Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard



Object Number


Physical Description

Hilt: of small-sword type in brass or gunmetal comprising pommel; knuckle guard with quillons; boat shell guard; grip.

Pommel: ovoid form with stand and tang button. At the junction with stand and tang button is a lateral reeded border with cross banding, repeated in a vertical band in the fore and aft positions. File marks on the inner and outer faces of the pommel suggest the removal of some emblem, possibly in the revolutionary period.

Knuckle guard: of conventional small-sword form and is integral with the quillons, quillon block and stem and two short arms. With the exception of the quillon block and stem, all these elements are in the form of fasces or reeds with intermittent lateral bindings. The quillon block is now plain but file marks indicate the removal of some emblem; the outline of a fleur de lys are still feintly visible in parts. Between the stem of the quillon block and the shell guard is a washer in the form of a truncated square pyramid with concave faces.

Shell guard: one-piece, oval shell with one end extended and forked, turning upwards to embrace the front quillon. The inner and outer borders of the guard are decorated en suite with the remaining elements of the hilt. Inside the guard, flanking the central washer, are file marks indicating the removal of a decorative emblem and again the remnants of a fleur de lys is apparent. At the outer tip of the guard, beneath the finial of the rear quillon, is a spatulate extension with a shell motif on each face.

Grip: of opposed taper rectangular section spirally bound with double stranded copper wire. At the blade end a Turk's head ferrule is fitted; at the pommel a plain copper ferrule.

Blade: flattened hexagonal section, wide at the shoulder and tapering to a point. The upper quarter of the blade is decorated both sides with various emblems and inscriptions;
in order with point uppermost
1. sun in splendour
3. crowned cartouche (now defaced) set within a floral wreath
5. a rectangular panel inscribed:
'Felix/De Cress---lle/Entrepreneur/Des Armes Des/Troupes Du Roy/A Paris'

scabbard : Black leather with brass locket and middle band (chape missing). The locket has a frog stud brazed upon it (which appears contemporary) and a loop for a ring. The latter appears to have been added subsequent to manufacture as a repair. The locket has two engraved lines as a border close to the mouth and an elongated front apron to carry the frog stud. The middle locket has cusped upper and lower edges and is fitted with a loop and a loose ring. On both top and middle lockets, the loops are fitted slightly forward of the back edge.


Dimensions: Sword: overall length: 960 mm (37.8 in), blade length: 787 mm (31 in), Scabbard: 775 mm (30.5 in) Weight: Sword: 615 g (23 oz), Scabbard: 155 g (5.4 oz)


Places France


This sword, even with its presumed original fleur de lys emblems, does not correspond with any swords of a similar nature detailed in C. Ariès, 'Armes Blanches Militaires Françaises', 30 vols and index, 1966-1990,
For other, different pattern, swords with the same inscriptions and emblems, see Aries (Fasc 2, 1966).