Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard



Object Number



Purchased at auction from Bonhams, Montpelier Street, Knightsbridge, 28 April 1998, Lot 35 (illustrated page 8)

Physical Description

Sword: a variation of the British infantry officers' 1822 pattern. Brass gothic hilt (with remains of gilding) with a cartoche containing the crest of the East India Company - a lion rampant guardant holding a crown between its forepaws - surrounded by a laurel wreath; folding inner guard containing one bar and one spur; backpiece with single step, foliate flourish and stepped pommel; iron tang-button. Pipe-backed blade, relief etched with foliage scrolls for about two thirds of its length; also, on the outside, at the base, 'E & W. / BOND / 47 / Cornhill / LONDON, and, about a third of the way up, the East India Company crest; on the inside, the presentation inscription: 'Gentleman Cadet Charles B. Young. / This Sword Presented to him at the Public Examination on the 11th Decr 1835 by the Honble Court of Directors of the United East / India Compny as a Mark of the Court's Approbation of his General Good Conduct while in the Compny's Military Seminary.'

Scabbard: of brass with two loose suspension rings and asymmetrical shoe.

Condition on acquisition: hilt generally over-cleaned and cresst in cartouche is worn; bar on inside of knuckle guard compressed, as possibly also is the guard outside the hand; backpiece slightly bowed, possibly through over-hammering of tang; minor losses to fish-skin covering of grip by pommel; blade etching somewhat worn, probably though cleaning; a few minor dents to scabbard.


Dimensions: Sword: overall length: 960 mm (37 3/4 in), blade length: 823 mm (32 3/8 in), blade width, by hilt: 28 mm (1.1 in), Scabbard: length: approx. 860 mm (33 7/8 in) Weight: Sword: 700 gm (1 lb 9 oz), Scabbard: 555 gm (1 lb 4 oz)


Places Britain


W.E. May and P.G.W. Annis, 'Swords for Sea Service', 2 vols (cont. pag.), London, 1970, p. 270 record the firm of E. & W. Bond at 45 Cornhill, London, from 1826 to 1855.
A sheet of biographical notes on Charles Belcher Young (1816-1892) drawn from military records of the India Office at the British Library is on the inv. file, from which the following summary is drawn: He was born at Calcutta, the son of Captain James Young of the Bengal Artillery. He attended the EIC Seminary at Addiscombe from 1834-37. The notes say he was presented with the ceremonial sword as outstanding cadet on 11th December 1836 though the date of the sword is clearly 1835. He was gazetted 2nd lieutenant in the Bengal Engineers in 1837, and in 1841 became adjutant to the Corps of Engineers. He took part in various campaigns and battles on the Indian Continent between 1839 and 1852 (for which he was decorated), serving in the Army of the Punjab from 1848-49. In 1854 he was appointed General Architect GOGG. He was appointed Superintending Engineer, First Circle, Bengal in 1857 and Chief Engineer Secretary to the Government of Bengal in 1860. By this time he was a Lieutenant Colonel and was involved with the construction and founding of the Indian Railway system in this period. He retired as a Major General and died at Chiswick on 27 January 1892.