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 - the end, which expands to cover the end of grip (in place of a pommel), has a shallow, raised, vesica-shaped reinforce around the iron tang-button; rear quillon with a discoid terminal. Black-painted, ribbed iron grip (extensive paint loss).
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 (3/4 in.) long ricasso approx. 50 mm (2 in. ) from 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: appprox. 725 mm (28 5/16 in.), Blade length: 598 mm (23 1/2 in.), Blade width, by hilt: 40 mm (1.59 in.), Scabbard: Length: 622 mm (24 1/2 in.) Weight: Sword: 925 g (2 lb. 1 oz.), Scabbard: 450 g (1 lb. 0 oz.)

Inscriptions and Marks

Sword:5On guard, on knuckle-guard, on 'outside' (quite small): stamped, 11 over 91 (possible 16 over 11) separated by a horizontal line.5On guard, near root of rear quillon: stamped, R.P; 11.39.5On grip, on inside: in white paint, 214 (similar in execution to but in this case probably not a Weedon inventory number).5On blade, on outside, on ricasso: stamped, 1927; broad arrow over ISD; R.F.I(?).Scabbard:5On locket, on 'outside', just below staple: stamped, broad arrow flanked by C and 14.5On chape, on 'outside', just above staple: stamped, broad arrow over I flanked by C and 14.


Bibliographic References

P.J. Lankester and G. Rimer, 'A 19th-century chest of arms', Royal Armouries Yearbook, III, 1998, pp. 77-108, at pp. 88, fig. 9d, 102 (brief catalogue entry).


For other swords of the same pattern and evidence for dating etc., see IX.7590, under 'Notes'.
The mark R.P. over 11.39 indicates that the sword was issued at Rawalpindi in November 1939 (see letter of 28 May 1999 from David Harding, on inv. file). The dating of this group has therefore been changed from late 19th century to early 20th century (PJL, 07/06/99).
This sword apparently at one time on loan to National Army Museum, their no. 7205-7-29. Blue NAM type labels removed from object 22/09/1998 and placed on inv. file.