Object Title

Sword

Sword

Date

1810-1830

Object Number

IX.361

Provenance

Probably Tower arsenal. No information in Typed Inventory.

Physical Description

Brass hilt consisting of solid, spirally fluted grip, attenuated lion's head pommel, knuckle-bow and short quillon at the rear and a pair of shallow langets.
Stout single-edged blade, slightly curved, with a saw-back.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 678 mm (26.7 in), blade length: 551 mm (21.7 in) Weight: 2 lb 6 oz

Inscriptions and Marks

On blade, on IN/OUTside, stamped: crown over 1.On blade, on IN/OUTside, stamped: 'WOOLLEY / & / SARGANT'.

Associations

Places Britain

Bibliographic References

P.J. Lankester and G. Rimer, 'A 19th-century chest of arms', Royal Armouries Yearbook, III, 1998, pp. 77-108, at p. 85 (as example of weapon marked Woolley and Sargant).

C. ffoulkes, Inventory and Survey of the Armouries of the Tower of London, London, 1916 - see Notes.

Notes

This pattern of sword has been variously identified with varying degrees of certainty as an early pioneer sword (B. Robson, 'Swords of the British Army...', 1st edn, London, 1975, pp. 171-3, Pl. 181 = Royal Armouries IX.411), as an artillery sword (A.W. Morrison and B.W. Reeder, 'Short swords for foot artillery', 'Journal of the Society for Army Histoirical Research', LVI, no. 226 (Summer 1978), pp. 112-18, at pp. 114-16; B. Robson, 'Swords of the British Army...', revised [2nd] edn, London, 1996, pp. 231-33, Pl. 209 = National Army Museum, no. 5608-57) and as the pattern approved for riflemen in 1815 (H.L. Blackmore, 'The Baker rifleman's sword', 'Arms Collecting', XXXV, no. 1 (February 1997), pp. 9-15) (from Lankester and Rimer 1998, p. 85.
Other examples of this pattern in the Royal Armouries include (probably not yet a complete list) IX.407, 408, 411, 1116 (blade without saw-back), 6815-6835. The maker's names and the company marks on most or all of these are summarised in Blackmore 1997, at pp. 13-14 from information supplied by Bridget Clifford.
Four examples were offered for sale by Kent Sales, 16 August, 1991, Lots 1-4 (illus. in cat.). Lot 1 had its scabbard; Lot two had a plain, rather than saw-backed blade; Lot 4 was engraved (on the inner langet), 'NSWB42' (arrangement and spacing not given) - the catalgue suggested that NSW might stand for New South Wales. An example offered for sale at Christie's (Sydney Australia), 26 August 2001, Lot 105 (illus. in cat., p. 33) was engraved on the inner langet, 'NSWC' which the catalogue suggested stood for New South Wales Company.
Woolley and Sargant - 74, Edmund Street, Birmingham from c.1815 - c.1825. For further details of the various firms in which had Woolley as one element of their name, see Lankester and Rimer 1998 (ADD PAGE REF; INF. NOT YET EXTRACTED and compared with foregoing dates).
It seems doubtful that this is the sword described under IX.361 in ffoulkes 1916 where IX.360 and 361 are described together as 'Grenadiers' Swords (Late XVIIIth Century), with brass knuckle bow, hilt and curved blades. Blades, 23 in. by 1 1/2 in.'. The same goes for IX.411 whereas the entry for IX.407 and possibly that for IX.408 correspond more closely with the swords presently bearing those numbers (PJL).