BRITISH 1821 VOLUNTEER ARTILLERY OFFICERS SWORD - VICTORIAN

Stock Ref: AST 1826

A very fine and rare example of a sword from the 2nd Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery Newham & Westbury on Seven Corps dated 1860.

82.5cm (32.5”) slightly curved single fullered blade with a spear point. The blade has a rounded back and is single edged except for the last 10”. The blade is finely etched on both sides with the crowned royal cypher for Victoria and scrolling foliate designs. On one side is the makers name and on the other a brass proof disc. Within a panel is the inscription.’2nd Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery Newnham and Westbury on Seven Corps 1860’

Three bar steel hilt with forward quillon. Flat back and stepped pommel with circular flattened tang button. Fishskin grip with copper brass wire bindings.

Maker: Thomas Fletcher Westgate Street, Gloucester (Traded as Gunsmiths and was listed in 1842 as trading at 161 Westgate Street. After Thomas' death in 1858, his widow Elizabeth carried on the business until her own death in 1890, when she was described in a newspaper obituary as Gloucester's oldest business woman. The firm continued as a family business until 1975)

Dated: 1860

Steel scabbard with two loose rings.

The sword and scabbard are in excellent condition. The blade is free from rust, staining and knicks, the etchings are as new. The hilt is as new and firm on the tang. The grip and bindings are as new. The scabbard has some staining and one minor dent towards the chape but is otherwise in very good condition.

The Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery was originally formed on 22 November 1859, with its headquarters at the Artillery Ground, Whiteladies Rd. Clifton, Bristol. The GVA was formed in 1859 as the British Government responded to perceived threats of invasion from France. The Lord Lieutenants of every county in the UK were tasked with raising corps of Volunteer Rifles & Volunteer Artillery. In Bristol, the Lord Lieutenant, who was also the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, raised the Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery Corps. It was granted premises on Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol, by the Society of Merchant Venturers, and the GVA have been based there ever since 1860.

The Newnham and Westbury on Seven Corp. (Battery) was formed on the 1st March 1860 when this sword dates from. The London Gazette for 6 March 1860 records early Officer appointments(1st March 1860) – Alfred Goold (Gent) to be First Lieutenant and Maurice Frederick Carter (Gent) to be Second Lieutenant. A Captain Hewitt was the first Battery Commander but he resigned in May 1861. In all probability the sword was originally owned by one of these officers.

By 1880 the batteries were consolidated as the 1st Gloucestershire (Gloucester and Somerset) Volunteer Artillery, with headquarters in Bristol and batteries as follows - Numbers 1- 6 Bristol, number 7 at Newnham, number 8 at Gloucester and number 9 atClevedon. By 1908 a total of twelve batteries had been raised. The Corp still exists as 266 (Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery) Battery Royal Artillery part of the Army Reserve.

Documentation:

  • 2 x London Gazette entries

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£750.00