Object Title

Sword

Sword

Date

about 1800

Object Number

IX.932

Provenance

Presented 1950 (Typed Inventory) OR purchased at Wallis and Wallis, Lewes, 17 February 1950, Lot 220 (Claude Blair's inventory card) (see Notes).

Physical Description

Gilt brass hilt consisting of a pommel in the form of plumed neo-classical helmet, stirrup knuckle-guard with a relief mask at its centre, and a small shell-guard, outside the hand, with a relief head of Phoebus (a human head crowned with a laurel wreath surrounded by rays, cast as a separate piece) in the centre, facing the pommel, with a rosette on the opposite face, and 7 beads along its edge; black wooden grip of rectangular section, cross-hatched and inlaid with a plain gilt brass lozenge on the inside and outside faces.


Hollow-ground, single-edged blade etched with trophies and flowers gilt against a blued ground. A rectangular cartouche at the base of the blade contains the letters B S B. The extreme tip of the blade is missing and the blade has been shortened by about 850 mm (3 1/4 in.) (by comparison with IX.931). Damaged red felt washer at base of blade.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 897 (34 3/16 in.), Blade length: 736 mm (29 in.) Weight: 645 g (1 lb 6 1/2 oz)

Associations

Places Netherlands

Notes

For the identification see J P Puype, 'Blanke wapens. Nederlandse slag- en steekwapens sinds 1600', Lochem-Poperinge, Universmaatschappij de Tijdstroom, 1981, p. 64, no. 87. Also identified by J P Puype during during a visit to the Armouries in 1988 (see note in Typed Inventory). Similar swords were used by the French: see M. Petard, 'Des sabres et des epees, Vol. I, Nantes, 1999, pp. 168-9, no. 161F. IX.932 was formerly catalogued as a 'dress sword, probably Prussian, circa 1820' (Typed Inventory). IX.931 is of the same pattern. Claude Blair's inventory card for IX.931 had it as 'probably French about 1820'
The provenance of this sword remains uncertain. IX.931 (of the same pattern) was also given by Mr Smith of Lincoln in 1950, according to the Typed inevntory. One of the five swords making up Lot 220 in the Wallis and Wallis sale on 17 February 1950 was described as 'a French dress sword, early 19th century' which, given the design of the hilt, could well refer to the present sword. In the 'Catalogue of additions to the Armouries from the year 1916' (I.1528) there are no entries for IX.930-936 inclusive.