Object Title

Sword (A) with a sword-knot and scabbard (B)

Sword (A) with a sword-knot and scabbard (B)



Object Number

IX.5423 A-B


Purchased as part of complete chest at Auction from Butterfield & Butterfield, San Fransisco, 24th October 1996, lot 3181 (ill. of whole chest in cat.). Formerly in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. Formerly in the collection of Charles Bremner Hogg Jackson.

Physical Description

(A) Sword:
Hilt: brass stirrup shaped knuckle-guard extended at its lower end to form a quillon terminating in a flattened discoid finial and has two D-shaped integral langets. The end of the knuckle-guard is extended over the grip where there is a vesica-shaped shallow platform: it is secured through the latter by the tang passing through and being rivetted over. Thus there is no distinct pommel. The grip is of ribbed cast iron, approximately oval in section waisted on one side towards the pommel and retains 75% of its original black lacquer finish.
Blade: curved single-edged with a spear point and having a false edge extending 200 mm (7.875 in) from the point. There is a broad shallow fuller on each side which extends from close to the hilt to 20 cm (7.75 in.) from the point. The blade retains a very high percentage of its original finish and is marked on the back edge, close to the hilt, with the makers name. A leather washer is fitted at the junction of the blade and the hilt.

(B) Scabbard:
Comprising an iron body covered with fabric and black lacquered or japanned and fitted with brass locket and chape. There are scattered patches where the lacquer has flaked, revealing the underlying fabric.
Locket: with its mouth piece is 110 mm (4.375 in) in length. The front or outer face incorporates an apron, with a decoratively shaped edge, approximately 35 mm (1.25 in) long at its lower end and which carries a frog stud. It is secured to the body of the scabbard by two brass rivets through the lower portion of the apron and two similar towards the bottom of the front and back edges. A separate mouth piece is fitted and which is secured by two steel or iron screws.
Chape: is of tapering form, having a flat bottom and the upper edge of inner and outer face slopes downwards from front to rear and has decorative cusps. The front edge exhibits a deep, narrow 'V' shaped notch and the back edge is plain. It is secured to the scabbard body by two brass rivets through the upper inside edge.

Sword Knot: constructed of discoloured soft white buff leather 15 mm (0.625 in) wide and 290 mm (11.75 in) long, terminating in a tassel of the same material. the strap of the sword-knot is simply looped around the guard. _


Dimensions: Overall length: approx. 920 mm (36.25 in), blade length: 755 mm (29.75 in) along back edge, blade width: 39 mm (1.525 in) at shoulder Weight: Sword (with knot): 1005 gm (2 lb 3 oz), Scabbard: 555 gm (1 lb 3 1/2 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On back edge of blade close to hilt, stamped: 'WOOLLEY / SARGANT / & FAIRFAX'.


Bibliographic References

Gilkerson 1993 - see entry for IX.5413.

Lankester and Rimer 1998 - see entry for IX.5413.


See entry for XVIII.467 for list of inv. nos of other items in chest.
Some further information and papers relating to the acquisition will be found on inv. for the chest (XVIII.467).
One of twelve swords of the same type in the chest (IX.5413-IX.5424).
For dating and cpmparanda see entry for IX.5413.
Valued as part of XVIII.467.