Object Title

Sword - Cavalry Sword

Sword - Cavalry Sword

Date

1690-1710

Object Number

IX.5604

Provenance

Formerly (until December 1998) on loan to the Royal Armouries (AL.68 1).

Physical Description

Hilt: The egg-shaped pommel has mouldings top and bottom and a conical stand, now broken off, and a flattened oval tang-button. The brass hilt consists of a knuckle-guard pegged into the pommel and linked by a scroll-guard to each of the oval shells, one on each side of the hand. There is a short rear quillon slightly inclined towards the pommel with a drop terminal slightly inclined towards the blade. The shells have raised borders. The relief-cast decoration consists of a coat of arms, on both sides of the pommel and on both sides of each shell: quarterly (i) and (iv), an escarbuncle; (ii) and (iii), 6 shields paly, 3, 2 and 1; over all, on an inescutcheon, a mounted rider. The grip is missing but both brass wire turk's head ferrules survive.

Single-edged straight blade with a narrow fuller close to the spine. Very heavily corroded with significant loss of length.

Techniques

Cast

Materials

Dimensions

BladeLength737 mm
OverallLength913 mm
OverallWeight680 g

Inscriptions and Marks

none

Associations

Notes

The arms on the hilt are those of Count Meindhardt Schomberg, later 3rd Duke of Schomberg and 1st Duke of Leinster, as used between 1693 and 1719, suggesting that the sword was carried by a soldier, probably an officer, of Schomberg's Horse (later 7th Dragoon Guards) which Meindhardt commanded until his retirement in 1711.

A sword with comparable hilt was in an American private collection (in 1979), and another, with an associated pommel, was shown to the Armouries in 1977 by a British dealer. A sword with a hilt of this type was offered for sale at Sotheby's (Zurich), 14 December 2000, Lot 434 (illus. in sale cat., with a portrait of Meinhard von Schomberg's father, the 1st Duke - p-copy on the inventory file). From the illustration the sale sword appears to have one or two human(?) figures on the pommel rather than the coat of arms as on the present sword, so it might be the one (mentioned above), formerly in the British dealer’s possession and was then noted as having an associated pommel. The Sotheby’s sale sword was catalogued as having been carried by a member of the Schomberg family at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 (though the cataloguer was presumably unaware that others of the same design survive). The arms were given in the catalogue as either those of Meinhard (3rd Duke) or of his father Friedrich Hermann von Schomberg, who was created Duke of Schomberg by William III in 1689. Freidrich (who was killed at the battle of the Boyne in 1690) commanded the Royal Regiment of Foot from 1688 and was appointed Master General of the Ordnance in 1689 (G. E. C[okayne], Complete Peerage, XI, 522-529). As the swords in this group seem more likely to have been for mounted than dismounted use, it seems more likely they were carried by members of the cavalry regiment commanded by Meinhardt.

(This entry was assembled from the STAR catalogue entries for AL.68 1 and IX.5604, with some slight amendments, by Philip Lankester, 25/11/2013; modified 21/03/2019)