Object Title

Sword

Sword

Date

1790-1810

Object Number

IX.1258

Provenance

This may be the sword referred to in the IBE entry for IX.969 - 'An example presented by Hove Museum has a saw-backed blade and traces of gilding on the hilt; it is not in the inventory.'

Physical Description

With cockerel pommel. Hilt: of cast brass, comprising grip and integral pommel, crossguard and a cover for the mouth of the scabbard.


Pommel and grip: the pommel is in the form of a cockerel's head with pronounced comb and wattles and the beak open as if in the act of crowing. The neck is plumed and gradually blends in to the grip which is of slightly flattened octagonal section. The grip abutts directly against the cross guard without an interposed ferrule.


Crossguard: rectangular in section with a slightly convex and deeper central portion which tapers towards the blade and from which spring two quillons turned towards the blade and terminating in simplified scroll finials. The faces of the crossguard have a border in the form of a continuous impressed knurled ribband.


Beneath the cross guard and resting upon the shoulders of the blade is a flanged plate conforming to the outline of the scabbard locket and which fitted over the latter when the sword was in its scabbard.


Blade: wide, curved with a single edged and a false edge with a short clipped point resembling a scimitar or falchion but without the pronounced widening of the latter. There is a wide shallow fuller on each side extending from immediately beneath the crossguard and terminating 115 mm from the point. A second narrow fuller runs adjacent to the back terminating 200 mm from the point just beyond the commencement of the false edge. The back edge carries a double row of shallow saw teeth extending for 380 mm from the hilt. There are the remains of a makers name in the outside fuller close to the hilt but which is illegible.

Dimensions

BladeLength607.5mm
OverallLength810mm
OverallWeight1.239kg

Inscriptions and Marks

On the wide fuller, inside face, close to the hilt: a small stamped anchor.

Associations

Places France

Bibliographic References

Dorling Kindersley, Weapon. A visual history of arms & armour, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2006, p. 183 (col. illus., left).

Notes

Cf. IX.1418 and IX.969.
This sword closely resembles the Sapper's sword of 1810 as described in Aries, C. 'Armes Blanches Militaires Francaises', Fascicule 2, 1970, fig 4, but differs in having a saw-back and clip point. The presence of the anchor mark on the blade would also seem to indicate Marine use. No directly comparable sword has yet been identified.
The alternative dimensions in square brackets were taken in connection with photography by Bridgewater Books, in July/August 2007.