Object Title

Sword

Sword

Date

1831-1870

Object Number

IX.1226

Provenance

Probably Tower arsenal (no information in typed inventory).

Physical Description

General Type Description: Brass cruciform hilt of 'Roman' form with flattened, oval-sectioned pommel, swollen ribbed grip, and quillons with disc terminals decorated with incised concentric circles. Straight, single-edged blade of wedge section, with a short ricasso, tapering slightly and terminating in a double-edged spear point.


Variations, losses, damage, etc: generally good condition, extensive corosion staining on inside of blade.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 719 mm (28.3 in), blade length: 569 mm (22.4 in), blade width, at hilt: 34 mm (1.35 in) Weight: 955 gm (2 lb 1 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On hilt, on outside, in centre of cross, engraved: 'V. / C.P.A. 1c. / 12.' (to be read with the blade tip pointing down) (the V/CPA probably for the Cinque Ports Volunteer Artillery).On blade, on inside, on ricasso, stamped: crown over 16 (large) (inspection mark)On blade, on outside, on ricasso, stamped: a crested helmet (the mark of Kirschbaum of Solingen).

Associations

Bibliographic References

P J Lankester, ''Land Transort Corps swords' in the Royal Armouries: and interim summary', Royal Armouries Yearbook, 6, 2001, pp. 55-71, at p. 65, fig. 8D (mark only), p. 67.

Notes

For information on and published references to this pattern generally (including doubts about the Land Transport Corps identification), for the possible provenances, and for other examples in the Royal Armouries, see entry for IX.414 - under Notes.
For the helmet mark of Kirschbaum, see entry for IX.414 - under Notes.
For the different sizes of the crowned 16 inspection mark, see entry for IX.414 - under Notes.
IX.1292, IX.7161 and IX.8110, all swords of the same pattern, are also marked V/CPA. On the present sword (IX.1226) the characters are engraved and designed to be read with the blade tip pointing down. On IX.1292 and IX.7161 the characters are executed in punched dots and designed to be read with the blade tip pointing up. (IX.8110 has yet to be checked but, from the inclusion of 1c and the dots after C,P and A, it will probably be executed like IX.1226).
The typed inventory contains following note: 'The V.P.A. on the hilt stands for the Cinque Ports Volunteer Artillery which was first raised in 1797, was dispanded in 1814 and raised once more in 1859. In common with other volunteer units in coastal districts they were chiefly required to man the fixed coastal defences in their particular area. Arms and equipment tended to be what could be spared from reserve stores and therefore often out of date or originally made for issue to another arm of the service'. This appears to assume that this pattern of sword has been correctly identifed as for the Land Transport Corps, or at least that it was obsolete before the CPVA were re-raised in 1859, which is not certain (see entry for IX.414 - under Notes).