Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard



Object Number



Tower Arsenal. First registered in the Brick Tower, Rack 13B, in 1987.

Physical Description

Made for the Indian service.
Brass stirrup-shaped knuckle-guard (now mis-shapen) - the end, which expands to cover the end of grip (in place of a pommel), has a shallow, round-topped, almond-shaped reinforce around the tang-end; rear quillon with a discoid terminal. Black-painted, ribbed iron grip (paint mostly gone).
Short (cut down - see Notes), curved single-edged blade with a rounded hatchet point; and a broad fuller by the back, extending from the 18 mm (11/16 in.) long ricasso to the tip.

Scabbard of brown leather with brass mounts. The locket is reversed and the stitching runs up what would normally be the outside, to enable the sword to be worn in the Indian fashion, with the cutting edge to the rear. The scabbard will be described as if orientated in the normal European manner. The locket has an apron on the 'inside', just above which is mounted an oval frog-stud. The same face is decorated with three transverse incised lines towards the mouth and the opposite face has a single incised line near the base. The locket is secured to the body of the scabbard by a brass staple towards the lower edges of each face. The chape is of tapering form, having a rounded bottom and the upper edges of inner and outer faces slope downwards from 'front' to 'rear' and have decorative cusps. Both faces are decorated by two sets of three transverse incised towards the top, and a single incised line near the bottom. The chape is secured to the body of the scabbard by a brass staple towards the mouth on each face.


Dimensions: Sword: Overall length: approx. 71 mm (28 in.), Blade length: 588 mm (23 1/8 in.), Blade width, by hilt: 39 mm (1.52 in.), Scabbard: Length: 608 mm (23 5/16 in.) Weight: Sword: 765 g (1 lb. 11 oz.), Scabbard: 465 g (1 lb. 1 oz.)

Inscriptions and Marks

Sword:5On guard, on underside (i.e. towards blade), near angle of knuckle-guard:, stamped, 4 over 1917.5On guard, on underside (i.e. towards blade), by blade, outside: stamped, 310.5On guard, by pommel: stamped, 75.5On blade, on inside, on ricasso: stamped, broad arrow over I.5On blade, on outside, on ricasso: IG over 21 with a horizontal line between; the letters RBG in monogram, the B larger (possibly for Gebr³der Bell of Solingen - see 'Notes').5On blade, on spine, starting near hilt: stamped, ROBT MOLE & [SONS] / BIRMINGH[AM]; broad arrow over I; R; CS; RP 12oo7 (possibly 126667).Scabbard:5On locket, 'outside', near lower edge: stamped, broad arrow flanked by C and 14.5On locket, on frog-stud: stamped, 75.5On leather, 'outside', stamped, broad arrow flanked by C and 11(?); Cd1926.


Bibliographic References

P.J. Lankester and G. Rimer, 'A 19th-century chest of arms', Royal Armouries Yearbook, III, 1998, pp. 77-108, at pp. 96-7 (discussion of the RBG mark, and of the pattern generally), 101 (brief catalogue entry).


For other swords of the same pattern and evidence for dating etc., see IX.7590, under 'Notes'.
The RBG mark may be that of the firm of Gebr³der Bell of Solingen (Lankester and Rimer 1999, 96-7 and refs there cited). For a list of other swords in the Royal Armouries bearing this mark, see IX.1297, under 'Notes'.