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Physical Description

Hilt: brass cross hilt, cast in one, consisting of a waisted, oval-sectioned grip with plain integral pommel and ferrule at opposite ends, the remainder with well-spaced incised cross-hatching; the quillons have thick disc terminals and have a narrow raised border running all round (including the terminals).
Blade: straight, parallel-sided, single edged (quite thick and rather crudely formed) with a double-edged spear point.



Inscriptions and Marks

In the centre of the cross, on one side, stamped: '17'; and on the other side, stamped '86'.


Places Europe


To date it has not been possible to identify the country of origin of this pattern of sword (PGS 28/2/2000). They appear to be completely devoid of marks, except for stamped 2 & 3 digit numbers in the centre of the cross-guard on some examples (PJL, 09/11/04)
They were formerly catalogued as French Artillery swords (e.g. Typed Inventory for this entry and for others in VTR/BT/Swds, p. 361-363) but a note in the Typed Inventory observes that this pattern has not so far been traced in any authoratitive published works on French military swords (e.g. Aries, Armes Blanches Militaires Francaises).
I have a feeling that somewhere I have seen them identified as British band swords. This might have been in one of Charles ffoulkes's articles on British pattern swords in the 'Journal of the Society of Army Historical Research'. If I am right, it would appear he later revised his view as this identification does not seem to appear in his subsequent book (with E C Hopkinson), 'Sword Lance and Bayonet'. (PJL, 11/06/04)
Other examples of this sword within Royal Armouries collections are (not necessarily a complete list:- IX.2677-2679; IX.2827; IX.7633-7662; further examples on Loan L12 to be added. (All these notes by PJL)