Object Title

Sword

Sword

Date

1837-1895

Object Number

IX.3750

Provenance

First registered on temporary return from loan to Hazebrouck Officer's Mess (Loan L55), 14/10/1991.

Physical Description

Variations, losses, damage, etc: Guard with VR cypher; fixed inner guard with curved spur insert; no tang-button [new tang button added since 1991*]. Curved blade with a short ricasso, a flat back, a broad fuller at the back for the first two thirds of its length but the spine moving nearer the centre of the blade for the final third; blade now ends in hatchet point (possibly reground after tip broken off? though present length seems right) Sword was dismantled by borrower and blade was chromium plated [apparently plated agian between Oct. 1991 and May 2000]; [new tang button added and tang almost certainly threaded (see X-ray report on file); grip wire replaced?; modern white leather buff-piece added since 1991*]

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 960 mm (37.75 in), blade length: 812 mm (32 in), blade width, by hilt: 27 mm (1.1 in) Weight: 830 gm (1 lb 13 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On inside of ricasso, stamped: crown over '22' (the second 2 uncertain) [second digit no longer discernable; first digit probably less so than in 1991 (only top of 2 now visible)*].On spine of blade, near hilt, stamped: 'MOLE' [only OLE now just visible with magnifier*].

Associations

Notes

For this pattern of (brass gothic) hilt generally, used by both infantry officers and sergeants (staff sergeants only from 1852), and for the various patterns of blade, see B. Robson, 'Swords of the British Army...', rev'd edn, London, 1996, pp. 156-66, Pls 144-7, 151-2, 156, and pp. 212-27, Pls 198-9 (also first edn, 1975, pp. 114-21, Pls 124-6, 128, 131, and pp. 146-7, Pl.163).


*IX.3747-3750 (all 1822 pattern-hilted infantry swords) were catalogued on temporary return from loan in 1991 when it was noted that the blades had been chromium-plated. They were permanently returned to the Tower on or about 7 March 2000. They arrived in Leeds in December. When inspected in January 2001 it was found that further work had been done by the borrower. The decoration on the blade of IX.3747 and some of the marks on the blade of this and the other swords were either no longer visible or less completely legible than in 1991. From this is was concluded that the blades had been chromium-plated again and probably re-polished beforehand. Furthermore, IX.3749 and 3750 which formerly lacked tang-buttons now had them. In fact all the tang-buttons were of uniform appearance and no tang ends were visible. It seemed likely that the new buttons are in fact nuts and the tang ends had been threaded to receive them. X-ray analysis of IX.3747 proved this was indeed the case (see report on inv. file). New white leather buff pieces had been added and all the grip wires looked new. The professional appearance of the latter suggested that all the swords had in fact been refurbished commercially.
For clarity the original 1991 descriptions have been left intact and changes since 1991 added in square brackets with an asterisk.