A very rare 1827 pattern, Honourable East India Company (HEIC) Navy officer’s pipe-back sword.
The 770mm pipe-back blade has a pronounced yelmen measuring 350mm in length and terminates in a quill point. The edges have been sharpened for action.
The blade is etched with the Honourable East India Company device of a lion rampant holding a crown in its paws above a large fouled anchor with foliate and feathered scrollwork and arches above and below. The forte bears the cutler’s details, “W. Simpson, 24 Leadenhall St. London.” William Simpson was an “India Outfitter” and a major supplier to the East India Company who had their headquarters next door at East India House in Leadenhall Street.
The obverse of the blade bears the East India Company Coat of Arms and motto, “Auspicio Regis et Senatus Angliae.” Translating as "By command of the King and Parliament of England" again surrounded above and below with foliate and feathered scrollwork and arches. The forte is intricately etched with bordered foliate scrollwork.
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 etching is faint in some places.
The 1827 pattern, solid half-basket hilt is made of gilded brass and remains in excellent condition. The bowl of the guard bears the East India Company Lion and fouled anchor. 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 gilded and faceted back strap and the “D” guard extends from between the lion’s jaws. The grip collar has an integral ring through which the sword knot was threaded. The white shagreen grip is of the highest quality and in excellent condition. The three strands of twisted copper wire are present and tight. The blade is firm in the hilt.
The brass mounted black leather scabbard is original to the sword and is in very good condition. The scabbard has twin suspension rings, dating it to post 1832 as prior to that, scabbards had a frog stud. The stitching is intact and tight and the leather retains its original finish. The upper and middle brass mounts are in very good condition and are firmly in place. The drag has several small dents and is a later replacement. The sword sheaths and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a very good example of a rare East India Company naval officer’s fighting sword complete with its original leather scabbard.