Object Title

Sabre

Sabre

Date

1830-1840

Object Number

IX.358

Provenance

Apparently received with three other swords and other weapons (see Notes) from the Arsenal of the Grand Duke of Baden at Karlsruhe in June 1846, in exchange for a quantity of British military weapons.

Physical Description

Brass stirrup grip of similar form to the British pattern 1796 for light cavalry. Curved single edged blade with a broad fuller on each face.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 952 mm (37.5 in), blade length: 813 mm (32 in) Weight: 2 lb 3 oz

Inscriptions and Marks

on blade, on outside, stamped: a mark: a crowned shield charged with a bend [probably the arms of Baden] within an oval (drawing in marks cards; publ. Dufty and Borg 1974).on blade, on both sides (CHECK), under langets, stamped (CHECK): (probably) GEBR WEYERSBERG / SOLINGEN.

Associations

Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, Official Catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1870, p. 61, either IX.489 or IX.491 (see Notes).

For ffoulkes 1916, see Notes.

A.R. Dufty and A. Borg, European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London, London, 1974, p. 33, Pls 90d (overall view), 109 (drawing of mark).

William Reid, 'Some International Arms Exchanges, 1835-1846', Royal Armouries Yearbook, 5, 2000, pp. 148-158 , at p. 157, Appendix 6.

Notes

'Provenance and the Baden Gift generally'
The identification of the swords included in the Baden gift has been problematic but the latest list of numbers, given in the typed inventory for this sword (IX.358), namely, IX.358, 486, 491 and 493, seems plausible. All these swords have the same mark, apparently the arms of Baden, which is presumably an inspection or arsenal mark, though some identification problems remain (see below for IX.358 and the relevant entries for the others). For the Baden gift generally, see Reid 2000 pp. 153-4, 157 (Appendix 6)). According to the typed inventory, the relevant P.R.O. document in W.O. 44/521 (probably that reproduced by Reid in Appendix 6).
ffoulkes (C. ffoulkes, 'Inventory and Survey of the Armouries of the Tower of London', London, 1916, vol. II, 481, Appendix A, 'Gifts and Purchases') gives the sequence IX.486-495 as from 'Grand Duke of Baden'. However, this sequence includes 10 swords, whereas only 4 were included in the gift (see Reid 2000, p. 157 (Appendix 6)). Furthermore, it would seem that IX.495, the end of ffoulkes's sequence, should have read IX.493, since the entry in the main text (ffoulkes 1916: 306) for the latter number is followed by 'All the above presented by the Grand Duke of Baden, circa 1840' and IX.494 (a detached blade, Italian mid-15th century) and 495 (a Russian pioneer sword) are unlikely candidates for the Baden gift. Some of the remaining swords in ffoulkes's sequence (IX.486-493), which are grouped by ffoulkes (ibid.: 306) under the heading 'German or Russian' can also be ruled out. IX.487 is apparently French; IX.488, 489 have been identified as possibly Russian, and more recently, by A.V.B. Norman, as possibly British experimental patterns (see inv. file); and IX.490 has since been identified as Dutch (ffoulkes misread Baden for Raaden). That leaves four swords (IX.486, 491-493), all with blades marked by Gebruder of Weyersberg. These swords might reasonably be regarded as the four from Baden but for the fact that a note in the typed inventory under IX.358 states that it, together with IX.486, 491 and 493 (not 492) were the ones received from Baden. The present IX.358 is not the sword described under that number by ffoulkes (a Grenadier Sergeant's sword) (1916: 296) so it must have been substituted for it some time later. Where the present IX.358 had been in the meantime is not known; possibly it had been in store, un-numbered. According to the illustrations in Maier 1976 ('op. cit.', above), the swords now numbered IX.358, 486, 491 and 493 (for Maier page nos for IX.358, see above, and for the other three, see computer entries for those numbers) would appear to correspond to the descriptions of the swords in the Baden gift; and to the identifications given in the typed inventory, with the exception that those for IX.358 (cavalry sword) and IX.493 (horse artillery sword) have been appewar to have been transposed. IX.492 cannot be identified from the swords illustrated by Maier (op. cit.) and this is presumably why it was omitted from the list of inv. numbers of the Baden gift in the entry for IX.358.
The pencilled annotations, 'Gift of the Grand Duke of Baden c.1840', on the typed inventory entries for IX.486-493 are derived from ffoulkes and should be disregarded, except in the case of IX.486, 491 and 493 (PJL, 09/04/01).
The four swords received from Baden are identifiable in Hewitt 1870 (p. 61, IX.489-491). The present inv. numbers have not yet been traced back through RA MSS I.11 and I.22 and the Dillon numbers and catalogue references (if included) have not yet been identified. It is not presently certain whether the present IX.358 corresponds to Hewitt IX.489 ('Cavalry sword') or IX.491 ('Sword for Horse Artillery') - see note on identification of pattern below.


'Identification of this 'pattern''
The only sword of this type illustrated by Maier is an 'Artilley Sabre, about 1831' (G. Maier, 'Badische Blankwaffen', 1976, pp. 116-7). The typed inventory described the present sword as a 'cavalry sword', and IX.486 (q.v., believed to be from the same provenance - see above) as a 'horse artillery sword'. Maier's illustrations and headings suggested these identifications should be reversed and this was followed by Reid, on advice from PJL, in tentatively identifying the present inv. nos of swords included in the Baden gift (Reid 2000, p. 157, Appendix 6). Maier's German text should be checked to see if IX.358 really is likely to be horse artillery sword, particularly the matter of whether that type occurs with a brass hilt. Maier describes the sword he illustrates as 'um 1835' which presumably means it is not of an identifiable dated pattern. (PJL, 09/04/01)