Stock Ref: AST 1744

A rare example of a Midshipman’s or Cadet Officers dress sword dating from the mid Victorian era.

72.5cm (28.5”) slightly curved single fullered blade with rounded back and spear point. The blade is single edged except for the last 10”. The blade has been plated and is decorated on one side with the Victorian crown above a fouled anchor and foliate designs, and on the other with the royal coat of arms, foliate designs and a brass proof disc.

Gilt brass solid gothic style hilt with a cartouche bearing the St Edwards Crown above a fouled anchor. Inner folding guard with locking  pin. Lions head pommel with prominent circular tang button and full mane back piece. White fish skin grip bound with brass wire. Gold and blue sword knot.

Maker: Guy & Eames Portsmouth. (Traded from 49 High Street, Portsmouth between 1863-1875 they took over the Portsmouth firm of Selby in 1857-8)

Dated: 1863-1875

Black leather scabbard with Gilt brass mounts and two loose rings. The top mount has a crowned cartouche badge for the maker Guy & Eames Portsmouth (late Selby)

The sword and scabbard are in very good condition for their age and service use. The plating of the blade has lost some of the original detail but most is still visible. There are some minor rust spots along the edges of the blade which is otherwise in good condition.

The hilt is in good condition and firm on the tang. There is some wear to the grip, and the sword knot has some tarnish. The scabbard is in very god condition. There is some tarnish to the gilt brass mounts.

It is unusual to find a naval officers sword of such small proportions. (At this time the standard blade length was 31.5” with a width of over 1” compared with this example which has a blade length of only 28.5” x 0.75”). Midshipman normally carried a Dirk – the pattern being formalised from 1856, although between 1846-1856 Midshipman wore swords – (British Naval Swords and Swordsmanship McGrath & Barton pp52).

It is possible that this was an early levee or dress sword, however, whilst lighter these tended to be of the same length as the regulation pattern. This raises the possibility that the sword was used at one of the Naval Colleges i.e. Britannia. Further research is needed.

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