Stock Ref: AST 1918

A very interesting example of a German made shortened cavalry style sabre probably made for use by a senior naval officer as a fighting sword.

72cm (28.25”) slightly curved heavy single fullered blade with a hatchet point. The blade is single edged and has been combat sharpened. The blued and gilt blade is decorated on both sides with a large crowned royal coat of arms, scrolling foliate designs and a trophy of arms. The back of the blade has the makers name.

Heavy gilt brass D shaped stirrup hilt with sword knot slit, with forward D shaped guard. Domed brass pommel and back piece. Chequered bone* grip (probably Marine Ivory). Blue and gold sword knot with bullion tassels..

Maker: J J Runkel Solingen – sold through Hill and Yardley of No 3 Charing Cross, London who operated between 1800 – 1809.

Dated: 1803 – 1809

Black leather scabbard with gilt brass mounts. The locket engraved on the back with the Cutlers name. Two loose rings and frog stud. The leather embossed with decoration.

The sword and scabbard are in very good condition for their age. The blade is free from rust but has some minor staining. The blue and gilt is faded especially towards the hilt where the decoration has been lost except for the outline. The hilt is in very good condition  and firm on the tang. The grip is undamaged. The sword knot has faded and the gilt bullion is damaged. The scabbard is in good condition. The leather is sound and the stitching good. There are some knocks to the brass fittings.

The relative shortness and heaviness of this blade strongly suggests that it may have been made as a fighting sword for a Senior Naval Officer, as does the accompanying blue and gold sword knot. A similar hilted sword (except for langets) also by Hill & Yardley is shown on Page 177 – 8 in Sim Comfort's book Naval Swords & Dirks, and there is reference to cut down Light Cavalry Sabres being used in May & Annis Page 27 and Plate 25. Further research into this interesting fighting sword would seem appropriate.


The grip is we believe made of carved bone or marine rather than elephant ivory. The bone is in the form of a carved outer casing over a wooden former, which in turn surrounds the tang. Under the proposed Legislation on Ivory products within the UK this item would be exempt under the de-minimis or 10% rule as it predates 1947. 

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