Object Title

Sword and scabbard

Sword and scabbard

Date

1901-1904

Object Number

IX.2798

Provenance

Purchased from Peter Dale Ltd (dealer), April 1986. Formerly deposit no. 269 (part).

Physical Description

Hilt: The hilt consists of the 'three-quarter' plain, basket guard, a combined pommel and chequered backpiece, a black wood (ebony?) grip, grooved and slightly shaped to the hand with a ferrule, decorated with annular channels, by the guard, and a leather buff-piece around the blade.


Blade: The straight, single-edged blade has a false edge for the last 90 mm. (3.5 in.) and a spear point. A single, broad fuller rises 82 mm (3.25 in.) from the guard and runs for 285 mm (11.3 in.). For the maker's or retialer's name, see under Marks.


Scabbard: The black-painted steel scabbard has a separate mouthpiece secured by a screws on each edge. Two fixed and opposite suspension rings are attached, one on each edge, with centres 64 mm (2.5 in.) from the mouth and there is an asymmetrical, violin-shaped trail or shoe.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Sword: Overall length: 1026 mm (40.4 in.), Blade length: 874 mm (34.4 in.), Blade width: 25 mm (1.0 in.), Scabbard: Length: 898 mm (35.3 in.) Weight: Sword: 770 g (1 lb 2 oz), Scabbard: 445 g (1 lb 0 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On guard, on rear, on side towards the hand, stamped: 2 over CLY over 393.On blade, on inside, near the guard, etched: HAMBURGER / ROGERS & Co / LONDON within a rectangular panel.On scabbard, on outside, near mouth, stamped: 2 over CLY over 393.

Associations

Bibliographic References

M Milner, 'The Westminster Dragoons (2nd County of London Yeomanry) troopers' sword', Journal of the Arms and Armour Society, 18, no. 3, March 2002, pp. 190-97, at pp. 191, 192 and notes 7 & 9.

Notes

The markings on this and the other examples noted below show that this special pattern was issued to the 2nd County of London (Westminster Dragoons) Yeomanry. For further details of the regiment and this special pattern of sword see Milner 2002. The regiment was raised as the 2nd County of London Yeomanry in 1901. The title 'Westminster Dragoons' had been added by early 1903. Dr Milner is of the view that the CLY marking probably indicates that the swords were made before the new title was added.
The sword would appear to be a modified version of the 1895 pattern infantry officer's sword (B. Robson, 'Swords of the British Army...', rev'd edn, London, 1996, p. 165 ff.). The guard is of the latter pattern (possibly from stock that was surplus on the introduction of the modified 1897 pattern) but is unpierced and unplated; the backpiece is identical and the pommel is very similar. The straight blade is 2 inches longer than the 1895 pattern. The scabbard resembles the 1885 and later patterns for cavalry troopers (Robson, 'op. cit.', p. 48 ff.) but the shoe is of the same form as that of the 1895 infantry officer's pattern.
Other examples of the same pattern so far noted: one was offered for sale at Kent Sales, 20 January 1988 (sale no. 149), Lot 602 (illus. in cat - photocopy on inv. file) - same markings, numbererd 36; one in the National Army Museum, acc. no. 8209-85 - sword numbered 233, scabbard numbered 97 (inf. Dr Martin Milner, 12/05/99); one in the Westminster Dragoons Regimental Museum, numbered 108 and two elsewhere in the same building, numbered 207 and 297 (inf. Dr Martin Milner); one Dr Milner's collection - numbered 117 (further details on inv. file; see also Milner 2002, figs 1 & 2). Examples noted after the publication of Dr Milner's article: Wallis & Wallis, 16 January 1975, lot 760 (illus. in cat., Pl. 20), the sword numbered 190 with leather-covered Field Service scabbard (associated?); Wallis & Wallis, 14 & 15 October 2003 (Sale 468), Lot 1028 (illus. in cat., Pl. 10), the sword numbered 275, the scabbard (no mention of a number) described as 'retaining some original khaki paint'; Wallis & Wallis, 6 January 2004, Lot 274 (illus. in cat., Pl. 8), the sword numbered 164, the inside of the bowl-guard 'with old khaki painted finish', leather scabbard (presumably associated) stamped at the throat 'SLS'.
Of the examples examined by Dr Milner (up to the publication of his article) IX.2798 is the only one with a painted scabbard; he has found no remains of paint on others he has seen (Milner 2002: 192). That in the subsequent Wallis & Wallis sale (October 2003 - see above) had some paint on the scabbard, but khaki rather than black.
According to W.E. May and P.G.W. Annis, 'Swords for Sea Service', 2 vols, London, 1970, p. 283, the firm of Hamburger Rogers & Co. traded under that name from 1840 to 1917, so this will not further assist with dating.