Object Title

Scabbard

Scabbard

Date

1731-1800

Object Number

IX.4171

Provenance

Given present inventory number when found un-numbered in the Brick Tower store, September 1992; formerly part of IX.1061 (see Notes); originally accessioned when found in store in 1960

Physical Description

Long, substantial black leather, wood-lined scabbard with elongated top locket and combined chape and mid-locket locket. The mounts have longitudinal piercings with rounded and cusped ends to show the leather, and each support, on the upper ends of their back edges, two pairs of two loops with loose rings. The outer faces of the mounts are decorated with incised pairs of transverse lines enclosing saltires. The mouth of the locket is lined with red fabric.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length: 973 mm (38.3 in) Weight: 1 lb 14 oz

Associations

Notes

This is one of two similar scabbards in the Royal Armouries. The other is IX.8145 (part), formerly on loan to the National Army Museum (Loan L200) for many years. Both swords were formerly associated and numbered with late eighteenth-century British cavalry swords of the same pattern (Royal Armouries cavalry type K) but the present scabbard was given its present number after being found un-numbered in the Brick Tower store (Tower of London) in 1992, at which time the fact that it was already inventoried on the number IX.1061 (sword and scabbard) was not recognised, the scabbard of IX.1061 having been 'missing' since before December 1987. The association of two scabbards of the same type with two British swords of the same pattern is not evidence that they originally belonged since, although the blades of the two swords are very long, they are still significantly shorter than the scabbards. In 1993 A V B Norman identified the present scabbard as probably Prussian, for a sword of the general type of IX.1265 (on loan from the Royal Collection) which it fits very well (for confirmation of the identification see E Wagner, 'Cut and thrust weapons', English edn, Spring Books, London etc., 1969, pp. 235, 252-3, plates 2, 3) The present scabbard was therefore displayed with IX.1265 in the War Gallery displays in the new museum in Leeds, opened in 1996 (PJL, 12/07/02).