Object Title

Machete and scabbard

Machete and scabbard



Object Number



Acquired as a gift from Durham Police, ex 1996 National Knife Amnesty, registered 25 Nov. 1996.

Physical Description

Machete (or matchet)
Light brown, varnished wooden grip of rounded rectangular section, shaped to the hand, and ending in a beaked 'pommel'. The grip is attached to the blade by two steel rivets with brass washers, passing through tang. Single-edged blade of cleaver form, widening from the hilt to reach max, width approx. 8 cm. from grip. Tang of same profile as grip.
Square ended. Of green canvas, the main part made of one piece folded over back of blade and stitched and along cutting edge and base and strengthened with four copper and aluminium(?) rivets. the lower third has an extra layer of canvas as a reinforce. A separate rectangular piece of canvas is stitched to the inside to support a green-painted aluminium(?) suspention mount. The mouth of the scabbard in reinforced with copper alloy.
Condition on registration:
Generally good; grip has cracked on both sides along line of rivets.


Dimensions: Machete: overall length: 462 mm, blade length: 330 mm, blade width (max.): 50 mm, Scabbard: length: 347 mm, width (at mouth): 82 mm Weight: Machete: 585 gm (1 lb 4.5 oz), Scabbard: 165 gm (5.75 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

Machete:5On outside of blade, stamped: '5110 - 99' / '120 - 9242' and broad arrow / '1974'.5On inside of blade, from grip to tip, stamped: 'No 2', and a crocodile (head end faintly struck) over 'REGISTERED', and 'MARTINDALE / BIRMINGHAM / MADE IN / ENGLAND'.Scabbard:5On inside, in black ink: 'MECO 1973' and broad arrow / 'KE/8465-99-120F8233'.



The following is taken from a leaflet on the company, written for their centenary in 1974: 'The firm of Ralph Martindale & Co. Ltd was incorporated on 16th March 1874 with the object of acquiring the business which, during the preceding four years had been owned by Ralph Martindale personally and for a very much longer by H Chavasse & Co. from whom Ralph Martindale bought it in 1870... Their factory was built on both sides of Hockley Brook, then a pleasant, rural stream, on part of the site of the present Crocodile works... [the actual address given by May and Annis, Swords for Sea Service, 1970, II, p. 319, is Crocodile Works, Alma Street, Aston New Town (Birmingham) (1870-1968)]. 'In 1920 the Company acquired Robert Mole and Sons of Birmingham, who had a useful business in matchets under the 'STEAMER' trade mark.' For further information, see copy of the leaflet on inv. file. According the May and Annis (ibid.) Martindales at one time made swords (this needs to be checked - see note of 28/08/03 on file). The same source says that the sword part of Mole's business was acquired by Wilkinsons in 1920, but the two firms had been in cooperating for some years before that. According to May and Annis, Moles remained in business after 1920, manufacturing edged tools and agricultural implements, but this needs to be checked and reconciled with the acquisition of the matchet business by Martindales in that year (PJL, 28/08/03).
IX.3516 is another machete by Martindales.