Scarce 1827 pattern, Royal Navy officer’s pipe-back sword dating from early in the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901).
The 734mm pipe-back blade has a pronounced yelmen and terminates in a quill point. The edges have been sharpened for action.
The blade is etched with a crown above the Royal Navy’s fouled anchor motif between feathered arches. The forte bears faint cutler’s details, “E & E Emanuel cutlers to Her Majesty. 3 Hard, Portsea & 101 High Street, Portsmouth.” Ezekiel & Emanuel Emanuel traded from these premises between 1830 and 1880. In 1846, the pipe-back blade of the original 1827 pattern swords was dropped in favour of the more robust Wilkinson style blade. This, and the absence of Queen Victoria’s Royal cypher help date the sword to the early years of her reign.
The obverse of the blade bears a crown above a stylised Royal coat of arms, a shield containing the motto “Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense” surrounded by palm fronds and laurels above a lion and unicorn. The forte bears folate etchings surrounding a scrolled ribbon with the words “Warranted London Manufacture.” The blade is in very good condition for its age and service, it is clean and bright with minimal tarnish or pitting and a few edge nicks consistent with use.
The 1827 pattern, half-basket hilt is made of gilded brass and remains in excellent condition. The bowl of the guard bears the Georgian crown and fouled anchor of the Royal Navy. The inner folding guard is in perfect working order and the hinge is firm and strong. The mane of the highly detailed lion head pommel flows into the back strap and the “D” guard extends from between the lion’s jaws. The forward grip collar has an integral ring through which the sword knot was threaded. The presence of this ring also indicates that the sword dates from the early Victorian period. The sword comes with its original early Royal Navy bullion knot. The sword knot is in poor condition.
The white shagreen grip is of the highest quality and in very good condition. The twisted copper wire wrap is present and tight. The blade is firm in the hilt.
The brass mounted black leather scabbard is original to the sword and is in generally good condition. The stitching has parted and there is a modern tape repair to the bottom above the drag. The brass mounts are in excellent condition, retaining their original gilding and are firmly in place. The throat of the scabbard bears a shield containing the cutlers’ details “E & E Emanuel cutlers to Her Majesty. 3 Hard, Portsea & 101 High Street, Portsmouth.” The leather of the scabbard is strong and supple. The sword sheaths and draws well and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a very good example of a hard to find Royal Navy 1827 pattern pipe-back officer’s fighting sword complete with its original leather scabbard. Finding these swords with a scabbard is rare.