Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard

Date

1899-1908

Object Number

IX.699

Provenance

Old Tower Collection (no information in Typed Inventory)

Physical Description

Sheet steel, frontally asymmetrical bowl-shaped guard (with the greater part of the inner edge turned over so it is thicker than the outer edge) continuing to form a knuckle-guard, the end of which is secured by the pommel which is oval-sectioned with straight sides and rounded top. There is a triangular hand-stop in the angle between the end of the knuckle-guard and grip. Surrounding the blade, on the side of the bowl-guard towards the blade, is a 'pear-shaped' reinforce. The grip is formed of two thick, rounded leather scales, secured to the tang by three rivets. The buff-piece, normally present, is missing.


Slightly curved single-edged blade with a false edge for about the last 200 mm (8 in.) and a broad fuller by the back, commencing gradually from a point 28 mm (1 1/8 in.) from the hilt and extending to a point approx. 185 mm (7 1/4 in.) from the tip. At the base, a very few mm. from the hilt, the foward edge of the blade narrows noticeably.


Steel scabbard with separately made mouthpiece attached by two screws, two fixed rings mounted on rectangular strips on opposite edges, near the mount, and an asymmetrical shoe.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Sword: Overall length: approximately 1022 mm (40 1/4 in), Blade length: 851 mm (33 1/2 in), Scabbard, Length: 876 mm (35 1/2 in) Weight: Sword: 1235 g (1 lb 11 1/2 oz), Scabbard: 895 g (1 lb 15 1/2 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

Sword:5On guard, on rear, on side facing pommel, stamped: 19H [19th Hussars] over 332 (deleted by two horizontal lines) over 630.5On guard, on rear, on side facing blade, stamped: broad arrow over EFD over crown over 30 over E.5On blade, on rear edge of tang between grip scales, nearer the guard, stamped: 7 over T.5On blade, on inside, near hilt, stamped: '99; '07; '04; crown over B over 93; '00; crown over an illegible character; crown over X over ?6 (the first digit illegible); crown over E over 25 (twice but at 180 degrees to each other); various illegible and/or incomplete crowned inspection marks; crown over G6 over a character like a hollow square (possibly an E but central horizontal stroke entirely missing); 05; '06; '08.5On blade, on outside, near hilt, stamped: broad arrow over crown over 30 over E over X.5On blade, on back, near hilt, stamped: /99; crown over E over 30.Scabbard:5On mouthpiece, on back edge: EFD; crown over 98 over L; '01.5On

Associations

Places Britain

Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and A. Borg, European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London, London, 1974, p. 31, Pl. 81b (hilt and top of blade only).

Notes

For this pattern of sword generally, see B. Robson, 'Swords of the British Army...', revised [2nd] edn, London, 1996, pp. 54-56, Pl. 33.
The Royal Armouries appears to have about 30 swords of this pattern, about two thirds with scabbards. Those so far identified can be recalled in STAR by searching on 'SWORD AND CAV* AND (PATT* ADJ 1899)'.
Robson (op. cit.) says: 'This [pattern] was, once again, a variation on a familiar theme. The 33 1/2 in. blade was slightly curved, with a flat back and a single broad fuller each side, starting about 1 1/4 in. from the shoulder and finising 7 in. from the point. The blade, although 1 in. shorter than its immediate predecessor (and only half an inch longer than the Pattern 1882 (short) sword, was proportionately heavier and stronger. The main design change from the 1890 pattern was the bowl-shaped guard, which was solid and significantly larger, measuring some 5 1/2 in. at its widest point. There was a pear-shaped reinforcing plate brazed on to the outside surrounding the exit point of the blade. The scabbard was virtually identical with its predecessor, the Pattern 1885 Mark II, but 1 in. shorter and proportionately slightly stronger. A number of Pattern 1899 swords were reproduced by converting Pattern 1890 blades and in these swords the fuller finishes some 8 in. from the point.' In a note (no. 35 on p. 72) Robson says 'See pattern sword (No. 1005) at the Pattern Room, Nottingham.'. This is now number MODPR Rn 6813 in the Royal Armouries. On this latter sword the inside of the blade, by the hilt, is stamped CON'VTD'' FROM / PATT. /90'. The inside of the mouthpiece of the hilt is engraved: '- CONV'D'' FROM - / PATT. 85.II.' (i.e. Pattern 1885, Mark II).
The List of Changes 9880 (16 (sword) and 19 (scabbard) October 1899) states that both sword and scabbard were to be conversions from the above patterns. It is not clear if any swords or scabbards were made completely new. Robson's statement that the conversions can be distinguished from newly made swords by a variation of 1 in. in the distance between the end of the fuller and the blade tip requires testing by measuring this dimension on a number of blades. Also, Robson's statement that 'the scabbard was virtually identical with its predecessor, the Pattern 1885 Mark II, but 1 in. shorter and proportionately slightly stronger' requires qualification if some or all the scabbards were in fact converted from the Pattern 1882, Mark II (to which Robson makes no reference).
A second entry in the List of Changes, no. 9983, dated 21 December 1899, requires the converted scabbards to be marked 'P 99' on the back loop plate under the sputcheon [i.e. the detachable mouthpiece] as a distinguishing mark'.
IX.3282 and IX.3283 are profile gauges used during manufacture of the guards of these swords. IX.3282 is marked W.S.C for Wilkinsons Sword Company and IX.3283 almost certainly came from the same source.