Object Title





Object Number



Purchased from Arbour Antiques (R.J. Wigginton), September 1978.

Physical Description

Silver hilt. Rear quillon with a flat round terminal chiselled with a human mask above two U scrolls (forming a W), all on a punched dot ground. Quillon block fretted with a short convex and long concave curves. Knuckle-guard expanding in the centre where there is a grotesque mask surrounded by four scrolling tendrils all chiselled on a punched dot ground, and terminating in a chiselled grotesque fish. From the mouth of the fish emerges a rod which secures the knuckle-guard by entering a tapering pipe attached to a pommel. The pommel is of flattened bell shape with a moulded band running round its girth, the ball sitting on a moulded and gadrooned base. Octagonal ferrule in one with the quillon block with a cusped upper edge and a moulded band running round, just below, which echoes the mouldingon the pommel. Agate grip of octagonal section.

Straight blade, single edged except for the last 6 1/4 in. Two fullers, one wide, in the centre, running from the shoulder to the point, the other narrow, near the back, and running from the shoulder to the start of the false edge.


BladeLength562 mm
OverallLength692 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

On the hilt, on the inside of the knuckle-guard, stamped: the London town mark, the Britannia standard mark and the date letter for the year 1701-1702.On the hilt, on the outside of the knuckle-guard, stamped: a maker's mark - 'CH' between (above) two pellets and (below) a mullet, all within a shield (sketch on Inv. File; possibly for one of the Chebsey family - see Notes).


Bibliographic References

P.J. Lankester, 'Notes on Some Scottish Silver-Hilted Swords and Related Swords', Jnl. Arms and Armour Soc., XIV, no. 5 (March 1994), 268-315, at 285, fig. 12a, 287.

L Southwick, London silver-hilted swords, their makers, suppliers and allied traders, with directory, Leeds, Royal Armouries, 2001: 278, pl. 22 (hilt and base of blade only).

L Southwick, 'Some silver-hilted swords by London makers in the Royal Armouries', Royal Armouries Yearbook, 6, 2001, pp. 32-54, at pp. 37-8, fig. 6 (hilt and base of blade only).


Southwick 2001a and b suggested that the mark is possibly for William Chebsey (I) or one of his sons, all working in London. A hanger in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle has the same maker's mark, and the London marks and date letter for 1697-8 (Sir Guy Francis Laking, 'The Armoury of Windsor Castle : European section', London, 1904, no. 54, no. 132 and Pl. 20; Lankester 1994, 287, 310, n.107). Laking suggested the mark belonged to James Chadwick but he apparently used a different mark (A.G. Grimwade, 'London Goldsmiths and their Marks', 2nd edn, London, 1982, 34, no. 315). Southwick 2001b makes a more general comparison between design elements of IX.1801 and Vicaridge's work. See Southwick 2001 a (pp. 68-9) & b for further details of the William Chebsey (I) (recorded 1658/9-about 1700) and his sons and for other swords by them and for arguments in favour of Chebsey rather than Richard Chapman for the mark on IX.1801.
Similar quillon termianls occur on other English hangers, e.g. National Maritime Museum sword no. 339 - a hanger with staghorn grip and silver hilt by Thomas Vicaridge 1702. (W.E. May and P.G.W. Annis, 'Swords for Sea Service', London, 1970, I, 10, II, Pl. 3; L. Southwick, 'Thomas Vicaridge...', 'Royal Armouries Yearbook', 5, 2000, pp. 47-8, figs 5-7). It also occurs on the hilt of a hanger marked Kilmaurs (Ayrshire) but this may be assembled from English parts (see Lankester 1994, 287; H. L. Blackmore, 'Hunting Weapons', London, 1971, 28, 348, n.66).
The view has been expressed by Sothwick (2001b) and others that the agate grip of the present sword is asscociated (originally from a knife?) (see note in Typed Inventory). Southwick suggests the blade is also associated.