Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard

Date

1859-1918

Object Number

IX.1285

Provenance

Unknown (no information in Typed Inventory).

Physical Description

This example probably for an Artillery Officer. The hilt comprises a steel backpiece made in one with a domed pommel with incised radiating lines and a small tang-button; a frontally symmetrical steel half-basket guard with turned edges, two sword-knot slots at the rear, a scroll in place of a rear quillon, and a short sleeve around the base of the blade; and a varnished ribbed wooden grip with wire binding between the ribs. The guard is cut out to leave a pattern of foliage with a cartouche of the arms of W³rttemberg with crossed cannon barrels behind, cannon balls below and a crown in front of crossed lances above.
The curved blade has a false edge for the last quarter, is fullered on both sides for three-quarters of its length and terminates in a spear point.
The blade is extremely flexible and has been severely bent in several places from which it has not fully recovered.

Dimensions

BladeLength32.5in.
BladeLength825mm

Associations

Places Germany

Notes

This sword appears to be of the W³rttemburg cavalry officer's pattern of 1859 (see G. Maier, 'S³ddeutsche Blankwaffen', Teil I, W³rttemburg, n.d. (unpaginated but in date order), under 1859 (foreign language - not yet read and extracted)) but the crossed cannon behind the arms and the cannon balls below suggest this example was for an artillery officer. Of the other German states, Baden at least had a similar sword (see G. Maier, 'Badische Blankwaffen', 1976, pp. 164-69 - foreign language - not yet read).
A sword of this pattern with a decorated blade is illustrated in the 1908 Eikhorn catalogue ('Musterbuch der Waffenfabrik Carl Eickhorn', Solingen, 1908), p. 132, no. 233 ('W³rttembergischer Kavallerie Offizier-Sõbel'). (no further reference given) but says it has a much shorter ricasso and does not have a decorated blade. Gordon A. Blaker, 'The Imperial German M89 cavalry sword', 'Man at Arms', 22, no. 6, Dec. 2000, pp. 14-23, at p. 16 says that pattern 1889 swords were made with wooden grips during World War I because of a shortage of rubber (normally used for that pattern). The lack of any covering to the grip of the present sword makes it possible that this is a late, undecorated officer's sword of the same period.