Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard

Date

1780-1800

Object Number

IX.1443

Provenance

Presented April 1955

Physical Description

Hilt: cast brass, consisting of a lion's head pommel integral with the grip which is sculpted to represent the lion's mane. In the mouth of the lion a loose ring is fitted for the upper attachment of a chain knuckle guard. The grip is secured by three rivets to the tang which is of T-section. The cross guard has two plain quillons with re-curved ends, one of which on the forward side also carries a loose ring for the lower attachment of a chain knuckle guard.
Blade: broad, leaf shaped with waisting towards the hilt.
scabbard : black leather with simple tooling and fitted with locket, middle band and chape. The locket is plain and has a small boss on its rear face fitted with a loose suspension ring. The middle band has cusped upper and lower edges and double loine engraved parallel borders top and bottom and also has a small boss fitted with a loose suspension ring. The chape has a similarly cusped upper edge and and two pairs of parallel engraved line borders and a flat bottom.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Sword: overall length: 625 mm (24.6 in), blade length: 487 mm (19.2 in), Scabbard: 550 mm (19.9 in) Weight: Sword: 985 g, scabbard: 285 g

Inscriptions and Marks

On the rear quillon and on the blade close to the hilt, the letters 'MR' within a beaded oval cartouche.

Associations

Places France

Notes

The mark is that used by Klingenthal's 'Manufacture Royale' from 1791 until the fall of the monarchy in 1792. Technically, the sword is for the Corps Royal de l'Artillerie des Colonies formed in 1784 and enlarged in 1791 when a variant pattern was introduced, of which this sword appears to be an example.The haeding used here is a translation of the usual French terminology appplied to this type of sword. Although not identical, there are comparative examples illustrated in C. Ariès, 'Armes Blanches Militaires Françaises', 30 vols and index, 1966-1990, tome X, fasc.4, (1970).
The earlier versions of this sword illustrate the beginnings of the fashion for swords in the Roman manner.eg IX.967, 969.