in the form of an eagle's head, holding in its beak a serpent which forms the knuckle-guard. The quillons are in the form of a crocadile, which holds the other end of the (snake) knuckle-guard, and its two halves emerge from either end of a rectangular quillon-block, which is engraved on each side with a castle. The small section of the grip not in one with the pommel is of ribbed wood, stained black.

The single-edged, curved blade has a gadrooned back and a false edge for the last 275 mm (10.8 in). It has etched decoration, including trophies, foliage, and the figure of Britannia. In addition, on the outside of the blade are, from the hilt, the arms quarterly, (i) and (iv) or? a lion rampant within a double tressure flory counter-flory [gules ?], (ii) and (iii) or? a fesse checky, and the crest, a lions head (erased ?), the figure of justice, the royal arms (1801-1837), the same crest as above with the motto SEMPER FIDELIS, and a Volunteer Infantry Officer. On the inside of the blade, the inscription: Presented / by the Officers of the Royal Athole Volunteers / To HOPE STEWART ESQR of BALLICHIN. their L:T COL:N / in testimony of their Esteem for him, / as an officer and Gentleman. 1807.

The gilt-brass and bronze scabbard has two loose rings mounted on bronze or copper bands, decorated with a guilloche design; and an asymmetrical shoe with finial all of white metal (silver ?). There is a mouthpiece of the same material as the shoe, retained by two screws (one missing). The scabbard is decorated with engraving, comprising trophies, thistles, oak foliage scrolls, a chinese dragon, and sun-bursts. On the outside, between the two loose rings, is an applied, cast white metal (silver ?) bugle-horn. On the inside near the mouth is a cartouch inscribed: HUNTER / Army / Contractor / EDENBURGH (sic.).

Condition: Good/Fair, but gilding very worn - especially on scabbard.


Dimensions: Sword: overall length: 984 mm (38.75 in), blade length: 825 mm (32.5 in), blade width (by hilt): 43 mm (1.7 in), Scabbard: overall length: 827 mm (32.6 in)

Inscriptions and Marks

For inscriptions, see above.


Bibliographic References

G. Welland, Swords, Daggers & Cutlasses, London, 1991, p.17 (colour ill., as in Sotheby's Cat. - see above).