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Sword

WPN1137
Weapons

Object connections:

Collection Weapons, Edged weapons
ExhibitionsTraders: The East India Company and Asia
User collections The Company in crisis by NMMExhibitions
Gallery locationTraders Gallery (Floor plans)
PeopleHistorical Association: Legionary, Roman
Historical Association: Corps, Land Transport
Provenance: Peel, William
EventsIndian Mutiny, 1857- 1858: Relief of Lucknow

Object details:

Object ID WPN1137
Description Roman legionary-style sword, which belonged to Captain Sir William Peel (1824-1858). The sword consists of a cruciform hilt made of gilt brass and dark brown wood. The pommel cap is also made of gilt brass and is radially fluted from a small tang button. The flutes continue up the wooden grip as far as a small, fluted ferrule at the top. The grip tapers from its widest part, at the pommel, to its narrowest, at the ferrule. The sword has a simple gilt brass cross-guard with straight quillons that have swollen finials. The obverse and reverse faces of the guard are decorated with a stippled finish, edged with a raised border of plain metal. The upper and lower faces of the guard are plain. The leaf-shaped, double-edged steel blade has a central fuller, some 203mm long, beginning about 64mm from the guard. The blade is decorated on each side on the shoulder with etchings. The obverse of the blade is decorated with a shield of David, contained within the shield is a rose, the whole surrounded by a closed figure made up of twelve crescents and within an oval, decorative cartouche, there are three lines of Persian script. The reverse of the blade is decorated with a foliated cartouche contained within the cartouche are the words 'HENRY WILKINSON, PALL MALL, LONDON'. There is a bright iron or steel scabbard fitted with a gilt brass top locket equipped with loops for a ring each side, and a gilt brass chape with a convex end and button tip, which is damaged. Both mounts are, or were originally, secured to the scabbard by screws. The inner edges of these mounts have a simplified scallop finish on the obverse side. Although this sword bears a superficial resemblance to the brass-hilted hangers issued to the rank and file of the Land Transport Corps in 1855 (which were modelled on French styles of half a century before) it is probable that Captain Sir William Peel thought of this sword as being in the 'Roman' style. It was this sword that Captain Sir William Peel was carrying at the Second Relief of Lucknow in 1858 where he met his death. He entered the Royal Navy in 1838; was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1844; to Commander in 1846; to Captain in 1849 and he died in 1858. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry during the Crimean War. This Victoria Cross is also in the National Maritime Museum's collection.
Date made 1856

Artist/Maker Henry Wilkinson
Place made Westminster, City of Westminster, London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Materials iron; steel; wood; gilt brass
Measurements Overall: 30 x 675 x 120 mm
Parts
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