Object Title

Sword

Sword

Date

about 1839

Object Number

IX.349

Provenance

No information in IBE; presumed Tower arsenal.

Physical Description

Variations for the standard 1821/22 pattern, losses, damage, etc:
The whole coated with yellowing varnish or lacquer. Backpiece has a U-shaped step; top of pommel has a raised oval area around the tang-button (variation from standard pattern). Grip apparently slightly shorter than standard. Most of leather covering of grip missing.
A fair number of nicks in blade edges, mostly on cutting edge (especially towards tip); two fairly deep ones in false edge.

Dimensions

OverallLength41in
BladeLength893mm
BladeWidth32mm

Inscriptions and Marks

On guard, on quillon, stamped '3' over '1853' (EIC Bombay Presidency mark for the 3rd quarter of the official year 1853, i.e. about the last three months of 1853); 'X' over 'R H' (for 10th Royal Hussars); '242' (the number of the sword within the regiment).On guard, on rear quillon, on side towards blade, stamped: 'W.L & H. / [SARGA]NT'.On blade, outside, on ricasso: '2 3'.On blade, outside, further up, stamped:'C' over '4' (encoded EIC approval mark for 1839-40).On blade, on spine, near hilt: 'W.L & H. / SARGANT'.On blade, on spine, about 150 mm (6 in.) from hilt, stamped: 'B'.

Associations

Bibliographic References

correctly given).

Notes

For the Board of Ordnance 1821/22 pattern generally, see B. Robson, 'Swords of the British Army...', rev'd edn, London, 1996, pp. 24, 25 (Pl. 20), 26 (also [1st edn], 1975, pp. 26, 28 (pl. 23), 29, 30), where it is stated that production did not begin until 1823.
This sword, with the variations from standard pattern noted above, is apparently of identical pattern to to IX.7910 which has the same maker's name and to IX.3632 which is marked Woolley, Sargant and Fairfax.
Payments by the East India Company to the firm of Sargant under the name W[illiam] L[ucas] and H[enry] Sargant of Birmingham are recorded between 1836 and 1842. On Henry's retirement in 1842, the firm's name changed to Sargant Brothers (D.F. Harding, 'Smallarms of the East India Company 1600-1856', 2 vols, London, Foresight Books, 1997, I, p. 316). In 1838 and 1839 the firm of W.L. and H. Sargant is recorded as military gun and pistol makers at 74 Edmund Street (D.W. Bailey and D.A. Nie, 'English Gunmakers..., London and Melbourne, Arms and Armour Press, 1978, p. 51).
The typed inventory entry (IBE) interpreted the 1853 on the rear quillon as a date. This seems unlikely in view of the recorded dates of the particular form of the maker's name.
The interpretation of the marks given above was supplied by David Harding (see letter of 30/09/99 (?recte 28/05/99) on inv. file). For a carbine with similar 10th Royal Hussars marking see (D.F. Harding, 'Smallarms of the East India Company 1600-1856', 4 vols, London, Foresight Books, 1997-99, IV, p. 522. 'The Regiment served in the Bombay Presidency from 1846-1855, when they (and the 12th Royal Lancers from the Madras Presidency) were sent to the Crimea to replace the casualties suffered in the Charge of the Light Brigade (Harding, op. cit., IV, pp. 125-6). From the Crimea the 10th RH went to the United Kingdom, so this sword probably ended up at the Tower after being handed into the War Departyment stores system - just as happened to the carbine illustrated above which has WD sale marks, although this form of numbering was not brought in until 1856-57' whgich may indicate that the X RH 242 marking was only added then (letter from David Harding, 30/09/99 - on inv. file).