This British 1821/1856 pattern artillery officer’s sword was probably made by Robert Mole of Birmingham. The sword was retailed by Firmin & Sons, an established trade customer of Robert Mole. The proof disk, while unknown to me is similar to those used by Mole in the mid 1850’s.
The 820mm blade is single-edged with a flat spine over a broad, three-quarter length single fuller. This is the “Wilkinson” pattern blade that was adopted by officers of the Artillery in the 1850’s. Prior to that the Artillery adhered to the 1821 pattern light cavalry officer’s sword with a pipe-back blade.
The almost straight blade terminates in a spear point and is double-edged for the final 280mm. The blade retains its factory edges and is in excellent condition.
The blade is crisply etched with scrolled foliate panels above the winged lightning bolts of the Artillery and the legend, “Volunteer Artillery.” The obverse is etched with a flaming grenade and field gun amidst foliate scrollwork.
The ricasso bears a brass proof stud showing the word “PROOF” with three dots above and below. The central dots being larger than those flanking them. This design is not familiar to me but is similar to those used by Robert Mole. The obverse ricasso is etched with the retailer’s details, Firmin & Sons, 153 Strand, London.”
The three-bar steel guard and shagreen covered grip are in great condition. The three strands of copper wire binding are intact and tight. The blade is firm in the hilt.
The sword is complete with its regulation steel scabbard with twin suspension rings. The scabbard is in great condition with a pleasant pale patina. The sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is an excellent example of a mid-19th Century Victorian Volunteer Artillery officer’s sword.
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