This 1897 pattern Victorian sergeant’s sword was made by Robert Mole of Birmingham and is unit marked to D Company of the Royal Army Service Corps, weapon number 11. The Army Service Corps played a pivotal role in supplying the troops in the field during the Anglo-Boer Wars in South Africa 1899-1902 and given its issue date it is likely that this sword and the Sergeant who carried it saw service during the Boer War.
The unit marking on the inside of the beaked quillon of the guard is a later addition as the Army Service Corps did not receive the “Royal” part of their title until after their service in WW1.
The 820mm single edged blade is of dumbbell form with a short, wide single fuller on both sides and a flat spine tapering to a spear point. The un-etched blade is in excellent condition. The ricasso is stamped with the War Department Broad Arrow, bend test mark, crowned Birmingham inspector’s mark and the maker’s details, “Mole. Birmingham.” The obverse ricasso bears two Birmingham inspection stamps, the manufacture date of February 1900 and an Enfield re-issue date of 1901.
The steel bowl guard is of 1897 pattern and bears the royal cypher of Queen Victoria. The plating is in excellent condition with very minor age related marks. The inside of the beaked quillon is stamped “R.A.S.C” over “D. Co” over “11.” The steel back strap is smooth for the last two-thirds and crosshatched for the first third. The oval pommel and rounded tang nut. The fish skin grip is in excellent condition with some mild age and service related wear. The three strands of wire binding are intact and tight.
The brown leather covered field scabbard is in good condition and remains strong with all the stitching intact. The scabbard has minor use related scuffs and marks and the leather frog strap is worn. The sword sheaths and draws well and is held firmly in the scabbard.
This is a fine example of a scarce Victorian sergeant’s sword by a prestigious British maker.