Object Title




about 1896-1920

Object Number



(none recorded in IBE, possibly found un-numbered in store)

Physical Description

Hilt: Steel hilt consisting of a sheet knuckle-guard pierced for the sword knot and projecting to form a crude scroll quillon, black-painted, ribbed cast iron grip and oval top nut. The back end of the guard is shaped to form a quillon. The buff piece is present.

Blade: Curved, single-edged blade, widening to a rounded hatchet point, with a broad fuller at the back extending from the short ricasso to approx. 200 mm (8 in.) from the tip.


Dimensions: Overall length: approx. 902 mm (35 1/2 in.), Blade length: 759 mm (29 7/8 in.), Blade width, by hilt: 40 mm (1 9/16 in.) Weight: 1.030 kg (2 lb. 5 oz.)

Inscriptions and Marks

On guard, on root of 'quillon', stamped: F.W.A over 10.00.On blade, on outside, on ricasso, stamped: the letters RBG in monogram, the B larger (possibly for Gebr³der Bell of Solingen - see 'Notes').On blade, on spine, stamped: ROBT MOLE & S[ONS] / BIRMINGH[AM]; R over C [or G] S.


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 (discussion of RBG mark and other examples in RA), 97 (general discussion), 102 (brief catalogue entry).


IX.1298 similarly differs from the standard 1896 Mountain Artillery pattern in having the 'rearguard' shaped to resemble a quillon (shorter on IX.1298) and an oval (rather than round) top-nut (serving as a tang-button).
For the 1896 pattern Mountain Artillery sword generally, see references and information under IX.1300 (under Notes). For swords of the 1896 pattern in the Royal Armouries and other swords with similar blades, see under IX.1300, (under Notes).
The mark F.W.A. over 10.00 indicates that the sword was issued at Fort William Arsenal [Calcutta] in October 1900 (see letter of 28 May 1999 from David Harding, on inv. file).
The RBG mark may be that of the firm of Gebr³der Bell of Solingen (Lankester and Rimer 1999, COMPL. and refs there cited). Other swords in the Royal Armouries with blades bearing this mark (all apparently of the same pattern) are: IX.1486, IX.7595 and IX.7596 (the blades of the latter two shortened. Like the present sword, all these blades are also marked with the name of Robert Mole and Sons, Birmingham. The maker's name of Robert Mole and Son was in use from about 1855 to about 1920 (see W.E. May and P.G.W. Annis, 'Swords for Sea Service', 2 vols (cont. pag.), London, 1970, p. 319).