Object Title

Sword

Sword

Date

1790-1800

Object Number

IX.1880

Provenance

Transferred from the Rotunda Museum of Artillery, 1978.

Physical Description

Hilt: of brass and steel comprising grip and integral pommel and a crossguard in brass along with integral steel knuckle guard and quillons.


Pommel and grip: flattened globular pommel of oval section, with a tang button, joined at its lower edge with the grip of oval section which tapers slightly towards the blade and is decorated all over with rows of overalapping pendant scallops, each scallop having a central rib in the manner of a leaf which bisects two adjacent scallops on the row above.


Crossguard: rectangular, box section, with a sunken face within a narrow border on inner and outer faces. The lower edge of the inner and outer faces are extended to form an isosceles trapezoidal langet pointing towards the blade and bearing an embossed cap of liberty, or Phrygian cap. From within the hollow box of the crossguard extend three steel arms of rectangular section. Two, approximately 80 mm long, function as quillons and turn turn steeply towards the blade, becoming parallel with it and terminate in ovoid brass finials.Attached to the forward arm is a lead disc bearing the stamped number '14/99' The third projects just beyond the end of the box of the cross guard and turns at 90 degrees and extends for 105 mm with a slight inclination outwards from the grip and terminates in a simple plain scroll flourish.


Blade: double edged of flattened diamond section and terminating in a very angular point.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 670 mm (26.5 in) [or 680 mm] blade length: 520 mm (20.5 in) [600 mm] Weight: 885 gm (31.6 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On the blade; a painted shield in black with white border, carrying the number '14' over '99'; beneath the langet a stamped mark showing fasces beneath a cap of liberty.On the cross guard; inside face, the stamped inscription 'MA' over '1917' beneath a stamp depicting a field gun.

Associations

Places France

Bibliographic References

No. MA 1917, Rotunda Catalogue, London, 1873, p. 128)No 14/117, Rotunda Catalogue, London, 1906, p 139.No. 14/99, Rotunda Catalogue, London, 1963, p 53.

N. Hall, 'J. L. David's sword for the Ecole de Mars', Apollo, CXXX, No 329 (New Series), July 1989.pp 33 - 36, 69.

Dorling Kindersley, Weapon. A visual history of arms & armour, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2006, pp. 182-3 (col. illus., bottom),

Notes

This sword was designed by the artist David for the Ecole de Mars which was only in existence for a short period during the French Revolution under Robespierre.
A scabbard for this pattern sword will be found as IX.647.B and was incorrectly associated with sword numbered MA 1916 (IX.647) when accessioned.