This sword is a good example of a scarce 1846 pattern Royal Navy junior officer’s sword made by Firmin & Sons, London. These swords are carried by Warrant Officers and Midshipmen.
The 805mm single-edged blade has a broad, flat spine tapering to an upper false edge and spear point. A broad single fuller runs along both sides of the blade ending in a medial rib down to the point. The spine bears the name of the owner, “J. Wright. RN” and the words “London Made.”
The blade is etched with a crown and the Royal Navy fouled anchor motif between foliate scrollwork. The obverse of the blade bears the royal coat of arms – a lion and unicorn rampant and the motto, “Dieu Et Mon Droit.” The blade is clean and bright with just a few small patches of tarnish and very shallow pitting.
The ricasso bears the cutler’s details, R. G. James & Co. 13, Queen Street, Portsmouth. The obverse bears the crowned proof stud of the prestigious sword maker, Firmin & Sons of London.
The solid half-basket hilt is made of gilded brass and is in excellent condition. The bowl of the guard bears the crown and fouled anchor of the Royal Navy. The inner folding guard is in perfect working order and mates nicely with the pin on the scabbard. The knurled back strap has a domed oval pommel (the senior officer’s pattern has a lion head pommel with the lion’s mane flowing along the back strap). The shagreen of the grip is dark grey, as opposed to the white of the senior officer’s grip and the twisted copper wire wrap is present and in excellent condition. The blade is firm in the hilt.
The brass mounted black leather scabbard is original to the sword and is in fair to good condition with wear and loss of the original finish. The sword sheaths and draws well and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a good example of a hard to find, named, Royal Navy Midshipman’s sword by a top English maker.
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